MRS. ROBINSON'S DISGRACE : THE PRIVATE DIARY OF A VICTORIAN LADY
by Kate Summerscale
Isabella Robinson was in a loveless marriage. Her husband, Henry, was a civil engineer who was away from home quite often on business. When he was around, he was cold and distant.
Isabella began keeping a diary where she recorded her most intimate thoughts. She met and became friends with a married couple. The husband, Dr. Edward Lane, soon became an obsession. She was infatuated with him and for five years wrote down her passions, fantasies and longings. Henry discovered the diary one day when Isabella was ill and became enraged. He took her to court for adultery. The diary would be read as evidence.
It's fascinating to read about British divorce laws at that time. (In 1857, divorce had been illegal in England.) Many women were treated very unfairly and marriages were quite complex.
Kate Summerscale is quite adept in writing about the Victorian era. Her previous book The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher is just as good.
This is a great story that was considered scandalous and explosive.