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Dorset Women


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Dorset Women documents the lives of 35 women who have lived and worked in the county.



Dorset Women documents the lives of 35 women who have lived and worked in the county. They speak in their own words about their lives as shepherdesses, scrap dealers, farmers’ wives, sheep shearers, market gardeners, pig farmers, cheese makers, orchard owners, ferret handlers, falconers, farriers, cidermakers, supply teachers, taxidermists, letter cutters, songwriters, musicians, hairdressers, midwives, priests, otter conservationists and undertakers. Many are deeply linked to the land and their stories mine a rich vein of anecdote and experience. This book includes Dorset-born rock musician Polly Harvey (PJ Harvey), her mother Eva, former Biba twin Rosie Young and publican Val Crabb.

Dorset Women is a companion volume to Dorset Man which documents manual labour and rural life. Both projects were instigated by James Crowden, a poet and historian who worked on the land for twenty years as a casual agricultural labourer. For both books, Crowden collaborated with West Dorset photographer George Wright, who photographed the women on medium format black and white film. Crowden made digital recordings of the women talking and these were transcribed by Wright’s daughter Ruby.

Dorset Women was funded by the Calouste Gulbenkian foundation and ‘Chalk and Cheese’, a UK LEADER + funding initiative supporting sustainable development in Dorset’s rural heartland.

Additional information

Weight 0.75 kg
Dimensions 21 × 23 × 2 cm


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