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Here are some books and websites that may help those with an interest in women's history or the history of the marginalised. The focus is on British history and British research. We will be adding more books and websites shortly; we welcome suggestions. You can also find lists of relevant resources relating to a particular category on some of the stories pages​. Do look at the articles on our website too.


Adie, Kate Corsets to Camouflage: woman and war Hodder & Stoughton (2003)

Alberti, Johanna Beyond Suffrage: Feminists in War and Peace 1914-28 Macmillan (1989) 

Alcott, William Andrus The Young Wife, or Duties of Woman in the Marriage Relation George W Light (1837)

Andrews, Maggie and Lomas, Janis 101 Things you Need to Know about Suffragettes The History Press (2018)

Antrobus, Stuart ‘We Wouldn’t Have Missed It For the World’: The Women’s Land Army in Bedfordshire, 1939-1950 Book Castle (2008)

Ashworth, Emily The Land Army's Lost Women Pen & Sword (2023)

Bales, Mitzi They said ‘No’ to War: British women conscientious objectors in world war 11

Barker, Hannah and Elaine Chalus [eds.] Women's History: Britain 1700-1850, an introduction Routledge (2000)

Bartley, Paula Prostitution: prevention and reform in England 1860-1914 Routledge (2004)

Bates, Martha. Snagging Turnips and Scaling Muck : The Women's Land Army in Westmorland Kendal Helm Press (2001)

Baudino, Isabelle; Carré, Jacques and Révauger, Cecile (eds.) The Invisible Woman: Aspects of Women's Work in Eighteenth-Century Britain Ashgate (2005)

Beddoe, Deirdre Back Home to Duty: women between the wars 1918-1939 Pandora (1989)

Beeton, Mrs Isabella The Book of Household Management (many editions)

Best, Michael R (ed.) Markham, Gervase The English Housewife McGill-Queen’s University Press (1986 first published in 1615)

Bott, Alan [ed.] Our mothers: a cavalcade in pictures, quotation and description of late Victorian women 1870-1900 Gollancz (1932)

Bradley, R M The English Housewife in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries Edward Arnold (1912)

Branca, Patricia Silent Sisterhood: middle class women in the Victorian Home Croom Helm (1975)

Bressey, Caroline Empire, Race and the Politics of Anti-Caste Bloomsbury (2013) The story of Catherine Impey, who started an anti-racism magazine in 1888

British Weekly Commissioners Toilers in London; or, inquiries concerning female labour in the metropolis Hodder and Stoughton (1889)

Brits, Elsabe Emily Hobhouse: Beloved Traitor Tafelberg (2016)

Broglin, C G Jana Sloan Hookers, Crooks and Kooks: Part 1 Hookers Heritage Books (2007)

Burlison, Robert Tracing your Pauper Ancestors: a guide for family historians Pen and Sword (2009)

Burman, Barbara and Fennetaux, Ariane The Pocket: A Hidden History of Women's Lives, 1660-1900 Yale University Press (2020)

Burnett, John ed. Useful Toil: autobiographies of working people from the 1820s to the 1920s Routledge (1994)

Burtinshaw, Kathryn and Burt, Dr John Lunatics, Imbeciles and Idiots: a history of insanity in nineteenth century Britain and Ireland Pen & Sword (2017)

Cale, Michelle Saved from a Life of Vice and Crime: reformatory and industrial schools for girls, c.1854-c.1901 unpublished thesis for the University of Oxford (1993)

Cassidy, Tina Birth: a history Chatto and Windus (2007)

Chater, Kathy My Ancestor was a Lunatic: a guide to sources for family historians Pen & Sword (2014)

Chrystal, Paul Women at Work in World Wars I and II: factories, farms and the military and civil services Pen and Sword (2024)

Clark, Alice Working Life of Women in the Seventeenth Century Routledge (1982)

Clark, Richard Women and the Noose: a history of female execution Tempus (2007)

Clarke, Gill The Women’s Land Army: a portrait Sansom and Co. Ltd. (2008)

