Since they got a toe-hold in universities, the achievement of women in the field of medieval history has been high. Some female historiography may have been justly criticised for a certain breathlessness of style, a narrowness of concern, a subjectivity, even romanticism, of approach: faults produced, no doubt by the pressures of most women’s early socialisation. But the work of Rosalind Hill has shown an exemplary freedom from the faults and contributed substantially to the achievement. The combination of good sense and judgement with breadth of vision might perhaps have been expected from that rare person (of either sex) who can combine scholarly excellence with prowess in mountaineering. And so, despite its title, the paper that follows, in which I deal with the careers of two very active and intelligent women who commanded both the respect and the affection of many contemporaries (however unfairly posterity has treated them) will not, I hope, be thought a wholly inapt tribute.