Reformation Women: Sixteenth-Century Figures Who Shaped Christianity’s Rebirth by Rebecca VanDoodewaard focuses on heroines of the Reformation, highlighting their character and contributions. The book enlightens readers about twelve great women: Anna Reinhard, Anna Adlischweiler, Katharina Schutz, Margarethe Blaurer, Marguerite de Navarre, Jeanne d’Albret, Charlotte Arbaleste, Charlotte de Bourbon, Louise de Coligny, Katherine Willoughby, Renee of Ferrara, and Olympia Morata. I had never heard of many of these women, which made the book not only a delightful read, but also an educational one.
My favorite chapter centered upon Marguerite de Navarre, the first princess to become Reformed. I also loved reading about Olympia Morata, an intelligent academic woman from Italy. The book is full of useful historical information; I have recently read a few other books about the Reformation, and Reformation Women helped me to further understand more of the context behind the reformational schism from the Roman Catholic Church. On a side note, I like how the author included appendices with a timeline and family tree information of the book’s key figures.
Many of the books that discuss the Reformation focus on men’s involvement in the Reformation, so it is excellent that VanDoodewaard has written a book to show how women made waves in the Reformation.