The essay traces patterns of poor women' employment in late-nineteenth-century London. It shows that employment was common among single, married and widowed women, except among mothers of young children. Unpaid domestic work and paid employment dovetailed into a constant burden of work facing poor women. This challenges the prevalent argument that married women earned wages only at moments of severe crisis in the household economy. It reveals a culture of women' work among the poor that contrasts sharply with the ideology of separate spheres that excluded middle-class women from employment.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)