A Silent Revolution? explores how urban women managed wealth at a time when they were thought to have little independence - including economic - and shows that women were in fact important players in the world of capital. Peter Baskerville situates women in their immediate gendered and familial environments as well as within broader legal, financial, spatial, temporal, and historiographical contexts. He analyses women's probates, wills, land ownership, holdings of real and chattel mortgages, investment in stocks and bonds, and self employment, revealing that women controlled wealth to an extent similar to that of most men and invested and managed wealth in increasingly similar, and in some cases more aggressive, ways. Traditional historiography has highlighted women's fight to acquire cultural and political rights during this period, but it is less well known that women acquired and exercised many economic rights as well. In doing so they put pressure on men to re-conceptualize the notion of middle class and women's proper place.
One of Canada's leading business social scientists, Peter Baskerville is professor of history, University of Victoria, in-coming chair of Modern Western Canadian History, University of Alberta, and the author of several books, including, with Eric Sager,