Cole, Anne An Introduction to Poor Law Documents before 1834 FFHS 2nd edition (2000)

Cox, Jessica Confinement: the hidden history of maternal bodies in nineteenth century Britain The History Press (2023)


Cox, Pamela Gender, Justice and Welfare: bad girls in Britain 1900-1950 Palgrave Macmillan (2003)

Cox, Pamela & Hobley, Annabel Shopgirls: the true story of life behind the counter Hutchinson (2014)

Crawford, Elizabeth The Women's Suffrage Movement: a reference guide 1866-1928 (Routledge 2000)

Davidson, Caroline A Woman’s Work is Never Done: a history of housework in the British Isles 1650-1950 Chatto and Windus, London (1986)

Davis, Mark Voices from the Asylum: West Riding pauper lunatic asylum Amberley Publishing (2013)

Dawson, Thomas The Good Housewife’s Jewel Southover Press (1996 first published in 1596/7)

De la Haye, Amy Land Girls: Cinderellas of the soil Royal Pavilion Libraries & Museums (2009)

Dyhouse, Carol Girls Growing up in Late Victorian and Edwardian England Law Books (1980)

Emm, Adele Tracing your Female Ancestors: a guide for family historians Pen and Sword (2019)

Erickson, Amy Louise Women and Property in Early Modern England Routledge (1995)

Few, Janet Remember Then: women’s memories of 1946-1969 and how to write your own Family History Partnership (2014)

Few, Janet Tracing your Marginalised Ancestors: a guide for family historians Pen and Sword (2024)

Finnegan, Frances Poverty and Prostitution: a study of Victorian prostitutes in York Cambridge University Press (1979)

Flanders, Judith Prostitution

Flanders, Judith The Victorian House: domestic life from childbirth to deathbed Harper Perennial (2004)

Fowler, Simon Workhouse: the people, the places, the life behind doors Pen and Sword (2014)

Fox, Sarah Giving Birth in Eighteenth Century England University of London Press (2022)

Fraser, Antonia The Weaker Vessel: women's lot in the seventeenth century Vintage Books (1984)

Freeling, Arthur The Young Bride’s Book: being hints for regulating the conduct of married women Henry Washbourne (1839)

Gear, Gillian Carol Industrial Schools in England 1857-1933: moral hospitals or oppressive institutions? Unpublished PhD thesis for University of London Institute of Education (1999)

Gelis, Jacques History of Childbirth, Fertility, Pregnancy and birth in Early Modern Europe Polity (1996)

Gibson, Marion Witchcraft: a history in thirteen trials Simon & Schuster (2023)

Gordon, Dee Voices from History: Essex Land Girls The History Press (2015)

Gowing, Laura Ingenious Trade: women and work in seventeenth century London Cambridge University Press (2021)

Graham, Ysenda Maxtone Jobs for the Girls: how we set out to work in the typewriter age (Dilly's Story) Abacus (2023)

Graham, Ysenda Maxtone Terms & Conditions: Life in Girls' Boarding Schools, 1939-1979  Abacus (2017)

Gregory, Phillippa Normal Women: 900 years of making history William Collins (2023)

Griffiths, Gareth R Women’s Factory Work in World War One Sutton Publishing (1991)

Grof, Lazlo L Children of Straw Barracuda (1988)

Hampton, Janie How the Girl Guides Won the War Harper Collins (2011)

Harding, Phil The British Shell Shortage of the First World War Fonthill Media (2015)

Hartley, Jenny Charles Dickens and the House of the Fallen Women Methuen (2009)

Hawkings, David T Pauper Ancestors: a guide to the records created by the poor laws in England and Wales The History Press (2011)

Healey, Robynne Rogers and Spencer, Carole Dale [eds.] Quaker Women, 1800–1920: studies of a changing landscape Penn State University Press (2023)

