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Women in England 1760-1914: A Social History Hardcover – 13 May 2004

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (13 May 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0297842668
  • ISBN-13: 978-0297842668
  • Product Dimensions: 16.7 x 3.8 x 24.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 898,832 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


a readable and fresh accont of women's lives between the reign of George III and the First World War. The book offers a skillful synthesis of a range of published material relating to women of all social classes - working class, middle class, and elite women, including Queens Charlotte and Victoria. The themes explored include life expectancy, sex, marriage and childbirth, religion, education, work inside and outside the home, as well as political activism. (HISTORY TODAY)

Steinbach's lively survey brings together the results of researches to offer a revealing portrait of women's lives in every class and all areas of life. (THE SCOTSMAN)

Women in England is a grand sweep of a book, a well-researched , freshly written, and unexpectedly entertaining look at "the long 19th century" from women's points of view... an engaging synthesis. (THE INDEPENDENT)

Women in England is a first stop for the reader who wants a survey of this important but, until fairly recently, neglected subject. (CHURCH TIMES)

Book Description

A rich and fresh survey of women's lives between George III and the First World War

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Enjuwa on 7 Feb. 2011
Format: Paperback
This book is a huge insight into how women lived during this time and how much they went through,in every class, unbelievable suffering!Women really did not have a voice,yet they survived.
Susie Steinbach examines the way things changed,and the ways they did not.
An excellent read, and enjoyable too.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Lisa on 4 April 2011
Format: Paperback
Having taught women's history for several years at AS, was struggling to find wider reading for students on changing women's education. This book does the job nicely. Written in a very entertaining manner, chapters nicely short and teenager friendly! Learned a lot myself - thoroughly enjoyed the read.
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By Frank on 5 Feb. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent book at a good price
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By john m roberts on 13 Mar. 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
very professional
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Well-researched, enjoyable read 26 April 2006
By book lover - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
n this book, Steinbach strives to explore both women's history and gender history of the "long nineteenth century" in Britain; the period from 1760 to 1914 that saw rapid social change due to industrialization, urbanization, the growth of the middle class, and Queen Victoria's empire. Steinbach sums up the purpose of her book: "We will attempt to combine women's history and gender history by looking carefully at the multifaceted relationships between lived experience and ideological concerns. We will concern ourselves with the ideas about gender with which nineteenth-century women lived, with the variety of social, economic, political, legal, cultural, religious, and other pressures brought to bear on women, and women's responses to these challenges. The ways in which things changed-and the ways which they did not-are the subject of this book" (p.6).

Steinbach's writing is extensively researched, with references to and quotes from 19th century legal proceedings, parliamentary records, newspaper articles, personal letters, advice manuals and novels, as well as current-day academic research papers, biographies and books.

What makes the book unique is the breadth and scope of Steinbach's scholarship, as well as her multi-faceted look at women's lives. "Nineteenth-century women were remarkable both for the restrictions within which they operated and for all they achieved in spite of them" (p. 289). Steinbach, unlike other authors, describes the vital power of class structures in English society, and how working-class, middle-class and upper-class women's experiences differed markedly. She also pays equal attention to how other factors such as education, work, religion, philanthropy and sex intersected with class to create a wide variety of the experiences of nineteenth-century women.

Steinbach's book is more accessible to the average reader interested in a broad, yet detailed, overview of nineteenth-century women's lives than Katrina Honeyman's Women, Gender and Industrialisation in England, 1700 - 1870. Honeyman's collection of scholarly essays contains such dense, academic prose that the reading is meant only for academic historians, and not for the average reader. Also, these essays view women's history through the overly narrow lens of modern feminist thought. While Steinbach's novel details the emergence of the feminist movement and its importance in women's lives, it also sees the entire experience of women in this period through many varied viewpoints. One of the most important viewpoints is that of nineteenth-century women themselves, through their own words, from biographies, letters, speeches or legal testimony. Steinbach does an excellent job of presenting women's history as integrally linked to British history, not as an add-on to "male" history, or as a defense against patriarchy; she views British women as part of their society, not separated from it by the status of victimhood.

Steinbach's book is highly recommended as a broad introduction to the history of women in the nineteenth century. This book expertly delves deeply into personal, individual stories while at the same time it provides a sweeping overview of major societal structures and changes. The language is not overly academic, making and enjoyable read for the non-historian.
Very clear and refreshing survey 5 Jan. 2015
By J C J Reynolds - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A very clear survey of the changing place of women in Britain in the long nineteenth century. The author is an American and approaches the subject in a refreshing way with a welcome absence of preconceptions. She explains the issues in a lucid and easy style. My only criticisms are that the chapter on religion ignores the Congregationalists (who included some prominent women), and the author is occasionally shaky on the details of British politics, eg Asquith was not as stated Prime Minister in 1918.
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