My aim was to paint a global and broad-brush picture of what history could look like if women’s achievements had been documented as thoroughly as men’s accomplishments.Author’s note, x
In a nutshell
Warrior Queens & Quiet Revolutionaries is a detective story and celebration of unheard and under-heard women’s history. It introduces the reader to nearly 1000 women who have in their own way made history and paved the way for the women of today. It is, Kate Mosse says, a dictionary of names. Each chapter is divided by category – warriors, writers, inventors, educators, law makers, artists and more. In each chapter, mainly chronological, she highlights a handful of trailblazers, some who are known and others who deserve to be better known. In tandem to these stories is the story of Lily, Mosse’s great-grandmother. A story she has pieced together with old family documents and some good old fashioned detective work.
Book Club Notes
This book is an incredible and valuable piece of history. The idea was born from a social media campaign started during lockdown when Mosse was publishing The City of Tears. She put a call out to her readers asking them a simple question – what is the one woman from history you would like to celebrate, or you think should be better known? That global #WomanInHistory campaign yielded thousands of names and became the starting point for Warrior Queens & Quiet Revolutionaries.
While Mosse says you don’t have to read the book in order, I don’t know how not to. So, I read it slowly, from start to finish, meeting so many women I never knew existed and learning more about those whose names were familiar.
It wasn’t just the women I learned about it, it was their lives and the world they inhabited. Did you know that in the nineteenth century while women were finally permitted to attend institutions of higher educations, they weren’t allowed to earn degrees? That only came in the 1920’s – just 100 years ago. Or that so many writers either went by a male pseudonym or were published under their husbands’ names or that countless of female inventors were never credited with their findings until now.
This book gives you a glimpse of what history could look like if more women’s stories were included and not just a handful of women. Mosse did an incredible job of including women from almost every religion, continent, race and period of time. It is next to impossible to read the book and not learn about a woman you can identify with, be it the country she was born in, her religion, race or simply her work. It’s a book that is timeless and belongs on any history lover’s shelf.
You like history and are interested in women’s history. Or if you enjoy historical fiction and Kate Mosse’s books – this gives you insight into her as a writer and why historical fiction has been her go to genre.
Writing – 10/10
Applicability – 5/10
Timelessness – 10/10
Shareability – 10/10
The Nitty Gritty
A note on our book ratings
Readability: How easy is it to read and understand what the author is saying? Do you need a dictionary or PhD to understand it?
Writing: How well written is the book? Do you find yourself wowed by the writing or unimpressed?
Applicability: How applicable is this book to daily life? Is there enough advice and actions that are easy to start applying?
Timelessness: Is the content of the book timeless or is it something that in a few years won’t have relevance?
Shareability: How likely are you to share the book?