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Tue, 23 Apr


Pickering Book Tree

Kate Morgan

Join us in conversation with Kate Morgan, when we'll discuss the history of women, violence, and the development of the law as it is today. Kate's powerful books shine a light on the hidden cases which shaped British law, covering shocking true stories with brilliantly researched detail.

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Kate Morgan
Kate Morgan

Time & Location

23 Apr 2024, 19:30

Pickering Book Tree, 43a Market Pl, Pickering YO18 7AL, UK

About the event

We are delighted to welcome Kate Morgan to Pickering Book Tree to discuss her recently published book The Walnut Tree: Women, Violence and the Law – A Hidden History.

We’ll be in conversation with Kate about the book, her research, and the history of women and the law. The event will include time for audience questions too.

Kate’s first book, Murder: The Biography, was published in 2021 and is a fascinating exploration into the history of how the law on murder came to be shaped as it is today. The real stories in each case are often as strange, dark and captivating as fiction. There are many cases in the first book which shine a light on the historical bias of the law against women, and The Walnut Tree provides an important follow up.

Both of Kate’s books are insightful, memorable, extensively researched and told in a way that is easy to follow. This evening event is sure to provide a fantastic discussion!

About the Book

An outstanding work — Philippa Gregory

A powerful narrative told with frankness and sensitivity — Helen Fry, historian and author of Women In Intelligence

A woman, a dog and a walnut tree, the more they are beaten, the better they’ll be.

So went the proverb quoted by a prominent MP in the Houses of Parliament in 1853. His words – intended ironically in a debate about a rise in attacks on women – summed up the prevailing attitude of the day, in which violence against women was waved away as a part and parcel of modern living – a chilling seam of misogyny that had polluted both parliament and the law. But were things about to change?

In this vivid and essential work of historical non-fiction, Kate Morgan explores the legal campaigns, test cases and individual injustices of the Victorian and Edwardian eras which fundamentally re-shaped the status of women under British law. These are seen through the untold stories of women whose cases became cornerstones of our modern legal system and shine a light on the historical inequalities of the law.

We hear of the uniquely abusive marriage which culminated in the dramatic story of the ‘Clitheroe wife abduction’; of the domestic tragedies which changed the law on domestic violence; the controversies surrounding the Contagious Diseases Act and the women who campaigned to abolish it; and the real courtroom stories behind notorious murder cases such as the ‘Camden Town Murder’.

Exploring the 19th- and early 20th Century legal history that influenced the modern-day stances on issues such as domestic abuse, sexual violence and divorce, The Walnut Tree lifts the lid on the shocking history of women under British law – and what it means for women today.

About the Author

Kate Morgan is a writer and former solicitor. She worked as a senior in-house lawyer in the water industry for most of her legal career. Long fascinated with the darker side of the law, her writing focuses on British legal history and the stories behind the important cases that have shaped the law over the centuries.

You can find more about Kate and her books on her Instagram page.

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