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With the novelistic vividness that made his National Book Critics Circle Award finalist Queen of Scots “a pure pleasure to read” (Washington Post BookWorld), John Guy brings to life Thomas More and his daughter Margaret—his confidante and collaborator who played a critical role in safeguarding his legacy.Sir Thomas More’s life is well known: his opposition to Henry VIII’sWith the novelistic vividness that made his National Book Critics Circle Award finalist Queen of Scots “a pure pleasure to read” (Washington Post BookWorld), John Guy brings to life Thomas More and his daughter Margaret—his confidante and collaborator who played a critical role in safeguarding his legacy.Sir Thomas More’s life is well known: his opposition to Henry VIII’s marriage to Anne Boleyn, his arrest for treason, his execution and martyrdom. Yet Margaret has been largely airbrushed out of the story in which she played so important a role. John Guy restores her to her rightful place in this captivating account of their relationship.Always her father’s favorite child,Margaret was such an accomplished scholar by age eighteen that her work earned praise from Erasmus. She remained devoted to her father after her marriage—and paid the price in estrangement from her husband.When More was thrown into the Tower of London,Margaret collaborated with him on his most famous letters from prison, smuggled them out at great personal risk, even rescued his head after his execution. John Guy returns to original sources that have been ignored by generations of historians to create a dramatic new portrait of both Thomas More and the daughter whose devotion secured his place in history....

Title : A Daughter's Love: Thomas More and His Dearest Meg
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780618499151
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 448 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

A Daughter's Love: Thomas More and His Dearest Meg Reviews

  • Richard
    2018-12-20 11:21

    This is an extremely well written and exhaustively researched book from a well known specialist in Tudor history. John Guy has written extensively on Sir (St.) Thomas More, but this book focuses on his relationship with his eldest daughter Margaret (affectionately known as Meg). Unlike most women of the time, her intelligence was recognized and fostered by her father, who had her educated along with her siblings and some other children. Although More saw some differentiation in the reasons for which men and women ought to be educated, the fact is that Margaret did attain a high level of learning, to the point where she was able to correct an error in Erasmus' Latin edition of a classical work. She also translated into English a Latin commentary of his on the Pater Noster (or the Lord's Prayer) and had it published. Margaret Roper was arguably the person who best understood her father. She maintained communication with him even after his troubles began with Henry VIII. She obtained permission to visit him during his long incarceration in the Tower of London. During these visits, she prayed with him, discussed topics of interest with him, joked with him and comforted him, doing much more than anyone else in his family to help him face his upcoming martyrdom. Although she did not witness his actual execution, she did have a few last dramatic moments with him before he died. Afterward, at significant personal risk, she rescued his head from being pitched into the Thames. And after a lifetime of preserving his memory and his works, she died. Her father's head was buried with her, so that they could remain close in death as they had in life.

  • Rio (Lynne)
    2019-01-14 06:30

    This book intrigued me because I know the story where Meg goes to The Tower and retrieved her father's head after it had been on Traitor's Gate. I know the story about More and Henry VIII, but I was hoping to learn more about the man's personal life, which I did. His daughter Meg, made sure his writings and letters were preserved and published, which helps us understand the man. This covers details about Utopia which I enjoyed. I believe he and his daughter Meg were brilliant, even if I didn't always agree with their views. Besides being the King's Lord Chancellor he was social philosopher, lawyer and humanist. His friendship with the philosopher Erasmus is covered in this book. I was intrigued how his mind worked, too be so Catholic, but to insist on women's education, to dream up a fictional Utopia and trick the world, then to turn around and to burn heretics to help their souls. He was definitely an interesting man, I believe the first socialist of his time. I know how books were banned, but this goes into more detail about what they had to go through to be published. An interesting part of the book is where Wolsey stepped in and helped Meg when she was arrested for publishing her book. Even though it was dry in parts, I enjoyed it..

