In Wild Romance: A Victorian Story of a Marriage, a Trial, and a Self-Made Woman (March), first time author Chloë Schama sheds light on one of Victorian England’s biggest real life scandals. Theresa Longworth wanted the life of a married Victorian Englishwoman, but soldier Charles Yelverton was the wrong man to choose. She fell in love with him on a steamer from France to England in 1852 and married him. After then being abandoned by Yelverton, Theresa was forced to prove in court the legitimacy of their marriage. Trials ensued in Ireland, England, and Scotland, and a public uproar followed.
Theresa’s story is both a courtroom drama full of steamy accusations and intrigue and the story of how one woman made a life for herself as an unmarried author and public speaker in a society that had no place for such a woman. From her days as a convent schoolgirl on the European continent to her later life traveling across the wilds of America as an independent woman, Theresa Longworth Yelverton became a woman larger than life, when all she had wanted was a life as large as a home with a husband inside it.