Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 40 (4):878-904 (2020)

While we may be witnessing a highpoint of interest in the lives of early women lawyers, and women’s legal history generally, feminist legal history remains largely undeveloped in the UK. Drawing on examples of women’s representation in and engagement with law and law reform in the UK and Ireland, this article delineates the method, scope and purpose of feminist legal history. It begins by exploring the place of women in traditional accounts of legal history, before going on to consider the methodological and substantive goals of feminist legal history. We argue that feminist legal history is a political project, requiring its authors to commit not only to uncovering untold stories, but also to challenging and revising dominant historical narratives. We conclude with a call for scholars to take up the insights and methods of feminist legal history as a means of acknowledging and celebrating the agency of those involved in past and ongoing struggles for justice and equality.
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DOI 10.1093/ojls/gqaa023
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