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Gender, modernity and the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry

Women of War is an examination of gender modernity using the world’s longest established women’s military organisation, the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry, as a case study. Formed in 1907 and still active today, the Corps was the first to adopt khaki uniform, prepare for war service, staff a regimental first aid post near the front line and drive officially for the British army in France. It was the only British unit whose members were sworn in as soldiers of the Belgian army, and it was the most decorated women’s corps of the First World War. Bringing both public and personal representations into dialogue through an analysis of newspaper articles, ephemera, memoirs, diaries, letters, interviews, photographs and poetry, this book sits at the crossroads of British, social, gender and women’s history, drawing upon the diverse fields of military history, animal studies, trans studies, dress history, sociology of the professions, nursing history and transport history. It reconstructs the organisation’s formation, its adoption of martial clothing, increased professionalisation, and wartime activities of first aid and driving, focusing specifically upon the significance of gender modernity. While the FANY embodied the New Woman, challenging the limits of convention and pushing back the boundaries of the behavour, dress and role considered appropriate for women, the book argues that the Corps was simultaneously deeply conservative, upholding imperial, unionist and antifeminist values. That it was a complex mix of progressive and conservative elements, both conformist and reformist, gets to the heart of the fascinating complexity surrounding the organisation.

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Thomas Almeroth-Williams

appreciated the skill and sensations involved. The possibility that London fostered a distinctive equestrian culture has been overlooked partly because previous studies have tended to associate horse riding, racing and hunting with the countryside. The field has been labelled ‘the great rural diversion’, while hunting is generally viewed as a way for rural landowners to distinguish themselves from ‘the urban and mercantile, the sedentary and the professional’. Peter Borsay complicated this by showing that provincial towns were crucial service centres for equestrian sport

in City of beasts
America in Rome at the beginning of the twentieth century
Daniele Fiorentino

befriend some of the key figures of the Italian government, including the King, with whom he went hunting and horse riding in the countryside. Julian Russell Story, son of William Wetmore Story, the artist who had lived in Rome during the Risorgimento and who was among the first Americans to notice the transformation of the city at the end of the century, had portrayed Meyer in a

in Republics and empires
Charles West

. Hincmar sought to ensure that priests like Gozmar and Otteric were not merely embedded in local society, but acted to some degree as its leaders, whatever their origins: horse-riding, property-owning members of the elite who were enjoined to dispense patronage at the Church’s expense, in the form of alms and lunches at their own tables. 21 Hincmar encouraged village residents to bring gifts to the church, which the priest could then give away later to those who needed them, making the local church into the focal point of village-level redistribution. While it was not

in Hincmar of Rheims
The formation of a female nursing yeomanry
Juliette Pattinson

and were largely unconcerned by the ideologies that the groups expounded. Despite members’ ‘calculating spirit’, in which they ‘extracted’ from the clubs what they needed and ignored their broader remit, whether it was religious, political or militaristic in nature, many undoubtedly absorbed and internalised aspects of the organisations’ discourses and may have been inclined toward them. 91 Similarly, women who joined the FANY did so because they wished to partake in horse-riding, wagon-driving and camping, and pursue a more active life. If the FANY training had

in Women of war
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Thomas Almeroth-Williams

the season and that Londoners only derived pleasure from sociability. Meanwhile, historians tend to associate the quintessentially Georgian pursuits of horse riding, racing and hunting with the countryside. I challenge these assumptions, revealing that London was the mainspring of British equestrian culture and that its residents dedicated huge amounts of time, money and energy to their animals. By studying tangible interactions between horse and rider, it becomes clear that the city’s equestrian culture both facilitated sociability and offered an alluring

in City of beasts
Ashley Lavelle

career (Mack Smith, 1981: 32). Mussolini’s lifestyle also changed: he began to indulge in meals at expensive restaurants, horse-riding, and later driving a car (Bosworth, 2002: 109). Angelica Balabanoff recalled her former PSI colleague hankering for the luxuries of the rich. Mussolini’s desire for things, she feared, would lead him to mimic the lifestyles of the wealthy. Her recollections included one occasion while walking along a pier in Geneva with Mussolini when he looked on enviously at the affluent people dining in the restaurants and hotels lining it. While

in The politics of betrayal
Crossing boundaries and negotiating the cultural landscape

Victorian touring actresses: Crossing boundaries and negotiating the cultural landscape provides a new perspective on the on- and offstage lives of women working in nineteenth-century theatre, and affirms the central role of touring, both within the United Kingdom and in North America and Australasia. Drawing on extensive archival research, it features a cross-section of neglected performers whose dramatic specialisms range from tragedy to burlesque. Although they were employed as stars in their own time, their contribution to the industry has largely been forgotten. The book’s innovative organisation follows a natural lifecycle, enabling a detailed examination of the practical challenges and opportunities typically encountered by the actress at each stage of her working life. Individual experiences are scrutinised to highlight the career implications of strategies adopted to cope with the demands of the profession, the physical potential of the actress’s body, and the operation of gendered power on and offstage. Analysis is situated in a wide contextual framework and reveals how reception and success depended on the performer’s response to the changing political, economic, social and cultural landscape as well as to developments in professional practice and organisation. The book concludes with discussion of the legacies of the performers, linking their experiences to the present-day situation.


This book recounts the little-known history of the mixed-race children born to black American servicemen and white British women during the Second World War. Of the three million American soldiers stationed in Britain from 1942 to 1945, about 8 per cent (240,000) were African-American; the latter’s relationships with British women resulted in the birth of an estimated 2,000 babies. The African-American press named these children ‘brown babies’; the British called them ‘half-castes’. Black GIs, in this segregated army, were forbidden to marry their white girlfriends. Up to half of the mothers of these babies, faced with the stigma of illegitimacy and a mixed-race child, gave their children up for adoption. The outcome for these children tended to be long-term residency in children’s homes, sometimes followed by fostering and occasionally adoption, but adoption societies frequently would not take on ‘coloured’ children, who were thought to be ‘too hard to place’. There has been minimal study of these children and the difficulties they faced, such as racism in a (then) very white Britain, lack of family or a clear identity. Accessibly written and illustrated with numerous photographs, this book presents the stories of over forty of these children. While some of the accounts of early childhood are heart-breaking, there are also many uplifting narratives of finding American fathers and gaining a sense of self and of heritage.

Patrick O’Leary

across a high, glaciated and snow-covered pass from Spiti back into the Kulu valley. The 18,000-foot pass is now known as the Pin-Parbati Pass to the hardy souls who attempt it, but it is sometimes referred to as Sir Louis Dane’s Pass. 43 His powerful physique was a valuable asset in his travels, 44 a further illustration, along with the horse-riding prowess of Bruce

in Servants of the empire