Single Women in the 1960s

Cinemas are currently showing the trailer for Bridget Jones’s Baby, the third instalment in the franchise which will be released later this year. Renée Zellweger has reprised the role of Bridget Jones, the woman who popularised the term ‘singleton’. Before I read Helen Fielding’s novels, I can’t honestly say that I’d previously heard the term ‘singleton’.Continue reading “Single Women in the 1960s”

Modern Wife, Modern Life Exhibition One Year On

Just over one year ago, Modern Wife, Modern Life: an Exhibition of Women’s Magazines from 1960s Ireland opened at the National Print Museum in Dublin (1 July – 30 August 2015). Since then, it has gone on to visit dlr LexIcon in Dún Laoghaire, Wexford Town Library, and Westport Library in Mayo. Leaving Ireland this summer, theContinue reading “Modern Wife, Modern Life Exhibition One Year On”

The Dangers of Washing Machines

There’s a lot of waiting around during the blessings of the graves, especially in cemeteries like St Colmcille’s in Swords, North County Dublin. My mum’s family are buried in the older part of the cemetery, towards the back, and as the blessings start in the newer section, it always takes a while for the priestsContinue reading “The Dangers of Washing Machines”

Modern Wife, Modern Life Exhibition at the National Print Museum of Ireland

I am delighted to announce that the National Print Museum of Ireland has agreed to host my exhibition, Modern Wife, Modern Life. It will run between August and October 2015.

(When) Should Children be Told the Facts of Life?

In my latest research into everyday lives in the 1960s using women’s magazines as my main source, I have noticed repeated references to the facts of life and different debates about the extent to which children should receive sex education. During the week I stumbled across the 2006 main report from the Irish Study of SexualContinue reading “(When) Should Children be Told the Facts of Life?”

Advertising Domestic Violence?

Last week afforded me the opportunity to spend the week at the National Library of Ireland continuing my research on the everyday lives of Irishwomen. I was working my way through copies of Woman’s Way magazine from the mid-1960s when I discovered somewhat unsettling advertisements for Kincora Carpets. The advertisements recognised the fact that women wereContinue reading “Advertising Domestic Violence?”

First Person Narratives #northumbria2014

Next week I’m attending the annual Social History Society conference, which is being held at the University of Northumbria in Newcastle. It is my first opportunity to test out a new research project, which in part explores the representation of women in the media. I’ll be focussing on what letters to Woman’s Way magazine reveals about social changeContinue reading “First Person Narratives #northumbria2014”

From the Letters Page: The Values of Ordinary Irish Women

In her Cottage to Creche, Finola Kennedy refers to a survey carried out between 1984-85 that found very few housewives had identified with the Women’s Movement of the 1970s.  Because women’s issues feature quite prominently in parts of my new book, when I was writing A Just Society for Ireland? 1964-87, I wanted to gauge the reaction of ordinary, non-politicisedContinue reading “From the Letters Page: The Values of Ordinary Irish Women”