Women in the Trade – Past and Present.
As one of a series of informal talks organised at the Battersea Book Fair in May, I was asked to talk about the growing number of Women in the Book Trade. Over the last few years, the Antiquarian book trade has benefitted significantly from the recruitment of a number of highly intelligent, articulate, and passionate young women, who have either joined some of our larger established firms, or else have set up under their own steam. The drive of this younger generation of trailblazers, who are more attuned to calling out inequality and imbalance, is certainly helping us to find our ‘collective voice’ and women in the trade are certainly being listened to more, though the trade has not been without many influential book women over the years, and in my talk I attempted to highlight some of the leading lights of our profession – both past and present. What struck me, as I put the talk together, was just how many women dealers are operating at the very top of their fields, and who are respected for their expertise, wealth of experience and knowledge, honesty and integrity. Apologies to all of those who I may not have mentioned.