Non - Fiction

  History, Society and Culture

 

The Women's History of The World - Men dominate history because they write it. Women’s vital part in the shaping of the world has been consistently undervalued or ignored. Rosalind Miles now offers a fundamental reappraisal that sets the record straight. Stunning in its scope and originality, The Women’s History of the World challenges all previous world histories and shatters cherished illusions on every page.

Starting with women in pre-history the author looks beyond the myth of ‘Man the Hunter’ to reveal women’s central role in the survival and evolution of the human race. She follows their progress from the days when God was a woman through to the triumphs of the Amazons and Assyrian war queens: she looks at the rise of organised religion and the growing oppression of women: she charts the long slow struggle for women’s rights culminating in the twentieth century women’s movements: and finally she presents a vision of women breaking free.

This brilliant and absorbing book turns the spotlight on the hidden side of history to present a fascinating new view of the world, overturning our preconceptions to restore women to their rightful place at the centre of the worldwide story of revolution, empire, war and peace.

Spiced with tales of individual women who have shaped history, celebrating the work and lives of the unsung female millions, distinguished by a wealth of research, The Women’s History of the World redefines the concept of historical reality.

‘The greatest story never told … It’s the history of life, love and the whole damn thing’ - The Times of London.

‘Since Miles looks back in anger, it is fortunate she also possesses a sense of humour … Her book has been written to alleviate a genuine injustice, the ignoring of women’s role in history. Such books must be written, and having been written, read’ - Antonia Fraser, The Sunday Times.

‘Vivacious, accessible, forthright and amusing’ - The Daily Telegraph.

‘With her sharp and satirical feel for language, Miles sets light to some of history’s enduring images and watches them crackle’ - New Society.

‘One of the best … It is detailed, witty, balanced and inexorable … Splendid!’ Antonia Byatt, - The London Evening Standard.

 

The Rites of Man - Why is 99% of all violent crime committed by men? Why do more men consult their doctors about impotence than about anything else? And why do the figures for violent and sexual crime keep rising, year after year? 

In her radical new study Rosalind Miles examines what it means to ‘be a man’ in a world where male violence has set the agenda for militarism, rape and recreational savagery. She investigates the demand made on men by society, and the cost of the macho myth – to humankind and to men themselves.

She draws widely on history, psychology, literature and science as well as interviews with hundreds of men, to understand the seeds of aggression and to question some of our most fundamental assumptions. The Rites of Man dissects the fabric of our society, explores the darkest recesses of the male psyche and warns against the violence that the human race seems intent on nurturing. It is a book that should be read by us all.

‘Despite the heart of darkness she reveals, Rosalind Miles retains a gallant optimism throughout … As befits a polemic, the book is extremely readable, offering a well-judged mixture of argument, quotation, case history and statistics’ - Michael Dibdin, Independent on Sunday

‘She still has her feel for language, her ability to throw new light on old truths, her desire to debunk … She makes an excellent case for phallocentricity being the male condition … Miles’ impassioned plea for recognition of the problem is convincing’ - Julia Neuberger, Sunday Times

‘A terrific book. Not only full of things which have needed to be said, but all said so well, with elegance and wit. A clear and powerful argument, as well as an agenda of what we must do next’ - Lisa Tuttle, Author of The Encyclopaedia of Feminism.

The Children We Deserve - 'Every country gets the children it deserves’: at a time when violence both towards and by children is on the increase, Rosalind Miles investigates the worldwide crisis of parenting and the general breakdown in parental morale.

‘Raising children’, writes the author, ‘is the most important work in the world, the task at which we dare not fail’. But it seems clear that we have failed, that society has lost its way, and that the betrayal of childhood is taking place on a global scale.

From both sides of the Atlantic, evidence seems to be mounting that our children are more and more deviant, more delinquent, more out of hand. Yet children are born innocent, both harmless and powerless. If they grow up confused and ignorant, destructive and self-destructive, then the society that produces them must be so too. Unprecedented levels of divorce, the rise of the single-parent family and even the no-parent family – all create new forms of child abuse, and the abuse of children leads predictably to abuse by children and thereafter to a self-perpetuating cycle of crime and violence.

