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.
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.
In recent decades, the fields of women's and gender studies have rapidly expanded. In trying to understand women's roles in past societies, historians have paid particular attention to issues surrounding marriage, family, and the household.
Karen Harvey's Reading Sex in the Eighteenth Century: Bodies and Gender in English Erotic Culture is a cogently argued, well researched, and accessible account of the ways erotic discourse shaped eighteenth-century understandings of gendered bodies.
The Recycling of the English Middle Class
Working Women in English Society offers a fascinating insight into the numerous ways in which women engaged with the market economy in England between 1300 and 1620.
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.
Eighteenth-century motherhood is a subject often neglected by historians. Literary scholars have contributed fascinating commentaries on the development of ideals of motherhood and their deployment in empire and state-building narratives and class formation.
This study connects the experience of domestic abuse to the historical development of family life from the Restoration until the passage of the Divorce Act 1857.
Pacifists, Patriots and the Vote offers fresh and insightful answers to questions about the British women's movement during the Great War that Jo Vellacott was instrumental in reopening exactly thirty years ago.