Women’s History

‘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 …

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 …