  • Elizabeth K.
    2019-01-04 07:28

    This is a very readable biographical account in tandem of Sir Thomas More (author, scholar, statesman, martyr) and his eldest daughter, Margaret. While Thomas's story is very well known, the author shows that Meg herself was a philosopher and writer in her own right. There is plenty of primary source material to illustrate this; I am often reminded of Stephen Greenblatt's observation that it is astonishing to what extent this society valued contracts and writing things down in general. Reading this today, it is sad and unfortunate that a first-class mind like Margaret's was prevented from fully participating in the intellectual world of her day ... but it's very in keeping with how we understand the culture of 16th century England. What seems absolutely unfathomable to me is how she married a guy who seemed like such a nasty little toad from the get-go, even with the realization that marriage at the time was viewed as more of a contact-based alliance system. Within this framework, she still seemed to get shafted, especially when compared to the more amenable matches her sisters and brother ended up with. The climax of the story is Thomas's refusal to endorse the king's break with the Catholic church, and his subsequent imprisonment and beheading. During this time, it was Margaret who was his spiritual and intellectual companion, supporting him in his refusal to take the oath proclaiming Henry the head of the church in England. This book does a wonderful job of explaining the progression of events while at the same time presenting the emotional family story of the Mores. The account of his final days was especially harrowing. If my father was in the Tower, I'd cave in a minute, take the oath Dad! Take the oath, whatever! That is why no one in my family is ever going to achieve sainthood.

  • Mimi
    2018-12-18 11:23

    While not absorbing by any stretch of the imagination, this was an interesting and solidly researched insight into Sir, later Saint, Thomas More and his oldest daughter, Margaret. Due to lack of a historical record about her, it really focuses more on Thomas than on Meg. One thing that I felt was a bit odd was the fact that, even though the motivation for many of his decisions was religious, it was for the most part a very secular book, and in fact, had an odd descriptive tone towards the sacraments, liturgical rites, and prayers of Sir Thomas' Catholic faith.Another interesting thing, for me, was the pursuit of the Greek vs Latin scriptures, as the Orthodox use the Greek Septuagint translation.All in all an interesting book. However, I will admit to being delighted when I discovered the length of the notes, source materials, and bibliography thus meaning I was much closer to the end than I thought

  • Catherine
    2018-12-18 14:33

    Technically the book is about Thomas More's career, but Margaret is a focus for the few chapters there are records of her activities and literary efforts. She was a very fine translator of both Greek and Latin texts and was a perceptive scholar, even finding errors in Erasmus's work. It was interesting to see how Peter Giles, Erasmus, and More interacted with each other and how their lives turned out, influenced by each other. The author found good resources that offered a greater insight into More's life and what all surrounded his ultimate break with the king.

  • todd
    2019-01-12 13:30

    John Guy's forte is Tudor England and this history presents an informative story of a man who pushed many social and intellectual boundaries while rigidly adhering to the narrowest of Catholic theologies. More is fascinating enough, but his daughter, Margaret, perhaps stands out even further in a society where women rarely enjoyed education or had the opportunity to engage men intellectually on anything close to an equal basis. She might be the best product of home schooling in history. Learning both Latin and Greek, she corrected a serious error in Erasmus' translation of the Bible, for which he was grateful and gave her credit. The bond between father and daughter was profound. Her efforts preserved More's writings for posterity after his execution as a traitor (he would not acknowledge Henry VIII's supremacy over the Pope or Anne Boleyn's legitimacy as queen). Margaret also bribed the jailer at the Tower of London to retrieve More's head after his execution. It seems the severed heads were prominently displayed on pikes as an example to the populace, but as there was a regular and growing supply, they were rotated. New ones would be mounted and eventually the oldest would be thrown into the Thames. Margaret followed her father's progression and before it was discarded she retrieved it for proper treatment. It is unlikely that any of us would expect, or receive, such devotion from our daughters.An interesting sidebar in this history is that while More pursued his vision of a utopian society with enlightened but highly controlling rulers, he had a brother-in-law who was advocating a different line. He wanted laws to be written down in easily understood language so that everyone could enjoy the full benefits of a legal society. The relatively new printing press could make this possible. He was railing against the abuses of power and cronyism that characterized the legal system at that time. In general he did not trust those who sought and held power, while More seemed to believe the ruling parties could do well by the governed. It just didn't always work out that way. Especially for More himself. Some debates never seem to change.

