Victorian Women

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While the aristocratic women of the Victorian age have long preoccupied the popular imagination, seldom have women of other classes been granted a voice. Victorian Women is the first book to allow women of all classes to render their own lives, in their own words, from birth to old age, in the long nineteenth century between the French Revolution and the First World War.

In letters, memoirs, and other contemporary sources these women describe their childhood and education; ...

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1995 Hardcover Fine 0814766242 264 pp. > Language: English | > Size: 8vo-over 7 3/4 in-9 3/4 in Tall | > Media/Binding: Hardcover |

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1995 Hardcover Near Fine in Fine jacket Hardcover in near fine condition with fine dust jacket.

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Overview

While the aristocratic women of the Victorian age have long preoccupied the popular imagination, seldom have women of other classes been granted a voice. Victorian Women is the first book to allow women of all classes to render their own lives, in their own words, from birth to old age, in the long nineteenth century between the French Revolution and the First World War.

In letters, memoirs, and other contemporary sources these women describe their childhood and education; courtship, marriage and homemaking; sex and motherhood; marital breakdown; widowhood; and their pastimes and entertainments. Their voices, heretofore drowned by the cacophony of louder, often male versions of history, speak to us with clarity and poignancy, revealing strength of feeling, courage, and humor. We find in this book the unmarried woman worker, the single mother, the prostitute, as well as those who fought for professional recognition against the regiments of the church, government, and law.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A useful and engaging book, one in which real voices are allowed to speak and to describe experience as being as squalid, muddled, painful and interesting as it generally is."

-Sunday Times,

"On individual examples Perkin is superb, not just on the great reformers but on the individual free-wheelers like Isabella Bird-Bishop, who set off at 40 to see the whole world and managed it."

-The Independent,

Booknews
A reprint of a book first published in 1993 by John Murray, UK. Perkins women's history, Northwestern U. uses letters, memoirs, and other revealing, first-hand sources to describe the social conditions of women of all classes during the Victorian era. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR booknews.com
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814766248
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/1995
  • Pages: 264

Meet the Author

Joan Perkin teaches women's history at Northwestern University. She is the author of It's Never Too late: A Practical Guide to Continuing Education for Women of all Ages, and Women and Marriage in Nineteenth-Century England.

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Table of Contents

Illustrations
Introduction 1
1 What Use Were Girls Anyway?: Class and the Importance of Gender 6
2 That Won't Earn a Gal a Living: Education for Girls 27
3 Thinking of England: Sex, Courtship and Marriage 51
4 Angels in the House: Marriage and Domestic Life 73
5 Time of Their Own: Women's Interests and Entertainments 93
6 Punch and Judy: Holy Deadlock, Separation and Divorce 113
7 Turning Their Industry to Best Account: Widowhood and Old Age 132
8 Making Their Own Way: The Lives of Unmarried Middle-Class Women 153
9 Cheap Labour: The Lives of Unmarried Working-Class Women 169
10 Obliged to be Breadwinners: The Lives of Married Women Workers 186
11 Ladies Bountiful: Philanthropic, Voluntary and Political Work 202
12 A Separate Species of Womanhood: The Demi-Monde 219
Conclusion: To Become Themselves 235
Select Bibliography 249
Index 254
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