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Prehistory Re-Imagined

"The richness and intimate variety of women's stories through prehistory are quite phenomenal, from the dazzling to the devastating, the majestic to the macabre. Together they have a profound power to help us reimagine not only our past, but our future too."


Rebecca’s forthcoming second book, titled MATRIARCHA, was announced in January 2023 and reported in The Bookseller, Publisher's Marketplace and The Publishing Post

Matriarcha is about the first women, and perhaps also about the last. It is a re-imagining of all prehistory, told through the female line. Refusing a teleological perspective by beginning in late prehistory, the narrative moves readers back in time, chapter by chapter deeper through the millennia, from the ages of metal through early farming, and then into a world when all humans on Earth were hunter-gatherers. The book’s scope encompasses the whole glorious span of our fellow hominin relations — Denisovan and Neanderthal cousins, mysterious Homo naledi, diminutive Homo floresiensis “hobbits” and others — reconstructing and exploring the lives of women of the entire Homo genus. The journey extends back some 5 million years to our lineage’s deepest origins in the strange world of the Pliocene, and the first women to make tools, stand upright and stride across the land.

The Bookseller Article - Matriarcha

Further Details

Exhilarating, ambitious and urgent, Matriarcha highlights the phenomenal richness and intimate variety of women’s stories through prehistory, from the dazzling to the devastating, the majestic to the macabre. A ‘Big History’ book, and unashamedly feminist, it draws upon remarkable knowledge from archaeology and allied fields of research to put the lived experience of women, so often seen as extraneous or abnormal, centre stage, alongside exposing and picking apart male-biased narratives and theories to rewrite our greatest story. Inspiring as much as educating, Matriarcha reveals how women have always been intellectuals, inventors, artisans, athletes, warriors and leaders, and shows that by understanding this diversity in our past, we can imagine a new vision of what we are capable of a species.

MATRIARCHA will be published in the UK and Commonwealth by Picador (Pam Macmillan), and the US and Canada by Simon's Books (Simon & Schuster).

Translations so far include Spanish, Italian, German, French, Dutch, Serbian and Romanian.

Matriarcha - Due to be published in 2025
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