The Enigmatic Eliza Lynn Linton: Loves, Lies and Literature

The Enigmatic Eliza Lynn Linton: Loves, Lies and Literature

A trailblazing female journalist.

A campaigner against the women’s right to vote.

A radical novelist.

An agnostic vicar’s daughter.

An advocate for married women’s legal rights.

A woman who wrote her autobiography as a man.

Born in Keswick in 1822, Eliza Lynn Linton was all these things. This fascinating lady is the focus of a new exhibition at Keswick Museum, opening on the 28th of May.

On her 200th anniversary, the museum explores her life and works, and as she takes centre stage, we look at some of the interesting facts about this complicated and often contradictory person.

  • Eliza was born in Keswick in February 1822 at the Crosthwaite Vicarage.
  • She wrote poetry and novels. Keswick Museum has some of her poems and books in its collection.
  • In 1848 she joined the Morning Chronicle, becoming the first salaried female journalist in England.
  • In 1858 Eliza married William James Linton, and they moved to Brantwood. This would later become the home of another famous writer, John Ruskin.
  • She worked for Charles Dickens, writing 84 articles for his journals Household Words and All the Year Round.
  • In the 1860s Eliza signed a petition that supported women who owned property being able to vote. But she also signed an open letter that wanted to stop women getting the vote in the 1880s.
  • In 1885 she wrote an autobiography with a lead male character!

The exhibition will explore these many different sides of Eliza, and help visitors experience what it would be like for her as a ground-breaking Victorian female journalist.

For more information and exhibition opening times, visit 

Eliza Lynn Linton first salaried Brisitsh female journalist
Eliza Lynn Linton - first salaried Brisitsh female journalist.