Linton, a dedicated opponent to women's emancipation, was herself an emancipated woman. The daughter of an Anglican clergyman, she left her family home in Keswick at age twenty-three to earn her living in London as a writer. She was the first Englishwoman to receive a regular salary as a journalist. An agnostic and in her youth a political radical, she earned notoriety for her iconoclastic attacks on Victorian respectability. The True History of Joshua Davidson (1872), a condemnation of modern Christianity, was her greatest literary success. Her brief marriage ended in separation, and she lived the rest of her life as an independent woman.