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Behind the Wireless

A History of Early Women at the BBC

Authors: Murphy, Kate

Buy this book

eBook 19,99 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-49173-2
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Softcover 25,99 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-49172-5
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
  • The final prices may differ from the prices shown due to specifics of VAT rules
About this book

Behind the Wireless tells the story of women at the BBC in the 1920s and 30s. Broadcasting was brand new in Britain and the BBC developed without many of the overt discriminatory practices commonplace at the time. Women were employed at all levels, except the very top, for instance as secretaries, documentary makers, advertising representatives, and librarians. Three women held Director level posts, Hilda Matheson (Director of Talks), Mary Somerville (Director of School Broadcasting), and Isa Benzie (Foreign Director). Women also produced the programmes aimed at female listeners and brought women broadcasters to the microphone. There was an ethos of equality and the chance to rise through the ranks from accounts clerk to accompanist. But lurking behind the façade of modernity were hidden inequalities in recruitment, pay, and promotion and in 1932 a marriage bar was introduced. Kate Murphy examines how and why the interwar BBC created new opportunities for women. 

About the authors

Kate Murphy is Senior Lecturer at Bournemouth University, UK, where she leads the BA (Hons) History programme. Prior to this, she worked at the BBC for twenty-four years, predominantly as a Senior Producer on Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour. She is the author of Firsts: British Women Achievers.

Reviews

“The book will complement the scholarship about the BBC but also add to the current exploration of the participation of women in the workforce in the interwar period. I expect that the book will be of great interest for scholars of media, gender, modern Britain and labor relations. It is a wonderful example of how to bring all these concerns into conversation.” (Tal Zalmanovich, New Books network, newbooksnetwork.com, March, 2017)

“I would recommend the bibliography to students as an up-to-date survey of the history of women’s work in the early twentieth century. … the book is an informative and entertaining read and will doubtless become the go-to resource on women at the interwar BBC.” (Laura Beers, Oxford University Press Journals, December, 2016)

“I was riveted by Kate Murphy’s Behind the Wireless … a brilliantly researched study of the young women who worked at the fledgling BBC in the Twenties and Thirties.” (Juliet Nicolson, Evening Standard, standard.co.uk, November, 2016)

“A meticulously researched exploration of the numerous women who worked at the BBC in its early years, the 1920s and 1930s. … Behind the Wireless portrays well how in recruitment, mobility and pay, unspoken gender inequalities were clearly identifiable in the early BBC, even if some individual women were successful. … This book is, therefore, to be recommended not merely for the history it explores but also for the questions and issues it raises which remain very pertinent today.” (Maggie Andrews, Women's History Review, Vol. 26 (3), November, 2016)


Table of contents (9 chapters)

  • Introduction

    Murphy, Kate

    Pages 1-13

    Preview Buy Chapter 30,19 €
  • ‘Growing Like a Young Giant’: The BBC as a Place to Work

    Murphy, Kate

    Pages 15-46

    Preview Buy Chapter 30,19 €
  • ‘Women Who Oil the Wheels’: Waged Women at the BBC

    Murphy, Kate

    Pages 47-81

    Preview Buy Chapter 30,19 €
  • ‘Only an Exceptional Woman’: Married Women at the BBC

    Murphy, Kate

    Pages 83-114

    Preview Buy Chapter 30,19 €
  • ‘New and Important Careers’: Salaried Women at the BBC

    Murphy, Kate

    Pages 115-151

    Preview Buy Chapter 30,19 €

Buy this book

eBook 19,99 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-49173-2
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Softcover 25,99 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-49172-5
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
  • The final prices may differ from the prices shown due to specifics of VAT rules
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Behind the Wireless
Book Subtitle
A History of Early Women at the BBC
Authors
Copyright
2016
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan UK
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-1-137-49173-2
DOI
10.1057/978-1-137-49173-2
Softcover ISBN
978-1-137-49172-5
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIII, 295
Topics