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Women in the 1920s

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For many women the 1920s was a time of change after the pressures - and opportunities - of the First World War. For a number, war casualties meant a life of spinsterhood, which some turned to good account by enjoying their new independence. The current fashions, with their close-fitting dresses, cloche hats and cropped hair, emphasised this spirit of female emancipation, but it was 1918 before the vote was granted to women (and then only to those aged thirty or more) while the unemployment and uncertainty of the ...

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Overview

For many women the 1920s was a time of change after the pressures - and opportunities - of the First World War. For a number, war casualties meant a life of spinsterhood, which some turned to good account by enjoying their new independence. The current fashions, with their close-fitting dresses, cloche hats and cropped hair, emphasised this spirit of female emancipation, but it was 1918 before the vote was granted to women (and then only to those aged thirty or more) while the unemployment and uncertainty of the peacetime world brought unforeseen problems.

This book examines how women responded to the new challenges and the difficulties of those years, from the revival of the round of high society by the social élite, against a background of sometimes vast personal and financial losses, to the lives of the new middle-class professionals, who found social as well as domestic freedom, and working-class women employed in the still traditional milieu of factory and domestic service - as well as those who found their way on to the shop or restaurant floor. Home life, the bringing up of children, and attitudes to family planning, are other topics under review, as are the widening leisure and political activities which some women could now afford.

Drawing on family papers, contemporary publications and archive research, this book, complemented by a wealth of photographs, cartoons and other illustrations, presents a vivid picture of what women's lives were like during the period. It will appeal to students of women's history, social historians and to those with a general interest in the subject.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781848688117
  • Publisher: Amberley Publishing
  • Publication date: 3/23/2011
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements 7

Chapter 1 From War to Peace: 1914-20 9

Chapter 2 The Social Elite 33

Chapter 3 Middle-class Wives and Daughters 58

Chapter 4 Working Women 82

Chapter 5 Making Ends Meet: Working-class Family Life 107

Chapter 6 Professionalism, Politics and Power 132

Chapter 7 Life in the Countryside 159

Chapter 8 Leisure and Pleasure 185

Appendix 1 Working Women 212

Appendix 2 Maternal Mortality 214

Appendix 3 Income and Expenditure of Labouring Families 216

Notes 219

Index 253

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