[This document comes from Helena Wojtczak's English Social History: Women of Nineteenth-Century Hastings and St.Leonards. An Illustrated Historical Miscellany, which the author has graciously shared with readers of the Victorian Web. Click on the title to obtain the original site, which has additional information.]

Helena Wojtczak was born by the sea in Sussex, but spent her childhood, teens and twenties in London, where she worked on the railway. After moving to the Kent coast at the age of 29, she studied and gained a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology & Social Sciences. She became fascinated by oral and social history and Victorian social investigation. Postgraduate courses in those subjects led to the award of Honours in 1997.

Her special areas of interest and expertise include the British women's suffrage movement, nineteenth century feminism, railway labour history, and the Victorian working classes. In 1995-97 she compiled a unique audio-taped oral history of women war-workers, and was consultant historian to the National Railway Museum, helping to create a major exhibition on the history of railway workers. She is an expert contributor to The Oxford Companion to British Railway History (Oxford University Press 1997). In 1998 she wrote and staged an exhibition on the Hastings women's suffrage movement. Helena has appeared on television and radio, and has been featured in several newspapers in connection with her studies.

She has recently self-published Women of Victorian Sussex 1830-1870. ISBN 1904109055. Owing to having far too many interests, Helena has still not completed her magnum opus: The History of Women Workers on the Railways 1830-2000, to be published by Cassell, who have so far waited five years for it. Impatient connoiseurs of railway, labour and women's history may like to visit Helena's website comprising a unique collection of photographs of women war workers on British railways during both the First and Second World wars.

Helena's other interests include social psychology, paranormal research, 'alternative' culture and health, Green politics, philosophy, rat-keeping, classical music, languages, the Internet, photography, HTML programming, and criticising East Enders. She now lives in St Leonards on Sea in a house built in 1873.


Gender History

Last modified 13 June 2004