A NEW STATESMEN BOOK OF THE YEAR 2023
‘A lasting work of social history’ THE TIMES
‘A genuinely new history of our nation’ DAN JONES
‘This celebration of women is a triumph of popular history’ SPECTATOR
FROM THE MULTI-MILLION BESTSELLING HISTORICAL NOVELIST COMES THE CULMINATION OF HER LIFE’S WORK
• Did you know that there are more penises than women in the Bayeux Tapestry?
• That the Peasant’s Revolt was started and propelled by women, protesting a tax on women?
• Or that celebrated naturalist Charles Darwin believed not just that women were naturally inferior to men but that they’d evolve to become ever more inferior?
These are just a few of the startling findings you will learn from reading Philippa Gregory’s Normal Women. In this ambitious and ground-breaking book, she tells the story of our nation over 900 years, but for the very first time women – some fifty per cent of the population – are no longer invisible in this history of England, but are at its beating heart.
Using research skills honed in her work as one of our foremost historical novelists, Gregory trawled through court records to find highway women, beggars and shepherdesses, through newspapers and diaries to find murderers and brides, housewives and pirates, female husbands and hermits. The ‘normal women’ you will meet in her pages went to war, ploughed the fields, campaigned, wrote, and loved. They rode in jousts, flew Spitfires, issued their own currency and built ships, corn mills and houses as part of their everyday lives They committed crimes, or treason, worshipped many gods, cooked and nursed, invented things and rioted. A lot. They built our society to be as diverse and varied as the women themselves. They are there in the archives – if you look – and they made our history.
Page Count: 688 Pages
Published: Nov 2023