Ann Widdecombe explores how single women have been depicted in popular culture.
From Dickens' terrifying Miss Havisham and Muriel Spark's Miss Jean Brodie to Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City and Bridget Jones, why are single women so often represented as manipulative, bitter, or just desperate for a man?
Ann is content with her single status, and wants to know why it is hard to find examples of truly happy spinsters in books or on screen.
She explores the horror that David Lean's depiction of Miss Havisham evoked in many of the generation that came of age in the 1940s.
She goes back to her old school in Bath to meet her former teacher and to contemplate the reality of life for single women of that generation.
Ann finds out why the author of Not Married, Not Bothered, Carol Clewlow, believes that even today Jane Austen is capable of being a 'spinster heroine' and why many women seem to loathe the word 'spinster'.
She also asks whether Carrie Bradshaw and Bridget Jones have as much to offer us as Barbara Pym's 'excellent women' of the 1950s and 60s.
Finally, she discovers that the word 'spinster' might be loathed, but it is far from defunct, as some journalists are now referring to single men as 'male spinsters'.