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.
The history of single women in pre-modern Europe has begun to attract a good amount of attention in the last decade. Thanks to historians such as Judith Bennett, Kim Phillips, Ruth Mazo Karras and P. J. P.
The 1950s is a comparatively under-researched area for gender studies. Anyone wanting to understand the constructed gender roles which underpinned not only girls' and women's lives but also those of boys and men, would do no better than to start with this excellent book.
Previous investigators, whom Todd scrupulously acknowledges, have focused, she argues, on London and on urban communities such as Preston and the Potteries with a strong tradition of working wives—or on the world beyond work.