Monday, September 14, 2009

Books: Women & History

Some more interesting reads this week:

Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body, and Primitive Accumulation by Silvia Federici.
Review: "Explains connection between the Great Witch Hunt of the 16th and 17th centuries and Marx's concept of Primitive Accumulation of Capital. Relates these to Kropotkin's disscussion of the rise of the state. And to the Marxist conception of the Epoch of Capitalist Decay (Imperialism)." - Not for the faint-hearted.

Remarkable Creatures by Tracey Chevalier.
Alyssa McDonald interviews the author for the Australian: "Like each of its predecessors, it's a historical work: this one set in Lyme Regis in the early 19thcentury, when an otherwise unremarkable English coastal town became the setting for some of the world's earliest and most important discoveries of dinosaur remains. Many significant fossils were found by Mary Anning, a working-class local woman who, along with Elizabeth Philpot, another fossil collector living in Lyme Regis, is the focus of Chevalier's story."

The White Queen by Philippa Gregory
Elizabeth Renzetti interviews Philippa for the Globe & Mail: "In the same manner that she dusted off the historical figure of Mary Boleyn (in her 2002 bestseller, The Other Boleyn Girl), now Gregory turns her attention to Elizabeth Woodville, the White Queen of the title. The wife of Edward IV (and mother to the poor princes in the Tower), Elizabeth was "an unpopular and controversial Queen," according to Gregory."

1940-1945, Erotic Years by Patrick Buisson
Review by Matthew Campbell @ Times Online: "An unusual history of the Nazis in France has trampled on one of the country’s most painful taboos by focusing on women who slept with the enemy during the occupation. Flouting a long-running convention of silence on what he calls “horizontal collaboration”, Patrick Buisson, the author, describes the Nazi occupation as the “golden age” of the French brothel, chronicling a dramatic growth in prostitution to satisfy German demand."