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From Jack the Ripper to Windrush: top recommendations for history students

Faculty: Arts, Humanities, Education and Social Sciences
School: School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Course: BA (Hons) History
Category: All about university

31 March 2020

Dr Lucy Bland

We asked our History lecturers to recommend a textbook, novel and film that students should try before joining the course ARU. Prof Lucy Bland's choices centre on accounts of race relations, women's suffrage, and sexuality.

History text

Judith Walkowitz, City of Dreadful Delight: narratives of sexual danger in later-Victorian London (1992): a brilliant cultural history that ranges from the role of the late-Victorian press, to spiritualism and Jack the Ripper. Each chapter is stand alone and together they are an excellent introduction to how to undertake cultural and social history in all its complexity.


Andrea Levy, Small Island (2004): while this is a fictional account of two couples, one black, one white, it also stands as a highly evocative account of the experiences of the Windrush generation in post second world war Britain. A powerful, compelling story that was also made into a television series.


Suffragette, directed by Sarah Gavron (2015): as the name obviously implies, this is about the suffragette movement in the early 20th century. It focuses on a working-class laundry worker and the numerous difficulties she faces in her workplace and at home in her commitment to women's suffrage.

By Prof Lucy Bland
Professor of Social and Cultural History

Lucy is a specialist in late 19th and 20th century British gender history, the history of race relations, and the history of sexuality.


The views expressed here are those of the individual and do not necessarily represent the views of Anglia Ruskin University. If you've got any concerns please contact us.