  • L Greyfort
    2018-12-28 12:34

    A solid rendering of Thomas More's life and thought. While the tone is basically one of scholarly history, it is not quite as dense as Peter Ackroyd's biography of More. Therefore, it is easier to comprehend More's thought and principles.One thing though: the thorough explication of More's reason for refusing King Henry's oath - namely, refusing to betray his conscience and thereby damn his soul - sounds sort of, well, um, Protestant...until you can get your head around the idea (a) he believed that he must base his conscience on the teachings of the Catholic Church (NOT to figure it out for himself from reading the Bible himself), and (b)that the Church wins by majority rule because it's been around longer, and has more adherents (living and dead) than the adherents to the King's and Parliament's acts of succession. (I'm not really going to go into the idea that maybe then the theology of the Egyptian pharohs supercedes the Catholic Church, 'cause it lasted longer and had even more adherents...I'm really not.) Guy weaves Margaret's life into the timeline of Thomas' life. As is frequently the case with medieval and early Renaissance history, documentary evidence for women's lives is more scarce on the ground. Guy uses as much historical evidence as he can to full advantage, including More's letters to his daughter proscribing her from publishing her work! It really isn't until the last 2 chapters that the book justifies its title, but when it finally gets there, the portrayal is very affecting.Along with Maragret's life, is a good deal of material about all of More's family - father, aunts, siblings, all the children, foster children, and in-laws. This not only helps contrast the various members' behavior with Margaret's (and, boy, there be lots of contrast!), but gives us a fuller picture of life in Tudor England. So many people had multiple marriages and families, which made for very convoluted connections between people! Just check out how a man against whom More had ruled in a civil suit, wound up being on the jury judging More! No six degrees of separation here!

  • Renee
    2019-01-17 12:35

    I enjoyed this book a lot, but was disappointed that I didn't close it having a really good picture of Margaret in my head. I guess that this was part of the author's point. In the end, Margaret gave much of what she had to make sure that her father's memory - and especially his writings - didn't die with him. This is a beautiful account of two lives and how closely interconnected father and daughter were, spiritually and intellectually, but I heard more in the end about father than daughter. Still, well worth the read to have a sense of how revolutionary Thomas More's attitude to women's education was, and how Margaret found different ways to navigate the all-male realm of intellectual discourse of her time. Interesting too is that Elizabeth I's education was modelled for a large part on that of the Mores girls!

  • Thalia
    2018-12-19 14:45

    I wanted more More (lol). But is that the authors failings or history's? I still don't think I really have a good grasp on the man but I certainly do know more about him than I did before. And there were surprises for me. Thomas More was quite funny apparently although we are given precious few examples of his quick wit. I also have a hard time matching More, the heretic burner, with the idealistic lawyer that was so honest. And then there was the other subject of the book as this is almost as equally a biography of Meg. I wish to know more about her too. Can one read her published work anywhere? She seems an overlooked historical figure. 4 stars might be a wee bit generous for as much as I enjoyed the book but it's certainly a good, encompassing bio on Thomas More.

  • Margaret Sankey
    2019-01-18 06:26

    Sympathetic and carefully done reconstruction of the intellectual and familial relationship between Sir Thomas More and his brilliant daughter, Margaret (who was largely written out of the record by later Catholic scholars who ignored women and focused on More as a lonely saint). John Guy is a master of the Tudor court world and early 16th century London, so the book is a rich view of the dangerous, exhilarating and rapidly changing times of Henry VIII's reign.

  • Gili Austin
    2019-01-05 14:29

    Fascinating... what an erudite woman for a time when women were not supposed to be ... interesting how Thomas More was ready to kill or to die for his Catholic principles... he did prosecute heretics.. while Erasmus believed that life was more important than principles... was he in fact smarter than Thomas?

