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When this Spanish merchant went out to pick cabbages, she stumbled upon an unusual kind of pest: a French knight.
She traded a life of privilege for one spent fighting for justice on both literal and political battlefields so tirelessly that even exiling her five times couldn't keep her down.
The "Last of the Aboriginal Tasmanians" (she wasn't) used brains, brawn, and sheer will to carve a place for herself, even as the world was collapsing around her.
Daring journalist who infiltrated insane asylums, exposed slavery rings, and raced around the world in under 80 days.
Isabella of France
After years of neglect and abuse from her husband, this queen raised an army and took over England for herself.
Isabel Godin des Odonais
To reunite with her husband, she went on a months-long trek through the jungle -- and was the only survivor.
This mythical Native American woman saved her loved ones from starvation with delicious magical leprosy - a fact that led to, shall we say, complications.
Madam C.J. Walker
America's ostensible first female self-made millionaire was a black beauty magnate who did it all for her daughter.
The last Crow nation baté (Two Spirit mystic) in history, she earned her name -- which means "Finds Them and Kills Them" -- by tirelessly fighting to preserve her way of life.
Matilda of Tuscany
Fiery defender of the pope who made kings kneel before her.