‘Flapper’ did not suddenly vanish from the popular idiom. The equivocal, mysterious term and the host of images it conjured up subsided as they had once emerged, slowly and gradually. They can be found recurring in editorial pages, in novels and in recorded speech till the mid thirties. The furore in Rothermere’s dailies had a curious sequel in sporadic outbursts of rhetoric in the spring and summer of 1928.1 On 30 May 1928 Punch gleefully reported on ‘the conspicuous absence of a peer who had violently attacked what he was pleased to call the flapper vote’.2 Over a year later, John Blunt, MP, lamented the recruitment of yet another ‘ten thousand flapper voters’3 to the cohorts of female voters. In 1931 Elinor Glyn produced another of her records of the vagaries of cosmopolitan Bohemia, a collection of colloquial dialogues entitled The Flirt and the Flapper, describing an encounter between an eighteenth-century courtesan and a modern flapper. And as late as 1933 Osbert Sitwell referred to ‘an old opponent to — as it had been called — the flapper vote’.4


Recorded Speech Sexual Freedom Reading Public Popular Imagination Popular Interest 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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  1. 3.
    J. A. H. Murray, A New English Dictionary, Supplement (Clarendon Press, 1933) p.375.Google Scholar
  2. 5.
    See, for instance, Robert Graves and Alan Hodge, The Long Weekend: A Social History of Great Britain 1918–39 (Faber and Faber, 1940) pp.248, 298–9Google Scholar
  3. William M. Medlicott, Contemporary England 1914–64 (Longmans, 1967).Google Scholar
  4. 7.
    See, for instance, Bertrand Russell, The Autobiography, vol.11: 1914–44 (1968)Google Scholar
  5. Dora Russell, The Tamarisk Tree: My Quest for Liberty and Love (1975)Google Scholar
  6. On a somewhat different level, but conveying a similar sense of escapism through sex and sexuality, are Tallulah Bankhead, Tallulah: My Autobiography (1952)Google Scholar
  7. Barbara Cartland, The Isthmus Years (1941)Google Scholar
  8. and We Danced All Night (1972)Google Scholar
  9. Coward, Present IndicativeGoogle Scholar
  10. and Nerine Shutte, We Mixed Our Drinks: The Story of a Generation, an Autobiography (1945).Google Scholar
  11. 8.
    For instance, Kate Millett, Sexual Politics (Equinox Books, 1964) pp.62–3.Google Scholar
  12. 9.
    Peter N. Stearns, ‘Working-Class Women in Britain, 1890–1914’, in Martha Vicinus (ed.), Suffer and Be Still: Women in the Victorian Age (Methuen, 1980) pp. 100–21.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Billie Melman 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Billie Melman
    • 1
  1. 1.Tel-Aviv UniversityIsrael

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