'Ireland's forgotten women: exploring the experience of widows in 1960s’ women's magazines'.
22 May 2018, 17:30 to 22 May 2018, 19:30
IHR Peter Marshall Room, N204, Second Floor, IHR, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU
Ciara Meehan , University of Hertfordshire
Spousal bereavement is considered to be one the most disruptive events of the life course. Although still entitled to use the prefix Mrs, these women became marginal figures in society. Woman’s Way described them in a 1968 cover story as ‘Ireland’s forgotten women’. Letters to Irish women’s magazines across the 1960s offer an insight into the challenges that bereaved women faced when understanding their new position in society. This paper draws on those letters to understand singleness and the widow. It is a status that is particularly complex, complicated by the stage in life at which widowhood occurs. While examining shared experiences, this paper will also reflect on the inter-generational differences. Re-marriage, mother-child relationships, and the prospect of returning to work are among the topics explored through the pages of Woman’s Way, Woman’s Choice and Woman’s View magazines.
Chair: Dion Georgiou
020 7862 8740