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A History of Women's Lives in Oxford (Paperback)

Local History P&S History Social History Women of History A History of Women's Lives

By Dr Nell Darby
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Series: A History of Women’s Lives
Pages: 142
Illustrations: 25
ISBN: 9781526717856
Published: 19th August 2019


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Underneath the dreaming spires of Oxford’s world-famous university, generations of women have lived their lives, fighting for the right to study there, and for a role within the city’s educational, political and social spheres. Although a few of these women’s names have been recorded for posterity, they have been largely because of their association with worthy or famous men; in this book, though, their own lives are detailed, along with those who have been largely omitted from history.

Women’s lives have always been less recorded than those of men; where a woman helped her husband with his business, this help may not have been formally recorded in the census returns, and the details of jobs recorded there might not reflect the full scale of women’s work and responsibilities. So here, learn about the variety of work women undertook; their education, their social lives, and their attempts to carve out a valuable role for themselves. Learn too of the problems they faced in living their lives: poverty, prison, suicide, or even murder. This is no pretty picture of Oxford life designed for tourist brochures; instead, it aims to take a snapshot of the varied experiences of the city’s female population over the course of a century.

This is a very informative and interesting book looking at mainly the last 150 years, it covers various subjects from health to prisons and work life to education. It’s not just about middle class women who can attend university it’s is about many classes of women and how life has affected them in Oxford.

Read the full review here

UK Historian

About Dr Nell Darby

Dr Nell Darby is a historian and writer whose PhD is in the history of crime, but who originally trained as a newspaper journalist. As the descendant of Victorian performers and journalists, she has long been interested in the lives of nineteenth-century actors, and how these lives were reported in the newspapers. Nell writes the popular Criminal Historian blog; this is her third book.

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