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Women, Sport and Modernity in Interwar Britain


Fiona Skillen

This book offers a unique examination of women’s increasing involvement in sport during the period 1919-1939. Focusing primarily on sites of participation, it analyses where and how women accessed sport and their participation across class, age and marital groups. It also demonstrates the diverse ways in which sport was incorporated into women’s everyday lives, with particular emphasis on the important and yet often neglected area of informal participation, so fundamental to understandings of women’s sport. The unique combination of in-depth studies, drawing on the voices of the women themselves through oral testimonies, and the tracing of broad national and international trends, contributes to an innovative and comprehensive exploration of the evolution of women’s sports participation across Britain during this significant period.


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There are many people whom I would like to acknowledge and thank for their help and support with the research and writing of this study. I am grateful to the Economic and Social Research Council for funding the PhD research from which this book has developed. I would like to thank the editors of this series, Prof Richard Holt and Prof Matt Taylor, for their help and guidance during the preparation of this manuscript. Over the course of my research many archivists and librarians have generously of fered their time and expertise. I am also indebted to all the women who allowed me to interview them for this research. Their contri- butions provided invaluable and useful insights. My former colleagues in the Department of Economic and Social History, University of Glasgow and in particular the Historical Perspectives postgraduate group, provided a friendly forum in which I was been able to develop my ideas during my PhD. I would also like to acknowledge the encouragement I was given by friends and colleagues at the University of Central Lancashire and Glasgow Caledonian University and by mem- bers of the British Society of Sports History: in particular, Prof John Hughson, Dr Joyce Kay, Dr Carol Osborne, Dr Malcolm McLean, and Prof Wray Vamplew. I would especially like to thank my PhD supervisors, Prof Eleanor Gordon and Dr Annmarie Hughes for being so generous with their time, knowledge and enthusiasm. Their continued support and friendship mean a great deal to me. I would also...

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