Women’s History – The British Newspaper Archive Blog

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‘Make-Do Make-Up’ – Makeup During the Second World War

Flung into new roles in the armed services and other industries, their home life turned upside down during blackouts and air raids, how did women use makeup during the Second World War? In this our fourth and final blog looking at the history of makeup, we delve into how makeup was used during the Second World War. The Sketch | 5 June 1940 Using pages taken from the British Newspaper Archive, we will discover how women in the three branches of

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Makeup for the Mainstream – Exploring the Daily Mirror’s Beauty Book

Every woman wants to be beautiful. Most women could be if they tried. Comparatively few know how to be. In 1910 the Daily Mirror published its very own Beauty Book, which promised to be ‘Every Woman’s Guide to Beauty.’ This was something revolutionary, as it opened beauty remedies and early makeup trends to its middle-class mainstream readership. Its publication came at a time where makeup was barely accepted, and indeed, many of its mainstays (mascara and nail polish, for example) had yet to

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‘The Well of Loneliness’ – An LGBTQ Book on Trial

In 1928, novelist Radclyffe Hall published her seminal LGBTQ work The Well of Loneliness. Following the story of Stephen Gordon, an upper-class woman who finds love with one Mary Llewellyn and is consequently shunned by society, the work was groundbreaking in its lesbian subject matter. Radclyffe Hall | Graphic | 30 April 1927 Although it was received favourably by many publications including the Daily Herald and Lady’s Pictorial, Sunday Express editor James Douglas began a campaign on 18 August 1928 to have Hall’s book banned – naming The

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Highlights of the Week on The Archive

This week on The Archive we continue to bring you our top picks from our collection of specialist, national and regional newspapers. And in this vein, we turn our spotlight this week onto our very special suffragist newspapers, which chart how women across the British Isles and Ireland campaigned for the vote. Register now and explore the Archive Newspaper of The Week One of the most iconic of these titles is The Suffragette, later renamed Britannia. This newspaper was established in 1912,

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Women and the Second World War

Continuing our commemoration of the 75 years since VE-Day, in this special blog we explore the vital role that women played throughout the course of the Second World War. In 1939, for a second time in just over twenty years, Britain found itself embroiled in an international conflict, and women stepped forward to work in civil defence, armed forces, and industry.  Unlike any other country, for the first time, British women were conscripted into service.  On 18 December 1941, the

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In Between Dances – Understanding Flappers & 1920s Youth Culture

Not only did the flapper turn on its head traditional notions of femininity – she was arguably the first incarnation of youth culture in Britain and beyond. She was a good time girl, she drank, she smoked, she drove, she partied, she wore the latest outrageous fashions, she came home late – and in doing so, she preempted the youth culture movements of later decades. A study by Domergue | The Tatler | 3 June 1925 In this special blog, we explore

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Visiting Haworth – Home of the Brontë Sisters

The Rev Patrick Brontë of Thornton, has been nominated to the Perpetual Curacy of Haworth, in the parish of Bradford, and has been licenced to the same by his Grace the Archbishop of York. Manchester Mercury | 14 March 1820 This rather innocuous announcement appeared in the pages of the Manchester Mercury on the 14 March 1820. At the time, it would have been considered fairly run-of-the-mill: a typical clergy appointment. But 200 years later, these short sentences conjure up a

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Uncovering Jane Austen’s Locations – Bath, Lyme Regis, Chawton and Winchester

‘Disliking urban surroundings,’ Jane Austen ‘relied on the English countryside for her own happiness and for the background of her novels,’ so writes Wendy Hope in a 1975 Illustrated London News article. In this special blog, using pages taken from the British Newspaper Archive, we will explore the locations where celebrated novelist Jane Austen lived, wrote, and visited, and how they informed her novels. Want to learn more? Register now and explore The Archive Illustrated London News | 1 December 1975

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Long Hair is Dead, Long Live the Bob – An Exploration of The Defining Hairstyle of the 1920s

‘Short hair is not a whim of fashion; it is significant for an adaptation to modern existence,’ so proclaimed hairdresser Monsieur Eugène in 1929 (Britannia and Eve, August 1929). In this special blog, using pages from the British Newspaper Archive, we explore one of the most iconic fashions of the 1920s – the bob. We look at its cultural impact, its most famous wearers, and how women achieved and maintained the perfect bobbed style. Want to learn more? Register now

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‘All These Barriers are Broken Down’ – Five Remarkable Women Who Shaped the 1920s

The 1920s were time of greater freedoms and liberation for women. They cropped their hair, their dresses got shorter and shorter; it was socially acceptable for them to drive, drink and smoke. But such freedoms would not have been possible without the pioneering women who not only shaped the decade, but the many years to come. Graphic | 27 July 1929 In this special blog, using the British Newspaper Archive, we take a look at five of these remarkable women and

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