Normal Women: 900 Years of Making History: Unabridged edition

By Philippa Gregory, Read by Philippa Gregory, Clare Corbett, Tania Rodrigues, Nneka Okoye, James Goode and Joe Jameson

‘A genuinely new history of our nation’ DAN JONES
‘Radically reframes our national story’ OBSERVER
‘This celebration of women is a triumph of popular history’ SPECTATOR
‘A lasting work of social history’ THE TIMES
Normal Women is Gregory’s finest moment’ GLAMOUR UK


  • 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 as you read Philippa Gregory’s stunning Normal Women … the book reframes the past … an essential read’ Independent

Format: Audio-Book
Release Date: 26 Oct 2023
Pages: None
ISBN: 978-0-00-860173-7
Detailed Edition: Unabridged edition
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 is now a major film, starring Scarlett Johansson, Natalie Portman and Eric Bana. Philippa Gregory lives in the North of England with her family.


”'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 -

”'Finding evidence of women in the record is challenging, but Gregory places centre stage decades of scholarship in women’s history, a genre that started to become important only in the 1970s. Voices of the past can be heard through careful analysis of the fragments that do exist, and reading a document 'against the grain” - of its author’s intention often reveals crucial details. This celebration of women is a triumph of popular history’SPECTATOR

‘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 -