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Matilda of Tuscany
Fiery defender of the pope who made kings kneel before her.
Alice B. Clement
Chicago detective whose crime-busting exploits grew so popular she had her own newspaper series and starred in her own movie.
Possibly the most prolific female serial killer in history, a primary inspiration for Dracula, one of the most reviled women in history, and, I argue, innocent.
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.
100 years before Lawrence of Arabia, this British woman traveled the Middle East by herself, surviving shipwrecks, plagues, and Bedouin attacks in the process.
When her husband became deathly ill, this pregnant teen took the reins to become America's first female boat commander - all while fighting off a mutiny and keeping her husband alive.
The first naval admiral of modern times, she protected her country from foreign invaders with aplomb.
As an old woman, led an incredibly successful rebellion against British colonialism, known as The War of the Golden Stool,…
The lone survivor of an ill-fated scientific expedition, this Inuit woman persevered for two years on a remote arctic island in order to get money to treat her ill son.
When terrorists hijacked her plane, she gave her life to save it, becoming the youngest recipient of India's highest honor.