During the nineteenth century, European women of all countries and social classes experienced dramatic and enduring changes in their familial, working and political lives. However, the history of women at this time is not one of unmitigated progress - theirs was an uphill struggle, fraught with hindrances, hard work and economic downturns, and the increasing intrusion of the public into their innermost private and personal lives.
Breaking away from traditional categories, Rachel G. Fuchs and Victoria E. Thompson provide a sense of the variety and complexity of women's lives across national and regional boundaries, juxtaposing the experiences of women with the perceptions of their lives. Three themes unite this study:
- the tension between tradition and modernity
- the changing relationship between the community and individual
- the shifting boundaries between public and private
Dealing with individual women's lives within a large social and cultural context, Fuchs and Thompson demonstrate how strong and courageous women refused to live within the prescribed domestic roles - and how many became the modern women of the twentieth century.
About the Author
RACHEL G. FUCHS is Professor of History at Arizona State University.
VICTORIA E. THOMPSON is Associate Professor of History at Arizona State University.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements.- Introduction.- The Era of the French Revolution.- Reproduction and Sexuality.- Family Life.- Working for Wages.- Education.- Culture, Arts, and Sciences.- On the Move.- Associational Life.- Feminism and Politics.- Conclusion.- Further Reading.- Index.