A learned study of the tradition and history of women --sex tested by realities in terms of law, religion, economics, society, education, politics, morality, philosophy. Mrs. Beard deals exhaustively with woman's legal subjection as propounded by Blackstone in his Commentaries; she discusses the decline of this version of common law, and the rise of women's legal rights with the rise of equity in the English speaking countries. Her historical panorama goes from the period of the Greeks to the present; the contribution to emancipation made through the industrial revolution; political freedom in varying degrees under democratic, fascistic and communistic states; the changes from the reformation on in moral and religious independence -- and her own interpretation of the function of women in historical change. She urges that the reality of the force of women in history be accepted in the interests of truth by historians, and she demonstrates how history of the Western World might appear if so viewed. A book primarily for historians and sociologists --scarcely for the general lay public.