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 are some fifty per cent of the population are 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, worshiped 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.