How have we let it come to this? Where are we going wrong – and where and how are we getting it right? A study as epic in scope as its subject, The Children We Deserve traces the way children develop in the Western world, from the birth of the child to the death of innocence that we call maturity. By asking what we can do to help children become the kind of people society wants, needs and can value, the book tries to restore the confidence of every parent. Every parent will want to read it, and every child will wish they had.

Who Cooked The Last Supper ? - US Edition of The Women's History of The World with new title and preface - Why are women never in the history books? Men dominate history because they write it, and women's vital part in the shaping of the world has been consistently undervalued or ignored. Rosalind Miles now offers a fundamental reappraisal that sets the record straight. Stunning in its scope and originality, the Women's History of the World challenges all previous world histories and shatters cherished illusions on every page.

Starting with women in pre-history, the author looks beyond the myth of 'Man the Hunter' to reveal women's central role in the survival and evolution of the human race.  More>>

 

   Women, Work and Power

Danger! Men at Work - You may think the battle for sexual equality is over and won, that new laws have made the workplace a paradise of female opportunity. But look around you! Think again! It’s still more a case of Danger! Men at Work. For it’s more like a jungle out there where you’re in constant danger from hostile natives, and likely to experience:
- sexual harassment
- deliberate discrimination
- lack of training
- barriers to promotion

But don’t despair! The wind of change is blowing up the trouserlegs of the male powerholders. Women everywhere are taking a long cool look at their situation and refusing to accept the status quo. And here is a vital handbook to help you on the way.

Wise, witty, well-informed, often irreverent, always positive – this is the indispensable guide through the minefield of the workplace.

 

Women and Power - All power fascinates – and absolute power fascinates absolutely, as Lord Acton might have said. What is the attraction of certain people towards power – and what is the attraction for others in watching them?

These age-old riddles take on a fresh and tantalising slant when the power-holder is a woman. Until very recently the idea of women and power was a contradiction in terms. The corridors of statecraft, business and industry were reserved for men, and the rare woman who penetrated them did so only as wife, mistress, servant or surrogate. But now throughout the world women are taking over top positions in numbers too great to ignore. Their rise makes necessary not only an account of their own success against all odds, but a revaluation of every cherished myth of power, and of womanhood itself.

Today’s new breed of successful women poses important questions for us all. How does a woman get power? How does she hold it down? Does it fulfil her as an individual, or frustrate her as a female? And the key question – is a woman of power a rare exception, as popular belief has it – or is she only doing what millions of other women would be doing, given even a whisker of a chance?

This book answers all these questions in a committed study of the subject, illuminated by in-depth interviews with 40 top women in Britain and America. What do Mrs Thatcher and Jane Fonda, Golda Meir and Debbie Moore, Eva Peron and Jacqueline Kennedy have in common? Focusing not only on the famous but on the many women who match high achievement with low profile, Dr Rosalind Miles links power, success and self-realisation for women in a provocative and original survey. In her inimitably wise and witty way she challenges traditional assumptions and overturns conventional notions to conclude that all women can become more powerful – and what’s more, they can enjoy it!

 

 

  Literature and Criticism

The Fiction of Sex : Themes and functions of Sex Difference in the Modern Novel.

This study examines the importance of sexual difference in the novel of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the only art form to which women have contributed on anything like equal terms with men.

Sexual differentiation has been a major theme of our time, with writers as diverse as Sigmund Freud, D H Lawrence and Ernest Hemingway contributing to new definitions of ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’. In the wake of these twentieth century explorations in psychology and fiction, women writers have been encouraged to throw off the male-dominated Victorian era, in which women writers usually appeared before the public as ‘honorary males’ like George Eliot, or risked being categorised as ‘lady novelists’.

