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Gender and the Public Sphere

  • Reading

  • Dror Wahrman, 'Percy's Prologue: from Gender Play to Gender Panic in Eighteenth-Century England', Past and Present, 1998
  • Sarah Knott and Barbara Taylor (eds), Women, Gender and Enlightenment
  • Kathryn Gleadle, 'Revisiting Family Fortunes: Reflections on the twentieth anniversary', Women's History Review, 2007
  • Susie Steinbach, 'Can we still use separate spheres? British History twenty-five years after Family Fortunes', History Compass, 2013

(For primary sources see ECCO also Women Writers Online and the OxfordDNB)



  • Is 'separate spheres' a useful way of understanding the role of men and women in Hanoverian Britain?
  • Was there a 'gender panic' in eighteenth-century England?
  • Did women have an Enlightenment?
  • How far did notions of manhood and masculinity undergo change in this period?
  • Assess the contribution of a particular female writer/artist?

Reynolds, Lady Cockburn and her three Eldest Sons (Web Gallery of Art)