  • Miranda Kaufmann
    2019-01-10 09:28

    My TLS review:Martyr's child: ‘John Guy: A DAUGHTER'S LOVE: THOMAS AND MARGARET MORE’ Review, TLS, 27 February 2009, p. 10.Thomas More was beheaded on July 6, 1535. His story is well known. The role of his daughter Margaret Roper in that story, less so. John Guy, whose last subject was Mary Queen of Scots, has found a new tragic heroine in Margaret. She seems to be his ideal woman, so much so that his treatment of her husband William Roper seems written from the perspective of a jealous lover. Professor Guy reprimands Roper for failing to provide financial aid to his father in law after he resigned the Chancellorship, and generally deplores his prioritizing of property over principle: “If only William her husband could have given her the love and support she needed, she might have recovered a sense of inner peace[after More’s death], but his grasping, restless mind was fixed on worldly advantage. “Guy makes a convincing case for Margaret as the great woman behind the great man. Margaret was her father’s main correspondent and confidante, and visited him regularly in the Tower while her mother, Lady Alice, only made the journey once. Her contemporaries extolled Margaret’s virtues as an example of the benefits of education for women. More had her schooled in Latin and Greek alongside her brothers and sisters, in his “school” at Chelsea. At 16, her writings so impressed the Bishop of Exeter that “his countenance showed that his words [of praise] were all too poor to express what he felt”, and whilst still a teenager she was able to correct Erasmus’s edition of the letters of St. Cyprian. Margaret often remains in the shadows of the narrative however, as do many early modern women: the evidence simply does not exist to tell the full story of their lives. In many cases: “we can only imagine”. Nonetheless, educated imaginings are vital for recovering these untold stories, and it is testament to the maturation of feminist history that a mainstream author such as Guy recognises this. He perhaps goes too far when he suggests that Margaret might have been able to avert the Reformation: “The Church authorities were unable to see that the one person in England... who could match Tyndale as a translator and stylist, and could be relied upon to conform to Catholic teaching and doctrine, was Margaret Roper. But of course, she was a woman, so it never entered their heads”. Guy’s book is based on a thorough examination of the sources. The depth of telling detail he is able to deploy is astounding. It is difficult for biographers of St. Thomas not to stray into hagiographical territory. But Guy does not shield us from the more unsavoury aspects of Thomas’ character, such as his scatological prose (he once accused Martin Dorp, a rival intellectual, of being in love with himself and his opinions, “just as every man thinks his own fart smells sweet”); and his glee in persecuting heretics (he called Thomas Hitton “the devil’s stinking martyr” as he condemned him to the stake). These details, however, are used to illustrate further the passion with which More acted on his principles.Guy’s book is rich with tragic irony, as when More addresses the new King and Queen on their way to their coronation in 1509. He acclaimed Katharine of Aragon as the future “mother of kings...fecund in male offspring will she render your dynasty stable and enduring for all time.” The consequences of the failure to realize these platitudinous hopes set in train the decisions that led directly to Thomas’s own death. Meteorological history even provides Guy with pathetic fallacy: “even as Thomas had been speaking, the sky turned pitch black and it poured on Henry’s parade”. Guy’s powerful, dramatic telling of the climactic scene, where Margaret forces her way through the soldiers on Tower Wharf to embrace her father one last time before his death, is genuinely moving.There is, fortunately, some comic relief. Guy notes that More described himself as a “of nature even half a giglot and more”. A giglot, is one “excessively prone to jesting and merriment, someone whose sense of humour could lead him into wantonness”. More once played a prank in his role as judge of the Court of Chancery: he sent a suitor who had tried to sell his neighbour’s wife a wardrobe of old clothes, pretending they were new, to go seek his remedy from More’s wife, Lady Alice, at Chelsea. The litigant received short shrift. Ultimately, the tragedy of More brings into sharp relief the ever-relevant question of whether private principles can survive the inevitable compromises of public life, and whether the able citizen should quietly pursue his own ends, or attempt to ameliorate society by putting himself at the service of the state. Unlike most tragic heroes, the prescient More had long been aware of his fate. He had already explored this conflict, albeit indecisively, in Utopia. He attempted to safeguard his children’s inheritance (in vain), by placing all his property into trust on the day before the Act of Succession became law. He even staged a dress-rehearsal arrest at Chelsea, to help his family prepare mentally for the worst. More’s end shows the dangers of public life for the man willing to stand against the tide. His friend Erasmus knew he did not have the strength for martyrdom himself, as he wrote to Richard Pace in 1521: “Mine was never the spirit to risk my life for the truth... I fear that were strife to break out, I shall behave like Peter. When popes and emperors make the right decisions I follow, which is godly; if they decide wrongly I tolerate them, which is safe”. Guy’s tragic love story ends with father and daughter being reunited on Fifth Avenue, New York, where images of both of them are kept in nearby museums. This image is somewhat marred by a visit to the Frick Collection, where you will find the painted More gazing for eternity not into the eyes of his beloved daughter, but into those piggy ones belonging to Thomas Cromwell, his nemesis, whose portrait Holbein also painted.

