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This groundbreaking book shatters many myths about the lives of working women in 19th-century England. We move amongst publicans and pew-openers, pickpockets and poisoners, taking in courtroom dramas and domestic battles, as the social and legal status of women is examined in a wide-ranging overview that is constantly enlivened by fascinating local detail. As the story unfolds we find women at work in 180 occupations. We meet some memorable characters trying to survive in the male-dominated world of Victorian society. Some beat the system; some are destroyed by it; others live outside it. Their stories are told in this absorbing study, richly illustrated with newspaper reports and advertisements, providing a unique historical resource.
Table of Contents
PREFACE. THE STATUS OF WOMEN: Women's Special Status; The Education of Girls; Marriage; Separation; Divorce; Spinsterhood; Pregnancy and Childbearing; Affiliation; Baby Farming; Crinolines and Bloomers. OCCUPATIONS: Wives; Widows; Business and Trade; Shops and Services; Baths, Books and Billiards; Personal and Medical Services; Office-based Services; Post Offices; Transport; Male Trades; Laundresses; The Arts; Bed and Board; The Liquor Trade; Manufacturing; Toll-Collectors and Caretakers; Matrons and Superintendents; Teaching; Farming; Railways; Sea and Beach Occupations; Domestic Servants; Walking the Streets; The Occupation of Ladies. WOMEN AND THE LAW: Affiliation; Women as Perpetrators: Licensees; Street Nuisances; Prostitution; Theft and Fraud; Violence; Husband-Beating; Suicide; Homicide; Infanticide; Abortion. Women as Victims: Assaults and Murders; Sexual Crimes. EMANCIPATION: Improvements in Women's Legal Status; An Introduction to Some Sussex Feminists. APPENDICES. FURTHER READING2. INDEX.
HELENA WOJTCZAK(pronounced 'VOYT-CHAK') was born by the sea in Sussex, but spent her childhood, teens and twenties in London. After moving first to the Kent coast and later to St Leonards on Sea , she studied and gained a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology & Social Sciences in 1994. She became fascinated by oral and social history and Victorian social investigation. Postgraduate courses in those subjects led to the award of Honours in 1997. She has also studied the British women's suffrage movement, nineteenth century feminism and the Victorian working classes. Over the last few years, Helena has carried out considerable research on the women who lived in Hastings and Sussex in the mid-19th century and has also looked into the local suffrage movement during the Edwardian period. This research is available free at "Women of Hastings and St Leonards - a social history". Helena also gives a number of public talks and seminars in her local area. Among her printed works are three books on women's history including Women of Victorian Sussex She also has written for the Oxford University Press, Hunter House Publishing, the Hastings & St Leonards Observer, The Railway Ancestors Family History Society, The Warrior Magazine, The Victorian Web and Encyclopaedia Titanica. Helena Wojtczak is also Britain's foremost authority on the history of women railway workers , she has been consultant historian to the National Railway Museum and an expert contributor to The Oxford Companion to British Railway History.