This collection of essays by eminent anthropologists, missiologists and historians explores the hitherto neglected topic of women missionaries and the effect of Christian missionary activity upon women. The book consists of two parts. The first part looks at 19th century women missionaries as presented in literature, at the backgrounds and experience of women in the mission field and at the attitudes of missionary societies towards their female workers. Although they are traditionally presented as wives and support workers, it becomes apparent that, on the contrary, women missionaries often played a culturally important role. The second and longest section asks whether women missionaries are indeed a special case, and provides some fascinating studies of the impact of Christian missions on women in both historical material and a wealth of contemporary material.Of particular value is the perspective of those who were themselves objects of missionary activity and who reflected upon this experience. Women actively absorbed and adapted the teachings of the Christian missionaries, and Western models are seen to be utilized and developed in sometimes unexpected ways.