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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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List of tables


1.1 Men examined for military service, 1917–18 and 1939–46 – percentage in each grade 26 1.2 UK population (thousands), 1901–41 27 2.1 Number of clubs, schools and colleges af filiated to the All-England Women’s Field Hockey Association 56 2.2 Growth of the Scottish Women’s Hockey Association and the Scottish Hockey Association (men only) 57 2.3 Women’s hockey: Scottish international matches (home) 61 2.4 Attendance figures of spectators at the Women’s National Hockey Finals (matches where England was in the finals only) 63 2.5 Number of golf clubs af filiated to the Ladies’ Golf Union 1925–39 69 2.6 LGU af filiated clubs with over 200 female members 71 2.7 Number of clubs af filiated to the Lawn Tennis Association 1926–38 86 2.8 Number of entries for the Junior Championships of Great Britain 1925–38 87 3.1 Glasgow Corporation provision of sports facilities 104 3.2 Edinburgh City Council provision of sports facilities 104 3.3 Dundee Corporation provision of sports facilities 105 3.4 Attendance at Glasgow and Dundee Corporation municipal sports facilities 1924–37 116–17 3.5 Annual income from Edinburgh City Council municipal sports facilities 1924–37 (£) 117 3.6 Charges at Edinburgh municipal sports facilities 1923–26 120 3.7 Clarkston Bowling and Tennis Club annual subscription rates for 1913, 1939 and 1958 121 x List of tables 5.1 Breakdown of advertisements featuring sportswomen 213 5.2 Women’s sports/activities depicted in advertisments in Tatler 217

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