Category Archives: Re-presenting women

The Decline of the Family?

  The impact of the industrial revolution and the employment of women caused considerable pessimism among many contemporaries like Richard Oastler and Lord Shaftesbury. According to Peter Gaskell the transition from domestic to factory system was nothing less than catastrophic: … Continue reading

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Working-class Women

  The extent to which the nature of work for labouring women changed has two dimensions that are historically and ideologically important. First, to what extent were changes in the nature of work, especially the development of the factory system, … Continue reading

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Middle class women

The emergence of the middle classes has been treated as male and the account of middle class consciousness structured round public events in which women have generally been seen as playing little part[1]. The place of women in conventional historiography … Continue reading

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Re-presenting Women: 4

Representing ‘separate spheres’? How were women represented in this period? The concept of ‘respectability’ was a complex combination of moral, religious, economic and cultural systems. It was a concept of the public world of the middle classes that helped defined … Continue reading

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Re-presenting Women:3

Middle class anxieties about working class sexuality The Registrar General reported that in 1842, 6.7 per cent of births were illegitimate and that during the century as a whole the figure was around 6.0 per cent[1]. Albert Leffingwell wrote of … Continue reading

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Re-Presenting Women : 2

  Representing sexuality The view that women and men naturally have distinctive and separate characteristics is today treated with justifiable scepticism[1]. This was not the case in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The Christian position was clear. God created Adam … Continue reading

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Re-presenting Women:1

  The images that women, especially in the middle classes, had of themselves were overwhelmingly the construction of men. Martha Vicinus suggests that the notion of the Perfect Lady is probably the best known.[1] “Throughout the Victorian period, the Perfect … Continue reading

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