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Although housework is acknowledged by social historians to be one of women's responsibilities, Hill is one of the few historians to focus on the household as the most important unit of production in the eighteenth century. She examines the work done by women in the family economy, including housework, agriculture, and manufacturing. She also considers a whole range of women's activities that have been largely ignored by historians, including domestic service, apprenticeship, and many occupations that went unrecorded in censuses. Highlighting the implications of the increasing division of labour according to sex, Hill considers how the changing nature of women's work influenced courtship, marriage, and relations between the sexes. She pays particular attention to the situation of spinsters and widows.