Hemyng, B ‘Prostitution in London’, in Mayhew, H., London Labour and the London Poor: Volume IV Those Who Will Not Work; Comprising Prostitutes, Thieves, Swindlers and Beggars (Dover Publications 1862)

Higginbotham, Peter The Workhouse Encyclopaedia The History Press (2014)

Hill, Bridget Eighteenth Century Women: an anthology Routledge (2012)

Hill, Bridget Women Alone: spinsters in England 1650-1850 Yale University Press (2001)

Hill, Bridget Women, Work And Sexual Politics In Eighteenth-Century England Routledge (2005)

Hobby, Elaine [ed.] Sharp, Jane The Midwives’ Book or, the whole art of midwifery discovered Oxford University Press (1999 first published in 1671)

Holcombe, Lee Wives and Property University of Toronto Press (1983)

Hole, Christina The English Housewife in the Seventeenth Century Chatto & Windus (1953)

Holton, Sandra Stanley Feminism and Democracy: women's suffrage and reform politics in Britain 1900-1918 Cambridge University Press (1986)

Holton, Sandra Stanley Quaker Women: personal life, memory and radicalism in the lives of women Friends 1780-1930 Routledge (2007)

Holton, Sandra Stanley Suffrage Days: stories from the women’s suffrage movement Routledge (2002)

Honeyman, Katrina Women, Gender and Industrialisation in England 1700-1870 Macmillan (2000)

Horn, Pamela Life Below Stairs in the Twentieth Century Sutton Publishing (2003)

Horn, Pamela  My Ancestor was in Service Society of Genealogists (2009)

Horn, Pamela The Rise and Fall of the Victorian Servant Macmillan (1995)

Ingham, Mary Tracing your Servicewoman Ancestors Pen and Sword (2012)

Jalland, Pat Women, Marriage and Politics 1860-1914 Clarendon Press 1986

Jarrett, Simon Disability in Time and Place 

Jarrett, Simon He is so Silly he would Rather have a Half Pence than a Shilling: discovering the history of learning disability 

Jolly, Emma My Ancestor was a Woman at War Society of Genealogists (2014)

Joyce, Fraser Prostitution and the Nineteenth Century: in search of the ‘Great Social Evil’

Karsland, Veva (aka Stephens, Amy) Women and their Work Sampson, Low, Marston and co. (1891)

Kermode, Jennifer and Walker Garthine [eds.] Women and Crime and the Courts in Early Modern England Routledge (1994)

Kettilby, Mary et. al. A Collection of above Three Hundred Receipts in Cookery, Physick and Surgery; for the use of all Good Wives, Tender Mothers and Careful Nurses Nabu Press (2010 first published in 1714)


King, Peter Women Rule the plot: the story of the 100 year fight to establish women’s place in the farm and garden Gerald Duckworth (1999)

Knight, Lynn The Button Box: the story of women in the twentieth century told through the clothes that they wore Vintage (2017) 


Kramer, Ann Land Girls & their Impact Remember When (2010)

Lanfear, Elizabeth Letters to Young Ladies on their Entrance into the World J Robins & Co., (1824)

Lawrence, Anne Women in England 1500-1760: a social history W & N (2005)

Lawson, William The Country Housewife’s Garden Breslich & Foss (1983 first published in 1618)

Lewis, Jane Women in England 1870-1950: sexual divisions and social change Indiana University Press (1984)

Leyser, Henrietta Medieval Women: a social history of women in England 450-1500 W & N (2005)

Liddington, Jill Rebel Girls: their fight for the vote Virago (2006)

Lockley, Diane The House of Cure: life within the Leicestershire lunatic asylum Anchorprint (2011)

Lyttelton, The Hon. Mrs Arthur Women and their Work Methuen (1901)


Macdonald, Lyn The Roses of No Man's Land Penguin (1993)

MacFarlane, Alan Witchcraft in Tudor and Stuart England: a regional and comparative study Routledge (1970)

Mahood, L The Magdalenes: prostitution in the nineteenth century Routledge (1990)

