The Missing Thread

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Author: Daisy Dunn

Category: Society & social sciences

Book Format: Paperback / softback

Publisher: W&N

ISBN: 9781474615624

RRP: $34.99

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‘A brilliant concept, executed with enviable elegance’ Lucy Worsley

Spanning 3,000 years, from the birth of Minoan Crete to the death of the Julio-Claudian dynasty in Rome, a magisterial new history of the ancient world told, for the very first time, through women.

For centuries, men have been writing histories of antiquity filled with warlords, emperors and kings. But when it comes to incorporating women aside from Cleopatra and Boudica, writers have been more comfortable describing mythical heroines than real ones. While Penelope and Helen of Troy live on in the imagination, their real-life counterparts have been relegated to the margins. In The Missing Thread, Daisy Dunn inverts this tradition and puts the women of history at the centre of the narrative.

These pages present Enheduanna, the earliest named author, the poet Sappho and Telesilla, who defended her city from attack. Here is Artemisia, sole female commander in the Graeco-Persian Wars, and Cynisca, the first female victor at the Olympic Games. Cleopatra may be the more famous, but Fulvia, Mark Antony’s wife, fought a war on his behalf. Many other women remain nameless but integral. Through new examination of the sources combined with vivid storytelling Daisy Dunn shows us the ancient world through fresh eyes, and introduces us to an incredible cast of ancient women, weavers of an entire world.

Daisy Dunn is an award-winning classicist and author of seven books. Not Far From Brideshead (2022) was selected for Radio 4’s Open Book and longlisted for the Runciman Award. In The Shadow of Vesuvius (2019) was an Editor’s Choice in the New York Times. Daisy read Classics at Oxford before receiving a Masters from the Courtauld Institute and PhD from UCL. She is also a cultural columnist and editor of ARGO: A Hellenic Review.

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