chapter  3
Nature and culture
Introducing Victorian and Edwardian sports for women
Pages 21

Female emancipation has been characterized as 'one of the most striking aspects of the industrial phase of social development' (McGregor 1955:48), and nineteenth-century feminism has been described as an essentially middleclass phenomenon, mainly concerned from the mid-century onwards with remedying injustices in education and employment (Kanner 1973; Klein 1971). Although most nineteenth-century feminists disregarded sports in their efforts to improve the status of women, nevertheless, because sports are intimately connected with the physical body—the most conspicuous symbol of difference between the sexes—their development represented a new and important form of freedom.