The Industrial Revolution in Britain from the eighteenth to the nineteenth century had profound effects on social and economic conditions; the working conditions of women were not an exception. Trade for women which had been rather confined to a small area such as nurses or governesses changed and British society began to permit more opportunities for women to take jobs in trades which used to be dominated by male workers. They included not only the manual labour, but also the professions, such as medicine. We often see those women workers in Victorian novels, and authors like Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell and others treated the issue of the working conditions or vocational education of women as important topics for their works, and the subject is now being widely studied by literary scholars as well as historian on Victorian society.
This set of facsimile reprints includes eleven key contemporary publications which cover a wide range of the issues of women and trade in nineteenth-century England from various different perspectives. A pamphlet by Josephine Butler and a collection of essays by Frances Cobb, James Stuart, and George Butler, handbooks and educational books for women looking for jobs, official reports and statistics etc. are collected here, as well as a rare guidebook for young women and men published by The Apprenticeship and Skilled Employment Association in the early twentieth century. All together, it represents a very useful primary source of information for scholars on Victorian social history, culture, and literature.