Wednesday, April 13, 2022

A Women's History of The Beatles - A Book Review


Kit, Allison, Susan, Erika, and me (Sara) at The Fest for Beatle Fans in New Jersey 2017

In early 2019, I was contacted by a woman in Australia who was writing something about female Beatles fans.  She wanted to ask me a few questions about my experiences as a female Beatles fan who runs a popular Beatles site online, how I became a fan, and my experiences as a Beatles fan.   I wasn't quite sure what the unknown lady was doing -- was it a book?  A college project?   I didn't know --- but I am always happy to help out, and I answered her questions.   Shortly after this interview, my significant other unexpectedly passed away, and I totally forgot about this interview. 

The things I said now appear in print in the book I am reviewing tonight, A Women's History of The Beatles by Christine Feldman-Barrett.   Thankfully, Christine did show me the quotes from the interview prior to the publication of the book, and everything I said was true and sounded exactly like me.  It is just so bizarre to me that I have no memory of answering the questions.    

This book was extremely interesting, and the topic of women and The Beatles is something no one has ever really written about before.  It examines the history of women that influenced The Beatles and how The Beatles have influenced women.   I especially enjoyed reading about the girls from the early years of The Beatles -- the fans from the Cavern Club,  the female family members of John, Paul, George, and Ringo, and the girl groups that influenced The Beatles musically.  The book also goes into the wives and partners of The Beatles and how Cynthia and Maureen fit into that stereotype of a Northern England wife.   Jane and Pattie were working women, and that was an issue for both Paul and George.   Then Yoko and Linda came, and they directly influenced John and Paul's music and the way both of them lived their lives. 

Christine talked to ladies who are first-generation, second-generation, and third-generation fans. They tell their stories about how they became Beatles fans and how The Beatles have shaped who they are today.   It is interesting to see how The Beatles have shaped so many women's careers, music, and lives.  I found it really interesting that while there are obvious differences between first-generation fans and third-generation fans -  there are a lot more similarities.   The Beatles' music is universal no matter what year it is or where the women live. 

This book is a little more academic than what I usually read, and I will admit that I had to go back and re-read some things to comprehend what I had read.   This is one of those books that you need to spend time reading and not just read on the go.


  1. Just as an aside, I've always liked that top photo of the Beatles wives & girlfriend.

  2. does sound interesting - as a 1st gen fan I've found a great difference between 1st. 2nd, 3rd gens but it's because of the early experiences of the 1st; wonderful how we all love the music