Women in the 1920s
- Pamela Horn
15th December 2010
A broad and engaging study of the domestic, social and professional lives of women in a period of burgeoning freedom and opportunity.
For many women the 1920s was a time of change after 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) and the unemployment and uncertainty of the peacetime world brought unforeseen problems. This book examines how women responded to the challenges and the difficulties of those years, from the revival of the round of High Society by the social elite, against a background of sometimes vast personal and financial losses, to the lives of the new middle-class professionals, who found social as well as domestic freedom, and working-class women employed in the still traditional factory and domestic service roles - as well as those who found their way on to the shop or restaurant floor. Home life, bringing up children, and attitudes to family planning, are other topics under review, 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. It will appeal to students of women's history, social historians and those with a general interest in the subject.