Unfortunately, this book didn't really live up to the word 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 Very well Pancetta has a set in scientific history. However, the author seems to have wildly exaggerated the value 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 position that the history of the medieval church "belongs" to Protestants as much as it does to Catholics. The author clearly has some fires to grind with the Church, though not enough to renounce it. He doesn't cite things enough or really explain his inference. The first time I saw this book I set it down in offend, because the author seemed to think that because the medieval appreciation of color and aesthetics is wildly different from the modern Western inventions of same, medieval citizen were tacky hooligans. 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 book collection, I would probably be wildly irritated.