Malcolmson, Patricia & Robert Women at the Ready: the remarkable story of women’s voluntary services on the home front Little Brown Book Group (2013)

Mansell, Charmian Female Servants in Early Modern England Oxford University Press (2024)

Mant, Joan All Muck No Medals: Landgirls by Landgirls Book Guild Publishing Ltd. (1994)

Marland, Hilary The Art of Midwifery: early modern midwives in Europe Routledge (1994)

Marlow, Joyce [ed.] The Virago Book of Women and the Great War Virago (1999)

Martin, Lois The History of Witchcraft Pocket Essentials (2007)

Maxwell-Stuart, P.G. Witchcraft a History Tempus Publishing Ltd. (2000)

Maxwell-Stuart, P.G. Witch Hunters Tempus Publishing Ltd. (2005)

May, Trevor The Victorian Domestic Servant Shire Publications (2007)

Mayers, Lynne Balmaidens: a portrait of women in mining Patten Press (1994)

McGovern, Una Lost Crafts: rediscovering traditional skills Chambers (2008)

McHugh, Paul Prostitution and Victorian Social Reform: The Campaign Against the Contagious Diseases Act Routledge (2004)


Mitchell, Sally The New Girl: girls' culture in England 1880-1915 Columbia University Press (1995)

Newman, Vivien We also Served: the forgotten women of the first world war Pen & Sword (2015)

Newby, Jennifer Women's Lives 1800-1939: researching women's social history 1800-1939 Pen & Sword (2011)

Paley, Ruth My Ancestor Was a Bastard: a family historian’s guide to sources for illegitimacy in England and Wales Society of Genealogists (2011)

Pember Reeves, Mrs Round about a Pound a Week G. Bell (1913)

Pennington, S. and Westover, B. A Hidden Workforce: homeworkers in England 1850-1985 Macmillan Education (1989)

Perkin, Joan Victorian Women John Murray (1994)

Philo-Gill, Samantha The Women's Army Auxiliary Corps in France 1917-1921: women urgently wanted Pen & Sword (2017)

Pinchbeck, Ivy Women Workers and the Industrial Revolution 1750-1850 Virago (1981)

Probert, Rebecca Marriage Law for Genealogists: the definitive guide Takeaway Publishing (2012)

Purvis, Jane A History of Women's Education in England Open University (1991)

Rattray, Veronica My Land Girl Years Athena Press (2009)

Raymond, Stuart A Tracing your Poor Ancestors Pen and Sword (2020)

Rendall, Jane Women in an Industrialising Society: England 1759-1880 Blackwell (1991)

Roberts, Elizabeth A Woman's Place: an oral history of working class women 1890-1940  Blackwell (1984)

Robinson, Jane Hearts And Minds: the untold story of the great pilgrimage and how women won the vote Doubleday (2018)

Rossini, Gill A History of Adoption in England and Wales 1850-1961 Pen & Sword (2016)

Scott, Caroline Holding the Home Front: the women’s land army in the first world war Pen and Sword (2020)

Sharpe, Pamela Working Women in the English Economy 1890-1940 Macmillan (1995)

Shipton, Elisabeth Female Tommies; the frontline women of the first world war The History Press (2014)

Simonton, Deborah A History of European Women’s Work, 1700 to the present Routledge (1998)

Steinbach, Susie Women in England 1760-1914; a social history Phoenix (2005)

Stevens, Mark Life in the Victorian Asylum: the world of nineteenth century mental health care Pen & Sword (2014)

Storey, Neil and Housego, Molly Women in the First World War Shire Publications (2010)

Storey, Neil R and Housego, Molly The Women’s Land Army Shire Publications (2012)

Storr, Katherine Excluded from the Record: women refugees and relief 1914-1929 Peter Lang UK (2009)

Stubley, Peter A Pauper’s History of England: a 1000 years of peasants, beggars guttersnipes Pen and Sword (2015)

Summers, Julie Jambusters: the story of the Women’s Institute in the second world war Simon and Schuster (2014)

