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Publisher's Summary

Throughout history, women have played integral roles in family, society, religion, government, war - in short, in all aspects of human civilization. Their contributions have often shaped history and shifted the axis of power for later generations of women. And yet, unearthing their stories from the historical record has often been a challenge, with the ordinary difficulties of preserving information across the generations increased by centuries of historical bias and gender expectations. 

In Powerful Women of the Medieval World, Professor Dorsey Armstrong will introduce you to 10 amazing women who played vital roles in the Middle Ages, whether they wielded power from an imperial throne like Empress Theodora, led armies like Joan of Arc, or altered the course of Christian theology like Hildegard of Bingen. All of these women were from different times and places, yet they share the honor of having impacted the world in crucial ways. Their impact on history and society also shines a light on the conditions of ordinary women, those who did not have the chance to build such phenomenal legacies, but who nevertheless played vital roles in the family, the community, and the world at large.

While many of these women achieved power thanks to singular opportunities and unusual crises, they also share an indefinable quality that propelled them to seize the unpredictable chances they were given. As you examine the stories of these remarkable women, you will get a unique opportunity to unearth invaluable context and see history from a new perspective, one that can provide a richer understanding of the past and how it has shaped the world we live in today.

©2021 Audible Originals, LLC (P)2021 Audible Originals, LLC.

About the Creator and Performer

Dorsey Armstrong is Professor of English and Medieval Literature at Purdue University, where she has taught since 2002. The holder of an AB in English and Creative Writing from Stanford University and a PhD in Medieval Literature from Duke University, she also taught at Centenary College of Louisiana and at California State University, Long Beach. Her research interests include medieval women writers, late-medieval print culture, and the Arthurian legend, on which she has published extensively, including the 2009 book Sir Thomas Malory’s Morte d’Arthur: A New Modern English Translation Based on the Winchester Manuscript and Gender and the Chivalric Community in Sir Thomas Malory's Morte d'Arthur, published in 2003. In January 2009, she became editor-in-chief of the academic journal Arthuriana, which publishes the most cutting-edge research on the legend of King Arthur, from its medieval origins to its enactments in the present moment. Professor Armstrong’s previous Audible Original course is Medieval Myths & Mysteries.

What listeners say about Powerful Women of the Medieval World

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Names Kiev - Russia, a political attack

Brainwashed & brutally inaccurate. Kiev is the capital of Ukraine. Russia didn't exist for centuries after the events of her story. The territory and tradition of Kievan Rus is today's Ukraine. Yet the author names Kiev - Russia, and the local Slavic tribes - Finnish. And the only one Slavic tribe, the antagonists, she calls Ukrainians. Russians are Finnish but they were located half-a-continent away and not yet a political unit or a kingdom. It's brutally inaccurate, and sounds like a disgusting political attack from Kremlin. Yuck!

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Very good! I wish I would have began listening to the Great Courses sooner.

I enjoyed the style of the lectures, and the progression through the early, middle, to late period hlped me to get a sense of how the women that were discussed had an influence on history. I always wanted to take more history and litterature courses when I went to University but never had the chance. It’s wonderful to have thiss opportunity to learn now that I’m retired.

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Fascinating Listen!

Professor Armstrong does a masterful job bringing to life 10 powerful woman I never knew about in medieval history. I learned a lot about the history of this 1000 year period in the process. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

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So interesting

I love medieval history and the way Dorsey Armstrong tells it is easy to understand for those of us who are not academics in the area. She is entertaining and her passion for the subject is obvious. I will be listening to more of her lectures.

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One of my favorites out of all my Audible reads

Clear, concise and still humorous, this subject focus "class" entertained and informed me for two days this last week. I knew some of all but two of the featured women (two of whom were favorites to read of) and I had never drawn all the connections that the "instructor" brought to light in her discussion. I love it when the patchwork of my understanding of history is filled out to include the rich details that were shared in such an engaging way. If I could, I would thank this author/"instructor". I was highly engaged 😁

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Wish she was my prof!

Thoroughly enjoyed Thai lecture series for its history, humor and relevance to today’s conversations. More more!!!

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excellent lecture

absolutely loved this. I had watched to the great courses on the roku channel was so happy to find a way to take them with me. Dorsey Armstrong is fantasic!

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Excellent

This was very educational and interesting. I wish it could have gone on with more females throughout history.

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History Alive

not only picked the author 10 absolutely fascinating women to describe, she also managed to make rhis a fascinating and entertaining lecture series. I could not turn it off.

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very good.

I really like courses like this. It discusses the challenges of women in history without devolving into woke proaganda.

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  • Soraia
  • 11-08-21

Another amazing listening!

Interesting stories of important historical women told in a very engaging fashion. The narrator obviously enjoys and is knowledgeable about what she is discussing making it a compelling, sometimes humorous, and absolutely fascinating audiobook. I look forward to listening to more works of the author.

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  • Suzi
  • 05-16-22

fascinating

fascinating and interesting insight into women's influence in times when they are not traditionally considered to have any influence.

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  • FOsi
  • 04-12-22

Well worth a read!

A fascinating and excellent read which was also beautifully narrated by the author. Loved every minute of it!

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  • Cabbage
  • 11-30-21

Dorsey Armstrong

Dorsey Armstrong continues to amaze me! Absolutely loved this work and can't wait to seek out more of her lectures.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-28-21

I enjoyed.

I really enjoyed this podcast. two women I did not know much about so I'm happy I learned something new. would love it of there was more episodes.

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  • Amz customer
  • 03-07-22

Sensational

Absolutely loved this, particularly the chapters on the less well known women. Olga of Kyiv blew me away. What a story! Will definitely look for more from Dorsey Armstrong.

1 person found this helpful