Women and Gender in Post-Unification Italy

Mitchell and Sanson coverIn nineteenth-century Italy, a woman’s place was considered to be in the domestic sphere, devoted to family life. But during the Risorgimento and the years following Unification, economic, political and social changes enabled women progressively to engage in pursuits that had previously been the exclusive domain of men. This book traces some of the steps of this shift in cultural perception. Covering the period from the Unification of Italy in 1861 to the First World War, the volume brings together new perspectives on women, culture and gender in ten original interdisciplinary chapters that explore a variety of subjects, including motherhood and spinsterhood, women’s relationship with the Italian language, emigration and brigantaggio, patriotism and travel writing, acting and theatre management, film-making, and political ideas and female solidarity.

«[…] invaluable for scholars and students of Italian and European culture and for all interested in the history of women and gender.» (Prof. Lucia Re, University of California, Los Angeles)
«A very welcome first collective study in English on women, culture and gender in the Ottocento, offering innovative insights on the interconnected worlds of the private and public spheres.» (Prof. Gabriella Romani, Seton Hall University)
«A landmark volume dedicated to women and gender between 1860 and World War I […]. Received views of Italian womanhood will be hugely enriched by these fascinating new studies.» (Dr Mark Seymour, University of Otago)


Katharine Mitchell is Lecturer in Italian at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow.
Helena Sanson is Senior Lecturer in Italian at the University of Cambridge and Fellow of Clare College.


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