What would a history of New Zealand look like that rejected Thomas Carlyle’s definition of history as ‘the biography of great men’, and focused instead on the experiences of women?

One that shifted the angle of vision and examined the stages of this country’s development from the points of view of wives, daughters, mothers, grandmothers, sisters, and aunts? That considered their lives as distinct from (though often unwillingly influenced by) those of history’s ‘great men’?

In her ground-breaking History of New Zealand Women, Barbara Brookes provides just such a history.

This is more than an account of women in New Zealand, from those who arrived on the first waka to the Grammy and Man Booker Prize-winning young women of the current decade. It is a comprehensive history of New Zealand seen through a female lens.

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