Women’s History

Labour Women in Power: Cabinet Ministers in the 20th century – Dr. Paula Bartley.

(L-R Margaret Bondfield, Ellen Wilkinson, Barbara Castle, Judith Hart and Shirley Williams)

In this post, Dr. Paula Bartley gives us a sneak peak of her fabulous new book: Labour Women in Power: Cabinet Ministers in the 20th century (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019)

In 1997 Tony Blair appointed the same number of women to Cabinet positions as there had been in the rest of the century. Between 1918 and 1997, only five Labour women held this high office of state: Margaret Bondfield, Ellen Wilkinson, Barbara Castle, Judith Hart and Shirley Williams.

The five who did manage to get to these …

Celebrating ‘women’s history bookshelves’ by Dr. Jo Stanley

In this post, Dr. Jo Stanley reflects on the growing visibility of women’s history in bookshops around the globe.

This post celebrates the moment when I realised there was going to be a genre of books called ‘women’s history’ – and that it was going to be incisive, fascinating, written with gravitas and offer me/us all sorts of unexpended gendered insights. The date must have been autumn 1978. I’d gone into Sisterwite, London’s new first women’s bookshop, to see if there was anything about the history of women’s work and industrial relations.

This was my maiden visit, although I’d been …

Celebrate the Archives in Women’s History Month by Dr. Janis Lomas

In this post, Dr. Janis Lomas tells us about her role in ensuring that the papers of The War Widows’ Association were preserved.

When I began a PhD over 30 years ago one of the organisations  I contacted was The War Widows’  Association and asked if they’d put out an appeal in their newsletter for any war widows who were prepared to fill in a questionnaire and perhaps be willing to be interviewed by me at a later date. I compiled a very basic, rather naive questionnaire and eventually received 62 replies. Around the same time I met one of …

Reflections on Women’s History Month by Professor Maggie Andrews

In this fascinating blog, our committee chair, Professor Maggie Andrews reflects on what women’s history means to her.

March is Women’s History Month a chance for those in WHN and beyond to share their passion, curiosity and enthusiasm about the multiple complex and contradictory histories of women. It is an opportunity explore the ways in which women have made and been made by history and to celebrate some of the wonderful research and activities that are going on. Women’s history now has a place in museums and heritage organisations, it adorns the shelves of libraries and bookshops, is studied by …

Elite Women and the Agricultural Landscape, 1700-1830 By Dr Briony McDonagh Winner of the 2018 Women’s History Network Book Prize

In this post we hear from the 2018 WHN book prize winner, Dr. Briony McDonagh about her monograph: Elite Women and the Agricultural Landscape, 1700-1830.

The book and the related research project emerged out of a realisation that there was shockingly little written about the women who owned and improved large landed estates. Whenever one visited a country house or picked up a book on the aristocracy, one learnt lots about the male landowners who pushed forward parliamentary enclosure and agricultural improvement on their estates. But nothing about female landowners and farmers and their contributions to landscape change. Social and …