‘Girl Trouble’ by Carol Dyhouse – Review

Night-time Reads

From the cigarette smoke and defiant middle finger of the front cover, I was expecting something a little more tongue-in cheek, and, well, cheeky. But even the most zealous meninist would be hard-pressed to brand Carol Dyhouse’s excellent tour of women’s recent history in Britain a rant or, ahem, ‘propaganda’; or even to disregard it as fluff.

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Girl Trouble: Panic and Progress in the History of Young Women. Zed Books, 2014.

Dyhouse, a research professor of history at the University of Sussex, seriously knows her stuff. Girl Trouble is extremely well-informed, with every claim backed up by thorough referencing. First off, we are introduced to the women of the early 1900s, unable to vote or obtain careers, with their dainty maidenheads ever so carefully packed in cotton wool – resulting in a generation who could barely grasp at their own sexuality. It is in this social climate that the…

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