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The ‘awkward’ squad: British women foreign correspondents during the interwar years

Lonsdale, S. ORCID: 0000-0002-4058-7681 (2021). The ‘awkward’ squad: British women foreign correspondents during the interwar years. Women's History Review, 31(3), pp. 387-407. doi: 10.1080/09612025.2021.1925429


During the interwar years, gendered inequalities in newspaper newsrooms and social prejudice against ‘mobile’ women combined to force women who wanted to work as foreign correspondents to seek alternative routes to raising their voices on international affairs. Women’s reportage can be found in a range of platforms from the mainstream press to early journals of humanitarian communication and literary magazines. When women reported for major newspapers they were often precariously freelance and the gendered nature of their treatment by newspaper hierarchies emphasised their, and all women’s, outsider status when it came to international politics. The nature and subject matter of their international journalism, often rooted in the humanitarian tradition, concentrated on telling the lives of minor characters and ordinary people, and offers insights into individual human suffering at a time of great international anxiety. Their writing, often anonymous or in overlooked niche publications, represents a missing actor on public opinion at this critical time.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.
Publisher Keywords: foreign correspondents; appeasement; interwar; humanitarian communications; women; gender
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D501 World War I
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D731 World War II
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Departments: School of Communication & Creativity > Journalism
SWORD Depositor:
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Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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