Laura Hillenbrand suffers from chronic fatigue syndrome, which has largely confined her to her house for 25 years. Despite this, she's written two of the biggest best-sellers in modern history.
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When her shogun husband cheated on her, she raised an army and destroyed the other woman's house. Later she deposed her incompetent son to become the first nun to rule Japan.
When horse-riding Spaniards invaded, she defied her tribe to befriend one of the abandoned horses, using her new bond to fight off the Spanish.
Born in a prison cell, this revolutionary financed and led a large chunk of Greece's navy to victory in their fight for independence.
Isabel Godin des Odonais
To reunite with her husband, she went on a months-long trek through the jungle -- and was the only survivor.
The first prosthetic limb in human civilization went to this ancient warrior queen. Or did it? The story is more complex than you might think.
Black, Muslim warrior queen of a tribe of griffin-riding Amazons - and the honest-to-god namesake of California.
Juana Azurduy de Padilla
This revolutionary (and mother of five) should have been the namesake of Bolivia - and that's the opinion of Simon Bolivar, the actual namesake of Bolivia!
Rose from dire poverty and violence to become the greatest black entertainer of all time - Michael Jackson, Madonna, and Angelina Jolie all rolled into one.