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English Feminism, 1780-1980 - Barbara Caine

English Feminism, 1780-1980

Hardcover Published: 1st September 1997
ISBN: 9780198206866
Number Of Pages: 356

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Barbara Caine offers the first complete overview of the history of `modern' English feminism, from the French Revolution through to the advent of Women's Liberation. Her analysis of feminist organizations, debates, and campaigns shows a keen sense of the relationship between feminist thought and actions, and wider social and cultural change. The result is a fascinating study with a new perspective on feminists and feminist traditions, which can be used both as an introductory text and as an interpretative work. Professor Caine examines the complex questions surrounding the concept of a feminist 'tradition', and shows how much the feminism of any particular period related to the years preceding or following it. Though feminism may have lacked the kind of legitimating tradition evident in other forms of political thought, the ghost of Mary Wollstonecraft is seen here as something which all nineteenth- and twentieth-century feminists had to come to terms with. Her story was a constant reminder of the connection between the demand for political and legal rights, and its conflation with the issues of personal and sexual rebellion. Like Mary Wollstonecraft, every woman pioneer into the public arena was faced with assaults on her honour as well as on her intellectual position. Professor Caine also addresses the language of feminism: the introduction and changing meanings of the term `feminist'; the importance of literary representations of women; and the question of how one defines feminism, and establishes boundaries between feminism and the `woman question'. She ends with a discussion of the new emphasis, post-1980s, on the need to think about `feminisms' in the plural, rather than any single kind of feminism.

Industry Reviews

`provides a welcome synthesis of a generation of scholarship on feminism as political movement and ideology ... her account highlights a wide variety of individuals, movements and texts ... for those unfamiliar with the vast literature on English feminism, this is a smart and helpful guide ... Caine's analysis is msot innovative where she fills persistent lacunae in historians' accounts of feminism' Laura E. Nym Mayhall, The Catholic University of America, Twentieth Century British History, vol 10 , no 2, 1999

Chronology Introduction 1: Feminism and the Rights of Women Socia change and sexual difference in the late eighteenth century Mary Wollstonecraft and the origins of modern Feminism Feminism and the Woman question 2: Feminism and the Women Question in the early Nineteenth Century Men in feminism: William Thompson and the Unitarian radicals The tragic tale of Caroline Norton Harriet Martineau and the slow development of feminist consciousness Feminism, Evangelicalism, and `Women's sphere' 3: Mid-Victorian Feminism The Langham Place circle and the ghost of Mary Wollstonecraft Feminism, liberalism, and the problem of sexual oppression Feminist campaigns and feminist strategies Nation and empire in Victorian feminism 4: The New Woman and the Militant Feminism and the new woman Feminism, the labour movement, and working-class women Militancy Feminism and imperialism 5: Feminism and the Woman Citizen in the Inter-War Years The legacy of War A feminist programme Training women for citizenship Feminist questions and party politics From politics to culture: feminist theory in the 1920s and 1930s Feminism and internationalism 6: The Post-War World The impact of war Feminist organizations and the feminist agenda The woman question in the 1950s and 1960s Afterword: From Feminism to Feminisms Notes Select Bibliography Index

ISBN: 9780198206866
ISBN-10: 0198206860
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 356
Published: 1st September 1997
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.7 x 14.4  x 2.6
Weight (kg): 0.56