Laura Schwartz's excellent history of domestic workers and the women's suffrage movement explores the shared political struggles and deep divides between domestic workers, working-class housewives, and middle- and upper-class mistresses who were involved in British first-wave feminist movements. She puts encounters between domestic worker activists and their feminist employers under a microscope and in wider context, detailing the working conditions of servants in suffrage households and the troubled alliances between organized domestic workers and middle-class first-wave feminists. While clearly documenting the extensive collaboration across classes within women's suffrage organizations and some of the long-lasting and respectful (if never equal) personal relationships that developed between domestic workers and their employers as a result of their shared political interests, the book keeps in focus the contradictions and conflicts of these shared struggles and reveals the enduring gulf between the interests of employers, even politically active ones, and domestic workers.

To trace the...

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