This is a study of the working women of Belgium from the country's independence in 1830 until the First World War. Patricia Penn Hilden argues that the success of Belgium's industrial revolution - second only to Britain's in the nineteenth century - was uniquely dependent on female labour. In contrast to women in other European nations, Belgian women earned their wages in virtually every industrial setting: in mines and mills, in factories, on the docks, and in the dozens of semi-artisanal trades that underpinned industrial development. Women's widespread and significantparticipation in the labour market - unrestricted by the labour legislation that elsewhere controlled female waged work - found expression in the emergent politics of Belgium's working class. Women not only participated in male-led politics, but also created and led their own `women's movements',first during the `anarchist' period of the First International, then during the organization of socialist politics after 1880. Dr Hilden's extensively researched analysis indicates the extent to which the economic and political activities of Belgium's ouvrieres and arbeidsters mirrored their small country's many deviations from historical patterns prevalent elsewhere. This important scholarly study has many valuablecontributions to make to our understanding of the relations between socialism and feminism, labour history, and the history of Belgium.