Close Notification

Your cart does not contain any items

Normal Women

900 Years of Making History

Philippa Gregory



Not in-store but you can order this
How long will it take?


William Collins
31 January 2024

‘A lasting work of social history’ THE TIMES

‘A genuinely new history of our nation’ DAN JONES

‘This celebration of women is a triumph of popular history’ SPECTATOR

'Philippa Gregory uses all her bestseller skills to weave a narrative with pace' ANTONIA FRASER


• Did you know that there are more penises than women in the Bayeux Tapestry? • That the Peasant’s Revolt was started and propelled by women, protesting a tax on women? • Or that celebrated naturalist Charles Darwin believed not just that women were naturally inferior to men but that they’d evolve to become ever more inferior? These are just a few of the startling findings you will learn from reading Philippa Gregory’s Normal Women. In this ambitious and ground-breaking book, she tells the story of our nation over 900 years, but for the very first time women – some fifty per cent of the population – are no longer invisible in this history of England, but are at its beating heart.

Using research skills honed in her work as one of our foremost historical novelists, Gregory trawled through court records to find highway women, beggars and shepherdesses, through newspapers and diaries to find murderers and brides, housewives and pirates, female husbands and hermits. The ‘normal women’ you will meet in her pages went to war, ploughed the fields, campaigned, wrote, and loved. They rode in jousts, flew Spitfires, issued their own currency and built ships, corn mills and houses as part of their everyday lives They committed crimes, or treason, worshipped many gods, cooked and nursed, invented things and rioted. A lot. They built our society to be as diverse and varied as the women themselves. They are there in the archives – if you look – and they made our history.

‘You’ll lose count of the number of things you learn about women and their skewed place in history … the book reframes the past … an essential read’ INDEPENDENT, FIVE-STAR REVIEW

Imprint:   William Collins
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 240mm,  Width: 159mm,  Spine: 47mm
Weight:   1.050kg
ISBN:   9780008601706
ISBN 10:   0008601704
Pages:   688
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Philippa Gregory is an internationally renowned author of historical novels. She holds a PhD in eighteenth-century literature from the University of Edinburgh. Works that have been adapted for television include A Respectable Trade, The Other Boleyn Girl and The Queen's Fool. The Other Boleyn Girl became a major film, starring Scarlett Johansson, Natalie Portman and Eric Bana. Philippa Gregory lives in the North of England with her family.

Reviews for Normal Women: 900 Years of Making History

EARLY PRAISE FOR NORMAL WOMEN ‘A brilliant, essential read … full of surprises … you’ll lose count of the number of things you learn about women and their skewed place in history as you read Philippa Gregory’s stunning Normal Women … The book reframes the past by telling the important stories of women that have been left out by so many male historians and diarists who, as she remarks, simply “amplified” themselves’ INDEPENDENT, five-star review ‘Gregory’s theme is that although women have always been regarded as naturally inferior, in reality they make the world go round. They are the “healthy, strong, intelligent, spiritual and sexual” beings who did everything: nurtured families, farms and businesses, dug graves, birthed babies, brought in harvests, staffed factories, led riots and held communities together…Gregory has the novelist’s eye for the quirky and the vivid; the wryness of a confident narrator. Normal Womenis a lasting work of social history’ THE TIMES, BOOK OF THE WEEK ‘Gregory has always put women centre stage in her historical fiction but this new nonfiction work strives to restore them to their rightful place in history, and in so doing radically reframe our national story. To an impressive extent, it succeeds’ OBSERVER ‘Philippa Gregory has been working on this book for more than 10 years, women have been waiting for this gratifying and informative acknowledgment for a thousand’ ADELE PARKS, PLATINUM MAGAZINE ‘Normal Women is lively, timely and gloriously energetic. Each page bursts with life, and every chapter swirls with personalities left out of traditional narratives of Britain’s past. Philippa Gregory has produced something rare and wonderful: a genuinely new history of our nation, with women at its beating heart’ DAN JONES

See Also