Coming Out of the Kitchen: Women Beyond the Home
Until relatively recently, it was generally assumed that marriage was the only career for a woman, after which she was confined to the home, immersed in her domestic duties. In fact, as this new book clearly reveals, there were numerous women who, with minimal education, little financial independence, and only basic domestic skills, pursued active roles in the world outside the home. These roles were many and varied: writers, teachers, hostesses, entertainers, artists, photographers, translators, missionaries, astronomers, nurses, botanists, nannies, travelers, governesses, designers, gardeners, campaigners, and explorers, to name but a few. Some well-known examples are featured here, such as Mrs. Beeton, Nancy Astor, Lillie Langtry, Emmeline Pankhurst, Jane Austen, Beatrice Webb, Lady Anne Clifford, Annie Besant, Mary Wollstonecraft, Gertrude Jekyll, Beatrix Potter, Celia Fiennes, and Amy Johnson; but there were many others quietly earning a living, working on behalf of the less fortunate or actively campaigning against social injustice, who have been hidden from history. An illuminating and complementary sequel to The Illustrated History of the Housewife, Una Robertson's new book contributes much to a balanced understanding of women's history over the last 300 years.
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