  • Gregory House
    2018-12-19 09:44

    This is for me a difficult book to talk about, firstly I have studied More for several years and unlike a number of contemporary authors and historians I am not impressed with the Tudor figure now viewed through rose tinted glasses. This is not to say that John Guy hasn’t done a splendid job in highlighting More’s career view the lens of his daughter. Guy is one of the most thorough Tudor period historians and his work on More’s public career is excellent. However I still find it annoying that those points of More’s professional life that deeply tarnish his reputation as a ‘humanist’ tended to be glossed over, such as the Richard Hunne case, his attacks on Luther, his creation of a secret police to hunt heretics and the very strange case of his imprisonment and trial. So while Guy has done a splendid job I finished the book feeling very unsatisfied. Though if you like the period this is a must read or own for the wealth of background detail alone.I have put up the first of a series of articles on More and the tudors on my blog if anyone would like to see my position.Regards Greghttp://rednedtudormysteries.blogspot....

  • Andrew
    2019-01-04 14:23

    This was a really good read - John Guy really brings the Tudor world to life. Before I started this book, I was aware of the paradoxes that surround Sir Thomas More ( I definitely won't call him a saint!) - the enlightened renaissance man compared to that of the religious zealot who burnt heretics and Guy's book seems to deal with them in a fairly comprehensive way. Some of the other reviews on this site feel that Guy has glossed over somewhat More's heretic burning side, and whilst, it does briefly mention them, Guy handles it with supreme minimalism, and in such a way that it leaves no doubt as to More's motive s and practices. For example, Guy uses quotes from More regarding his opinion of heretics and the language that More uses is quite vitriolic - i must say that More's use of scatological language towards heretics is quite surprising - I didn't know that side of More. So much for the Man of all Seasons. I can't help thinking that if Al Stewart was able to read this book before writing his song "Man for All Seasons", it might be a wee bit different.

  • Chandra
    2019-01-18 12:25

    In A Daughter's Love: Thomas and His Dearest Meg, Guy sheds light on a lesser-known, female player in Tudor history. As per usual, he uses primary and secondary source material to paint a clear picture of both Thomas More and Margaret Roper that is very readable. Margaret was arguably one of *the* leading, female academics of her time, often called the Tudor Hortensia. It is refreshing that she is finally getting the recognition she deserves not only as the devoted daughter of Sir Thomas More, but also as an erudite, accomplished woman in Tudor society who translated several of Erasmus' texts and was a poet and published author in her own right (A Devout Treatise Upon the Paternoster). Once again, well done, Professor Guy!

  • Linda Finlayson
    2018-12-23 09:33

    What an excellent book. This biography of Thomas More was well researched and given the added dimension of his daughter's role in his life. I came away with a clearer picture of More than the movie "Man for All Seasons" portrayed, although the same strength of character came through in both. More is someone I can admire for his consistent (as much as a human being is capable of)life, even if I don't agree with all he stood for. Someone who lives according to a higher calling than political expediency is bound to meet with opposition and possibly death. They offend others just by living, showing them to themselves as the shallow and selfish people they are. Although this book is written by a scholar, it is accessible to any who want to know more about More and his times.

  • Kaydon_the_dino
    2019-01-18 14:37

    This is a good book about Thomas More. His daughter, however, is regulated to the shadows even in a book supposedly about her. We get numerous, extended quotes from More and about More but precious little about Margaret. In fact, the last few chapters, after More's death, Margaret's life, death, motivations and opinions are glossed over in order to give an account of her husband's business dealings! If you want a book about Thomas More, pick up this book. If you want a book about Margaret Roper, look elsewhere as this book is a grave disappointment.

  • Lezley
    2018-12-20 14:20

    An enjoyable read with a very sympathetic portrayal of Thomas More. Guy helps us understand why More may have portrayed Richard III in such a negative light although More never intended this piece of work to be published. John Morton certainly comes across in a good light unlike any other description I have ever read about him. Meg has been passed over in the history books. She was a brilliant student and writer and Guy does her justice by examining her role as Thomas More's daughter and confidante.

