A History of Women in 101 Objects

£25.00

The way we remember the past today remains dishearteningly patriarchal: a place where women have always been oppressed by men, from ancient times to the present day. ‘A History of Women in 101 Objects’ tells a new story of female history, revealing the evolution of the role women have played in society through the quiet power of their everyday items.

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Description

A WATERSTONES BEST BOOK OF 2023: POLITICS

This is a neglected history.
Not a sweeping, definitive, exhaustive history of the world but something quieter, more intimate and particular. A single journey, picked out in 101 objects, through the fascinating, too-often-overlooked, manifold histories of women.

Open up this cabinet of curiosities and you’ll find objects that have been highly esteemed – even, like the Bayeux tapestry, fought over by nations – and others that are humble and domestic. Some (like a sixteenth century glass dildo) are objects of female pleasure, some (a thumbscrew) of female subjugation. There are artefacts of women celebrated by history and of women unfairly forgotten by it; examples of female rebellion and of self-revelation; objects that are inspiring, curious or (like radium-laced chocolate) just fundamentally ill-conceived.

Through the variety and nuance in all these 101 objects, Annabelle Hirsch has created a new history – teeming, unexpected, witty and always illuminating. This overdue corrective reveals what a healed femur says about civilisation, what men have to fear from hat pins, and it shows that the past has always been as complicated and fascinating as the women that peopled it.