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The Women Who Ruled the East End: Remarkable Tales of Wartime London

Daytime Program

Monday, September 21, 2020 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET
Code: 1A0111
Tickets
$20 - Member
$25 - Non-Member

Two factory workers take a tea break in London’s East End, 1948 (Photo:Daisy Woodard)

STREAMING PROGRAM INFORMATION

  • This program is part of our Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.
  • Platform: Zoom
  • Online registration is required.
  • For multiple registrations, you will be asked to supply individual names and email addresses.

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The BBC’s period drama “Call the Midwife” made an eccentric, lovable community of nuns and nurses famous the world over. But what of the formidable East End mothers whose babies they delivered? Join author Kate Thompson and historian Alan Capps as they delve deep into the social history of some truly remarkable women.

During the 20th century, London’s history-rich East End, in common with all working-class communities, was a fiercely matriarchal society. Women in aprons and button-up boots were the beating heart of the tenement neighborhoods. It was the matriarchs—or so-called “aunties”—who ruled the sooty cobblestone streets, kept the children fed, birthed the babies when there was no midwife to call, and laid out the dead.

Thompson and Capps reveal these how these often-overlooked working-class mothers informally but powerfully led their communities and the ways in which they contributed the to the diverse economic, political, and cultural shaping of the East End. And as Britain marks the 80th anniversary of the beginning of the Blitz, they celebrate the astonishing ingenuity, resilience, and strength of the East End women who faced the horrors of war in their own neighborhood streets.

They also discuss the importance of documenting social histories, particularly those focusing on the working-class, and how they brought the stories of these unrecognized women into the spotlight.

Thompson’s book, The Stepney Doorstep Society (Penguin), is available for sale.

BOOK SALE INFORMATION

  • Purchase your copy of The Stepney Doorstep Society by Kate Thompson here.
  • SPECIAL NOTE: Politics and Prose is offering a 10% discount to Smithsonian Associates ticket-holders. To claim your discount, enter the code SPECIAL10 in the “Coupon discount” section of Politics and Prose's check-out page. Due to current inventory realities, this book may require several weeks to fulfill and ship to patrons.

UPDATED PATRON INFORMATION

  • Once registered, patrons should receive an automatic email confirmation from CustomerService@SmithsonianAssociates.org.
  • Separate Zoom link information will be emailed closer to the date of the program. If you do not receive your Zoom link information 24 hours prior to the start of the program, please email Customer Service for assistance.
  • View Common FAQs about our Streaming Programs on Zoom.

Location
This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.