Added: September 5, 2015 – Last updated: September 5, 2015


Editor: The London Feminist History Group

Title: The sexual dynamics of history

Subtitle: Men's power, women's resistance

Place: London

Publisher: Pluto Press

Year: 1983

Pages: x + 226pp.

ISBN-10: 0861047117 – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat

Language: English

Keywords: Early Modern History, 19th Century | English History


Link: -



  Preface: Writing our own history (p. vii)
  Introduction (p. 1)
  Part one: Sexual violence
    Introduction (p. 11)
    1. Rape or seduction? A controversy over sexual violence in the nineteenth century   Anna K. Clark (p. 13)
    2. Rape in England between 1550 and 1700   Nazife Bashar (p. 28)
  Part two: Fitted for her place
    Introduction (p. 45)
    3. Thomas Tryon's regimen for women: sectarian health in the seventeenth century   Ginnie Smith (p. 47)
    4. Ellen Silk and her sisters: female emigration to the New World   Charlotte J. Macdonald (p. 66)
    5. 'Our women are expected to become ...': women and girls in further education in England at the turn of the century   Bill Blunden (p. 87)
  Part three: Women and public life
    Introduction (p. 105)
    6. Women and psychiatric professionalization, 1780-1914   Charlotte Mackenzie (p. 107)
    7. 'So extremely like parliament': the work of the women members of the London School Board, 1870-1904   Annmarie Turnbull (p. 120)
    8. Serving two masters? The introduction of a marriage bar in teaching in the 1920s   Alison M. Oram (p. 134)
  Part four: Sexuality
    Introduction (p. 151)
    9. Distasteful and derogatory? Examining Victorian soldiers for veneral disesase   Myna Trustram (p. 154)
    10. The illegal operation: abortion, 1919-39   Barbara Brookes (p. 165)
    11. Sex reform and anti-feminism in the 1920s   Sheila Jeffreys (p. 177)
  Postscript: The London Feminist History Group (p. 203)
  Notes (p. 207)


»Where feminist history is going is still a matter of controversy. The Sexual Dynamics of History argues that it is men's power that shapes women's experience, but that women have found ways to survive and at times united to challenge it.
The authors link the past with the present, covering issues such as women's emigration, the fight for free legal abortion in the 1930s, rape and seduction in the 19th century, the invention of the concept of 'the frigid woman.' The book's articles cover four areas in which the confrontation between men and women is played out: sexual violence, domestic ideology, women in the public life, and sexuality.
The Sexual Dynamics of History presents feminist historical work as inseparable from an active politics for today. It gives advice on how to go about historical research for women who wish to take up this challenge.« (Source: Pluto Press)


Hall, Lesley. Medical History 28(3) (July 1984): 345-346. – Full Text: Cambridge Journals (Restricted Access), PubMed Central (Free Access)

Hinds, Hilary. Feminist Review No. 19 (Spring 1985): 102-103. – Full Text: JSTOR (Restricted Access), Periodicals Archive Online (Restricted Access)