A groundbreaking reappraisal of medieval femininity, revealing why women have been written out of history, and why it matters, by BBC historian Janina Ramirez.
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gatekeepers of the past ordered books to be burnt, artworks to be destroyed, and new versions of myths, legends and historical documents to be produced, which has manipulated our view of history.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.
Dr Janina Ramirez is an Oxford lecturer, BBC broadcaster, researcher and author. Janina is the course director for the Undergraduate Certificate and Diploma in History of Art at the University of Oxford. She presents her ideas widely at conferences, public speaking and outreach events, and publishes her research in journals and magazines. She has presented and written over six BBC history documentaries and series, is a regular guest on the new BBC Four series ‘Quizeum’ and is currently working on a number of projects including a three-part series for Radio 4. She lives in Oxfordshire with her young family.
Informations pratiques :
Janina Ramirez, Femina. A New History of the Middle Ages, Londres, Penguin Books, 2022. 384 p. ISBN: 9780753559574. Prix : USD 35.
Source : Penguin Books