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The Very Secret Sex Lives of Medieval Women

Story: Jodie Woodward
Published On : Aug 23, 2021
The Very Secret Sex Lives Of Medieval Women
Have you ever wondered what life was really like for women in medieval times? Author Rosalie Gilbert has spent so much time thinking and talking about it that she’s written a book to fill us in on all the juicy details.

“I’m a history geek through and through,” Rosalie said. “I’m a lifetime member of the Friends of the Abbey Museum of Art and Archaeology and a member of the Queensland Living History Federation, so my passion for history is quite strong.

“The more I learned about medieval women, the more I learned that what most people think to be true isn’t! While looking at matters of health and hygiene, I came across a lot of information about their sex lives, which was all the more astonishing for being true. I don’t like to keep that kind of thing to myself.”

Rosalie’s book The Very Secret Sex Lives of Medieval Women examines how medieval women dealt with many areas of their private lives, often in ways that remain relevant to women today.

“Many history books are full of facts and figures and jargon, which is familiar to those who have studied the topic, but can be dry or tedious for the general reader,” Rosalie said.

“My book has the feel that you might be talking to a friend about really cool or astonishing or awful things that you’ve just heard. It has a slightly companionable feel to it, and it is suited to people who are interested in medieval women but don’t want to read a thesis.”

In her talk at Sandgate Library, Rosalie will share herbal manuscripts, court cases, medical treatises, and religious documents in a factual and funny talk.

“You might not be sure what to expect, but you sure will leave with a whole new perspective on our sisters from the past. Some things change and some stay the same – come and find out what. It’s suitable for all types of people and is tastefully presented with a light sprinkle of Horrible Histories-style humour, and pictures.”

This event is free, but registrations are required via Sandgate Library. For more information about Rosalie, go to

Meet Rosalie Gilbert
Friday, 10 September, 3.30pm – 4.30pm
Sandgate Library
1 Seymour Street, Sandgate.