Heroines of the Medieval World

September 15th 2017 saw the release of my first non-fiction book, Heroines of the Medieval World.

Heroines come in many different forms, and it is no less true for medieval heroines. They can be found in all areas of medieval life; from the dutiful wife and daughter to religious devotees, warriors and rulers. What makes them different compared to those of today are the limitations placed on them by those who directed their lives – their fathers, husbands, priests and kings. Women have always been an integral part of history, although when reading through the chronicles of the medieval world, you would be forgiven if you did not know it. We find that the vast majority of written references are focussed on men. The chronicles were written by men and, more often than not, written for men. It was men who ruled countries, fought wars, made laws and treaties, dominated religion and guaranteed – or tried to guarantee – the continued survival of their world. It was usually the men, but not all of them, who could read, who were trained to rule and who were expected to fight, to defend their people and their country…

Heroines of the Medieval World tells the stories of some of the most fascinating women from history; from the Medieval Ideal to Warrior Heroines to writers, saints, those who had to fight for their rights and those who found love – however briefly. From Æthelflæd, Lady of Mercia and daughter of Alfred the Great, to Anne de Beaujeu, Regent of France and daughter of Louis XI, we get a glimpse into some of the most remarkable women of medieval history.

Heroines of the Medieval World Blog Tour

What others are saying about Heroines of the Medieval World

Thanks to the Review blog for being quick off the mark with this fabulous, wonderful, amazing review from Karrie Stone on the day of release: “Sharon has a wonderful way of writing, it appears effortless, easy and utterly fascinating.

And there’s an awesome review in the May issue of Publisher’s Weekly: “History blogger Connolly (History… the Interesting Bits!) has parlayed her passion for the little-known histories of women into this informative, well-researched book about European women in the 11th–15th centuries… As Connolly ably demonstrates, knowing about these fascinating women is essential to fully understanding medieval Europe.”

A fabulous, You Tube video review from Lil’s Vintage World: “This book is the depiction of women’s history, if you say ‘if you love women’s history, then you have to get this book…. The writing is … really addictive”.

S.J.A. Turney: “Sharon’s book is a wealth of information and a learning curve for anyone wanting to research the role of women in the era. And, of course, for anyone simply with a passing interest in the subject. It has great value for research and just for general interest and gave me a number of new insights that will inform my own tale.”

Dr Janina Ramirez: “Love your book!” and “… there’s so many others! Bennet [sic] Connolly’s book just highlights how many could be told!

And another wonderful review by Diana Milne is now live: “The book is written in a friendly, easily readable style that belies the impact and interest of the words, each of which has been carefully considered to ensure that the meaning is clear to any reader of any level and maintain its academic importance and integrity.” 


From Caroline Angus Baker: “Heroines of the Medieval World is a book that caught my interest the moment I laid eyes on it…this book is a great addition to any library. The author has done a wonderful job and this is a surprisingly easy read…”

Tony Riches says: “This book is also full of fascinating and sometimes gruesome details…” and “…my main problem with this entertaining and highly readable book. Sharon Connolly admits these amazing women represent just the ‘tip of the iceberg’ of those she could have chosen to write about. It should have the subtitle ‘Part 1’ as there are so many more heroines, particularly from the Tudor period, I’d like to see included. I’m looking forward to the sequel: ‘More Heroines of the Medieval World.'”

Mary Hoffman at The History Girls: “Sharon Bennett Connolly shows us women who have defied fathers and husbands, have ruled on behalf of their children, gone to war, defended castles, had love affairs with men of their choice and written works that have survived for centuries. All in all, this is the perfect book for anyone interested in history and specifically the history of women.”

Thank Yous

To Matthew Harffy for inviting me to his blog, the Bernicia Chronicles, to talk about my experiences of writing Heroines of the Medieval World.

I also owe a huge thank you to author Tony Riches for his wonderful blog post  highlighting the release of Heroines. What an incredible surprise!

And grateful thanks to Mary Anne Yarde and Louise Wyatt for their wonderful posts celebrating the release of Heroines of the Medieval World.

And to Prue Batten for making me think really hard to come up with my all-time Top Ten Desert Island Books – it’s harder than you think, but I think I came up with a good selection of oldies and newbies.

Sarah at All The Book Blog Names Are Taken for highlighting Heroines of the Medieval World on First Line Friday – a lovely surprise and a great little post.

Guest blog posts

Annie Whitehead’s Blog: The Indomitable Nicholaa de la Haye 


Female First: Top 10 Heroines of the Medieval World

Henry the Young King: The Three Sisters of the Young  King

Kyra Kramer: The Daughters of John of Gaunt and Blanche of Lancaster

For Amberley Publishing I wrote an article on my first ever author talk and book signing.


Some great questions from the Medieval Archives – I loved doing this one.

A fabulous, fun interview with Stephanie Churchill, telling you a little about myself, my research and motivation for writing Heroines of the Medieval World.

Forthcoming Events:

Thursday 9th July 2020:

Lincoln Civic Trust, St Mary’s Guildhall, Lincoln, 7.30pm.

Nicholaa de la Haye: England’s Forgotten Heroine: I will be giving a talk for the Lincoln Civic Trust about Lincoln Castle’s heroic castellan. Talk and book signing. Details of tickets to follow.


Signed Copies!

If you would like a signed, dedicated copy of Heroines of the Medieval World, please get in touch by completing the contact me form.

To Buy the Book Today:

Heroines of the Medieval World tells the stories of some of the most remarkable women from Medieval history, from Eleanor of Aquitaine to Julian of Norwich. Available now from Amberley Publishing and Amazon and Book Depository.

Also by Sharon Bennett Connolly:

Defenders of the Norman Crown: The Rise and Fall of the Warenne Earls of Surrey tells the fascinating story of the Warenne dynasty, of the successes and failures of one of the most powerful families in England, from its origins in Normandy, through the Conquest, Magna Carta, the wars and marriages that led to its ultimate demise in the reign of Edward III. Defenders of the Norman Crown: Rise and Fall of the Warenne Earls of Surrey is now available from Pen & Sword BooksAmazon in the UK and US and Book Depository.

Ladies of Magna Carta: Women of Influence in Thirteenth Century England looks into the relationships of the various noble families of the 13th century, and how they were affected by the Barons’ Wars, Magna Carta and its aftermath; the bonds that were formed and those that were broken. It is now available in paperback and hardback from Pen & Sword,  Amazon and from Book Depository worldwide.

Silk and the Sword: The Women of the Norman Conquest traces the fortunes of the women who had a significant role to play in the momentous events of 1066.  Available now from Amazon,  Amberley Publishing, Book Depository.


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©2017 Sharon Bennett Connolly