It's not every woman that leaves home at 16 to befriend Chinese bandits, join the Siberian army, and film indigenous Brazilians for the first time - but Aloha Wanderwell, the World's Most Traveled Girl, wasn't every woman.
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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.
Marguerite de la Rocque
Stranded by her cruel relative on an abandoned Canadian island (literally named the Isle of Demons), she survived for two years by hunting animals and eventually made it back to France.
When she came face-to-face with a great monster, this mother saved her child and herself through bravery, quick thinking, and great culinary skills.
When her rebel husband was imprisoned, she continued the movement - by holding a castle under siege for three long, lonely years.
Isabella of France
After years of neglect and abuse from her husband, this queen raised an army and took over England for herself.
This undefeated warrior princess refused to marry unless her suitor could defeat her in wrestling - if he lost, he owed her 100 horses. In the end, she had 10,000 horses and no husband.
Labotsibeni Gwamile LaMdluli
When her husband inadvertently sold the country to colonial forces, this queen spent the rest of her life getting it back.
Jeanne de Clisson
When her husband was unjustly executed, this French noblewoman-turned-pirate became the terror of France.
Possibly the most cartoonishly evil woman to have ever existed, this Merovingian queen was an endless source of assassination attempts - including, on one memorable occasion, her own young daughter.
When Columbus and his crew ravaged her land, this native Haitian poet gave all to keep the peace.