This highly original synthesis is the most comprehensive text to date on nineteenth-century British women. The book deals sensitively with women's evolving experiences of work, the family, the community and politics amongst all classes, prividing the reader with stimulating assessments of the key historiographical debates and issues. Particular emphasis is placed upon recent revisionist research, which draws attention not merely to the role of ideologies and economic circumstances in shaping women's lives, but upon women's own identities and experiences. Kathryn Gleadle also highlights the central importance of understanding regional difference in analysing women's diverse experiences. By considering Ireland, Scotland and Wales, as well as England, the book explores new, and more subtle, chronologies of women's lives. This innovative text explains clearly the gendered dynamics of nineteenth-century Britain and the restrictions women faced, whilst affirming the enormous contribution women made to contemporary culture and society.