‘Precarious Professionals’: latest title published in the RHS’s New Historical Perspectives series

21 October 2021

The latest volume in the Society’s ‘New Historical Perspectives’ book series is now available. Precarious Professionals. Gender, Identities and Social Change in Modern Britain, edited by Dr Heidi Egginton and Dr Zoë Thomas, uncovers the inequalities and insecurities which lay at the heart of professional life in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Britain.



The book challenges conventional categories in the history of work, exploring instead the everyday labour of maintaining a professional identity on the margins of the traditional professions. Situating new historical perspectives on gender at the forefront of their research, the contributors explore how professional cultures could not only define themselves against, but often flourished outside of, the confines of patriarchal codes and structures.

From pioneering women lawyers and scientists to ballet dancers, secretaries, historians, humanitarian relief workers, social researchers, and Cold War diplomats, the collection reveals how precarity was a thread woven throughout the very fabric of modern professional life, with far-reaching implications for the study of power, privilege, and expertise.

You can read more about the collection, from Heidi and Zoë, on the RHS blog Historical Transactions.

Precarious Professionals is now available as a free Open Access download from the University of London Press, and chapter-by-chapter from JSTOR Open Access.

Print editions are also available to purchase, currently with a 30% discount: in the UK, EU & ROW using the code BALLET30 from here; and in North America via University of Chicago Press using code RHSNHP30 from here.


Coming soon in the series


The Politics of Women’s Suffrage. Local, National and International Perspectives

Edited by Alexandra Hughes-Johnson and Lyndsey Jenkins. Published: 1 November 2021