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Warriors and Wenches (Paperback)

Sex and Power in Women's History

P&S History Social History Women of History

By Michelle Rosenberg
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Pages: 112
Illustrations: 50
ISBN: 9781473899360
Published: 29th July 2019

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The world is full of women we don’t know whose stories have been overlooked or airbrushed from history.

Often faced with limited life choices, this book proudly showcases those women who took matters into their own hands and became forces to be reckoned with.

These are women you SHOULD know about. Love them or loathe them, they made their mark. From cross dressing soldiers to scheming mistresses and courtesans, Warriors and Wenches offers up an indulgent romp through centuries of history, from widows turned tank drivers bent on bloody vengeance and fierce martial arts fighters, to women who magnificently and outrageously turned their social lot in life to their advantage: the mistresses, courtesans and uniquely French maitresse-en-titres who wielded incredible power and influence in the sumptuous courts of Europe.

Warriors and Wenches doesn’t seek to decide whether these women were ‘good’ or ‘bad’; we’ll leave it up to you to make up your own minds. But these are just some of the women who, through military skill, incredible courage and loyalty, scandal, poison plots and sexual debaucherie, have crossed over into the realm of legend and myth and become powerful symbols of feminist power.

“When the destiny of a nation is in a woman’s bedroom, the best place for the historian is in the antechamber.”

Charles-Augustin Sainte-Reuve

Listed in the 'First Flush' feature

Books Ireland, November/December 2019

It's a quick and enjoyable read. Many of the women were previously unknown to me.

Read the full review here

The Miniatures Page

Michelle Rosenberg covers Warriors and then Wenches, and so this colourful and entertaining book does exactly what it says on the cover. These stories are not just about British warriors and wenches, but Europe as well. A superb slice of history served up in a grand manner.

Books Monthly

Author Q&A as featured by

Jewish Telegraph, 20th September 2019

'Powerful women acknowledged in new book'

My Radlett & Shenley News, September 2019

As featured by

This Is Local London, 8th September 2019

As featured by

Barnet Borough Times, 5th September 2019

Article: 'New book from Elstree author celebrates the stories of women lost to history' as featured by

Borehamwood & Elstree Times, 8th September 2019

An absolutely fascinating and informative read from cover to cover, and nicely enhanced with the inclusion of black-and-white illustrations, "Warriors and Wenches: Sex and Power in Women's History" is especially and unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library Women's History collections and supplemental studies lists.

Read the full review here

Midwest Book Review

Interview article 'A sit down with Michelle Rosenberg' as featured by

The Sunday Post (Dundee), 18th August 2019

It is good that Michelle Rosenberg focuses her attention on these 30 women of history (although some of them sink into the myth and to some of them history did not give good service), although in recent years, thanks to novels, essays and even movies were brought back some of them (but not all of them, I did not suspect the existence of many, and as an Italian I have to say that I did not know about Giulia Beneni or Veronica Franco!) in the spotlight . So these short biographies (Snapshots, the title of the series says) will surely be an incentive to investigate many other similar stories and do some justice for them and their role and influence.

Read the full Italian review here

Old Barbed Wire Blog

I like the non-judgemental approach to the women in this book. Far too often value judgements are made about the actions of people when we can’t know their reasons for their actions, or only have a limited understanding of the social and cultural conditions that resulted in their actions.

The book is well written, with humour and generosity.

Read the full review here

Rosemarie Cawkwell, Blogger

I really enjoyed the layout and the length of the chapters and it was a great way for me to pass a few hours – highly recommended!!

Read the full review here

Donna's Book Blog

About Michelle Rosenberg

Michelle Rosenberg is a writer and passionate women’s historian with a great fondness for her two daughters, bawdy humour and inappropriate language (in that order). She is on the Advisory Board of the East End Women’s Museum.

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