Women, Rights & Society
Three Centuries of Elusive Emancipation

By John S. Taylor
October 2011
Book Guild
ISBN: 9781846245381
Distributed by Trans-Atlantic Publications
473 pages, Illustrated
$42.50 Hardcover

The Earl of Chesterfield wrote to his son in 1774 that women were only children of a larger growth. This absorbing survey charts the struggle women have faced over the last three centuries to fight such attitudes and to attain some degree of equality. Ranging over a broad field, John Taylor offers insights into a wide range of subjects affecting women, including marriage, childbirth, education, employment, crime, women at war, life in the colonies, poverty and charitable work, politics and the battle for the vote. He brings the historical facts to life with colourful stories of individual women, from the famous Pankhursts and the formidable Florence Nightingale, to Diamond-Tooth Lil who won and lost two fortunes in the American goldrush, and Phoebe Hessel who went to war as a foot soldier in the eighteenth century. He also acknowledges the millions of ordinary women down the years who have faced with courage and ingenuity an extraordinary daily battle against grinding poverty and ingrained prejudice, sometimes going to extreme lengths simply to feed and clothe their families. A fascinating overview of a vast subject, ideal to dip into for information or inspiration.

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