Norgate, Kate (1853–1935)

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Norgate, Kate (1853–1935)

British historian . Born in St. Pancras, London, England, on December 8, 1853; died at Gorleston-on-Sea, England, on April 17, 1935; daughter of Frederick Norgate (a bookseller) and Fanny Norgate.

Born the only child of Frederick and Fanny Norgate in London, England, on December 8, 1853, Kate Norgate developed an interest in history through her association with a prominent literary group in Norwich, where she met and was given much encouragement by the famed English historian John Richard Green.

By 1877, Norgate was conducting research in the British Museum for what would become her two-volume England under the Angevin Kings. After its publication in 1887, her talent was immediately noted by E.A. Freeman, who lauded her work in the English Historical Review. The book established Norgate as a solid historian who showed a knack for understanding original sources and expressing them in a clear, spirited narrative. As the work of a selftaught woman historian, the book also helped to level the playing field between male and female historians by undermining the notion that women were not as capable as men in the field of history. Norgate's later books included John Lackland (1902), The Minority of Henry the Third (1912), and Richard the Lion Heart (1924), which followed the life of Richard I. She also teamed up with Alice Stopford Green to help with an illustrated edition of Green's Short History of the English People (1892–1894).

Although an estimable historian, Norgate was little-known in her later years, and the only accolade she received came with her election as an honorary fellow of Somerville College, Oxford, in 1929. She died in Gorleston-on-Sea, England, on April 17, 1935.

Lisa Frick , freelance writer, Columbia, Missouri

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