Studying a broader period than its contemporaries, this comprehensive study reveals a neglected tradition of British women’s writing from the Victorian era to the sexual revolution of the 1960s. Outspoken Women brings together the many and varied non-fictional writings of British women on sexual attitudes and behaviour, beginning nearly a hundred years prior to the ‘second wave’ of feminism.
Commentators cover a broad range of perspectives and include Darwinists, sexologists, and campaigners against the spread of VD, as well as women writing about their own lives and experiences. Covering all aspects of the debate from marriage, female desire and pleasure, to lesbianism, prostitution, STDs, and sexual ignorance, Lesley A. Hall studies how the works of this era didn’t just criticise male-defined mores and the ‘dark side’ of sex, but how they increasingly promoted the possibility of a brighter view and an informed understanding of the sexual life.
Hall’s remarkable anthology is an engaging examination of this fascinating subject and it provides students and scholars with an invaluable source of primary material.