From Boudicca to the Greenham Common Women this anthology of stories about women in history remind us of the women who down the years have fought to be considered as equal to men and as such this anthology will speak to today’s young girls who need to know their freedom was hard won. It is an interesting idea to do this through fiction, as each author, some of whom are better known than others, write a snapshot of their heroines showing how they fought their battles, some like Boudicca, literally.
Each story is followed by the reason the author chose that girl/woman and then by a true brief history. Among the less usual heroines are Julian of Norwich about whom this reviewer knew little and the brief glimpse of her life by Katherine Langrish left me wanting to read more – the true point of such a book. The poignant story of Emily Davison Wilding’s last hours are seen through a girl travelling on the train with her to Ascot; Aphra Behn, a playwright in the seventeenth century about whom I knew nothing, is seen through the eyes of her god-daughter in a story by Adele Geras. Each woman is chosen well and the stories move through time to the Greenham Common Women. There is a list at the back of other women whose stories the reader could investigate.
The cover is very non-descript which is a shame as this is a book that needs to be read, and is a wasted opportunity to sell it, as anthologies do not appeal to all readers. But if this is introduced and does not languish on the shelves of the school or teenage library many girls and maybe some boys would find heroines to admire.