Received feminist wisdom has conceived of history as a male enclave devoid of woman subjects and practitioners, particularly before the twentieth century. As Ann For Freedom put it in 1972, from Herodout's to Will Durant's histories, the main characters, the main viewpoints and interests, have all been male. Feminist accounts of the 1970s and 1980s viewed historiography (the writing of history) as overwhelmingly his, coining the term herstory and presenting it as a compensatory feminist practice. Herstory designated women's place at the center of an alternative narrative of past events. Rosalind Miles's description restates the popular view: Women's history by contrast has only just begun to invent itself. Males gained entry to the business of recording, defining and interpreting events in the third millennium B.C.; for women, this process did not even begin until the nineteenth century. The herstorical method provided a means for feminist historians to explore materials by and about women that had previously been neglected or ignored. Herstory promoted curricular transformation in schools and was used as a slogan on T-shirts, pencils, and buttons. Exposing historians' tacit and intentional sexism, herstorians set out to correct the record to show that women had held up half the historical sky. Despite the great scholarly gains made behind the rallying cry, herstory's popular myth – particularly about the lack of women who have recorded history – require revision. Herstory may accurately describe feminists efforts to construct female-centered accounts of the past, but the term inadvertently blinds us to women's important contributions to historical discourse before the nineteenth century. Historiography has not been an entirely male preserve, though feminists are justified in faulting its long-standing masculine contours. In fact, criticism of historiography's sexism is not of recent origin. Early eighteenth-century feminist Mary Astell protested that the Men being the Historians, they seldom condescend to record the great and good actions of Women. Astell, like those who echoed her sentiments two and a half centuries later, must be credited for admirable zeal in setting out to right scholarly wrongs, but her supposition that historians were only male is inaccurate. Her perception is especially strange because she herself wrote a historical work, An Impartial Enquiry into the Cause of Rebellion and Civil War (1704). Astell's judgment is at the same time understandable, given that much historical writing by women of the late seventeenth century was not published until the nineteenth century. Despite their courage and their rightful anger, Astell and her descendants overlooked early modern woman writer's contributions to historiography.