Marguerite Wilson and other ‘hard-riding … feminine space eaters’: cycling and modern femininity in interwar Britain
This article charts the growth of the sport of women’s cycling in Britain during the inter-war years. It does so with reference to contemporary media sources and specifically the popular periodical Cycling. It examines this development in the context of how emerging ideals about the new modern women jostled with traditional notions of femininity in interwar Britain. Women’s cycling both challenged and complemented ideas of femininity, although how much and how many women engaged in these debates is unclear. While there is a growing historiography on cycling in the Victorian period, the interwar period has been largely under-researched by historians. This article will begin to fill this gap. In addition to the development of sporting bodies and clubs, it highlights the career of Marguerite Wilson. Wilson was the first full-time female professional cyclist who rode for bicycle companies to advertise their products through her pursuit of records such as Land’s End to John O’Groats. Wilson herself embodied the rise of a competitive female body who through her record-breaking exploits contributed towards a narrowing of gender differences.
The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.
Citation : Carter, N. (2020) Marguerite Wilson and other "hard-riding … feminine space eaters": cycling and modern femininity in interwar Britain. Sport in History, 40, (4)
ISSN : 1746-0271
Research Institute : Institute of History
Peer Reviewed : Yes
- School of Humanities