Harriet Kettle: Pauper, Prisoner, Patient and Parent in Victorian Norfolk
EAST ANGLIAN BOOK AWARDS (History and Tradition) Shortlisted 2021Harriet Kettle (c1838-1916) was a rebel against authority in Victorian times. She lost her mother and, abandoned by her father, grew up in the workhouse. Imprisoned several times and committed as a lunatic on five separate occasions she eventually got married and had four children. Stating on one occasion that, 'no man would conquer her', her final act was to take a wealthy businessman to court. A case she won.
This book explores in depth the contexts in which Harriet's life was lived: the village of Cranworth, Gressenhall Workhouse, the courts and yards of Norwich, Walsingham and Wymondham Houses of Correction, the Norfolk County Lunatic Asylum, the Bethlem Hospital in London and Toftwood, a suburb of East Dereham. In so doing, it provides a vivid picture of the grittier sides of life in Victorian times.