REVIEW: The Philosopher Queens, Rebecca Buxton & Lisa Whiting (ed.) #BLOGTOUR

Wednesday, 23 September 2020

REVIEW: The Philosopher Queens, Rebecca Buxton & Lisa Whiting (ed.) Blog Tour Graphic

 Where are the women philosophers? 

The answer is right here. 

The history of philosophy has not done women justice: you've probably heard the names Plato, Kant, Nietzsche and Locke - but what about Hypatia, Arendt, Oluwole and Young? 

The Philosopher Queens is a long-awaited book about the lives and works of women in philosophy by women in philosophy. 

This collection brings to centre stage twenty prominent women whose ideas have had a profound - but for the most part uncredited - impact on the world. 

You'll learn about Ban Zhao, the first woman historian in ancient Chinese history; Angela Davis, perhaps the most iconic symbol of the American Black Power Movement; Azizah Y. al-Hibri, known for examining the intersection of Islamic law and gender equality; and many more. 

For anyone who has wondered where the women philosophers are, or anyone curious about the history of ideas - it's time to meet the philosopher queens.

Every so often, a reoccurring goal pops to the front of my mind: the desire, the need, to understand philosophy. Even just a little part of it. Even just barely. I have checked out library books, taken online courses, signed up for webinars but somehow, I just always seem to end up stuck in the starters’ block. I think it is because, no matter how hard I try, the intro-101 books always come off as exceedingly pale, male and stale. 

Which is why, when the title, cover and overarching ethos of The Philosopher Queens: The Lives and Legacies of Philosophy's Unsung Women popped into my line of sight, I immediately knew that I had to get my hands on it. I mean, twenty biographies of female philosophers *by* twenty female philosophers, complete with absolutely gorgeous, full-colour illustrations - how could anyone say no?

Hint: they can’t.

The editors of this collection, Rebecca Buxton and Lisa Whiting, have undoubtedly brought together, and participated in, something truly beautiful. It is accessible, loving, inspirational - a chorus of lives and voices, depicted with a great deal of reverence, rising up in a battle cry. 

There is something utterly beguiling when a book like this one, leans into the realm of narrative nonfiction; if only in the way it details the authors’ deep and personal connection to the women they are writing about. It means that there is heart there, as well as a desire to gain great knowledge. And it is only through the acknowledgement and inclusion of that, that its readers are truly and wholeheartedly spurred on to true enlightenment. 

After-all, it certainly encouraged me on to finally dip a little deeper passed those 101s. Because now I know that a philosophy is there for me, if only I am open and willing to find it.

Thanks to Unbound and Anne Cater for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Head on over to for this book, as well as all of the others featured in my reviews, complete with the added bonuses of free worldwide shipping and bringing a little joy to my life.

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