Julia Heath Weblog: Home and Family

This week I have began compiling information on my author for the Home and Family post. As Margaret spent her childhood moving backwards and forth between social classes, I think it will be interesting to discuss the differences between her home life in Paisley with her wealthy middle-class parents in contrast to the hardships she endured whilst living with her working-class father and alcoholic step-mother in Glasgow. With regards to Carolyn Steedman’s argument in Reworking Class that class “is a learned position, learned in childhood” (p.124) I think it will also be interesting to explore the difficulties that Margaret experienced transitioning to the different classes of her contrasting home lives during her childhood. For example, her struggle to fit in with the other children at school, and her difficulty to quit her bad habits (such as swearing.)

I think it will also be beneficial to a discussion of Margaret’s home and family life to talk about her memories of her time spent in a Children’s Home. For me, I found her recollections of her time in care as hard-rending, not because she was mistreated in any way but because she enjoyed her time there: she enjoyed the stability that it offered and the separation it gave her from her “hated” stepmother.

I also want to explore Margaret’s endeavours to better herself and her circumstances in relation to her desire to provide her children with a happy home life. I think her ambition has a lot to do with her own upbringing. In the post I will explore the ideas of working-class values and the idea of “respectability.” With the absence of her husband, Margaret works hard in order to provide for her family and give them a stable childhood free from hardships – a childhood that differs from her own.


After receiving feedback from Piers about my Home and Family post, I made some changes and then felt confident enough to publish it on the Writing Lives website. Following the advice of Helen, I also tweeted a link of my work to historian Alison Twells, who has a particular interest in the relationships between husbands and wives during the World War One. I was so pleased when she both favourited and retweeted my work, as it meant that there was a possibility my blog post would be read by some of her followers too.

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