STRI is a study of bronze-age femininity as portrayed in the Mahabharata. It focuses on the roles of wife, daughter-in-law, and mother, and also on the kinship groups. McGrath examines marriage systems and patterns of courtship as well as showing how different stages in a woman's life are depicted by this epic. He carefully demonstrates that the voice of women during pre-classical times was crucial for sustaining and maintaining dharma in society and he shows how the matriline dominated cultural life in the court at Hastinapura. The Sanskrit translations of these women’s voices are both impeccable and beautiful.
Feminists, historians, and scholars of Indian antiquity will find great truth in this work, a truth that is profoundly relevant for twenty-first-century India.
- Kumkum Roy, Centre for Historical Studies Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi
-Shonaleeka Kaul, Department of History, University of Delhi