This fascinating guide gives a comprehensive view of the many and varied jobs done by women from 1850-1950.
Arranged alphabetically, it is quite fascinating to see how many different fields women worked in during this period. Of course, there are all the jobs you would expect to find women doing, teacher, nurse, secretary, dressmaker, domestic servant etc, but many others less usual occupations are discussed as well. It is interesting to note that there were a few women gamekeepers in the late 19th century for example, and even lady lighthousekeepers were not unknown, while female blacksmiths seem to have been quite common.
The history of some of the occupations are quite fascinating to read, the account of women mine workers for instance is very interesting, as is the story of women pharmacists, policewomen, and women in the post office. It is interesting to note that some occupations now thought of as being particularly suited to women were regarded as male occupations for much of history. There were few women hairdressers before the early 20th century, for example, and most secretaries were men until the late 19th century.
Reading this book gives you a very good idea of the wide and varied range of occupations that women worked in in the past, and this is an essential work of reference for anyone interested in women's history.
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If you're like me and feel rather passionate about researching the female line of your ancestry, Margaret Ward is the right person to help you get started. Her books are absolutely jam-packed with information and more importantly, they are aimed specifically at finding out more about how they lived and worked from the poor and destitute to the well-educated. Her books read like a voice from the past.
"Female Occupations" has everything you need to know, from Accountant to Wool Spinners with Curds and Whey Sellers, Pew Openers and Slopworkers in between. From the obscure to the better known and more traditional occupations, Margaret Ward has covered every base you could think of and has left no stone unturned. I was absolutely thrilled to receive this wonderful book, it really does have it all.
Book is not as comprehensive or detailed as I expected, and the first two occupations I tried to look up were not mentioned. Some details were misleading. This is a pity, as the concept of the book is very good.
really interesting book. I bought it because it wasnt too heavy going and when you start to read it gave some really unusual things women did for work. entertaining and you can read small sections at a time.