This new anthology brings together excerpts from over one hundred documents detailing women's experiences from the end of the 18th century to the outbreak of World War I. It looks in detail at all aspects of life for women in Britain in this period, including motherhood, marriage and domestic life; religion, philanthropy and politics; work; education; the migration of Irish, Jewish and Black and Asian women to Britain; women in the Empire; and early feminism. This documentary history draws on a wide range of sources including parliamentary reports, pamphlets, newspapers and journals, novels, poetry and hymns and seminal texts by activists in the women's movement and contains material essential for students of British social history and the 19th century. The selected writers include Mary Wollstonecraft, Harriet Martineau, Elizabeth Gaskell, Hannah More, Mary Prince, Chartist and radical women, Josephine Butler, Christabel Pankhurst and Queen Victoria, among many others - authentic voices who illuminate this period of history in their own words.
Alison Twells is Senior Lecturer in Social and Cultural History at Sheffield Hallam University. She has written various articles, on women's history and on nineteenth-century missionary culture, and is the author of The Civilising Mission and the English Middle Class, 1780-1850: The 'Heathen' at Home and Overseas .