Women's work, 1840-1940 by Elizabeth Roberts
I have read this book as part of my Master’s course.
This volume addresses some of the difficult issues surrounding women’s work during a century of social upheaval, and demonstrates how hard it is to be precise about the nature and extent of women’s occupations. It focuses on working-class women and the many problems relating to their work, full-time and part-time, paid and unpaid, outside and inside the home. Elizabeth Roberts examines men’s attitudes to women’s work, the difficulties of census enumeration and women’s connections with trade unions. She also tackles in depth other areas of contention such as the effects of legislation on women’s work, a ‘family wage’, and unequal pay and status. Dr Roberts’ study provides a unique overview of an expanding field of social and economic history, while her survey of the available literature is a useful guide to further reading.
I found this a gem of a book. It is only 70 pages long which I was able to read in a couple of hours. It is full of information and it takes a different view of women in this period. There is not a feminist feel or take of this period of history which is rather unusual and is a great tool for historical comparisons. This book is very easy to dip in and out of, easy to follow and understand and the content is very interesting and informative.