An Anthology of Women's Writing on Sex, 1870–1969
Routledge – 2005 – 352 pages
Series: Women's and Gender History
Studying a broader period than its contemporaries, this comprehensive study reveals a neglected tradition of British women’s writing from the Victorian era to the sexual revolution of the 1960s. Outspoken Women brings together the many and varied non-fictional writings of British women on sexual attitudes and behaviour, beginning nearly a hundred years prior to the ‘second wave’ of feminism.
Commentators cover a broad range of perspectives and include Darwinists, sexologists, and campaigners against the spread of VD, as well as women writing about their own lives and experiences. Covering all aspects of the debate from marriage, female desire and pleasure, to lesbianism, prostitution, STDs, and sexual ignorance, Lesley A. Hall studies how the works of this era didn’t just criticise male-defined mores and the ‘dark side’ of sex, but how they increasingly promoted the possibility of a brighter view and an informed understanding of the sexual life.
Hall’s remarkable anthology is an engaging examination of this fascinating subject and it provides students and scholars with an invaluable source of primary material.
'This book augments Hall's already considerable contribution to the historiography of sexuality and gender. In short, a marvellous teaching resource, a stimulator (I hope) to further research into this neglected area of the history of sexuality, and just a fascinaitng read'.The Galton Institue Newsletter
"The study reveals a muchneglected tradition of British women's writing on sex, and provides, a most engaging examination of this fascinating subject…It is thus high time that the relative significance and content of female contributions was made clear and this anthology is a substantial beginning. My only criticism is that I wnated more!" Galton Institute Newsletter, Issue 61, Dec 2006
'a much needed corrective to the historiography on women and sexuality… the three hundred pages of text, with a century of writing by women on sex, represents the perfect and required primary source textbook for all British women's history courses from now on.' - H-Net Reviews
Contents. Introduction. The Victorians The Suffrage Era The Stopes Era Depression and War Sex in a Welfare State Biographical Notes on Authors. Bibliography of Works Cited. Further Reading