Women’s History

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 …

Women and museums 1850-1914: Modernity and the Gendering of Knowledge by Dr. Kate Hill

In this blog post, Dr. Kate Hill tells us about her new monograph which sheds light on women as museum workers, donors and visitors.

As a young woman in the closing decades of the nineteenth century, Beatrix Potter spent a lot of her time in museums and galleries. She was exasperated by ‘hordes of young ladies’ in the National Gallery and the South Kensington Museum, making what she thought were hideous copies of paintings, and paid frequent visits to what is now the Natural History Museum, possibly for some respite. Here, she found it ‘peaceful amid the fossils’, but was …

Margaret Bondfield (Re) Discovered by Dr. Paula Bartley

In our latest post, Dr. Paula Bartley reflects on some of the archival challenges of studying women’s history in her latest excellent book, Labour Women In Power: Cabinet Ministers in the Twentieth Century.

One of the many challenges facing  historians of women is lack of source material. So much of the evidence of women’s lives, including those of famous women, has simply disappeared. In 1929, ninety years ago, Margaret Bondfield became the first ever female Cabinet Minister. Yet, little has been written about this ground-breaking individual. One reason is that her archive simply vanished. Ross Davies, a “Times” journalist …

Victorian Penal Institutions for Juvenile Females and Mary Carpenter, by Tahaney Alghrani

In our latest post Tahaney Alghrani reflects on crime, gender and ‘reform’ in Victorian port cities.

In recent months, youth knife crime has been much debated in the British press. These debates, however, are not new.  Just as today there are conflicting views on how we should address youth crime, this was also a central debate in the nineteenth century. Reformatory and Industrial schools, the first penal institutions for juvenile offenders, were established in 1855 to remove youths from their criminal associations and ‘at risk’ environments in order to reform them and train them within industry. Recent research by Barry …