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Women of England   By: (1867-1953)

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Transcriber's Note: The Table of Contents was added by the Transcriber.









Copyrighted at Washington and entered at Stationers' Hall, London,

1907 1908

and Printed by arrangement with George Barrie's Sons.




Chapter I. The Women of Prehistoric Britain

Chapter II. The Women of Ancient Britain

Chapter III. The Women of the Anglo Saxons

Chapter IV. The Women of the Anglo Normans

Chapter V. The Women of the Middle Ages

Chapter VI. The Women of the Manors

Chapter VII. The Women of the Monasteries

Chapter VIII. The Women of the Industrial Classes

Chapter IX. The Women of the Transition Period

Chapter X. The Women of the Tudor Period

Chapter XI. Women of the Commonwealth Period

Chapter XII. The Women of the Restoration Period

Chapter XIII. The Women of the Eighteenth Century

Chapter XIV. The Women of the Nineteenth Century

Chapter XV. The Women of Scotland and Ireland


It is no slight task to follow out the windings of a single thread in the infinite weave of society and by loosing it from the general mesh to show how dependent is the pattern of life and custom upon its presence. Such a task was presented in the endeavor to trace along from remotest times to the present day the influence of woman upon the life and character, the efforts and ideals, of that race which has come to be known as English, although this name may not properly be used until time has spun into the vista of the past peoples as vigorous, if not influential, as the one that stands, the inheritor of their virility, at the apex of modern civilization, whose women, clasping hands throughout the British Empire, form a splendid chain of hope for womankind in all the world.

Whether or not continuity and sequence, relation and effect, have been maintained in the retraversing of the footsteps of woman in all ages of the history of those isles where femininity has flowered in the most gracious blossoms, it remains for the reader to say. Certain it is that unaffected pleasure has been afforded the writer in his attempt to draw aside the curtain that the muse of history jealously employs to shut from view the inner sanctuary in which she preserves those vital relics, the destruction of which by some inconceivable iconoclast would bring death to the world for lack of materials for reflection and inspiration. In treating of the prehistoric periods, although the brush necessarily has been laid broadly upon the canvas, fancy has been kept in the leash of fact, and imagination given no more play than its legitimate function. Still, the results of inquiry into the status of woman at this far remote period furnish a fulcrum upon which to rest the lever of investigation, in order to lift into view the strata of undoubted history of the periods immediately subsequent.

As fast as the widening of social interest afforded the materials for use, the writer sought to employ them, until, like a mountain rivulet, ever widening until it reaches the plain, he found himself embarrassed by the wealth of fact that told the marvellous story of the most notable emancipation in the history of mankind, the complete separation of English woman from the trammels, inherent and environmental, imposed upon the sex. If the successive chapters disclose the philosophical relations of woman in society, it will be because the reader has not failed to grasp the fact that in any such theme as the one treated mere continuity of subject matter would constitute a chronicle and not a history; and that the writer, while seeking not to make obtrusive the connective tissue, has nevertheless given ample scope for the reflective mind to see that which has ever been present to his own... Continue reading book >>

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