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Singled out : how two million British women survived without men after the First World War / Virginia Nicholson.

By: Nicholson, Virginia.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: New York : Oxford University Press, c2008Description: xiv, 312 p., [16] p. of plates : ill. ; 24 cm.ISBN: 9780195378221 (alk. paper); 0195378229 (alk. paper).Subject(s): World War, 1914-1918 -- Women -- Great Britain | War widows -- Great Britain -- Social conditions -- 20th century | Single women -- Great Britain -- Social conditions -- 20th century | World War, 1914-1918 -- Social aspects -- Great BritainDDC classification: 306.81/53094109041
Contents:
1: Where have all the young men gone? Two women ; Crown and joy ; Deeply loved and sadly missed ; A world without men ; Surplus two million -- 2: 'A world that doesn't want me'. The twilight state ; Odd women and Ann Veronicas ; The spinster problem ; Destiny and the devil ; The more of us the merrier -- 3: On the shelf. Husbands ; Mr Wrong ; Heart-to-heart chats ; A buyers' market ; 'But who will give me my children?' -- 4: Business girls. War, work and wives ; Palaces of commerce ; A rotten hard life ; Miss All-Alone in the classroom ; Miss All-Alone on the wards -- 5: Caring, sharing--. Lonely days ; Companions, consolations ; Other people's babies ; Lonely nights ; The blessed fact of loving -- 6: A grand feeling. A cause, a purpose and a passion ; The Well ; The urge ; Finding happiness as a 'bach' ; Surviving the night -- 7: The magnificent regiment of women. The challenge of loss ; We are not downhearted ; A good strong character ; Doing things that matter ; 'You loved him'.
Summary: Almost three-quarters of a million British soldiers lost their lives during World War I, and many more were incapacitated by their wounds, leaving behind a generation of women who, raised to see marriage as "the crown and joy of woman's life," suddenly discovered that they were left without an escort. Drawing upon a wealth of memoirs, this book tells the inspiring stories of these women: the student weeping for a lost world as the Armistice bells pealed, the socialite who dedicated her life to resurrecting the ancient past after her soldier love was killed, and many others who, deprived of their traditional roles, reinvented themselves into something better. Tracing their fates, Nicholson shows that these women did indeed harbor secret sadness, and many of them yearned for the comforts forever denied them--physical intimacy, a loving relationship, and children. Some just endured, but others challenged the conventions, fought the system, and found fulfillment outside of marriage.--From publisher description.
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Item type Current location Call number Status Date due Barcode
Book University of Texas At Tyler
Stacks - 3rd Floor
D639 .W7 N73 2008 (Browse shelf) Available 0000001961630

Includes bibliographical references (p. [273]-292) and index.

1: Where have all the young men gone? Two women ; Crown and joy ; Deeply loved and sadly missed ; A world without men ; Surplus two million -- 2: 'A world that doesn't want me'. The twilight state ; Odd women and Ann Veronicas ; The spinster problem ; Destiny and the devil ; The more of us the merrier -- 3: On the shelf. Husbands ; Mr Wrong ; Heart-to-heart chats ; A buyers' market ; 'But who will give me my children?' -- 4: Business girls. War, work and wives ; Palaces of commerce ; A rotten hard life ; Miss All-Alone in the classroom ; Miss All-Alone on the wards -- 5: Caring, sharing--. Lonely days ; Companions, consolations ; Other people's babies ; Lonely nights ; The blessed fact of loving -- 6: A grand feeling. A cause, a purpose and a passion ; The Well ; The urge ; Finding happiness as a 'bach' ; Surviving the night -- 7: The magnificent regiment of women. The challenge of loss ; We are not downhearted ; A good strong character ; Doing things that matter ; 'You loved him'.

Almost three-quarters of a million British soldiers lost their lives during World War I, and many more were incapacitated by their wounds, leaving behind a generation of women who, raised to see marriage as "the crown and joy of woman's life," suddenly discovered that they were left without an escort. Drawing upon a wealth of memoirs, this book tells the inspiring stories of these women: the student weeping for a lost world as the Armistice bells pealed, the socialite who dedicated her life to resurrecting the ancient past after her soldier love was killed, and many others who, deprived of their traditional roles, reinvented themselves into something better. Tracing their fates, Nicholson shows that these women did indeed harbor secret sadness, and many of them yearned for the comforts forever denied them--physical intimacy, a loving relationship, and children. Some just endured, but others challenged the conventions, fought the system, and found fulfillment outside of marriage.--From publisher description.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

During the decades following WW I, marriage was impossible for many British women because they outnumbered men by over one million. BBC researcher Nicholson draws upon unmarried women's memoirs and oral histories to provide an uplifting account of how they overcame obstacles and lived meaningful lives without the opportunity for marriage. The author suggests that because marriage was impossible for so many, this generation was responsible for expanding women's employment opportunities, and lists numerous examples of women who were the first in their occupation. Nicholson's approach is descriptive rather than analytical, and concentrates on telling individual stories without providing the broader social and economic context that could have made this a more valuable study. The author appears to have little knowledge of British women's history, claiming erroneously, for example, that the campaign for women's suffrage began in 1897, and that it was Asquith that "granted" the vote to women in 1918. The author indicates that this book is intended for general readers rather than for academics, and this reviewer agrees. Summing Up: Optional. Public libraries. H. L. Smith University of Houston--Victoria

Author notes provided by Syndetics

<br> Virginia Nicholson studied at Cambridge University and lived in France and Italy, then worked as a documentary researcher for BBC Television. Her books include the acclaimed social history Among the Bohemians--Experiments in Living 1900-1939. As a granddaughter of Vanessa Bell, grandniece of Virginia Woolf, and daughter of Quentin Bell, she garners major media attention with Bloomsbury aficionados.<br>

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