‘“Hope You will be able to Recognise us”: the Representation of Women and Gardens in Early Twentieth-Century British Domestic “Real Photo” Postcards’

Rebecca Preston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Women were widely represented through the medium of the real photographic postcard at the height of its popularity between 1902 and 1918. Through their images, writing and material culture, domestic photographic postcards taken by, for, and of women at home provide an underused resource for the study of women’s lives. This article focuses on postcard portraits of British middle-class women in their gardens, and argues that the garden was at once a practical space for domestic photography and a symbolic place formative to the construction of new social and political identities for women. Postcards are examined in relation to other representations of women, gardens and amateur photography between 1870 and 1918, in order to show how the arrival of the ‘real photo’ postcard also promoted women’s culture, communication and visibility in the early twentieth century.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)781-800
JournalWomen's History Review
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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