Mrs. Robinson’s Disgrace: The Private Diary of a Victorian Lady

Kate Summerscale. Bloomsbury, $26 (384p) ISBN 978-1-60819-913-6
With intelligence and graceful prose, Summerscale gives an intimate and surprising look into Victorian life. A century before Simon & Garfunkel’s “Mrs. Robinson,” a financially comfortable Victorian named Isabella Robinson defended herself in the newly created English divorce court over a mislaid diary filled with passionate erotic entries, philosophical musings, and complaints against her husband. Summerscale (The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher) suggests that Isabella fought to maintain her marriage to a controlling, tight-fisted husband (himself an adulterer) to protect the reputation of her alleged lover, Dr. Edward Lane, a hydrotherapist who treated her, as well as an ailing Charles Darwin and popular phrenologist George Combe. In two sections, the book first describes Isabella’s flowery, coy memories of the doctor and others who offered her distraction; the second part focuses on her trial on an adultery charge and the scrambling of her male friends to preserve their reputations. Questions raised in the newspapers about Isabella’s sanity and desperate need for attention, coupled with Lane’s firm courtroom denials, clouded the truth for contemporary spectators concerning Henry Robinson’s charge of adultery, resulting in a highly unusual 19th-century divorce case filled with salacious details and unsympathetic characters on both sides of the aisle. 8 pages b&w photo insert. Agent: Rogers, Coleridge & White Ltd (U.K.) (June)
Reviewed on: 02/20/2012
Release date: 06/19/2012
Show other formats
FORMATS
Hardcover - 303 pages - 978-1-4088-1241-9
Compact Disc - 978-1-4526-3801-0
Compact Disc - 978-1-4526-0801-3
Book - 978-1-61707-098-3
Hardcover - 384 pages - 978-0-8027-7922-9
Paperback - 303 pages - 978-1-60819-934-1
MP3 CD - 978-1-4526-5801-8
Paperback - 303 pages - 978-1-4088-3124-3
Paperback - 303 pages - 978-1-4088-1563-2
Open Ebook - 978-0-8027-4368-8
Audio Product - 1 pages - 978-1-4526-2801-1
Hardcover - 320 pages - 978-1-4712-0592-7
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.