This study provides a survey and critique of the research material concerned with the sexual division of labour. The result is an account of how women's lives have changed over the last 250 years. Harriet Bradley draws on her own research, and addresses issues of gender, work and inequality. Her "case studies" are taken from a variety of occupations from agriculture to nursing, from shopwork to hosiery production. She constructs a systematic account of the development of gender-based job segregation in Britain from the Industrial Revolution to the present day. Comparative material is used throughout the book, and the author compares her cases studies with similar examples from the USA, Canada, Australia, Europe and the USSR.