In October 2009, scholars working in the field of gender studies in Britain met at the University of East Anglia (UEA), Norwich, to discuss the problems of reclaiming women's words from the historic record. The one-day event, a conference organized jointly by Fiona Williamson and Janka Rodziewicz, was titled ‘Women's Voices: The Power of Words in Medieval and Early Modern Europe’. It was the product of ongoing discussions between scholars interested in recovering women's voices from textual sources, such as letters and, particularly, legal documents in line with the contemporary work of scholars such as Alexandra Shepard, Jeremy Goldberg, Garthine Walker, Tim Stretton and Cordelia Beattie, amongst others. Their work has highlighted the importance of legal documents, such as secular and ecclesiastic court proceedings, in understanding women's agency and ability to negotiate their own roles and contest those of others at law. In particular, this work has sought to move beyond the restrictions of prescriptive literature and dominant narratives of female identities to reconstruct women's real lived experiences through the in-depth analysis of their own words. The conference brought together leading names in the field, along with new scholars and postgraduate students, who engaged in discussion about the future of the field and the ways in which it might usefully build.