The Making of Modern Woman by Lynn Abrams

The Making of Modern Woman by Lynn Abrams sounded like an interesting book, from the list recommended for my studies. While I was reading it, the book seemed good, with a few assumptions which I don’t necessarily think they added anything to the book, until the last chapters. See details after the picture.

The Making of Modern Woman aims to present the evolution and change of concepts about women in the long 19th century, from the French Revolution in 1790s to the First World War.

The Making of Modern Woman by Lynn Abrams

I was amazed to read, in the chapter on empire, that “it is hard to escape the conclusion that white women gained more for themselves than they achieved in the name of their Asian or African sisters” (page 259). These white women she was referring to, were fighting against widow burning, female genital mutilation, and child-brides, which were bought by their future husbands and sold by their families. In my view, no matter how good and liberated these middle-class white women felt, the ones who benefited the most were the Asian and African women who suffered terribly due to these appalling practices. This and similar remarks, although less annoying, are the reason for which I give the book 2.5 stars.

It is true that the book was helpful and I did learn from it. I wish she made a greater difference between middle-class and working-class women in some circumstances, but that’s me nit-picking and I wouldn’t have taken out stars due to this.

The Making of Modern Woman by Lynn Abrams

Details about the picture: –
My rating: 2.5/5 Stars
Would I recommend it: no
Published by: Routledge
Year it was published: 2014 (first published in 2002)
Format: Paperback (I’ve read it as a digital copy, available for students)
Genre(s): History
Pages: 381

About the author: Lynn Abrams is Professor of Gender History at the University of Glasgow.
Other books by her: Myth and materiality in a woman’s world: Shetland 1800-2000; Oral History Theory.
Website & Social Media Links: –



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