Have you ever wondered why we spell love, some, done as we do rather than *luv, *sum and *dun? The reason may surprise you.
Middle English manuscript was less rounded than ours is nowadays and it was largely made up of vertical strokes, called 'minims'. Also 'u' and 'v' were often interchangeable - written as 'v' at the beginning of the word and 'u' in the middle. So you can imagine that that letter strings of 'uv', 'um', and 'un' were pretty hard to work out - just a row of minims. So to make it easier to read, scribes started to make the 'u' into a more rounded 'o' in several words: love, dove, glove, above, shove, cover, oven; done, one, wonder, money, son, monk; come, some, etc. They are all spelled with 'o' but make the short 'u' sound, as in cut. (This explanation from David Crystal in The Encyclopedia of the English Language, p40.)
That still leaves the question of the final 'e' in some of the words above. In Old English, if there was a final 'e', it was pronounced. Words ending with this sounded 'e' were later dropped and that meant that a final 'e' could be used for other orthographic purposes. We know that the most common of these is to make the preceding vowel long, as in huge as opposed to hug or rate instead of rat. But the 'e' is also used for several other purposes. And one of these seems to be to tell us that the preceding vowel has been messed with in some way. Another reason for the final 'e' in some of these words is that there's an orthographical rule that English words can't end in 'v'. So an 'e' is added to make the spelling 'legal' in such words as give and live (vb).
Going back to the medieval manuscripts, at that time the letter 'i' had no dot and so Frank Smith (Writing and the Writer) suggests that's why women is spelled as it is - an 'i' (without a dot) between the four minims of a 'w'** and the three minims of the 'm' would be really hard to work out. And just think what the word minim would look like!
**'w' was sometimes written with a completely different letter (sorry, Blogger doesn't have that font!) and sometimes with 'uu'.