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Saturday, 9 July 2011

Catching up on journal literature and chapters X

Actually a book, but only the first section seemed particularly relevant to my purposes: Mary Wilson Carpenter, Imperial Bibles, Domestic Bodies: women. sexualities and religion in the Victorian Market (2003): useful stuff on 'family bibles' - unlike the Family Shakespeare of Bowdler note, the Bible couldn't very well be Bowdlerised, but family versions with the dodgy stuff in Very Small Print &/or marked as 'Not for Family Reading' were a widespread phenomenon. Also causes one to consider the role of the Bible as under-examined source of sexual knowledge.

Pat Thane, 'Family Life and "Normality" in Postwar British Culture', in Richard Bessel and Dirk Schumann (eds), Life after Death: approaches to a cultural and social history of Europe during the 1940s and 1950s (2003). This was a really excellent piece on the distinctiveness of the postwar era and deconstructing the popular vision of the 50s in Britain as some lost era of 'normality'.

Alysa Levene, 'Family breakdown and the ‘Welfare Child’ in 19th and 20th century Britain' History of the Family 11 (2006) 67–79 - possibly a bit peripheral for my purposes, but some possible points to consider about the boundaries of 'the family' and issues around the 'contaminated/ing' child.

Gail Savage, ' They Would if They Could: Class, Gender, and Popular Representation of English Divorce Litigation, 1858-1908', Journal of Family History, 2011 36: 173. Yet another addition to Savage's string of important articles and chapters on divorce and marital law. A very illuminating analysis of who was actually accessing the Divorce Court, the role of class (a far greater percentage of the poor than one might think), the importance of an income to women who wanted divorces (i.e. upper class women with settled incomes, and actresses were in a much better position to bring the action), the distorting effect of what got reported in the press (upper class vice and bohemian decadence), etc,

Andrew Davies, 'Youth, violence, and courtship in late-Victorian Birmingham: The case of James Harper and Emily Pimm', History of the Family 11 (2006) 107–120, The 'othering' of sexual violence and domestic abuse by representing these as typical of the lower classes, plus assumptions that the women in question didn't mind it or even accepted it, even though Pimm had been making strenuous efforts to protect herself from Harper and his assumption that their relationship was not over.

Lucy Bland, 'White Women and Men of Colour: Miscegenation Fears in Britain after the Great War' Gender & History, Vol 17, issue 1, 2005, 29-61. Extremely valuable piece on the various allotropes of racist fears in the interwar period, from the immediately postwar race riots in port towns to the Eugenics Society-sponsored research on mixed-race children.

Julia Ann Laite (2008): The Association for Moral and Social Hygiene: abolitionism and prostitution law in Britain (1915–1959), Women's History Review, 17:2, 207-223. It's more than time that someone paid attention to the work of the AMSH into the C20th, and Laite does this extremely well.

Lucy Bland, ‘The Trials and Tribulations of Edith Thompson: the Capital Crime of Sexual Incitement in 1920s England’ Journal of British Studies, 47, 2008, pp 624-648. This makes an interesting contrast to  Blands' study of the Mme Fahmy case. Thompson did not kill her husband, was shocked when Bywaters attacked him, but nonetheless got depicted as a dangerous siren and hanged.

Stephen Brooke - 'Gender and Working Class Identity in Britain during the 1950s' - Journal of Social History 34:4 2001, 773-795. Good on the issues around changing masculinity (though poss could do with more on male dandyism. Teds, etc?) , also the romanticisation of the old-style (imaginary?) working class 'mum' - denigration of 'modern girls' (but isn't this always the case - they are always being criticised for frivolity and pleasure-seeking and obsession with dress etc, and then they get married - it's a life-cycle thing)

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