Review: Toksvig’s Almanac by Sandi Toksvig

Title: Toksvig’s Almanac 2021 – An Eclectic Meander Through the Historical Year

Author: Sandi Toksvig

Pages: 360 Pages

Publisher: Trapeze

The Blurb

Toksvig’s Almanac is intended merely as a starting point for your own discoveries. Find a fabulous (or infamous) woman mentioned and, please, go looking for more of her story. The names mentioned are merely temptations. Amuse-bouches for the mind, if you like. How I would have loved to have written out in detail each tale there is to be told, but then this book would have been too heavy to lift.’

Let Sandi Toksvig guide you on an eclectic meander through the calendar, illuminating neglected corners of history to tell tales of the fascinating figures you didn’t learn about at school.

From revolutionary women to serial killers, pirate nuns to pioneering civil rights activists, doctors to dancing girls, artists to astronauts, these pages commemorate women from all around the world who were pushed to the margins of historical record. Amuse your bouche with:

Belle Star, American Bandit Queen

Lady Murasaki, author of the world’s first novel

Madame Ching, the most successful pirate of all time

Maud Wagner, the first female tattoo artist

Begum Samru, Indian dancer and ruler who led an army of mercenaries

Inês de Castro, crowned Queen Consort of Portugal six years after her death

Ida B. Wells, activist, suffragist, journalist and co-founder of the NAACP

Eleanor G. Holm, disqualified from the 1936 Berlin Olympics for drinking too much champagne

These stories are interspersed with helpful tips for the year, such as the month in which one is most likely to be eaten by a wolf, and the best time to sharpen your sickle. Explore a host of annual events worth travelling for, from the Olney Pancake Race in Wiltshire to the Danish Herring Festival, or who would want to miss Serbia’s World Testicle Cooking Championship?

As witty and entertaining as it is instructive, Toksvig’s Almanac is an essential companion to each day of the year.

The Review

I love Sandi Toksvig. My love for her knows no bounds and all I really want to do is tickle her brain. She just knows so many amazing things and her latest book Toksvig’s Almanac is proof of that. It is a celebration of all the amazing – and times not so valued or remembered – fascinating things that women have done through the years. These women have been forgotten or hidden by history and it seems that Toksvig will not stand for it. I, for one, salute this.

I learned so much about so many women that I knew so little about when I read Toksvig’s Almanac. So many things have been forgotten or shoved to one side or retold to suit a patriarchal society that I know that I need books like this to help me understand the basics of a broader picture.

Toksvig’s Almanac really is the gift that keeps on giving. It is not a one time read. This could be read over and over again and it gives you a scope of things to research further. It is a book for all girls and one that should be gifted to everyone you know.

Toksvig’s Almanac 2021 – An Eclectic Meander Through the Historical Year by Sandi Toksvig is available now.

For more information regarding Sandi Toksvig (@sanditoksvig) please visit

For more information regarding Trapeze (@TrapezeBooks) please visit

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