The shadow of marriage
Newly available in paperback, this book examines representations and experiences of men and women who never married between 1914 and 1960, drawing upon an exceptionally wide range of sources including biographies, oral histories, novels, films, government statistics and social surveys. The book discusses the significance of age, generation and gender in work and non-familial lifestyles, and unmarried men and women's intimate, sexual, familial and professional relationships. Important questions are raised as to how these categories have been defined, and power relations between married and single people are exposed. Examining the boundaries of the nuclear family in the mid-twentieth century, the book highlights the high level of involvement in children's care and education by unmarried women as well as largely invisible relationships between children and unmarried men. As the first major study of the history of single people in England, this will be a valuable resource for researchers and students in social history, gender studies, women's studies, social policy and sociology.