1. Agrippina, by Emma Southon

A tough woman in a world run by men

(my 4 star Amazon review)

Being a member of the Roman Imperial family in the first century AD must have been tough. You were liable to be murdered just so the Emperor of the day could eliminate rival claimants.

And being the granddaughter, niece/wife (yes, both) and mother of different Emperors did not make Agrippina immune from danger. In the midst of all the family carnage around her, she survived, and for a while actually ran the Empire. Until her son, the lovely, charming Nero decided that she had to be killed.

Emma Southon brings together the often patchy historical sources to tell the story of this tough woman. The record is far from complete – there are often gaps of a few years simply because Agrippina’s name does not come up in Tacitus or others.

And Emma Southon brings us Agrippina from the perspective of a 21st century feminist. She works really hard to counterbalance the misogyny of the Roman historians, who did not approve of women doing more than being wives and mothers.

So, all in all, an interesting book, about an amazing woman.

Why only 7 out of 10? Some of the conversational asides and comments to the reader are very much of here and now, and may require explanatory notes in 15-20 years time. Hopefully by then David Cameron will have been deservedly forgotten, as well as what he may have got up to with dead pigs.

***DISCLOSURE*** I have not met the author, but she gave me a digital copy by way of thanks for an introduction I made via social media.

7 out of 10.

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