This enlightening study of the relations between the Marxist wing of the French socialist movement and a substantial female industrial proletariat reveals the failure of the Socialists to assimilate an important potential constituency. Hilden examines the early development of French socialism and recreates the atmosphere of everyday life for textile workers in Lille, Roubaix, and Tourcoing around the turn of the century. She shows that these women demonstrated more political militance in the face of their worsening industrial situation and their exclusion from organized labor resistance than has previously been suggested.
'very thoroughly researched study...This is a forthright book written from an explicit socialist feminist position: words are not minced and readers will probably therefore feel all the freer to take issue with it on particular points. A refresing and stimulating contribution to French labour history...the author has been well served by her publishers, who bave granted her that ultimate luxury, footnotes on the page.' European History Quarterly
'... makes an important contribution to the study of women and the European left.' Laura L. Forster, Journal of European Economic History