Fatherhood in Britain, c.1914-60


This project emerged from my thesis, and explored the roles, relationships, authority and identity associated with fatherhood in twentieth-century Britain. The research demonstrated that fathers were much more involved in family life in the past than we usually recognised; whilst men were unlikely to change nappies or spend as much time doing childcare or with their children as mothers, fathers' relationships with both sons and daughters were understood as significant. Men likewise invested in this experience, and it could often be an important part of their identity. The mid-twentieth century saw a new emotional emphasis on the importance of involved fatherhood. The principal output from this project is a book entitled Family Men: Fatherhood and Masculinity in Britain, c.1914-60, published in 2015 with Oxford University Press. The book has been reviewed by Dr Helen McCarthy on Reviews in History.