The essays collected in this volume reflect the upsurge of interest in the research and writing of feminist history in the 1970s/80s and illustrate the developments which have taken place – in the types of questions asked, the methodologies employed, and the scope and sophistication of the analytical approaches which have been adopted.
Focusing on women in nineteenth-century Britain and America, this book includes work by scholars in both countries and takes its place in a long history of Anglo-American debate. The collection adopts 'the doubled vision of feminist theory', the view that it is the simultaneous operation of relations of class and of sex/gender that perpetuate both patriarchy and capitalism. This view informs a wide variety of contributions from 'Class and Gender in Victorian England', to 'Servants, Sexual Relations and the Risks of Illegitimacy', 'Free Black Women', 'The Power of Women’s Networks', and 'Socialism, Feminism and Sexual Antagonism in the London Tailoring Trade'. Both the vigour and the urgency of scholarship infused with social aims can be clearly felt in the essays collected here.
Foreword. Editors’ Introduction 1. Class and Gender in Victorian England Leonore Davidoff 2. Freud’s Dora, Dora’s Hysteria Maria Ramas 3. Servants, Sexual Relations and the Risks of Illegitimacy in London, 1801-1900 John R. Gillis 4. Free Black Women and the Question of Matriarchy Suzanne Lebsock 5. The Power of Women’s Networks Mary P. Ryan 6. "The Men Are as Bad as Their Masters…": Socialism, Feminism and Sexual Antagonism in the London Tailoring Trade in the 1830s Barbara Taylor 7. One Hand Tied Behind Us: A Review Essay Christine Stansell 8. Examining Family History Rayna Rapp, Ellen Ross, Renate Bridenthal 9. The Doubled Vision of Feminist Theory Joan Kelly