Mr B's review
Mr B’s Christmas Catalogue Review 2018
An array of extraordinary women are brought to life in Max Adams’ exploration of women speaking up for themselves between the fall of Rome and the Enlightenment. With a feminist undertone, Adams has made it his mission to re-address the gender imbalance in historical narrative. ‘Unquiet Women’ showcases individuals who impacted history in unexpected ways, from Anglo-Saxon noblewoman Wynflaed who owned male slaves, to Mary Astell a philosopher who challenged philosophical thought.
Unquiet Women is an exquisitely crafted patchwork of the forgotten lives of some of the most remarkable women in history.
Wynflaed was an Anglo-Saxon noblewoman who owned male slaves and badger-skin gowns; Egeria a Gaulish nun who toured the Holy Land as the Roman Empire was collapsing; Gudrid an Icelandic explorer and the first woman to give birth to a European child on American soil; Mary Astell a philosopher who out-thought John Locke.
In this exploration of the lives of women living between the last days of Rome and the Enlightenment, Max Adams triumphantly overturns the idea that women of this period were either queens, nuns or invisible. A kaleidoscopic study of women’s creativity, intellect and influence, Unquiet Women brings to life the experiences of women whose stories are all too rarely told. Thanks to its author’s rigorous work of rescue and recovery, their voices can be heard across the centuries – still passionate and still strong.
PRAISE FOR MAX ADAMS:
‘A triumph’ Tom Holland, on The King in the North.
‘Engaging and scholarly’ TLS, on In the Land of Giants.