Harriet 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.
About the author
Andy Reid taught history at a Norfolk secondary school before taking up an advisory
role as Liaison Officer at Gressenhall Museum. He moved to Staffordshire in 1988, working first for the Local Authority and then, for 16 years, as H M Inspector of Schools, while maintaining an interest in
the history of Norfolk. For the past 12 years, he has worked as an educational consultant, supporting schools in England and contributing to school improvement programmes in the Middle East, Asia and