The Dawning of a New Era? Women's Work in England and Wa1es at the Turn of the Twentieth Century
AbstractThe early twentieth-century belief that jobs for women were increasing during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries belied the experience of the majority of women in earlier centuries and proved over-optimistic in its prognosis for the coming decades. The author sets out to discover what changes were observable in women's workfrom a series of individual-level census retumsfrom the 1891, 1901, 1911, and 1921 censuses, taken from a selection of 13 registration districts across England and Wales. Examination of the published census reports, the instructions on the census schedules, and individual replies reveals that women did not likely experience a rise in full-time paid employment which they could report as their main occupation. There is a spectrum of "home duties", however, about which the census remains stubbornly silent.