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  • Femina

  • A New History of the Middle Ages, Through the Women Written Out of It
  • By: Janina Ramirez
  • Narrated by: Janina Ramirez
  • Length: 11 hrs and 55 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (82 ratings)

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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

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gatekeepers of the past ordered books to be burnt, artworks to be destroyed, and new versions of myths, legends and historical documents to be produced, which has manipulated our view of history.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.

©2022 Janina Ramirez (P)2022 Penguin Audio
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

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What listeners say about Femina

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  • Overall
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A brilliant alternative look at medieval history

I absolutely loved this book. The women discussed are brought to life so vividly by Ramirez's excellent writing.

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Very interesting

I really enjoyed listening to this very informative book. Janina is as good here as she is on TV and her insights are well worth considering. A great piece of work, well written and read. I recommend it.

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Superb

I love this book. I have read many books about this period, mostly populated by men and their voices, but here we hear about the women and their lives. Admittedly they are the lives and voices of the more well-to-do women, but the same is true of the medieval men the contemporary sources inform us about.

The book is narrated by the author, which in most cases, as with this one, is always a treat. My next read will be The Book of Margery Kempe - cheers for the heads-up Janina!

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Brilliant

Finished this morning. Excellent read. Medieval history through the eyes of eight women. Some noble, some not. Secular and religious. Queen's and even a King in Poland's St Jadwiga (1373-1399, Canonised in 1999 by JP2)

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FEMINA

I have been re-listening to the audio version of @DrJaninaRamirez's latest book, #FEMINA, since midmorning.

Yes, it is that good!

You don't have to be an historian to access & enjoy this original & highly informative book. This is a book for everyone; it is our history.

Narrated by Nina herself, her knowledge is shared with such passion it is a joy! 💖

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Powerful women and book

The best book I have ever read on the power of the female. Janina brings each woman alive and very real. The relevant detail of the times each one of these women lived in opened up how amazing each one really was. As a member of the university of the fifth age, passed the third age decades ago, I have time to learn about social history at my own pace and this book is a joy to listen to more than once. It does however put present day feminism well into the shade.
Definitely recommended to all but especially to those contemplating fighting for the rights of women. Their strategies and actions may gain more depth and success.
Thank you Janina Ramirez for narrating this precious book so well.

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Medieval marvels from a medievalist Marple

Janina Ramirez managed to enthuse this book with absolute wonder. I'm a big reader/listener of history books, and this one has such a strong and consistent viewpoint, narrative and overarching feminist argument that is going on my (virtual) favorites pile!

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fascinating stuff

very interesting and well researched. I learnt new 'female' facts which until now were silent. well worth a listen

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All manner of things shall be good. And Bad. In parts.

The anticipation built by the five month delay between this title being listed for pre-order and actually becoming available to purchase via Audible was more than it could live up to.

The narration is spoiled by occasional misreadings, mispronunciations - a British art historian saying Van Gogh the American way? I ask you! - and grammatical errors such as hung instead of hanged. These should have been spotted and corrected prior to release.

The chapters are long with numerous sub-sections. It might have been better if the content had been divided into smaller chunks - if only to assist history students and general listeners wishing to refer to specific passages without needing to scroll through over sixty minutes of audio at a time.

I like the author but feel that is presentation could have been a little more polished.