Anglicising a Feminist Classic: the UK Edition of Our Bodies, Ourselves (1978)

Katelyn Smith


This article places the UK edition of the American women’s health manual Our Bodies, Ourselves in a longer tradition of health consumer activism in Britain, coming after the women’s liberation movement of the late 1960s. It shows how the UK Our Bodies, Ourselves, one of the first feminist women’s health books published in Britain, brought together concerns of consumer and feminist activists that undercut the entrenched authority of the British healthcare system, the National Health Service (NHS). While the UK edition authors modelled the book with the aims of the American original in mind, the text reflected the unique form of health activism in the UK. The connection between feminist publishing and health activism is a notable exception to recent recorded histories, but this research shows the tangible influence of a feminist text from a mainstream publisher on women’s health activism in the UK.

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