As someone who has always loved textile crafts, and been interested in ancient history, folk tales and the development of language, I was enthralled by this book. The author is an archaeologist with a lifelong practical knowledge of weaving, and her search for the origins of this craft, and the ways in which it has impacted on women's lives at different times, is riveting. It is astonishing to read of the sheer volume of weaving undertaken by women in the past and to realise that the industry sometimes operated on a vast scale, with large numbers of women captured in wars being put to work as weavers and spinners. The text is enlivened not only by the author's drawings but by numerous snippets of information about women's lives in Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece and many other places. From queens to slaves, all women worked at warping, weaving and spinning. The author shows how important their work was to the societies in which they lived. There are stories here of Helen of Troy, of queens who wove sumptuous robes for their lords to give as gifts to other kings; of Mesopotamian traders' wives who engaged in business on their own; of Egyptian women weaving linen so fine it was see-through; of captive slaves introducing their own weaving traditions to alien lands. And the story begins in the Stone Age with a little string skirt, which gradually evolved into the girdle of Aphrodite. A fascinating read.