It came as something of a revelation this November that the majority of recommendations in the media's annual roundup of the best history books of 2016 were written by men. In response, Twitter was flooded with the names of inspiring female historians, past and present, under the hashtag #HistoryBooksbyWomen. 2016 has seen a plethora of publications by talented women so, to redress the balance somewhat, here are my top picks of the year:
Author and historian of childbirth and women's lives
Getting my hands dirty in all aspects of women's lives in the medieval and early modern period, from Queens to commoners. Devil's advocate and peddler of unusual theories. Particular interests lie in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth century, in gender relations, Queenship and identity, rites of passage, pilgrimage, female orthodoxy and rebellion, superstition, magic, fertility and childbirth. Always interested in the gory details. Has produced two boys and a few books.
27/07/2016 10:50 BST
I love studying history. I don't think I will ever tire of it. It's exciting, it's full of drama and passion, heartbreak and victories: it has a better plot than any novel you can buy. There's nothing I love more than rifling through the wardrobe accounts of Edward IV or debating the implications of Richard III's actions.
21/12/2015 12:20 GMT
23/11/2015 12:16 GMT
There is only one answer to the divisive rift at the heart of our society. That is empathy. Empathy for the physically and mentally unwell, for people of all ages and all classes from all countries, cultures, religions and backgrounds, for victims and criminals, for those who make mistakes and also those who have never erred. It should know no limits.
22/06/2015 10:36 BST
While the Horrible Histories series for children has been recognised as fitting within the Roald Dahl tradition of humour, it seems that the adult version, which Double History offers, is simply too opaque for some. Yet what exactly is being satirised here?
17/12/2014 13:19 GMT
This is a lovely little full teacup of a book; light and refreshing yet full of body, a fresh new blend of narrative and anecdote. Paul Chrystal's new book "Tea: A Very British Beverage" offers a satisfying look at the history and cultural impact of tea, ranging from the legends of its discovery...
10/11/2014 10:20 GMT
Guilfoyle has not been smart enough to realise she been co-opted by a misogynistic culture, being made the mouthpiece for a worrying trend which she was in a position to reject. Luckily, the sort of young women whose experience she distrusts, often prove to be far more savvy when it comes to equality in the media.
24/10/2014 16:16 BST
Now, historian Lauren Mackay has looked afresh at Chapuys' letters, returning to his actual words, to decipher exactly what he did have to say. And what he didn't. What emerges in this new book about the Tudor court is a complex diplomatic picture of a lively and clever man who defies the stereotypes perpetuated in some history books to shine as he takes centre stage.
21/04/2014 17:58 BST
By her own confession, philosopher Susan Bordo is obsessed with Anne Boleyn. The very cover of her new book alerts the reader to the fact they are about to experience something more than straightforward history.
15/01/2014 13:36 GMT
The reign of Richard III provides the historian with an endless minefield of possibilities. From his loyal service to the house of York, through the dramatic events of 1483, which saw the executions of his family and allies, the removal of his nephew from the throne and his own coronation, events will continue to divide those who remain fascinated by this enigma of a man.
10/12/2013 13:17 GMT
Hailed as a modern Yiddish masterpiece and dismissed as too bleak to be possible, this new translation of Perle's 1935 autobiographical novel <em>Everyday Jews</em> belongs in the same tradition as Gorky's <em>My Childhood</em> and Joyce's <em>Dubliners</em>.
13/11/2013 12:28 GMT
It may be the because so much of mainstream history has been enacted and written by men, that Bowman's Essex boys felt more familiar than her selection of Essex girls.
13/10/2013 18:41 BST
Flowing through the heart of the capital, the history of the river Thames offers a powerful symbol for the lives of Londoners through the centuries. In fact, there have been people living on the site since before Roman times, washing there, catching fish and watching the horizon for signs of invaders.
03/10/2013 16:32 BST
In the past few weeks, I've been disturbed by online questions I've seen posed about Shakespeare's 1592 play, Richard III. These have ranged from wondering why the playwright was a liar, to a complete rejection of all of his plays by devoted Ricardians
03/10/2013 16:25 BST
It is hard to find anything new on Anne these days, however <em>In the Footsteps of Anne Boleyn</em> fills a definite gap in the market.
01/10/2013 14:34 BST
Stephen Klaidman's new biog-raphy of Sydney and Violet Schiff highlights an interesting couple, who made their own con-tribution to literary circles of the 1920s. Relatively overlooked until now, the Schiffs appear on the surface to be a conventional mid-dle class couple, based in London and the South of France.
05/09/2013 11:42 BST
Almost straightaway the negative reactions began. While there is always a valuable place for disagreement and the sort of comment that can develop an article's argument or add to it, this eleven-year-old's writing incited such descriptions as "feminist bull-shit" and ambiguous statements that the author belonged "to a certain tribe."
08/08/2013 14:52 BST
With the screening of the BBC's White Queen drama series only weeks away, many questions about the life of Elizabeth Wydeville remain unanswered. None more so than that of her marriage.
31/05/2013 09:27 BST
13/05/2013 16:44 BST
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