Imaginary widows: Spinsters, marriage, and the "Lost generation" in Britain after the great war
This article argues that the status of spinster was associated with widowhood in the decades after the First World War in Britain, an association that is still active in our collective memory. Widely publicized census statistics suggesting that a whole generation of young men perished during the war led to the beliefs that an accompanying generation of women had lost lovers and fiancés, would be unable to marry, and were therefore deprived of the chance of leading "normal," happy lives. Drawing upon a range of sources, including census statistics, fiction, poetry, autobiography, and oral history, the author examines the consequences of these beliefs for unmarried women in the context of a society that privileged marriage and nuclear families with male breadwinners and dependent wives over all other family formations. © 2005 Sage Publications.
Holden, K. (2005). Imaginary widows: Spinsters, marriage, and the "Lost generation" in Britain after the great war. Journal of Family History, 30(4), 388-409. https://doi.org/10.1177/0363199005275836
|Journal Article Type||Review|
|Publication Date||Oct 1, 2005|
|Journal||Journal of Family History|
|Peer Reviewed||Peer Reviewed|
|Keywords||widows, marriage, spinsters, Britain, Great War, single women, World War I, United Kingdom|