Women have always made up the majority of older people: this examination of the lives of elderly women in Britain in the period 1500 to the present reveals attitudes towards the ageing process. It sheds light on household structures as well as wider issues - including the history of the family, the process of industrialisation, the poor law, and welfare provision - and questions many common beliefs about elderly women, particularly that female old age was a time of poverty and want. An important book for students of history and sociology alike.

chapter |12 pages


ByLynn Botelho, Pat Thane

chapter Chapter One|18 pages

Strategies of Poor Aged Women and Widows in Sixteenth-Century London

ByClaire S. Schen

chapter Chapter Three|23 pages

Old age and menopause in rural women of early modern Suffolk

ByLynn Botelho

chapter Chapter Five|22 pages

Old Maids: the Lifecycle of Single Women in Early Modern England

ByAmy M. Froide

chapter Chapter Six|28 pages

The old woman’s home ineighteenth-century England

BySusannah Ottaway

chapter Chapter Seven|27 pages

The residence patterns of elderly English

women in comparative perspective
ByRichard Wall

chapter Chapter Eight|20 pages

Old and incapable? Louisa Twining and elderly women in Victorian Britain

ByTheresa Deane

chapter Chapter Nine|21 pages

‘An inheritance of Fear’: Older Women in the Twentieth-Century Countryside

ByStephen Hussey

chapter Chapter Ten|25 pages

Old women in twentieth-century Britain

ByPat Thane