The female Chaucer

As the fallout from the Black Death threw England into turmoil, a woman with a man's name produced a piece of literature so beautiful that it still resonates with readers across the world today. Janina Ramirez hails Julian of Norwich

Julian of Norwich holds her famous book in a sculpture at the doors of Norwich Cathedral. (Photo by Creative Commons Wiki)

This article was first published in the September 2016 issue of BBC History Magazine 

History is largely dominated by men. Kings, popes, bishops, monks, knights… they have defined the course of history, and they have written history. Despite the valiant attempts of feminists in the past century, writing women into history is a difficult process. Individuals who managed to break the mould are now widely celebrated: Joan of Arc, Æthelflæd, Elizabeth I. Yet for every one woman written into history there are many hundreds of men that drown out their achievements.

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