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Women, Social Leadership, and the Second World WarContinuities of Class$
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James Hinton

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199243297

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199243297.001.0001

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Lady Reading and Women's Voluntary Services

Lady Reading and Women's Voluntary Services

(p.19) 2 Lady Reading and Women's Voluntary Services
Women, Social Leadership, and the Second World War

James Hinton (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

To a degree unusual among social institutions, WVS was the creation of a single individual — Lady Reading. For this reason, this chapter explores her belief in the importance of ‘character’, the highly-charged, mystical language with which she inspired her followers, and her autocratic and hierarchical style of leadership. It also deals with her dismissive attitude to the claims of domesticity on women's time — ‘put nation before husband!’ — and contemporary discussion of the relationship between the supply of domestic servants and volunteering by middle-class women.

Keywords:   Women's Voluntary Service, Lady Reading, character, domestic service, voluntary work

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