I first read this book quite a few years ago (first published in 1995), and thought I would rediscover its delights. The book encompasses a social history of women in England from 450 to 1500. Part One covers the Anglo-Saxon period; archaeology, history and hagiography, law codes and venacular literature. Part Two discusses the eleventh century, and whether 1066 was a year which made much, or indeed any difference to women and their way of life. In Part Three the later Middle Ages are discussed. As more information is available for this period, more detailed chapters are included, covering: Sex, Marriage and Motherhood; Women at Work; Widows. And in Part Four, spirituality and religion are covered, along with culture - monasticism, anchoresses, lay piety, and finally literary interests and images. The author has portrayed many different women and used contemporary evidence to support her examples, which makes the book and its points extremely relevant and interesting. In reading of these women - young servants, married women, aristocratic ladies, widows, nuns and authors - we get a small glimpse into their worlds and come a bit nearer to understanding how their lives may have been lived. Extremely interesting, and a book which repays re-reading and study.