Chocolate, women and empire

A social and cultural history

By Emma Robertson

Chocolate, women and empire

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-9005-9
  • Pages: 264
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £16.99
  • Published Date: August 2013
  • BIC Category: History, Social & cultural history, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Women's Studies, HISTORY / Social History, Humanities / Social & cultural history, Society & social sciences / Gender studies: women
  • Series: Studies in Imperialism


From Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to Chocolat, from romantic gift to guilty indulgence, chocolate has a special place in Western popular culture. But what are the hidden histories behind this luxurious commodity? This book examines chocolate production from cocoa bean to chocolate box, illuminating the dynamics of gender, race and empire which have structured the cocoa chain.

Using a varied range of sources, and drawing on the author's own relationship to the industry, this book reconnects the people and places at different stages of chocolate production. Emma Robertson stresses the need to recognise the complex histories of empire and labour which have made such pleasurable consumption possible.

Chocolate, women and empire offers exciting new insights into the lives of women workers in a global industry. It will be invaluable to historians of British imperialism as well as to students of Women's and Gender Studies, Cultural Studies and Business Studies.


General Editor's introduction
1. 'A deep physical reason': gender, race and the nation in chocolate consumption
2. 'The Romance of the Cocoa Bean': imperial and colonial histories
3. 'There is no operation involved with cocoa that I didn't do': women's experiences of cocoa farming
4. Minstrels, missionaries and the Minster: race, imperialism and the historic city
5. 'I think I was the only Chinese girl working there': race and gender in the chocolate factory


Emma Robertson is Lecturer in History at La Trobe University

Newsletter Sign Up

Manchester University Press

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