Their efforts to write as women led to the apparent development of a feminine tradition in the novel. But this, as Rosalind Miles shows, despite its semblance of novelty, is in fact rooted in the superior romance fiction of the nineteenth century. While some women writers today are confronting the sex war and its connection with the class struggle, others cling to ‘women’s themes’, marriage, domesticity and children, the traditional woman’s role in a man’s world.

Finally Dr Miles discusses the work of women like Doris Lessing and Edna O’Brien, who have broken down cultural taboos on the frank treatment of their own sexuality. This reassessment of the obscene, far from liberating women, has brought about the emergence of a new set of sexual stereotypes. 

In this provocative, witty and astringent study, Dr Miles takes issue with some of the clichés and unchallenged assumptions of our time, and leads us to reconsideration of some of the great novels of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

‘There is neither sacred cow nor bull in Rosalind Miles’s critical vivisection of ‘sex in fiction’. This is an engrossing essay, an important work that could become standard in critical courses on the novel … Students unfamiliar with other British writers will not forget Miles. Her scholarship is solid, her views crisp, her illustrative materials poignant. The analysis of ‘liberation is especially good …’ - US Choice.

‘Dr Miles tackles her controversial theme with coolness and a good deal of wit … Her book is wise as well as witty, and she recognises the immense difficulties that faced the pioneers of our century who tried to struggle out of the sex clichés of the Victorian age’ - The Birmingham Post.

‘A clear approach to the concept of sexuality in the novel … Miles deals with the basis behind women’s themes vis-à-vis men’s themes. A basic overview, appropriate for both pubic and academic readership’ - Library Journal.

 

The Female Form : Women Writers and the Conquest of the Novel.

Women have found a powerful and authentic voice in the novel above all other literary forms. Indeed, Rosalind Miles asserts that women have achieved supremacy in the writing of fiction, capturing the height of a traditional male stronghold. But what does this victory amount to? Do women writers today, enjoying possession of the citadel, still find that they have to re-invent in every generation their right to speak out as women? 

There is no dispute about the stature and achievements of the great women novelists of the past – Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, George Eliot. But their success has conferred on them the status of ‘honorary men’, a designation which neatly avoids the issue of their distinctively female contribution to the development of the novel form. In this century, Rosalind Miles argues, such evasion has become impossible. The issue has changed with the new context. Is it true to say that women write a different kind of novel form men: the woman’s novel, rather than a novel by a woman? Have the rules been re-written with the supremacy of the woman novelist in our own day?

Rosalind Miles faces this problem head on, and answers its implications by looking at the female tradition in the novel and its impact on the work of women novelists writing today. From a consideration of the tension between feminine and feminist uncovered by the pioneers of the novel, she moves to an evaluation of the breaking of the taboos in this century, and the uses women have made of the freedom to explore all areas of female experience. With this re-direction of fiction into areas hitherto ignored, the novel has found a new vitality and purpose. Women writers, with their sharp new perceptions and approaches to major themes of society like race, sexual love and men’s response to the new woman, have elevated the novel beyond preoccupations with style and form to focus on the real issues of life. Women writers today are re-making the novel as a vehicle for, by and about women in all their rich individuality. In this provocative and compulsively readable book Rosalind Miles gives shape and life to what has become the female form of writing.

‘Rosalind Miles is … right that the literary establishment repeatedly marginalizes women, according to major figures genderless status, and using the "woman writer" tag to pigeon-hole others’ - Liz Heron, TLS

‘Rosalind Miles’s The Female Form is … vigorously and straightforwardly written, it is sometimes funny, makes large claims for the woman’s novel … and backs them up with judicious exposition’ - Patricia Craig, London Review of Books

‘In its diligent cataloguing and entirely empirical outlook, her work is thus best read as a contribution to the tradition building of Anglo-American feminism … Although she is eager to find common ground among women’s novels, she does not abandon a general sense of history, thus taking care not to universalize experience’ - Linda Shires, Syracuse University.

