Warrior Queens and Quiet Revolutionaries by Kate Mosse
Warrior Queens & Quiet Revolutionaries brings together Kate’s rich and detailed knowledge of unheard and under-heard women’s history, and of how and why women’s achievements have routinely been omitted from the history books. This beautiful illustrated book is both an alternative feminist history of the world and a personal memoir about the nature of women’s struggles to be heard, about how history is made and by whom.
Split into ten sections, each covering a different category of women’s achievements in history, Kate Mosse tells the stories of female inventors and scientists, philanthropists and conservationists, authors and campaigners. It is the most accessible narrative non-fiction with a genuinely diverse, truly global perspective featuring names such as Sophie Scholl, Mary Seacole, Cornelia Sorabji, Helen Suzman, Shirley Chisholm, and Violette Szabo. And in deeply personal passages Kate writes about the life of her great-grandmother, Lily Watson, where she turns detective to find out why she has all but disappeared from the record.
I discovered Kate Mosse this year so when I saw this book come out I bought it straight away. It took me a long time to read this book because I found that I preferred to dip into it when I was in the mood for some nonfiction.
I found this book absolutely fascinating but at the same time rather frustrating. Just as I discover this fantastic pioneering woman from history the book quickly moves on to another pioneering woman from history. There were certain women that I would have loved to have learned more about. It did mean that I started doing my own research into these interesting characters.
I will be honest I didn’t really find the sections on Lily, Mosse’s great-grandmother, very interesting and would have happily done without them. I can understand Mosse’s interest in her great-grandmother but it just felt a little bit like she was trying too hard to make her relative who published books and articles known to the general public again as Lily had fallen from everyone’s memory and her books are out of publication.
This book is an amazing resource to dip into and one that I will return to again and again. I learned so much from this book and found some amazing women from history who I plan to research further. History has always generally been written by men about men so it was refreshing to find a book written by a woman about women from history. I didn’t find this book an easy read because I found it jumped around rather a lot but I still loved it. I give this book 4 out of 5 Dragons.
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About the author
Kate Mosse is an international bestselling author with sales of more than five million copies in 42 languages. Her fiction includes the novels Labyrinth (2005), Sepulchre (2007), The Winter Ghosts (2009), and Citadel (2012), as well as an acclaimed collection of short stories, The Mistletoe Bride & Other Haunting Tales (2013). Kate’s new novel, The Taxidermist’s Daughter is out now.
Kate is the Co-Founder and Chair of the Board of the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction (previously the Orange Prize) and in June 2013, was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to literature. She lives in Sussex.