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Double Lives: A History of Working Motherhood

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Paperback
Published: August 2020
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BIC Subject: History
Published By: Bloomsbury
 
Published: 04-Aug-2020
Format: Paperback, 416 pages, 0x0mm
ISBN: 9781408870747
Stock Code: 8870747
Product Description
 
A groundbreaking history of mothers who worked for pay that will change the way we think about gender, work and equality in modern Britain.

In Britain today, three-quarters of mothers are in employment and paid work is an unremarkable feature of women's lives after childbirth. Yet a century ago, working mothers were in the minority, excluded altogether from many occupations, whilst their wage-earning was widely perceived as a social ill. In Double Lives, Helen McCarthy accounts for this remarkable transformation, whose consequences have been momentous for Britain's society and economy.
Drawing upon a wealth of sources, McCarthy ranges from the smoking chimney-stacks of nineteenth-century Manchester to the shimmering skyscrapers of present-day Canary Wharf. She recovers the everyday worlds of working mothers and traces how women's desires for financial independence and lives beyond home and family were slowly recognised. McCarthy reveals the deep and complicated past of a phenomenon so often assumed to be a product of contemporary lifestyles and aspirations.

This groundbreaking history forces us not only to re-evaluate the past, but to ask anew how current attitudes towards mothers in the workplace have developed and how far we have to go. Through vivid and powerful storytelling, Double Lives offers a social and cultural history for our times.
A groundbreaking history of mothers who worked for pay that will change the way we think about gender, work and equality in modern Britain.

In Britain today, three-quarters of mothers are in employment and paid work is an unremarkable feature of women's lives after childbirth. Yet a century ago, working mothers were in the minority, excluded altogether from many occupations, whilst their wage-earning was widely perceived as a social ill. In Double Lives, Helen McCarthy accounts for this remarkable transformation, whose consequences have been momentous for Britain's society and economy.
Drawing upon a wealth of sources, McCarthy ranges from the smoking chimney-stacks of nineteenth-century Manchester to the shimmering skyscrapers of present-day Canary Wharf. She recovers the everyday worlds of working mothers and traces how women's desires for financial independence and lives beyond home and family were slowly recognised. McCarthy reveals the deep and complicated past of a phenomenon so often assumed to be a product of contemporary lifestyles and aspirations.

This groundbreaking history forces us not only to re-evaluate the past, but to ask anew how current attitudes towards mothers in the workplace have developed and how far we have to go. Through vivid and powerful storytelling, Double Lives offers a social and cultural history for our times.

Helen McCarthy is University Lecturer in Modern British History at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of St John's College. Her first book was The British People and the League of Nations and her second book, Women of the World- The Rise of the Female Diplomat, won Best International Affairs Book at the Political Book Awards 2015.

@HistorianHelen
 
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