Popular Writers: Women Historians, the Academic Community and National History Writing

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


The research for this paper formed part of the European Science Foundation project on Representations of the Past: The Writing of National Histories in Europe. Using data generated by the project, the article traces the emergence of professional academic women historians in twentieth-century European universities. It argues that the marginalisation of women historians in academia until the 1980s led women history graduates to develop research-based careers outside the university. In particular, the ambiguous attitude of academic historians towards popular history writing opened up a space for the woman author. The article analyses the careers and writings of five historians who pursued very successful careers as authors of popular history in England, France, Ireland and Scotland. They were among the first 'public' historians.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSetting the Standards Institutions, Networks and Communities of National Historiography Comparative Approaches
EditorsIlaria Porciani, Jo Tollebeek
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9780230500051
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012

Publication series

NameWriting the Nation
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan

Bibliographical note

Chapter Number: x
Writing the Nation series edited by Palgrave (6 vols). Vol 2: Ilaria Porciani and Jo Tollebeek (eds),


  • historiography; gender; education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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