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Until relatively recently the in-depth historical analysis of Scottish women’s lives has been the preserve of dedicated gender historians. Although it is fair to say that Scottish historians have recently begun to include the lives of women in their research, this is by no means extensive.
That the history of sexuality has come of age is clear. The most recent Journal of the History of Sexuality is a self-reflexive special issue on 'Theory, Methods, Praxis'.
Since the 1960s, popular leisure has been studied by successive generations of British social historians. Questions of class, of culture and of identity have been central to the development of this literature. Celebrations of distinctively plebeian customs have contended with pessimistic analyses of mass culture as a form of social control.
The concept of ‘separate spheres’, or the organisation of society into a private, domestic, female world and an active, public, male domain, is closely associated with Victorian society and, arguably, has had a pervasive influence upon gender relations since. Women’s sphere was that of the home, or activities closely connected with it.
Scandals are titillating phenomena, intriguing and enjoyable for almost everyone except their victims. They often carry two highly attractive features: first sex, and second the opportunity of watching high and mighty people being revealed to have feet of clay and thus brought low.
Laura E. Nym Mayhall begins her book by re-telling the familiar story of the arrest in 1909 of Marion Wallace Dunlop, a member of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), which led to her imprisonment and notoriety as the ‘first hunger striker’. In doing so, she focuses on the action that led to the arrest.
In this innovative and interesting study, Antoinette Burton raises questions and extends the parameters of discussion in relation to a number of key issues that concern the relationship between women, the home and colonial modernity in twentieth century colonial India.
The tenacity of the Women’s Voluntary Services (WVS: they were awarded ‘Royal’ status in 1966) in maintaining their unique position in the voluntary sector must, in no small degree, be due to the powerful personality of its founder, the redoubtable Stella Charnaud, Lady Reading.
As the first densely researched and vividly argued social history of Soviet women workers in the 1930s, Goldman’s monograph fills a long-standing gap in the existing historiography. Until the early 1990s, due to the lack of access to archives in the former Soviet Union, researchers were completely dependent on published sources, such as journals, newspapers, memoirs, and monographs.
Pornography used to be regarded as ephemeral, trivial and unimportant. Insofar as it had a history, it was as one aspect of the long battle for, and ultimate triumph of, free speech. Histories of literary censorship and legal obscenity by writers like H.