Giving voice to the influential women of the Middle Ages who have been silenced by male gatekeepers, Ramirez's sweeping account not only highlights unjustly forgotten pioneers but also demonstrates how easily historical narratives can be manipulated.
Extraordinary women have held positions of power throughout history. But, aside from the select few, why do we not hear about them?
The middle ages are seen as a bloodthirsty time of Vikings, Saints and Kings: a patriarchal society that oppressed and excluded women. But by digging a little deeper into the truth, drawing on evidence from all disciplines, we can see that the 'dark' ages were anything but. BBC historian Janina Ramirez has uncovered countless influential women's names struck out of historical records, with the word 'Femina' annotated beside them. Male gatekeepers of the past ordered books to be burnt, artworks to be destroyed, and new versions of myths, legends and historical documents to be produced, which has manipulated our view of history.
By weaving a vivid and evocative picture of the lives of the women who influenced their society, we discover not just why these remarkable individuals were removed from our collective memories, but also how many other misconceptions underpin our historical narratives, altering the course of history, upholding the oppressive masculine structures of their present, and affecting our contemporary view of the past.
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