The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

The making of a 'domestic' life: memories of a working woman

McDermid, Jane (2008) The making of a 'domestic' life: memories of a working woman Labour History Review, 73, (3), pp. 253-268. (doi:10.1179/174581808X374798).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Louise Jermy's autobiography, Memories of a Working Woman (1934), has been described as 'a record of ill-luck, ill-health, poverty and disaster met with courage'. This article discusses Jermy's memoir both for the individual narrative and as a starting-point for consideration of the wider issues that surrounded the making of this 'domestic life'. While Jermy's life in domestic service was bound by home (her own and other people's), her story tempers our understanding of the limited choices open to working-class women. It provides insight into the regional disparities in female employment: Jermy's life journey took her from the Broadlands Estate in Hampshire to extended periods of urban life (in London and Birmingham), concluding in rural Norfolk. There, Jermy ended her working life as her maternal grandmother had done, laundress to the 'big house'. Yet whereas the grand mother spent her final years in the workhouse, Jermy died in her own home, leaving modest savings. A member of the largest women-only organization in interwar England, the Women's Institute, which encouraged her to tell her story, she identified with its view of domestic work as skilled work. Although she did not challenge her position in the social or gender hierarchy, she developed a strong sense of self-worth throughout her working life

PDF Memories_Working_Woman.pdf - Version of Record
Restricted to Repository staff only
Download (112kB)
Microsoft Word Memories_of_a_Working_Woman73476.doc - Accepted Manuscript
Download (127kB)

More information

Published date: December 2008

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 73476
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/73476
ISSN: 0961-5652
PURE UUID: c4acd9ee-1e81-4151-8625-26e6d2d22278

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 09 Mar 2010
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 23:49

Export record

Altmetrics

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×