Tate, W E The Parish Chest Phillimore (3rd edition 2011)

Taylor, Mrs Practical Hints to Young Females on the Duties of a Wife, a Mother, and a Mistress of the Family Taylor & Hessey (1815)

Thomas, Ian [ed.] Culpeper, Nicholas Book of Birth; a seventeenth century guide to having lusty children Webb and Bower (1985 first published in 1651)

Tolan, Elspeth Hidden in Plain Sight: finding working class women in the National Archives (2022)

Turner, Mary The Women's Century: a celebration of changing roles The National Archives (2006)

Twinch, Carol Women on the Land: their story during two world wars Lutterworth Press (1990)

Tyrer, Nicola They Fought in the Fields: the women’s land army The History Press (2016)

Valenze, Deborah The First Industrial Woman Oxford University Press (1995)

Verdon, Nicola 'Farmers’ Wives and the Farm Economy in England c.1700-1850' in The Agricultural History Review 51.1 (2003) pp. 23-39

Verdon, Nicola Rural Women Workers in Nineteenth Century England: gender, work and wages Boydell Press (2002)


Walker, Robyn The Women who Spied for Britain: female secret agents of the second world war Amberley Publishing (2015)

Walkowitz, Judith R. Prostitution and Victorian Society: women, class and state Cambridge University Press (1982)

Ward Margaret The Female Line: researching your female ancestors Countryside Books (2003)

Ward, Margaret Female Occupations: women's employment from 1840-1950 Countryside Books (2008)

Webb, Cliff An Index of London Hospitals and their Records Society of Genealogists (2002)

West, Jane Letters to a Young Lady in which the Duties and Character of Women are Considered O. Penniman & Co. (1806)

Whittell, Giles Spitfire Women of World War II Harper Perennial (2008)


Williams, Lucy and Godfrey, Barry Criminal Women 1850-1920: researching the lives of Britain's female offenders Pen & Sword (2018)

Williams, Lucy Wayward Women: female offending in Victorian England Pen & Sword (2016)

Williams, M A A Forgotten Army: The Female Munitions Workers of South Wales, 1939-1945

University of Wales Press (2002)

Winsham, Willow Accused: British witches throughout history Pen & Sword (2016)

Winsham, Willow England’s Witchcraft Trials Pen & Sword (2018)

Wolley, Hannah The Compleat Servant-maid: or, the young maiden’s and family’s daily companion Gale ECCO Print (2010 first published 1670)

Wolley, Hannah The Queen-like Closet or Rich Cabinet The Essential Book Market (2007 first published in 1672)

Woollacott, Angela On her their Lives Depend: munitions workers in the Great War University of California Press (1994)

Zweiniger-Bargielowska, Ina Women in Twentieth Century Britain Routledge (2001)


Bal Maidens and Mining Women

British Red Cross - search for Voluntary Aid Detachment personnel

The Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure

Carve her Name

Children's Homes

The Employment of Women in Great Britain 1891-1921

The Foundling Museum

Her Half of History

Herring Girls

HerStory York

Hidden Lives: a virtual archive children in care 1881-1981

A History of Disability from 1950 to the Present Day

The History of Domestic Paraphernalia

London School of Economics Women's Suffrage Collections

Mapping Women's Suffrage

Medieval Housewives

Museum of the Mind

Prison History

The Prison: the story of an institution

Records of Prostitution at the National Archives

Remembering British Women in World War 1 Facebook page

Researching Women in Ireland

Revisiting Dickens: prostitution in Victorian England 

Sources for Irish Women's History

The Temple Lodge Home for Inebriate Women, Torquay

Twenty Incredible Pictures of Women’s War Work From Our Newspapers The British Newspaper Archive

Women Conscientious Objectors of World War 11 British Library Sound Archive

Women's History Scotland

Women's Land Army and Timber Corps

Women’s Work in Early Rural England 1500-1799

Women Workers in the Industrial Revolution 


Find many more links on Cyndi's List under Female Ancestors

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