Get a free audiobook

CDN$ 14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

New discoveries about the textile arts reveal women's unexpectedly influential role in ancient societies. 

Twenty thousand years ago, women were making and wearing the first clothing created from spun fibers. In fact, right up to the Industrial Revolution the fiber arts were an enormous economic force, belonging primarily to women. 

Despite the great toil required in making cloth and clothing, most books on ancient history and economics have no information on them. Much of this gap results from the extreme perishability of what women produced, but it seems clear that until now descriptions of prehistoric and early historic cultures have omitted virtually half the picture. 

Elizabeth Wayland Barber has drawn from data gathered by the most sophisticated newer archaeological methods - methods she herself helped to fashion. In a "brilliantly original book" (Katha Pollitt, Washington Post Book World), she argues that women were a powerful economic force in the ancient world, with their own industry: fabric.

©1994 Elizabeth Wayland Barber (P)2019 Tantor

What listeners say about Women's Work

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Oh the twisted thread of history...

As a fiber artist, I found this both inspirational and informative. I am amazed at the information gathered and how yet I am thankful for it. I have always been more interested in traditional fiber arts then more modern influences and often had a lot to ponder. Some of my questions have been answered only to be replaced by a mountain of new ones and I hope that this book inspires more scientific minds to search for more of the truth that has been discarded in the past. Oh to think of how much has been discarded just puts pangs in my heart, we will perhaps never know. I can't help but wonder if the treasures of 'Must Farm' archeology site are a lot of luck or there are still plenty to find if we would just open our eyes to it. Actually trying to recreate instead of just documenting sounds so important in researching these arts and I am thankful someone is taking the time to do so. I read this quickly and will read it again. I suspect it is like one of those movies that you discover so much more the second time because there is just so much important information to take in in one sitting.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • A.B. Normal
  • 2020-07-24

If you want to know what women were doing…

while old white men were out creating the world and stealing history, this is (one of) your book(s). Well written, well paced interesting, informative. Nicely done. Makes clear the importance of women’s contribution to the advancement of civilization, even during times when they were enslaved by their spouses and never permitted to leave the house.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ginny Ellsworth
  • 2020-05-25

Simply Wonderful.

I have this book in print as well. Fascinating history of women and their relationship to textiles.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • jackie d
  • 2020-01-24

Thoughtful and engaging.

Great read for anyone interested in textiles or the role of women in earliest civilizations. Excellent narrator!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sarah
  • 2021-01-09

Amazing collection of info

I am a fiber nerd. I have crocheted since I was 5, more than 50 years now. Over the years I have picked up many fiber related skill. Spinning is my most cherished. This book affirmed my passion in many ways. Well researched and delivered. I will listen many times. Fiber nerds, I can not recommend this more highly! Yes, you NEED this book😁

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Chantelle Wood
  • 2020-12-07

Wonderful information, fresh, informative,

A great building block for history and a fresh take on processing information via a holistic approach.