Ma Rainey made dozens of recordings, wore diamond tiaras and beaded gowns, and was once arrested for an intimate party involving several other women.
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Fearsome undefeated samurai warrior who was "a match for any god or demon," and is one of Japan's greatest heroines…
Matilda of Tuscany
Fiery defender of the pope who made kings kneel before her.
This undefinable adventurer's life burnt bright but short: a wildcard of the Algerian revolution, she survived an assassination attempt by sabre, and died in a freak desert flood.
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.
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.
This legendary pockmarked poet sang truth to power and was killed for it, becoming an enduring symbol of resistance.
After decades of gaslighting and emotional abuse at the hands of her in-laws, this iron-willed woman survived being shot four times point blank, won a separation from her husband, and became one of the most respected business icons in New Orleans.
Wallada bint al-Mustakfi
Spirited poetry-spouting princess who lived an audacious life and put her cheating lover on blast with her expert slam poetry.
Noor Inayat Khan
Pacifist Indian princess who gave up everything of herself to hold the line in occupied Paris during World War 2.
Sword-slinging Arabian heroine who stars as the heroine of an extremely long and entertaining epic tale.