[Commentary] The Widow & the Law: A Brief History of Widows’ Pensions in Britain

At a time when we remember the First World War, its victims, and its survivors, it seems apt for me to share some of the research I’ve been doing on the literary and cultural history of the widow in Britain, and particularly on how the state’s support and the economic conditions of widowed women has changed in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and reflects both Britain’s development in terms of gender equality as well as the emergence of the welfare state.

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[Commentary] For the Sake of the Children: Widows & Welfare in the 1960s

In the post-war decades, Britain prided itself on the new welfare state and the support it afforded children and mothers. But what about those women who had lost their husbands in the war? This post looks at the picture painted by two sources from the 1960s: a broadcast on child welfare by the Central Office of Information (1962) and a BBC Home Service radio broadcast called “World of the Widow” (1960).

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[Events & Funding] Contemporary Women’s Writing Skills Development Series

This AHRC-funded Contemporary Women’s Writing Skills Development Programme (CWWSkills) was a series of six workshops held between August 2013 and July 2014. The programme is designed to enable UK-based postgraduate research students and early-career researchers who work in the field of contemporary women’s writing to develop an entrepreneurial approach to their research.

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[Publication] Not My Mother’s Daughter: Matrilinealism, Third-Wave Feminism, & Neo-Victorian Fiction

The plot of Sarah Waters’ third novel, Fingersmith (2002), is based on a complex web of matrilineal narratives, which eventually are uncovered as fictions. This essay will analyse these matrilineal fictions in terms of their influences on the novel’s protagonists Sue and Maud, as well as considering the novel’s matrilinealism first as a feminist metaphor for third-wave feminism and secondly as a metafictional device commenting on neo-Victorian fiction’s relationship to the past. Finally, it will highlight the genre’s similarities to third- wave feminism in terms of their shared concern for and treatment of the relationship between past and present.

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[Publication] Dead Husbands & Deviant Women

Over the past decade, the detective widow has become a well-established character in the little-explored subgenre of neo–Victorian crime fiction. In Tasha Alexander’s Lady Emily series, the author argues, the detective widow investigates the gendered characteristics and complexities of Victorian widowhood while detecting the artistic crimes associated with historical fiction’s imitations and adaptations of the past.

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