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Women in Nineteenth Century France

Term 1, Week 10 (Lecture 9)

N.B. We will also discuss these readings in the 'Feminism, Masculinity, and Gender' seminar (Term 2, Week 1)

Core reading:

  • K Offen, ‘French Women’s History: Retrospect (1789-1940) and Prospect,’ French Historical Studies 26 (2003), 727-67
  • M Boxer ‘Protective Legislation and Home Industry in France: The Marginalisation of Women Workers,’ Journal of Social History 20:1 (1986), 45-65
  • J McMillan France and Women 1789-1914: Gender, Society and Politics (2000), chapter 4, pp. 47-62 [Digitized book chapter]

Further reading:


  • J McMillan France and Women 1789-1914: Gender, Society and Politics (2000)

  • Gildea, Children of the Revolution (2008), chap 5 and 13

  • J McMillan Housewife or Harlot (1981)

  • Magraw, France: A Social History (2002), chap 9

  • S Reynolds (ed) Women , State and Revolution (1986)

  • G Duby/ MPerrot (eds) A History of Women in the West Vol 4

  • M Ozouf Women’s Words: Essays on French Singularity (1997)

  • C Forth and E Accampo (eds) Confronting Modernity in Fin-de-Siecle France (2009), esp chaps 1-2

Women’s Work and ‘Protective’ Legislation

  • B L Smith Ladies of the Leisure Class : the Bourgeoises of N France in the 19th-Century (1981)

  • T McBride The Domestic Revolution

  • G Gullickson Spinners and Weavers of Auffay

  • L Strumhinger Women and the Making of the Working Class: Lyon 1830-70 (1979)

  • J Coffin The Politics of Women’s Work: the Paris Garment Trades 1760-1915 (1996)

  • J DeGroat The public nature of women’s work : debates during the Revolution of 1848 FHS 1997

  • M Boxer Women in Industrial Homework: the Flowermakers of Paris in the Belle Epoque FHS1983

  • S Bachrach Dames Employées: the Feminisation of Postal Workers in 19th-Century France

  • G Sussmann Selling Mothers’ Milk (see also article in FHS 1975)

  • J Coffin ‘Social science meets sweated Labor: Reinterpreting Women’s Work in 19th-Century France’ JMH 1991
  • T McBride A Woman’s World: Department Stores and Women’s Employment FHS 1978

  • M Stewart Women , Work and the French State: Labor Protection and Social Patriarchy 1879-1920 (1989)

  • E Accampo/ R Fuchs/ M Stewart (eds) Gender and the Politics of Social Reform in France 1870-1914 (1995)

  • D Co and J V Nye, ‘Male-Female Wage Discrimination in Nineteenth-Century France,’ Journal of Economic History 49:4 (1989)

  • P Tilburg, ‘Earning her bread,’ Métier, Order, and Female Honor in Colette’s Music Hall, 1906-13’ French Historical Studies 28 (2005)

Women, Protest and the Labour Movement

  • D Barry Women and Political Insurgency: France in the Mid-Nineteenth Century (1996)

  • LTilly Women’s Collective Action in France 1870-1914 in L &C Tilly (eds) Class Conflict and Collective Action (1981)

  • L Strumhinger The Vésuviennes: Images of Women Warriors in 1848 Hist EuropIdeas 1987

  • R Tombs Warriors and Killers: Women and Violence during the Paris Commune in R Aldridge (ed) The Sphinx in the Tuileries (1999)

  • E Schulkind Socialist Women during the Paris Commune P&P 1985

  • G Gullickson Unruly Women of Paris: Images of the Commune (1996)

  • P Hilden Working Women and Socialist Politics in France 1880-1914

  • P Hilden Women and the Labour Movement in France 1869-1914 HJ1986

  • C Sowerwine Sisters or Citizens? Women and Socialism in France since 1876

  • C Sowerwine Women and workers in France before 1914: The Couriau Affair JMH1983

  • R Stuart Whores and Angels : Women and the Family in the Discourse of French Marxists EHQ 1997

  • R Stuart ‘Calm, with a Grave and Serious Temperament, rather Male’: French Marxism, Gender and Feminism 1882-1905 IRSH 1996