 

Modest Proposals - This book is essentially a celebration of the art of the proposal, designed to encapsulate and glorify that immortal moment when love is declared and lovers claim their full rights in one another. 

Taking a look at classic literature and contemporary pop culture, film and theatre, drawing on sources as diverse as Shakespeare and Stevie Smith, Judith Krantz and Groucho Marx, assembling anecdote and folk song, Rosalind Miles has gathered a bouquet of quotations and comments with all the variety and charm of the pot pourri.

Nor has she neglected the proposition – that immodest proposal – designed to set the scene for seduction and achieve consummation without the commitment of marriage.

Organising her material into related themes – Popping the Question, The Tender Trap, Let’s Do It – and linking them with her own unique brand of witty and amusing commentary, the author has created a year-round Valentine for lovers everywhere.

 

   Shakespeare, Ben Jonson and the Drama of the Age

The Problem of Measure For Measure - This study of Measure for Measure, the most exciting of Shakespeare’s problem plays, takes the form of a historical investigation into the play’s special difficulties.

The first part traces the critical and dramatic history of the play from its first appearance in 1604, and shows by detailed examination how certain of the ‘problems’ arose, or were invented by those unfamiliar with the conventions and expectation of Shakespeare’s own time.

The second part of the study considers the play against its contemporary background, linking the new ruler, James I, with a cult character of the period, the Disguised Duke who rules wisely but by stealth (James’s self-image). Through this character Shakespeare unfolds the play’s often profound and moving ideas of human nature, justice and mercy, and Dr Miles give particular attention to the structural difficulties which resulted from Shakespeare’s attempt to graft this type of material onto what is basically a comedy plot.

Ben Jonson: His Life and Work - In any age, Ben Jonson would have been a prodigy. Few could match his success as playwright, poet, masque maker and critic. But in his life as well as in his work, Jonson was cast in a gargantuan mould. His career took sudden and spectacular turns, at one moment a friend of King James I, at another a despised outcast, a non-person. Jonson had many contrary faces: lover, libertine and undutiful husband; honoured scholar and convicted murderer. In a world of danger, Jonson could never play safe.

This extraordinary character is only now being brought into the light. Critics traditionally exalted Shakespeare, at Jonson’s expense. Even his advocates have failed to present the full range of his interest and achievement. So his image in history is of pedantic classicist and roistering drunk. Rosalind Miles’ biography presents a very different picture. In this, the first full and accurate account of Jonson’s life in modern times, Dr Miles does justice to this complex and Promethean character. She follows Jonson from his obscure beginnings (and, in passing, establishes the date of his birth for the first time), to his burial in Westminster Abbey, as the first Poet Laureate, in 1637. Her Jonson is vivid and vigorous, equally alive in his life and in his work. This promises to be the definitive biography of one of the geniuses of English literature.

Ben Jonson: His Craft and Art - Though he is one of the undisputed giants of English literature, Ben Jonson is known to most people only as the author of one or two masterly plays which regularly appear in the drama repertory. He is much less well-known for his whole oeuvre, which encompasses poetry, criticism, masque-making, and a lifetime of linguistic and lexicographical study. In this new book, Rosalind Miles, author of the widely acclaimed Ben Jonson: His Life and Work, presents a comprehensive critical study of the whole of Jonson’s output from his earliest beginnings though to the final achievement. Looking at every word he ever wrote, in drama, masque, poetry, philosophy and literary criticism, she reveals a far more interesting and more varied picture of Jonson than we are accustomed to – not the accomplished artists so much as the struggling craftsman.

In telling the story of Jonson’s creative career, Rosalind Miles does justice to the whole of his magnificent and varied oeuvre, whose range is so little known to the general reader and which can still surprise literary specialists. This detailed portrait of the growth and development of a creative artist unique in his own time and rare in any other shows that the more we know, the more there is in Jonson to admire. As we see him at work, share his struggle with form and content, with reader and audience, and experience the erratic pattern of his failure and success, he emerges as a much more truthful and vital figure than the Jonson of literary and critical tradition.

