Unfortunately, this book didn't really live up to the promise of its subtitle. The existence of Hildegard of Bingen doesn't really prove the existenceUnfortunately, this book didn't really live up to the promise of its subtitle. The existence of Hildegard of Bingen doesn't really prove the existence of feminism or feminist thought at that time, though I concede that Roger Bacon has a place in scientific history. However, the author seems to have wildly exaggerated the importance of Francis of Assisi.
In general, this book seems to have been written for Catholics who are concerned about the leadership that Church is providing, though it does make the highly relevant point that the history of the medieval church "belongs" to Protestants as much as it does to Catholics. The author clearly has some axes to grind with the Church, though not enough to renounce it. He doesn't cite things enough or really explain his reasoning.
The first time I saw this book I set it down in disgust, because the author seemed to think that because the medieval sense of color and aesthetics is wildly different from the modern Western conceptions of same, medieval people were tacky barbarians. I almost wish I hadn't picked it up again. There were some interesting tidbits of information, but if I had paid for this as opposed to getting it from the library, I would probably be wildly irritated....more