Barbara Hately-Broad’s purpose is to insert the neglected subject of British prisoner-of-war (POW) families into the history of army, navy and air force families during the Second World War, a subject that is itself rather thinly tackled by historians.
In 1886 the Glasgow Prayer Union (GPU) remembered in their customary prayers a woman across whom one of its ‘ladies’ had come. She had been ‘found lying very drunk near Cattle Market with young infant’. Concerned for the infant’s life, the unnamed philanthropist (not a word Smitley uses) takes the child to the nearby police station, ‘where the woman was also taken’ (p. 44).
This volume makes an excellent contribution to the field of religious and gender history, properly marking the revival of interest in religion within British cultural and social history that has been quietly developing over the past decade.
Esther Breitenbach and Pat Thane’s edited collection, Women and Citizenship in Britain and Ireland in the Twentieth Century is a timely and very useful addition to the historiography.
Chocolate, writes Emma Robertson in the introduction to her monograph, ‘has been invested with specific cultural meanings which are in part connected to … conditions of production’ (p. 3). At the heart of this study is a challenge to existing histories:
I was 16 or 17 when I first read Pat Barker’s Regeneration trilogy, and 26 when I completed my PhD on shell shock in First World War Britain.
This readable and accessible book has secured an impact beyond the academic world, becoming the Guardian book of the week in March 2011 and drawing positive reviews in both the academic and non-academic press.
Sinners? Scroungers? Saints?: Unmarried Motherhood in Twentieth-Century England offers a rich and fascinating study of the National Council of the Unmarried Mother and Her Child (later the National Council for One Parent Families, then One Parent Families and now Gingerbread), a charitable organization that was established to provide support for unmarried mothers and their children.
The collection of essays in ‘She said she was in the family way’: Pregnancy and infancy in modern Ireland is a welcome addition to our knowledge of Irish women’s lives. Its use of a variety of sources in original and revealing ways, its rigorous scholarly presentations and its overall knowledge of the field is truly of benefit to all those interested in Irish history.
Once upon a time, as every schoolboy knew, the history of the British Empire was the history of great men.