By Jane Long

In what methods did gender impression the form of poverty, and of terrible women's paintings, in Victorian England? This e-book explores the problem within the context of nineteenth-century Northumberland, studying city and rural stipulations for girls, bad aid debates and practices, philanthropic job, working-class cultures, and `protective' intervention in women's employment. the best way cultural codes have been built round ladies, either by way of those that saw and imagined them and via the ladies themselves, is investigated, including different similar modern discourses. whereas taking a look heavily on the north-eastern context, the book's broader topics have very important implications for debates inside feminist background and thought. the writer argues all through that shut recognition to the hyperlinks among fabric stipulations and cultural representations of ladies either illuminates the difficult dynamics of working-class femininity and forces a reappraisal of the gendered nature of poverty itself in Victorian existence and mind's eye.

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Extra info for Conversations in Cold Rooms: Women, Work and Poverty in Nineteenth-Century Northumberland (Royal Historical Society Studies in History New Series)

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4 'The philanthropy of the age and its social evils', Westminster Review xxv (1869), cited in A. W. ), Poverty in the Victorian age: debates on the issue from nineteenth-century critical journals, II: The English poor laws, 18341870, Westmead 1973, p. ii. 5 John Knott, Popular opposition to the poor law, London 1986, preface. 6 D. ', unpubl. paper, 5th AMBHA Conference, Nov. 1987, 1. Page 11 variables. Further, whether proceeding from the traditions of liberal historiography, or socialist critiques of the dominant Whiggish orthodoxy, analyses of poverty which naturalised and centralised the poverty of adult males within historical discussion militated against consideration of different gendered experience.

5 Georges Duby, 'Ideologies in social history', in J. Le Goff and P. Nora (eds), Constructing the past, Cambridge 1985, 15165 at p. 157. 6 Robert Darnton, The great cat massacre and other episodes in French cultural history, London 1984, 78. Page 4 benefit from 're-entry'. To what extent does any apparent 'clarity' mask tensions and contradictions between discourses about women's work, and women's poverty? How have historians themselves served to further distance women from the realm of historical enquiry, and contribute to their discursively-constructed silence?

Rather, my purpose is to explore the potential of some scholarly discourses (and the limitations of others) in producing better understandings of gendered identities in nineteenth-century Britain. Women, Poverty and Work in Victorian Society The Royal Commission for Inquiry into the Poor Laws was established in February 1832. 3 There was perhaps a certain weariness over the poor laws even before the report had been presented. As A. W. Coats notes, a Westminster Review writer some decades later reflected on the terrain of debate about poverty since 1834, and remarked that the issue appeared to have been 'worn threadbare.

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