Sheila Rowbotham - Bio and Creative Works

Sheila Rowbotham

HISTORIAN • UNIVERSITY TEACHER • SOCIOLOGIST
Born
1943-01-01
Age
79
Citizenship
United Kingdom
Place of Birth
Leeds
Bio

Sheila Rowbotham is a British socialist feminist theorist and historian. - Wikipedia

Select Creative Works

BOOK • 2016

by Sheila Rowbotham

The transatlantic story of six radical pioneers at the turn of the twentieth century

Rebel Crossings relates the interweaving lives of four women and two men as they journey from the nineteenth to the twentieth century, from Britain to America, and from Old World conventions toward New World utopias. Radicalised by the rise of socialism, Helena Born, Miriam Daniell, Gertrude Dix, Robert Nicol and William Bailie cross the Atlantic dreaming of liberty and equality. The hope for a new age is captured in the name Miriam and Robert give their love child, born shortly after their arrival: Sunrise. A young Bostonian, Helen Tufts learns of Miriam’s defiant spirit through her close friendship with Helena; the love she feels for Helena and later for William fundamentally alters her life.

All six are part of a wider historical search for self-fulfillment and an alternative to a cruelly competitive capitalism. In articles, poems and allegories Helena, Helen and Miriam resist the cultural constraints women face, while female characters in Gertrude’s novels struggle to combine personal happiness with radical social commitment. William campaigns against class inequality as a socialist and an anarchist while longing to read and study. Robert, the former union militant, becomes preoccupied with personal growth and mystical enlightenment in the wilds of California.

Rebel Crossings offers fascinating perspectives on the historical interaction of feminism, socialism, and anarchism and on the incipient consciousness of a new sense of self, so vital for women seeking emancipation. These six lives bring fresh slants on political and cultural movements and upon influential individuals like Walt Whitman, Eleanor Marx, William Morris, Edward Carpenter, Patrick Geddes and Benjamin Tucker. It is a work of significant originality by one of our leading feminist historians and speaks to the dilemmas of our own time.

BOOK • 2010

by Sheila Rowbotham

From the 1880s to the 1920s, a profound social awakening among women extended the possibilities of change far beyond the struggle for the vote. Amid the growth of globalized trade, mass production, immigration and urban slums, American and British women broke with custom and prejudice. Taking off corsets, forming free unions, living communally, buying ethically, joining trade unions, doing social work in settlements, these “dreamers of a new day” challenged ideas about sexuality, mothering, housework, the economy and citizenship.

Drawing on a wealth of research, Sheila Rowbotham has written a groundbreaking new history that shows how women created much of the fabric of modern life. These innovative dreamers raised questions that remain at the forefront of our twenty-first-century lives.

BOOK • 2008

by Sheila Rowbotham

The gay socialist writer Edward Carpenter had an extraordinary impact on the cultural and political landscape of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. A mystic advocate of, among other causes, free love, recycling, nudism, women’s suffrage and prison reform, his work anticipated the sexual revolution of the 1960s. Sheila Rowbotham’s highly acclaimed biography situates Carpenter’s life and thought in relation to the social, aesthetic and intellectual movements of his day, and explores his friendships with figures such as Walt Whitman, E.M. Forster, Isadora Duncan and Emma Goldman. Edward Carpenter is a compelling portrait of a man described by contemporaries as a ‘weather-vane’ for his times.

BOOK • 2000

by Sheila Rowbotham

Promise of a Dream is a moving, witty and poignant recollection of a time when young women were breaking all the rules about sex, politics and their place in the world. Sheila Rowbotham, best known for A Century of Women, Threads Through Time and Hidden From History, turns her hand here to memoir. The result is a wryly amusing account of her younger self, and a sparkling portrait of the exhilaration and enthusiasm of the sixties.

BOOK • 1973

by Sheila Rowbotham

A groundbreaking contribution to debates on women’s oppression and consciousness, and the connections between socialism and feminism, this foundational text shows how the roles women adopt within the capitalist economy have shaped ideas about family and sexuality. Examining feminist consciousness from various vantage points – social, sexual, cultural and economic – Sheila Rowbotham identifies the conditions under which it developed, and how the formation of a new “way of seeing” for women can lead to collective solidarity.

BOOK • 1972

by Sheila Rowbotham

This classic book provides a historical overview of feminist strands among the modern revolutionary movements of Russia, China and the Third World. Sheila Rowbotham shows how women rose against the dual challenges of an unjust state system and social-sexual prejudice. Women, Resistance and Revolution is an invaluable historical study, as well as a trove of anecdote and example fit to inspire today’s generation of feminist thinkers and activists.

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