“Woman and Power in History, first published in 1974, promises ‘a comprehensive view of the influence, social position, economic status and cultural influence of women throughout the ages’.” (History Today).
“Every so often, important books come into print so quietly that they are not so much published as they are materialised. Then they lie around waiting to be discovered. … Woman and Power in History is that kind of book. … Mr. De Riencourt, a distinguished French historian, who has written books about Tibet, China, India and America, … drifts through history and even pre-history, applying the techniques of biology, philosophy and … from his immense research, describes and analyses categories of femininity: the virago, the witch, the reformed woman, the mediaeval lady.” (New York Times).
“Woman and Power in History by Amaury de Riencourt … combines scholarly analysis of sex differences from pre-history to the 20th century with unapologetic conservatism.” (The Sunday Times). “In his research for Woman and Power in History Amaury de Riencourt covered more or less the entire known world, from the Incas, Sumerians, Persians, Hellenes, Romans, Jews, early Christian Europeans, across China and India, the Islamic World, Western Europe’s Middle Ages, the French Reformation, Marxist Russia and China and the contemporary feminism in Europe and North America. Throughout all these regions and all these times, the author analyses the differences between men and women and, focusing on the woman, highlights her status against the ethical, social, economic, religious, political and artistic background of practically every known culture.” (Politika)
" . . scholarly and elegantly written . . . de Riencourt shows depth as well as scope . . . always immensely readable." (Publishers Weekly)
" . . a thoughtful, often penetrating conspectus marked by de Riencourt's customary wide research and scholarship. Amaury de Riencourt is a genuine rara avis among writers on intellectual subjects." (John Barkham Reviews)
An analysis of woman's status from pre-history to the modern day, this book presents her place and role in virtually every known culture throughout history, against the ethical, economic, religious, artistic and political conditions which have determined it. This global study of woman's status, from Mother Goddess of the Palaeolithic era to contemporary woman, from the first feminist revolt in ancient Greece and Rome, to the present Women's Movement, stresses the difference between the western and more ancient civilizations of India and China, highlighting the images of Byzantine, mediaeval and reformed woman, the virago and the witch, and includes individual portraits, from Cleopatra to Indira Gandhi.