In recent years, women’s and gender historians have paid attention to the dissonance between the grand narratives of European women’s history and the history and experiences of marginal regions and countries. This article discusses the challenge of writing women’s history from the margins—Iceland—into the framework of the grand narratives of European women’s and gender history. It is argued that this framework grounded in theories of progress and modernisation is too narrow, offering little space for different or marginal voices from rural societies. Using the case study of the ‘ordinary’ woman Sigríður Pálsdóttir (1809–1871), the article argues that more voices from the margins and different histories, broaden our understanding of the multi-vocal and multi-levelled history of women in Europe.
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