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When the end of an era was at hand, this samurai woman refused to go gently.
Stephanie St. Clair
This audacious black gangster fought the Italian mob for control of Harlem and won, taunting them in full-page newspaper ads as she went.
Te Puea Herangi
The reluctant royal who became the Maori's greatest leader.
With a dead husband and a hostile foreign country on her hands, this Indian queen did the unthinkable - turned her loyal servants into some of the first suicide bombers in recorded history.
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 revolutionary heroine of South America kept a pet bear, a disembodied moustache, and a lifestyle that defied every convention possible.
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.
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.
When this Spanish merchant went out to pick cabbages, she stumbled upon an unusual kind of pest: a French knight.
This mythical Native American woman saved her loved ones from starvation with delicious magical leprosy - a fact that led to, shall we say, complications.