A rich and fresh survey of women's lives between George III and the First World War
Using diaries, letters, memoirs as well as social and statistical research, this book looks at life-expectancy, sex, marriage and childbirth, and work inside and outside the home, for all classes of women. It charts the poverty and struggles of the working class as well as the leadership roles of middle-class and elite women. It considers the influence of religion, education, and politics, especially the advent of organised feminism and the suffragette movement. It looks, too, at the huge role played by women in the British Empire: how imperialism shaped English women's lives and how women shaped the Empire.
Steinbach is an American academic, but the book is refreshingly free of the compound nouns and tortured syntax that usually characterise that calling... Steinbach maintains a clear chronological approach within each theme, and writes plain prose, not feminist polemic. The result is admirable and exemplary. - THE TIMES
[an] engaging book ... Steinbach shows the tension between the political, legal and cultural restrictions against women and the impressive range of activities in which they nevertheless engaged. - DAILY TELEGRAPH
The book is well researched and lavishly illustrated... it offers a fresh and lively interpretation of women's lives between the reign of George III and the First World War. - SUNDAY HERALD
An intriguing and scholarly study. - GOOD BOOK GUIDE
The research is impeccable. - HAM & HIGH