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Sexual transgression in the age of the flapper

This book looks at the highly publicised, sensational trials of several young female protagonists in the period 1918-1924. These cases, all presented by the press as morality tales involving drugs, murder, adultery, miscegenation and sexual perversion, are used as a prism through which to identify concerns about modern femininity. The book first examines a libel case, brought by a well-known female dancer against a maverick right-wing MP for the accusation of lesbianism. One aspect of this libel trial involved the drawing up of battle-lines in relation to the construction of a new, post-war womanhood. The book then looks at two inquests and three magistrate-court trials that involved women and drugs; young women in relationships with Chinese men were also effectively in the dock. One way of accessing court proceedings has been via the account of the trial published as part of the Notable British Trial Series. There are no extant trial transcripts. But there are prosecution depositions lodged at the National Archives, much press reportage, and a number of relevant memoirs, all giving a keen sense of the key issues raised by the trial. The book also focuses on an extraordinary divorce case, that of Christabel Russell, involving cross-dressing, claims of a virgin birth, extreme sexual ignorance, and a particular brand of eccentric modern femininity.

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Lucy Bland

series of sensational trials as a way in for such an explo-­ ration, given that the debates within the law court and on the pages of newspapers reveal (some of the) contemporary attitudes towards women and their sexual mores.���������������������������������������������������� The trials are thus taken ������������������������� as a prism through which to identify concerns about modern femininity. Were women thought to have changed/be changing in significant ways? If they were, what threats were perceived to social, economic, moral and domestic order from such a change

in Modern women on trial
Louise A. Jackson

, I shall explore a range of popular cultural representations in the media and film to demonstrate that senior policewomen played a key role in the refashioning of an image for women officers that accorded with notions of an attractive, efficient and modernfemininity’. Secondly, I shall examine the ‘type’ of woman who was considered to be ‘suitable’ for policing – in terms of class, status, ethnicity, religious and educational background – by evaluating statistical evidence relating to recruitment as well as the recollections of those women who were involved in the

in Women police
Love in a postcolonial climate
Deborah Philips

With a young woman as its figurehead, the Commonwealth was also feminised; the heroines of the postcolonial romance represent a parallel mythical resolution of modern femininity with the traditional values of the old ‘mother country’. There is a structural feature of these ‘foreign romance novels’ of this period in which the heroine arrives by train, ship or plane at a far-flung corner of the world, which is simultaneously familiar and strange. Her destination is known to her as a place of the imperial past, where a father, brother or uncle has been working on some

in End of empire and the English novel since 1945
Driving in the First World War
Juliette Pattinson

fit within the discourse of nurturing and care, attributes that women were thought innately to possess, no aspect of women’s wartime employment aroused greater censure, controversy and resistance, and yet also admiration, official recognition and press coverage. The chapter begins with an examination of the motor car as a symbol of modern femininity. It unpicks the censored accounts of FANYs’ letters home, reports published in the Corps’s magazine and newspaper articles, the embellished tales of daring told during the war to publicise the activities of the unit

in Women of war
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Kate Hill

museums were themselves in flux, trying to develop a nascent professionalisation, negotiating the meaning and purpose of public museums, torn between embodying the nation, advancing knowledge and serving the community, meant that the agency of dispersed networks of objects and people was more potent than possibly at any time during the twentieth century. At the same time, changes in women’s roles in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, combining more public presences with domestic rhetoric, offered compelling new, flexible but coherent versions of modern

in Women and Museums, 1850–1914
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Caribbean beauty competitions in context
Rochelle Rowe

steady rise of competitions invested in brown femininity in j3J imagining caribbean womanhood the postwar period; at the same time, it challenges the notion that black women had little or no role to play in the spectacle before the 1990s by bringing contrary evidence to the surface that demonstrates the ongoing construction of ideals of (dark-skinned) black femininity in the Caribbean. It aims to reveal that through the performance of cultured, modern femininity in the beauty competition that developed over time, brown and black women helped to enable creole

in Imagining Caribbean womanhood
Constructing the uniformed woman
Juliette Pattinson

conventional gender norms. By blurring sartorial gender distinctions, they ran the risk of being regarded as ‘un-sexed females’. 3 The instability of uniformed femininity generated anxieties surrounding gender disruption, which was further exacerbated by their confident occupation of public space, their evident self-militarisation and their blatant preparations for wartime scenarios in peacetime, all illustrations of their very modernity. Many narratives of the New Woman are preoccupied with their clothing. While fashion played a key role in shaping modern femininity, it

in Women of war
Family secrets and the Gothic in The Birds of the Innocent Wood and Remembering Light and Stone
Anne Fogarty

wealth, and freely travels the globe without, however, acquiring any wisdom in the process. Thus, Aisling’s spectrality allows her to examine and adjudicate on varying aspects of modern femininity and also to measure her own troubled state against that of her friends. Even though she is more taken with Franca and roundly denounces Fabiola for her materialism and ‘life of pure

in Deirdre Madden
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liminality and the dis/composure of migrant femininities in the post- war English city
Barry Hazley

opposing self-images of innocence and sophistication relating to competing versions of Catholic and ‘modernfemininity. Stimulated through recollections of ‘mortifying’ spectatorship, time and again this competition gave rise to strange tensions in this phase of her narrative: In Park Lane Hotel, you were plonked in the middle of the West End of London, and there used to be prostitutes walking up and down the front outside, and I used to say to our Anne, ‘What are they doing there?!’ And she said, ‘Oh, I’ll explain that to you another time.’ You know. And, erm

in Life history and the Irish migrant experience in post-war England