The Story of Eve by Pamela Norris
The story of Eve is the story of Everywoman; her brief history in Genesis is where the Western idea of woman began. Three thousand years after the myth was first recorded, women are still, this book argues, grappling with ideas about female sexuality, intellectual inferiority and subordinate domestic status engendered by that ancient source. This work follows Eve's history as it was taken up and rewritten in multiple ways. The effect of these rewritings was to present Eve and her daughters as sexual temptresses whose dangerous influence could be controlled only by obedience to male authority and repeated childbirth. Many of these versions of Eve's stories were written by men and reflect male fears and fantasies about women; others were written by women and offer insight into how it felt to live under the shadow of the first woman. The book traces Eve's evolution, exposes the flimsiness of the case against her and explores some of the fantasies that the idea of Eve has conjured up in the human imagination.