Women’s History

Dictionary of British Women Artists by Dr Sara Gray

For ‘throwback Thursday’, Dr. Sara Gray gives us a glimpse into her 2009 book, Dictionary of British Women Artists.

The history of women artists remains largely uncharted even today, but particularly the history of British women artists. When I started researching for a Ph.D. thesis in the 1990s, it was virtually impossible to find anything much about women in British art or the decorative arts, other than the occasional reference here and there in a history book. Not coincidentally, most of the art history books I checked were written by men!

When I began to research old journals and newspapers …

Caribbean Women and the Ethiopian Solidarity Campaign by Kesewa John

As part of our Black History Month celebrations, we commissioned a ‘long read’ from the fabulous Kesewa John. Enjoy!

The sovereignty of Ethiopia was compromised from November 1934, when Italy attempted to claim land inside the border Ethiopia shared with Somalia, then an Italian colony. A diplomatic dispute ensued, culminating in a bloody clash which left 150 dead in early December 1934, known as the Wal Wal ‘incident’. This marked the beginning of a fresh round of Italian claims on Ethiopian soil: the last had ended in a humiliating Italian defeat at the Battle of Adwa in 1896 which instantly …

‘She made me stand on a wooden board when ironing…’ Suburban Domestic Life in 1930s Ireland, By Rachel Sayers

Our latest blog post mixes family, domestic, and Irish women’s history, and is written by Rachel Sayers.

My maternal Grandmother, Doris Moran nee Hamilton, often recalled to me her experiences of growing up in 1930s Dromore, County Down a small market town in the North of Ireland. These re-collections often centred around the excitement of her mother, my great-grandmother, Mary-Agnes Hamilton, bringing home new electrical appliances such as an iron, toaster, a kettle or the much sought-after wireless radio set. My great-grandmother was often ‘afraid’ of these new devices; a common fear since early electrical devices where sometimes shoddily …

Clothing in 17th-Century Provincial England by Dr Danae Tankard

In our latest post, Dr Danae Tankard gives us a sneak preview of her forthcoming monograph, Clothing in 17th Century England, which will be released later this September.

My new book, Clothing in 17th-Century Provincial England (Bloomsbury Academic, 2019), examines the clothing culture of men and women living in Sussex.  It draws on an extensive and previously unexploited range of archival sources as well as a wide selection of contemporary literature.

In the book I use literary sources to identify and explore contemporary ideas about clothing, the individual and society, the relationship between London and the provinces, and …

Victoria Caste and Gosha hospital in shaping women’s healthcare in Colonial Madras by Arnab Chakraborty

In our latest fascinating post, Arnab Chakraborty details the intersections of gender, caste, and colonialism in nineteenth century Madras.

In late nineteenth century colonial India, it was extremely unlikely that upper caste Indian women were being treated at Western medical institutions. There were certain factors apart from caste, religious and class superstitions, and the purdah that kept the inner sanctum of colonial Indian households hidden from and untouched by the apparent glow of Western healthcare. Madras, one of the three presidencies in colonial India, had one of the most progressive and liberal healthcare systems in the colonial period, and it …