  • CF
    2018-12-31 09:38

    This was a good biography of Thomas and Margaret More, and, while it includes a lot of information, the book only goes for 274 pages. The rest is full of notes, bibliography and references. Which, essential to any history book, should have been annotated a bit I think. John Guy writes in almost a favourable light to Thomas More, which, in all fairness, he probably deserved. But the fact that he burned people at the stake was a bit glossed over, and not much information given on his sinister side. Which we all knew exsisted. I will have to read more of John Guy. This was a good start.

  • 2bnallegory
    2018-12-23 14:41

    Although this was a good and interesting book to read it was mostly about Sir Thomas More. I had hoped for the story of Margaret More, and there was much on dry facts; born, married, visited, died. The rest was mostly inferred, she must have felt, at this time she would have done, etc. There were some nice plates of color pictures of those involved but the pages were a stark white, giving it a feel of a textbook.

  • Sarah
    2018-12-30 08:35

    A good history of the life of Margaret Roper, a woman who, in different times might have outdone her father, Thomas More, in scholarship. Guy must occasionally conjecture about what Margaret was feeling, but he imagines himself int the position well. What I learned from this book was extremely helpful for me when visiting the Tower of London a few weeks ago--knowing that Margaret paid to go by boat and collect her her father's head added poignancy to the place.

  • Heather Domin
    2019-01-09 14:26

    I almost gave this book 4 stars because it's not as much a biography of Margaret as the cover advertises - it's a biography of Thomas plus a cultural history of Tudor London used to bring what little is known of Margaret to light. Still, the author takes that little bit and spins it into gold. The writing style is what gives this book 5 stars: effortlessly readable, and so many clever turns of phrase it makes me green with envy. Definitely putting this book in the to-own list.

  • Elaine Dowling
    2019-01-07 11:39

    An interesting idea, this book is the story of St. Thomas More and his relationship with his oldest daughter. It is not a full bio of either of them, and it is a better study of him than it is of her. I don't really think the source material exists to always justify (let alone flesh out) the author's ideas, and the limited scope seems ungainly in places. The book is worth reading, but it is not without significant limitations.

  • Sskous
    2019-01-13 11:39

    my next book club selection and a real joy to read. Have always loved Thomas More for his worldly and other-worldly balance. Meg is truly his daughter, and Guy captures her beautifully. Glad to have this. It's also an interesting juxtaposition for Catherine of Siena, whose bio I'm also reading now. Two great and very different women, headed in the same direction. Wonderful!

  • Elizabeth McCollum
    2019-01-07 07:39

    Excellent book. I do wish there'd been more about Margaret herself, rather than all the stuff about Sir Thomas, but there just isn't enough in the archives about her. But it was fascinating, nonetheless. Very well-written and documented. It's nice to put personalities to the faces in Holbein's famous family portrait of the Mores.

  • Kay
    2018-12-28 10:21

    A well-written book about Thomas More and his daughter Margaret. More is not sympathetically portrayed in "Wolf Hall" but here he comes across as a humane, family man drawn into the court of Henry VIII and then confronted with having to decide between his conscience and his king. Margaret supported him during his imprisonment and collected his works for publication when the times allowed.

  • Catherine McClelland
    2019-01-09 07:20

    I felt like when I finished this book I had to come up for air. All I have to say is what a waste of a good person in the person of Sir Thomas More and what a loving Daughter. I can't imagine the heartbreak of losing a father in such a fashion. I cried when I read of their final embrace. What lives! What incredible people! I give it four stars because it made me too sad for five.

  • Margareth8537
    2018-12-31 13:30

    An interesting book as it looks at Thomas More from a different perspective and goes into the importance of his daughter, Margaret, who is more of a passing mention in many other books. Her scholarship and her devotion to her father is mentioned, but rarely her importance in smuggling out letters and keeping his memory alive after his execution for treason

  • Marylou
    2019-01-05 08:25

    Such an interesting history of Thomas More and his family, his relationship to King Henry VIII, the way he lived. He spent much time writing. He is famous for Utopia. I thought he was incredibly cruel in that he burned any peron who was a heretic to his belief as a Catholic. He taught his children well. He believed in education.

  • Zoe
    2019-01-07 13:30

    This was really more a biography of Thomas More than it was of Margaret More, but I did very much appreciate Guy´s efforts to show how Margaret´s role in establishing her father´s name was ignored by history precisely because she was a woman.