When they weren't allowed to join the men-only Explorers Club, these intrepid women started their own.
The Society of Woman Geographers
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Marguerite de la Rocque
Stranded by her cruel relative on an abandoned Canadian island (literally named the Isle of Demons), she survived for two years by hunting animals and eventually made it back to France.
When the Tsar became hellbent on nailing down her gender, this clever gender-nonconforming heroine kept him guessing to the end.
This "untouchable" woman ended decades of abuse by starting a bandit gang and avenging the lower castes. After some time in prison, she got out, ran for parliament, and won.
The "Last of the Aboriginal Tasmanians" (she wasn't) used brains, brawn, and sheer will to carve a place for herself, even as the world was collapsing around her.
Motorcycling across America, making her living doing stunts and transporting secret government documents, this stand-out woman found family in places she didn't expect.
The greatest ruler of Yemeni history, she defeated her numerous foes to usher the country into its golden age.
Mekatilili wa Menza
When colonial powers went too far, she rebelled in the most stylish way possible: dancing from town to town. It was surprisingly effective.
One of the most famous women in American history, this hyper-capable Shoshone woman walked across America with a baby strapped to her back, in order to map it.
The ghost of a tragically-murdered young child come back to haunt her mother in post-slavery America.
Carolina Maria de Jesus
Brash, funny, and difficult, this mother of three wrote her way out of extreme poverty with her uncompromising look at Brazilian society - and was alternately lauded and berated for it.