Sunday, March 11, 2018

The Woman in the Shadows by Carol McGrath

Tom Williams reviews "The Woman in the Shadows" by Carol McGrath for Historia Magazine:
McGrath’s book brings Elizabeth Cromwell out of the shadows but Cromwell himself becomes a very shadowy figure in his turn.

McGrath strikes a fine balance between Elizabeth Cromwell the successful independent businesswoman and Elizabeth Cromwell the victim of a potentially violent and sexist society. We understand her reliance on men and, at the same time, her fierce independence. It’s significant, though, that in the end she gives up her job and her independence to take on the role of professional wife, entertaining Cromwell’s friends as his political star rises.

The book shows the power that women could wield in this almost parallel feminine society, but it does not romanticise their position in the wider world.

Carol McGrath

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