Sheila Rowbotham’s Dreamers of a New Day: Women who Invented the Twentieth Century received outstanding coverage from the mainstream broadsheets over the weekend, including Kathryn Hughes for the Guardian:
The problem with good ideas is that you never know quite where they will end. The Arts and Crafts movement, conceived in hand-thrown innocence by William Morris, was partly responsible for the rows of standardised bungalows put up in the interwar period, not to mention all that classroom raffia work. The bright idea of uncoupling romantic relationships from the mechanics of church and state in favour of “free love” resulted by the late 1960s in some rather anguished women and some very smug men. The clever wheeze of outsourcing routine domestic duties drove directly into the current high-cholesterol cul de sac of home-delivered pizzas. These are just some of the Big Ideas of the early 20th century that Sheila Rowbotham deals with in this exhilarating, if sometimes rueful, book
Read the full article here.
The book was also reviewed by Dinah Birch for the Observer:
When it comes to gender, the 2010 election failed to change the established order. There are four female ministers sitting in Cameron’s cabinet. In 1997, Blair chose five women for his ministerial team. This will not surprise Sheila Rowbotham, eminent historian and lifelong feminist activist. She is an old hand at recording fluctuations in women’s fortunes. Her latest book is a compelling study of the adventurous visionaries who challenged sex and gender assumptions from the 1880s up to the first world war. It is a celebration of what women have won but also a warning of what could still be lost.
Read the full review here.