Male subcultures of drinking began slowing changing in the 1980s, with women increasingly not only patronizing pubs and clubs but doing so without male escorts. Geographic differences persisted. Northern working-class clubs remained bastions of male sexism and racism notwithstanding government attacks on sexual and racial discrimination. For brewers, working-class drinkers remained the mainstay of customers. Advertising became even raunchier, reflecting society’s more accommodating attitudes. With this advertising culture, beer marketers continued to insinuate into the female mind an unmistakably negative view of beer drinking. Six distinct drink venues existed, dependent more on function than class: youth bars, fun pubs, lounge bars, family pubs, repositioned traditional ale bars, and gentlemen’s (sex) clubs. Both sexes began ranking toilet cleanliness as a priority in market surveys.
Radically different responses to the drink problem among one key group, the drink sellers, most distinguishes the interwar years from the present. Interwar Progressive brewers accepted responsibility for serious drink problems, whereas most present-day drink sellers blame other factors. Modifying the drinking environment became critical to inculcating new drinking norms antithetical to drunkenness after World War I. Victorian assumptions that deficient characters fostered insobriety, rejected later by Progressive brewers, have been revived in the present debate on binge drinking. Modern-day politicians see excess drinking and drunkenness as the result of individual choice. From this perspective, drink sellers and the government are absolved of responsibility for any role in discouraging excessive drinking and insobriety. Thus, today as in the pre-1914 era, insobriety stemmed from character flaws for which the individual was solely responsible.
As in World War I, the second World War resulted in the disappearance of pre-war spatial boundaries governing drinking. Young women began visiting pubs in growing numbers first in early 1941 and with increasing frequency in the following years. Improved interwar premises facilitated the entry to licensed premises of adolescents and less affluent young women from unskilled working-class families. Women’s public drinking, reaching about 40% of all women on the eve of the war, rose perhaps by one-fifth, so that well over half and perhaps as many as three-fifths of all females were using pubs during the war. From the late 1940s, however, women shunned pubs in striking numbers. Public opinion polls suggest that the war ingrained deep hostility in many juvenile and young women to every frequenting drink premises thereafter. One enduring change was the widespread acceptance of the pub’s new name, the “local.”
Collectively, the Civil Service and the London County Council (LCC) employed tens of thousands of women in Britain in the early twentieth century. As public employers, these institutions remained influential for each other and for private employers more widely as a benchmark for the conditions of women’s white-collar work. This book examines three key aspects of women’s public service employment: inequality of pay, the marriage bar and inequality of opportunity. In so doing, it delineates the levels of regulation and rhetoric surrounding women’s employment and the extent to which notions about femininity and womanhood shaped employment policies and, ultimately, women’s experiences in the workplace. Drawing on a wide range of archival sources, including policy documents, trade union records, women’s movement campaign literature and employees’ personal testimony, this is the first book-length study of women’s public service employment in the first half of the twentieth century. It is also a new lens through which to examine the women’s movement in this period and a contribution to the debate about the effect of the First World War on women’s employment. Scholars and students with interests in gender, British social and cultural history and labour history will find this an invaluable text.
Transfusing Blood, Science and the Supernatural in Vampire Texts
This article examines blood transfusion in vampire texts and its connections to vampirism in order to establish the different ways the body and identity of the vampire, and its victim, are constituted and affected by the dangerous circulation of blood. Vampire texts manifest anxieties about identity that arise through the symbolic value of blood, but also through its increasing medicalisation. Nineteenth-century vampire texts focus on blood‘s symbolisms while twentieth-century texts define blood as a neutral medium to be analysed and explained. In the late twentieth century however, blood becomes the locus of biomedical interventions which affirm respect for tradition, selfish individualism and responsibility.
The article surveys two centuries of Gothic Revivals in the architecture and popular culture of the United States, from the Carpenter Gothic of 1830-1860 through the castle-building of the Gilded Age and the Gothic Revival structures of the early twentieth century to todays Renaissance Faires. American Gothic is fantastic, ‘reviving’ a time and place that never existed on those shores. The earlier Gothic Revival castles represented an aristocratic and anti-democratic tradition, while in the twentieth century, Gothic revival styles are postmodern and ephemeral. These outward manifestations of the Gothic image in America show how fascination with the medieval was transformed from a pastime of the wealthy few to the masscult many, one way in which North America has appropriated and transformed the European Middle Ages through serious architectural practice and market-driven parody of the Gothic.
Masculinity and Perversity in Crash and Fight Club
This article considers two evocations of the Gothic in contemporary film that link the popular recurrence of Gothic conventions to contemporary constructions of perversity and masculinity. Crash (1996) and Fight Club (1999) intersect themes of masculine perversity with the Gothic, giving substantially new life to discourses surrounding a ‘crisis in masculinity’ at the turn of the twentieth century. The relationship between the Gothic and masculinity is considered in relation to themes surrounding the corporeal, psychological and social ‘perversities’ in the two films.
This essay explores the way in which Gothic tropes and metaphors manifest themselves in writing that is not recognisably classed as Gothic in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It argues that recent Gothic writing has exhausted the potency of such motifs and that criticism needs to re-examine the literature of modernity, in particular that of ‘High’ culture, and assess the way in which Gothic metaphor manifests itself therein. Ultimately the paper explores literature which troubles the traditional boundaries constructed between aesthetics and ethics found in nineteenth-century cultural discourse.
Horner and Zlosnik explore the work of the English novelist Barbara Comyns whose best-known works were published between 1950 and 1985. They focus on The Vet‘s Daughter (1959) and The Skin Chairs (1962) and explore how Comyns‘s use of parody, wit, and humour exposes the horrors of domestic life. For Horner and Zlosnik this constitutes a Female Comic Gothic which is grotesque and blackly comic in its critical assault on patriarchal plots, and so constitutes a particular form of the Female Gothic which became popular in the twentieth century.
On 25 September 1911 the battleship Liberté exploded in
Toulon harbour. This tragedy is just one of the many disasters that the French
fleet suffered at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth
centuries and also represents the peak of these calamities, since it is
undoubtedly the most deadly suffered by a French Navy ship in peacetime. The aim
of this article is to study how the navy managed this disaster and the resulting
deaths of service personnel, which were all the more traumatic because the
incident happened in France’s main military port and in circumstances
that do not match the traditional forms of death at sea.