Normal Women

8. Normal women...are married, divorced and single

Dec. 14, 2023

The marriage of Queen Victoria to Prince Albert set the template for how we imagine a wedding should be but it wasn’t always about big white frocks. Philippa Gregory explores how married women became the property of their husbands - along with everything they owned and produced. She considers the hidden history of wife sales and female husbands and shines a light on the difficulty women had accessing divorce.

Joining Philippa to consider the institutions of marriage, divorce and single life through time are:

  • Laura Bates, writer, activist and founder of the Everyday Sexism project
  • Rachael Lennon, writer, social history curator and author of Wedded Wife: A Feminist History of Marriage

Normal Women: 900 Years of Making History is Philippa Gregory's radical retelling of our nation’s story – not of the rise and fall of kings and the occasional queen, but a history of the millions of women missing from the record: wives and workers, viragoes and angels, female husbands, priests and pirates.

Music: When Adam Was First Created - performed by Andy Turner.

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