For decades, the world's best leprosy treatment was the work of an unknown black chemist - whose work was stolen by her successor.
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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.
Saved the Jewish people by hammering a tent spike through an unsuspecting house guest's head.
Socialite turned sniper turned socialist politician - Ireland's first woman elected to office had quite a life.
Muslim sultan who took the throne, defeated Louis IX in battle, ransomed him back to France for 30% of their GDP --- and did it all in secret.
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.
When a neighboring tribe threatened the Yoruba, this queen went undercover as a spy to find their weakness.
Mythological Irish princess who was turned into a worm, butterfly, and a pool of water; who induced the strangest pregnancy since Jesus; and who may hold the key to understanding Ireland's history.
When this Spanish merchant went out to pick cabbages, she stumbled upon an unusual kind of pest: a French knight.
Sor Juana Inés de La Cruz
This brilliant poet rose from illegitimacy and poverty to become one of the luminaries of her age - until she flew too close to the sun.
Spy, smuggler, saboteur, partisan: this Jewish woman refused to go like a lamb to the slaughter, and fought the Nazis tooth and nail... even after the war, when she, alongside others, poisoned thousands of Nazi POWs in a revenge plot.