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40 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely informative, 28 Oct 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Peace-Weavers and Shield-Maidens: Women in Early English Society (Paperback)
It is difficult to come across good information on the roles of women in the Dark Ages but this book gives plenty for the reader to chew on.
It is a specialised work but as general books on history tend to concentrate on politics and warfare this fills in a lot of the gaps for "everyday life" and dispells some of the myths that women were voiceless chattels of the husbands or lords.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars focus on anglo saxon women, 23 Nov 2009
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This review is from: Peace-Weavers and Shield-Maidens: Women in Early English Society (Paperback)
i found this booklet invaluable for helping to flesh out the bones of anglo saxon women. i wish it were longer. it is a good read, well structured and accessible. kathleen herbert throws light upon the women of the dark ages.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating book, 18 Oct 2008
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This review is from: Peace-Weavers and Shield-Maidens: Women in Early English Society (Paperback)
This is a fairly slim booklet, yet packed full of interesting stories and anecdotes about our Saxon ancestresses. I read this on a train trip down to London, and found myself wanting to do further research into the stories mentioned in the book. I particularly liked how the author does not over romanticise the stories or the women features in them, leaving the reader to draw her own conclusions from the tales.

Highly recommended for anyone studying the Saxons, or anyone studying women in history, myth or legend.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Women in history, 13 Nov 2009
By 
J. A. Cockayne "Jennifer" (New Zealand) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Peace-Weavers and Shield-Maidens: Women in Early English Society (Paperback)
I must admit, I could not put this book down. It is well written and tells the stories of great Englishwomen of the past. Contrary to the Romans and later English (post 1066), Women were respected by their menfolk and treated as people rather than decorative possessions. The Church has tried to infer that women did not exist in the medieval times, rarely mentioning their names, yet this book brings out their strength of character. A must read for those with interest in a balanced history.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Engaging and scholarly: a rare mix!, 13 Mar 2013
By 
Mr. Kevin P. Futers "Who's afraid of the Bill... (Northumbria, Great Britain) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Peace-Weavers and Shield-Maidens: Women in Early English Society (Paperback)
I read this in an afternoon and found it to be full of excellent case studies and well argued cases. There are footnotes and references throughout, as you would expect from an academic paper, but the tone and the flow of the text is engaging and the author's opinions are well expressed. The sample is rather selective and all of the women selected are positive role-models and are not necessarily exemplars of the two archetypes she has chosen to focus on.

I think a critique of the women in Anglo-Saxon literature might have been instructive; comparing historical examples to the models of the archetypes of the Good Queen and the Bad Queen, which are equally male viewpoints on what a woman should and should not do. The women whose lives she chronicles would then be seen against the light of expectation.

I would also like to think that a discussion of Women in Early English Society would also have covered what is shown from archaeology - how significant are the rare finds of female burials with partly male grave-goods? If this paper was presented together with a critique of the archaeological record on the same topic, it would have a good deal more value, especially if the two were followed by a strong conclusion of how the two different sources of evidence support / contrast each other.

I did very much enjoy the introduction which looked at the terminology for men and women in Old English; that the word "man" was not specifically male and that the English had a range of other words to use if distinction was required. To some extent English still uses this broad sense of the word man, especially in religion: I am sure none of the women who make up the majority of the congregation at my church feel that they are being excluded when the Creed says "for us men and for our salvation, He came down from heaven." Yet we get hung up on the word chairman!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, 26 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Peace-Weavers and Shield-Maidens: Women in Early English Society (Paperback)
A really good read. I couldn't put it down. Well researched with a good bibliography and further reading. A great starting point.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating little book, 2 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Peace-Weavers and Shield-Maidens: Women in Early English Society (Paperback)
Easy to read in a few hours or a single sitting, but a mine of useful information about women in Anglo Saxon society, with some unexpected gems- like the origins of the word hloefdige- which was later used to refer to an extraordinary woman- Ethelflead 'Lady of the Mercians', She gets a lot of attention (well six or seven pages in a book this length does count as rather a lot). A worthwhile read about the role, rights and expectations of women in a fascinating period.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Must-read work for all interested in the Anglo-Saxon period, 26 April 2014
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D. M. Lord (West Midlands, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Peace-Weavers and Shield-Maidens: Women in Early English Society (Paperback)
This is a short book, but do not let that put you off buying this. I read this in one sitting, and learned more from this extremely profound yet concise work than from a lot of other, larger, more general books focusing on the period. Full of examples, particularly highlighting the life and deeds of Aethelflaed of Mercia, I heartily recommend it as part of any English historian's library.
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Peace-Weavers and Shield-Maidens: Women in Early English Society
Peace-Weavers and Shield-Maidens: Women in Early English Society by Kathleen Herbert (Paperback - Dec 1997)
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