Written with life and vigour, and informed with the author’s life-long passion for the work of Jonson, the book is a superb introduction to Jonson for students and general readers alike. The only scholarly critical study which covers everything Jonson ever wrote, it will also prove an invaluable work of reference for scholars and libraries.

  Rosalind has also written two books with Robin Cross

Hell Hath No Fury - True stories of women at war from antiquity to Iraq.

An engaging collection that uncovers injustices in history and overturns misconceptions about the role of women in war.

When you think of war, you think of men, right? Not so fast. In Hell Hath No Fury, Rosalind Miles and Robin Cross prove that although many of their stories have been erased or forgotten, women have played an integral role in wars throughout history.

In witty compelling biographical essays categorised and alphabetised for easy reference, Miles and Cross introduce us to war leaders (Cleopatra, Elizabeth I, Margaret Thatcher); combatants (Molly Pitcher, Lily Litvak, Tammy Duckworth); spies (Belle Boyd, Virginia Hall, Noor Inayat Khan); reporters and propagandists (Martha Gellhorn, Tokyo Rose, Anna Politkovskaya); and more. These are women who have taken action and who challenge our perceived notions of womanhood. Some will be familiar to readers, but most will not, though their deeds during wartime were every bit as important as their male contemporaries’ more heralded contributions.

Rosalind Miles, Ph D, author of Who Cooked the Last Supper? is a critically acclaimed and internationally bestselling writer, a lecturer and a BBC broadcaster. Military historian Robin Cross is the #1 bestselling author of more than thirty books, a Gulf War reporter and a former advisor to the UK Ministry of Defence.

 

Warrior Women - 3000 years of Courage and Heroism.

‘They fought like devils, far better than the men’
So George Clemenceau, then mayor of Montmartre, recalled the women of the Paris Commune who manned the barricades at France’s republican uprising of 1871. Fighting to the last under a relentless bombardment as government troops stormed the city, they died like men too.

History has seen many such acts of courage, daring and self-sacrifice. In Warrior Women readers will see some familiar names, although treated in an unfamiliar context: the military exploits of Cleopatra, Joan of Arc, Elizabeth I and Catherine the Great can all be found here. Also present are lesser know but extraordinary stories, such as the redoubtable British heroine Pearl Witherington who commanded a French Resistance force of over a thousand men during the closing stages of the Second World War, and Susan Travers, the only woman to have joined the French Foreign Legion.

Popular author Rosalind Miles and acclaimed military historian Robin Cross paint vivid portraits of the lives of over 100 extraordinary women across 3,000 years of history. Ranging from the ‘killer queen’ Boudicca who wreaked brutal vengeance on the Roman Empire for insults against her family and her tribe, to modern-day warrior queens such as Golda Meir and Margaret Thatcher, and from the British master spy Virginia Hall, to Second World War air ace Hanna Reitsch, Warrior Women restores women’s deeds in wartime to their rightful place of honour and prominence. It is a fitting testament to all those women who have ever gone to war and who even now take up arms in the battle-scarred places of the world.

Military historian Robin Cross is the bestselling author of more than thirty books – including Hitler, An Illustrated Life - a Gulf War reporter and a former advisor to the UK Ministry of Defence.

Dr Rosalind Miles, author of Who Cooked the Last Supper? is a critically acclaimed and internationally bestselling writer, lecturer and BBC broadcaster. 

 

 

To view all Rosalind's books or to purchase, please see:
Rosalind's profile on Amazon
  or  www.amazon.com     www.amazon.co.uk

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Shakespeare, ben jonson,The Women's History of The World,The Rites of Man,The Children We Deserve,Who Cooked The Last Supper,Danger,Men at Work,Women and Power,The Fiction of Sex,The Female Form,Modest Proposals,The Problem of Measure For Measure,Ben Jonson His Life and Work,Ben Jonson His Craft and Art,Hell Hath No Fury,Warrior Women


 

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