Joan of Arc
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Christine de Pizan
When her husband unexpectedly died, she rolled up her sleeves and became one of the greatest authors of the age to keep food on the table. She wrote passionate defenses of her gender (and military treatises!) that were centuries ahead of their time.
This revolutionary heroine of South America kept a pet bear, a disembodied moustache, and a lifestyle that defied every convention possible.
The ghost of a tragically-murdered young child come back to haunt her mother in post-slavery America.
Mexico's infamous "weeping ghost" has many incarnations: a jilted widow, a slave princess, a milk addict, a coffee bag, and a pair of panties.
When her deadbeat brothers demanded the impossible, this South African princess carried through, and slayed a dragon.
Jeanne de Clisson
When her husband was unjustly executed, this French noblewoman-turned-pirate became the terror of France.
Abandoned and imprisoned, this real-life Amazon took back the life she had stolen away.
When a monster demanded teenage girl sacrifice, Li Chi saved herself, and was crowned princess for her troubles.
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.
This "most dangerous of all spies" staged daring mountaintop escapes, prison breaks, and railway bombings -- all on her trusty wooden leg, codenamed "Cuthbert."