Female Enterprise Behind the Discursive Veil in Nineteenth-Century Northern France

  • Béatrice Craig

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Béatrice Craig
    Pages 87-113
  3. Béatrice Craig
    Pages 115-132
  4. Béatrice Craig
    Pages 133-158
  5. Béatrice Craig
    Pages 159-182
  6. Béatrice Craig
    Pages 183-206
  7. Béatrice Craig
    Pages 207-238
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 239-303

About this book


This volume explores the role of women in business in nineteenth-century Northern French textile centers. Lille and the surrounding towns were then dominated by big and small family businesses, and many were run by women. Those women did not withdraw into the parlour as the century progressed and the ‘separate ideology’ spread. Neither did they become mere figure heads - most were business persons in their own rights. Yet, they have left almost no traces in the collective memory, and historians assume they ceased to exist. This book therefore seeks to answer three interrelated questions: How common were those women, and what kind of business did they run? What factors facilitated or impeded their activities? And finally, why have they been forgotten, and why has their representations in regional and academic history been so at odd with reality? Indirectly, this study also sheds light on the process of industrialization in this region, and on industrialists’ strategies.


Business women Textile industry Entrepreneurialism Shopkeeping Lille-Roubaix-Tourcoing

Authors and affiliations

  • Béatrice Craig
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of History University of OttawaOttawaCanada

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2017
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, London
  • eBook Packages History History (R0)
  • Print ISBN 978-1-137-57412-1
  • Online ISBN 978-1-137-57413-8
  • Buy this book on publisher's site