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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.
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.
The actual hero of the Ali Baba myth, this slave girl saves the titular character by singlehandedly dispatching the forty thieves - without him even knowing.
United Hawaii under one rule, abolished ancient taboos, and led negotiations with the fledgling United States.
This single mom developed the field of Mexican archaeology, while fiercely protecting it from the sleazy and opportunistic.
Daring journalist who infiltrated insane asylums, exposed slavery rings, and raced around the world in under 80 days.
Socialite turned sniper turned socialist politician - Ireland's first woman elected to office had quite a life.
Olga of Kiev
Brutal princess-turned-Christian saint who burnt down enemy towns using pigeons.
The exiled daughter of a deposed ruler, she could have been a fairytale bridge between worlds - but fairy tales are not real. Benazir, whose name means "without flaw," was anything but.
An Inuit woman so strong nobody could even beat her lice in arm-wrestling, her story just gets stranger the closer you look.