The Real Lives of British Women in the Era of the Great Gatsby
- Pamela Horn
15th November 2013
For many women the 1920s was a time of change after the pressures - and opportunities - of the First World War. For a number, war casualties meant a life of spinsterhood, which some turned to good account by enjoying their new independence. The current fashions, with their close-fitting dresses, cloche hats and cropped hair, emphasised this spirit of female emancipation, but it was 1918 before the vote was granted to women - and then only to those aged thirty or more. This book examines how women responded to the new challenges and the difficulties of those years, from the revival of the round of high society by the social elite, to the lives of the new middle-class professionals, and working-class women employed in the still-traditional milieu of factory and domestic service. Home life, the bringing up of children, and attitudes to family planning are investigated as are the widening leisure and political activities which some women could now afford. Drawing on family papers, contemporary publications and archive research, this book, complemented by a wealth of photographs, cartoons and other illustrations, presents a vivid picture of what women's lives were like during the period.