Reviews

  • Wonderful... utterly compelling. This is history at its best: writing that unfolds the past and sheds light on the present

    Financial Times
  • A joy to read, borne of raw curiosity and intelligence, nurtured into the world to fill a gap in understanding.

    New York Times
  • Knott manages to combine scholarship with personal experience in a heartfelt and original way. Every mother-to-be should read it

    Sunday Times
  • A stunning book. Mother: An Unconventional History is a dextrous blend of autobiography and anthropology and social history, but above all love and a woman's desire to be a mother. It is riveting from beginning to end

    Diane Atkinson, author of 'Rise Up Women!: The Remarkable Lives of the Suffragettes'
  • Mother is a timely and fascinating investigation into one of the most overlooked and yet fundamental human experiences. Sarah Knott expertly weaves together a narrative that succeeds in being both intensely personal but also reassuringly historical.

    Amanda Foreman, bestselling author of 'Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire'
  • Lyrically evocative and richly textured, Mother sets fragments of female lives over the last four centuries in Britain and North America within a narrative of Sarah Knott's own experiences to produce a remarkable history - exploratory, pointillist, and intensely personal - of what it is, and has been, to be a mother.

    Helen Castor, author of 'She-Wolves: The Women Who Ruled England Before Elizabeth'
  • In this innovative, grippingly readable history, Sarah Knott has woven a scintillating tapestry of ideas and experiences across time. Mother is a moving and enlightening meditation on the most elemental, yet ceaselessly varied, of all human bonds.

    Fara Dabhoiwala, author of 'The Origins of Sex'
  • A remarkable book. Sarah Knott weaves an intimate account of becoming a mother into a richly-documented history of maternity. Eloquent and evocative, this is a book to savour and share with anyone who loves great history-writing.

    Barbara Taylor, author of 'Eve and the New Jerusalem' and 'The Last Asylum'
  • This fabulous book manages both to recreate what those extraordinary early months of motherhood are like, and make sense of them by placing them in history. Knott's diary of motherhood is poetic: she conveys that sense that time has stopped, that only the baby's reflux matters, the heightened power of smell, the loss of self. The historical anecdotes Knott provides are riveting, and open up new ways of understanding what motherhood can be. The pace of it all is perfect - slow, and focused,- just as growth has its own imperceptible rhythms. This is a new kind of history-writing. A truly original, inspiring book.

    Lyndal Roper, Regius Professor of History, Oxford
  • Fascinating and beautifully written. A book I will feverishly press on others - both as an exploration of unheard histories and as a companion to pregnancy and early motherhood

    Rebecca Schiller, author of Your No-Guilt Pregnancy Plan