Research Output

The Victorian Barmaid and the British Press: How She Was Defined and Represented in Late-Nineteenth-Century Media, and How She Utilized the Press to Fight for Better Pay and Working Conditions

  This article explores how British print media in the late-nineteenth century portrayed and represented the Victorian barmaid, utilizing newspapers, magazines, periodicals, and other printed materials as its primary sources. The barmaid was a product of the Industrial Revolution, but she polarized society. By the later years of the Victorian period, advocates of temperance and prohibition had begun to associate the barmaid with the UK’s growing drink and prostitution problems, and sought to ban her. But she also had her supporters, particularly among social reformers and other liberal thinkers, who were more concerned with her working conditions and pay. By exploring a range of documentary sources from the period, this study examines the role and social standing of the British fin de siècle barmaid. In so doing, it also seeks to show how print journalism developed through the nineteenth century in Britain and observes that much of the content presented at this time was often observational rather than what we would now term well-sourced, objective reporting. This research also reenforces the belief that newspapers provide highly detailed documentary records of the times in which they are produced.

  • Type:

    Article

  • Date:

    29 March 2019

  • Publication Status:

    Published

  • Publisher

    Informa UK Limited

  • DOI:

    10.1080/00947679.2019.1574180

  • Cross Ref:

    10.1080/00947679.2019.1574180

  • ISSN:

    0094-7679

  • Funders:

    Edinburgh Napier Funded

Citation

Boughey, A. (2019). The Victorian Barmaid and the British Press: How She Was Defined and Represented in Late-Nineteenth-Century Media, and How She Utilized the Press to Fight for Better Pay and Working Conditions. Journalism history, 45(1), 77-93. https://doi.org/10.1080/00947679.2019.1574180

Authors

Keywords

Barmaids, newspapers, Victorian, women’s rights

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