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Dr Jennifer Aston

Senior Lecturer

Department: Humanities

Dr Jennifer Aston is Senior Lecturer in History and Director of the Institute of Humanities. She is also an Associate Member of the Centre for Workforce Futures at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia. 

Jennifer joined Northumbria University in 2017, having previously held the EHS Eileen Power Research Fellowship at the Institute of Historical Research and research positions at the universities of Oxford and Hull. Her research interests include gender and small business ownership, bankruptcy, and the law. She is the author of Female Entrepreneurship in Nineteenth-Century England: Engagement in the Urban Economy (2016), co-editor of Women and the Land 1500-1900 (2019) and has several articles on female property ownership. Together with Dr Catherine Bishop (Macquarie University, Sydney), Aston has co-edited Female Entrepreneurs in the Long Nineteenth Century: A Global Perspective (2020) and is a co-founder of ReWOMEN (Researching Women of Management and Enterprise Network). This global network connects scholars across business schools and humanities departments with stakeholders and policy makers in Africa, Asia, Oceania, North and South America and Europe to share key findings across four centuries of women’s management and enterprise activities. Jennifer has recently begun a new research project using previously unexamined petitions heard before the Court for Divorce and Matrimonial Causes to explore divorce in England and Wales, c.1857-1923.

In 2020/21, Jennifer will be convening modules including the Foundation Year ‘Humanities Skills Portfolio’, ‘On Her Own Account: Being an Independent Woman in Britain, 1800-1920’ (second year BA) and ‘The British Women’s Suffrage Movement in History and Memory’ (final year BA). She welcomes enquiries about postgraduate study in economic, social, gender and legal history in nineteenth century Britain and the wider world.

Jennifer Aston

Campus Address

Northumbria University
City Campus
Newcastle upon Tyne

Key Publications

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • A Very British Scandal: divorce courts have been shaming women since the 1800s, Aston, J. 18 Jan 2022
  • A History of Divorce Law: Reform in England from the Victorian to Interwar Years, edited by Henry Kha, Aston, J. 18 Sep 2021, In: International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family
  • Bringing Businesswomen to a Count: A Transnational Methodological Experiment Researching Nineteenth-Century Businesswomen, Bishop, C., Aston, J., van Lieshout, C. 3 Apr 2021, In: Australian Historical Studies
  • Conclusion: Expanding the Horizon, Aston, J., Bishop, C. 2020, Female Entrepreneurs in the Long Nineteenth Century
  • Discovering a Global Perspective, Aston, J., Bishop, C. 2020, Female Entrepreneurs in the Long Nineteenth Century , Palgrave Macmillan
  • Female Entrepreneurs in the Long Nineteenth Century: A Global Perspective, Aston, J., Bishop, C. 2020
  • Introduction:: Women, Property and Land, Mcdonagh, B., Capern, A., Aston, J., Worthen, H. 15 Nov 2019, Women and the Land, 1500-1900, Boydell & Brewer
  • More than bricks and mortar: Female property ownership as economic strategy in mid-nineteenth-century urban England, Aston, J., Capern, A., McDonagh, B. Nov 2019, In: Urban History
  • More than Just a Caretaker: Women's Role in the Intergenerational Transfer of Real and Personal Property in Nineteenth-century Urban England, 1840–1900, Aston, J. 15 Nov 2019, Women and the Land, 1500–1900, Boydell & Brewer
  • Risk, success, and failure: female entrepreneurship in late Victorian and Edwardian England, Aston, J., Di Martino, P. 1 Aug 2017, In: Economic History Review


  • History PhD October 12 2012
  • Fellow of Higher Education Academy 2019

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