Description of the book
FROM THE MULTI-MILLION BESTSELLING HISTORICAL NOVELIST COMES THE CULMINATION OF HER LIFE’S WORK.Normal Women is a radical reframing of our nation’s story, told not with the rise and fall of kings and the occasional queen, but through social and cultural transition, showing the agency, persistence, and effectiveness of women in society – from 1066 to modern times.
Did women do nothing to shape England’s culture and traditions during nine centuries of political turmoil, plague, famine, prosperity, religious reform? Philippa Gregory answers this question by telling stories of the soldiers, guild widows, highwaywomen, pirates, miners and ship owners, international traders, theatre impresarios, social campaigners and ‘female husbands’ who did much to build the fabric of our society and in ways as diverse and varied as the women themselves.
This is not another book about heroines. Instead, it is a book about millions of women, not just three or four. The ‘normal women’ you meet in these pages rode in jousts, flew Spitfires, issued their own currency and built ships, corn mills and houses as part of their daily lives. They went to war, tilled the fields, campaigned, wrote and loved. They committed crimes, or treason, worshipped many types of gods, cooked and nursed, invented things and rioted. A lot.
A landmark work of scholarship and storytelling, this is a history not a call to action. It looks back at facts and the past lives of some 50% of the population without the judgmental eyes of the present. It cannot be a celebratory account about women’s ‘rise’ because women are not equal yet. But by highlighting the drive, ingenuity and vast contribution made, it puts women back where they belong in our history – centre stage.
What others think
Reviews of Normal Women – Audiobook
Absolutely brilliant! I can't praise this book enough.