The other woman and her child

Extra-marital affairs and illegitimacy in twentieth-century Britain

Tanya Evans*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article investigates the numbers of 'other women' and their children up until the 1960s in Britain. It analyses 'irregular and illicit unions' in the records of the National Council for the Unmarried Mother and her Child (now One Parent Families/Gingerbread), and explores evidence on these unions in the debates over the passage of the Divorce Acts of 1923 and 1937 as well as the Legitimacy Acts of 1926 and 1959. It suggests that the prevalence of illicit unions throughout the twentieth century and before allows us to question contemporary concerns about our supposed 'divorcing society' and the decline of family life in modern Britain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-65
Number of pages19
JournalWomen's History Review
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011

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