Edited by Madge Dresser, with contributions by Madge Dresser, Peter Fleming, June Hannam and Moira Martin.
Women and the City is the first sustained study of the history of the women who lived in Bristol. Lavishly illustrated, it charts the changing lot of ordinary women in one of Britain’s most important cities over the past 600 years, and seeks to document the expanding channels of female influence on the city’s economic, cultural and political life since medieval times.
Based on secondary and original research, and lavishly illustrated, this book documents for the first time how women’s roles and status changed over the long durèe and how local and national changes in law and custom enabled women to participate in the life of the city. Bristol women, it argues, though their social networks, religious and political activism, their paid and unpaid work, were increasingly able to move beyond the confines of the domestic sphere to participate as players in this ‘Gateway to Empire’. ‘Women and the City’ explores the contribution women made to the prosperity of Bristol both before and after its demise as a slaving port. Most of all, ‘Women and the City’ looks beyond the handful of female celebrities with Bristol associations (such as such as Hannah More, Mary Carpenter or Angela Carter), to tell the stories of a much wider range of creative and politically engaged women than has previously been documented.