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The first Japanese woman to go to college didn't have a choice. But the experience changed her - and she changed Japan in return.
This undefinable adventurer's life burnt bright but short: a wildcard of the Algerian revolution, she survived an assassination attempt by sabre, and died in a freak desert flood.
She traded a life of privilege for one spent fighting for justice on both literal and political battlefields so tirelessly that even exiling her five times couldn't keep her down.
Roundly-despised and unfairly-maligned seductress of the bible who ran afoul of the wrong priests.
When her husband was killed by conquistadors, this native Chilean showed the Spanish what "fight like a woman" really means.
100 years before Lawrence of Arabia, this British woman traveled the Middle East by herself, surviving shipwrecks, plagues, and Bedouin attacks in the process.
An Inuit woman so strong nobody could even beat her lice in arm-wrestling, her story just gets stranger the closer you look.
The three men who accepted the Nobel Prize for "the most important scientific discovery of the 20th century" neglected to mention one thing: they owed much of their success to one brash, brilliant, and overlooked female scientist.
One of the most infamous libertines of the Renaissance, she cavorted all over Europe to flee her abusive marriage, lived…
Let her leprosy go untreated for years to make herself the perfect spy in the Japan-occupied Philippines - soldiers wouldn't touch her, so she could slip right through.