The scandal of female miners in 19th-century Britain

Images of topless women and girls working down mines caused a furore when they appeared in the British press over 170 years ago. However, as Denise Bates explains, accusations of immorality did not reflect the true situation

A sketch of a young woman miner pulling a cart filled with coal. From the report of the Royal Commission, c1842. (Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

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