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Nineteenth century? And what did women themselves have to say about their status? This revealing book explores what life was actually like for women in the turbulent period between the French Revolution and the First World War. In their own words they describe their childhood and education; courtship, marriage and homemaking; sex and motherhood; marital breakdown; and widowhood. Their voices speak to us with clarity and poignancy, revealing their strength of feeling, their courage, and their humour. We hear from women whose voices have been drowned by the cacophony of stronger; often male, versions of history: the unmarried woman worker; the single mother; the prostitute; as well as those who fought for professional recognition against the regiments of the Church, Parliament and the law. The picture Joan Perkin presents is an immensely varied one' set against a background of stark inequity, both between the sexes and between women of different social classes. And it is far from static. The dramatic events which altered women's lives over this restless century are recorded in the letters home of working girls, the songs of mill workers, the speeches of women campaigning for their rights, the quiet voices of numerous 'angels in the house'. It is to these women that the modern feminist movement can trace its roots, in the Victorian kitchens, factories and parlours from which it sprang.