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Spinsters, Widows and CharsThe Ageing Woman in British Film$
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Claire Mortimer

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781474452823

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2022

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474452823.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 06 July 2022

Immobile Women? Ageing Women and Wartime Cinema

Immobile Women? Ageing Women and Wartime Cinema

(p.24) Chapter 2 Immobile Women? Ageing Women and Wartime Cinema
Spinsters, Widows and Chars

Claire Mortimer

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter considers the role of the mature woman in British films of the Second World War. Familiar archetypes were reinforced for the sake of continuity yet the ageing woman was often accorded an agency and centrality in the narrative to appeal to home front audiences, on occasion being inspirational role models. Social class was a powerful determinant of the representation of female ageing, ranging from the upper middle-class ‘do-gooder’ to the cheerful Cockney matriarch. The case studies include Great Day (1945), The Demi-Paradise (1943), Went the Day Well? (1942), Two Thousand Women (1944), The Gentle Sex (1943), In Which We Serve (1942) and Gert and Daisy’s Weekend (1941).

Keywords:   Female ageing, Second World War, British film, Home front, Social class, Cockney, Matriarch, Ageing woman, Middle class, Representation

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