Gardners The First World War deprived Britain of three-quarters of a million soldiers. The press ran stories about the 'Problem of the Surplus Women - Two Million who can never become Wives ...'. Tracing their fates, this book shows how the single woman of the inter-war decades had to stop depending on men for her income, her identity and her happiness.
Blackwell North Amer The First World War deprived Britain of three quarters of a million soldiers, leaving as many more incapacitated. In 1919 a generation of women who unquestioningly believed marriage to be their birthright discovered that here were, quite simply, not enough men to go round. They became known as 'the Surplus Women'. Many of us remember them: they wee our teachers, our maiden aunts, women who seemed to have lost out life's feast. This book tells their stories: it tells of the student weeping for a lost world as the Armistice bells pealed ... the socialite who dedicated her life to resurrecting the past after her soldier love was killed ... the Bradford mill girl whose campaign to better the lot of the 'War spinsters' was to make her a public figure ... and of many other who reinvented themselves. Tracing their fates, Virginia Nicholson shows how the single woman of the inter-War decades had to stop depending on a man for her income, her identity and her happiness. Some just endured; others challenged the conventions, fought the system, found fulfilment. Singled Out pays homage to a remarkable generation of women. They were changed by war; in their turn they helped change society. These pages offer some of their solutions, and also some of their consolations.