Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Book Review | Heroines of the Medieval World

Rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Another essential read from the author on one of the most extraordinary periods in history, showcasing  a wide variety of women who were just as extraodinary. Connolly introduces many women both famous and obscure and shares their stories. Despite the fact that it was supposedly men who ruled the world, these women prove time and again that they were not merely subservient to the men in their lives. The choices these women make not only alter their own paths, but the wider world around them, some even changing so far as to change the course of history.

Connolly has organized the women by theme and I really liked this approach. I like that this lead to some overlap sometimes, because it shows how so many were connected. Themes include Heroines in Religion, the Medieval Mistress, Scandalous Heroines, Women Who Ruled, Captove Heroines, and the Survivors. There are others as well that I will leave you discover, just as I will let you discover these heroines and who Connolly chose to include. There were many women I was unfamiliar with, or only knew of in passing where they fit into someone else's larger story. As a result there are many more women I will seek out further books about.

Connolly is incredibly knowledgeable of the women and their world. This is a well-researched text with notes and references to back up her work. Despite not being organized by woman, there is still so much depth here that we get to know the women very well. She brings the women to life and does so in an informative but still accessible way.

I enjoyed this one quite a bit. It's a fantastic read and I hope that Connolly at some point produces a second volume because there are so many more women who also deserve their moment in the spotlight.

Highly recommended.


  1. This sounds quite fascinating. There were so many women who wielded great power in that period. Eleanor of Aquitaine is a particular favorite of mine.

    1. I think you would like it, there are so many women similar to Eleanor, or women who wielded their power in different ways but were still mighty. Connolly is great historian.

  2. Aw shucks! Thank you Sarah, for such a wonderful review - you've made my day. I am so glad you enjoyed Heroines! Best wishes, Sharon x


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