Women's leisure in England 1920–60

By Claire Langhamer

Women's leisure in England 1920–60

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-5737-3
  • Pages: 232
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £16.99
  • Published Date: October 2000
  • BIC Category: Humanities / Social & cultural history, Society & social sciences / Gender studies: women, HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Women's Studies, European history, Social & cultural history, United Kingdom, Great Britain, History
  • Series: Studies in Popular Culture


This insightful book offers a timely assessment of the complex relationship between women and leisure in England, drawing upon recent feminist theory. Departing from approaches which focus on particular activities or institutions, it places everyday experiences at its centre, presenting a wide-ranging and lively account of changing perceptions, representations and experiences of leisure across the period 1920-60.

It addresses the nature of leisure within women's lives, examining shifting understandings of the concept and identifying areas of definitional ambiguity such as the 'family' holiday, shopping and handicrafts. Focusing upon experiences of leisure across the life cycle, it provides a detailed assessment of the particular forms of leisure enjoyed by women at distinct stages of their lives, including cinema-going, dancing, socialising and home-based pursuits.

The book demonstrates that experiences and perceptions of leisure were fundamentally structured along life cycle lines: leisure in youth was often characterised by freedom and independence whilst leisure in adulthood became a vehicle for service and duty to others.


'This is a well-written, interesting and authoritative book, which should be of interest both to students and to academic readers. Dr Langhamer has used a very wide and impressive range of sources, newspapers, mass observation, oral testimony and many secondary sources. A valuable work.' -- Dr Elizabeth Roberts, Lancaster University


Part 1: The nature of leisure in women's lives
1. 'A planned night out'? Conceptualising 'leisure' in historical research
2. 'Waiting for the pie to brown': leusire, work and definitional ambiguity
Part 2: Leisure and the life cycle
3. 'Stepping out with the young set': youthful freedom and independence
4. 'Do you come here often?' Courtship, sex and leisure
5. 'Pleasure loving mothers'? Leisure in adult life

Sign up to our newsletter
and receive 30% off all future book orders


Your cart is empty.

Select your shipping destination to estimate postage costs

(Based on standard shipping costs)

Final cost calculated on checkout
Promotional codes can be added on Checkout