Between the 1920s and 1950s, the period of this study, women experienced greater freedom and emancipation than their mothers and grandmothers. The New Women of the 1920s and early 1930s, flat-chested and short-skirted, liberated from the confines of her Edwardian mother’s corsets, were enthusiastically portrayed by Aldous Huxley and Evelyn Waugh as ‘bright young things’. Historians have noted the occupational gains made by women during both wars, when a larger proportion than ever before worked in the wide range of men’s jobs vacated by men who had joined the fighting services. 1 These changes affected mainly young unmarried women. It was the reduction in family size, longer life expectancy, rising living standards and changing family ideologies which were much more significant for the vast majority of women, who were married and not gainfully employed. 2 Myra Roper may well have believed that she enjoyed greater independence and freedom than her mother or grandmother. She had a part-time job. She certainly had independence of mind in relation to her son’s schooling and her own musical interests. In his later years at school she visited her son on her own on at least one occasion despite the difficulties of travel at that time. 3 This ‘independence’ was, however, very limited, for like most married women she was financially dependent upon and subordinate to her husband and her life was dominated by her domestic concerns. Caring for her husband and their four children was her first concern and a demanding one. During the war she may have perceived herself worse off than her forebears because of the severe shortage of domestic help, which she found particularly burdensome when her husband was ill. She was subordinate to him and only made decisions if forced to do 104so by his incapacity. Her role in bringing up her son was one of indirectly influencing and supporting her husband and son’s decisions and providing domestic services. Independent new women like Mrs Julia Stitch in Evelyn Waugh’s Scoop were much more likely to belong to the upper classes, who could afford it.