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Women's History Month is March If you have an interesting book concerning women in history, please post it here.

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Scandalous Women: The Lives and Loves of History's Most Notorious Women by Elizabeth Kerri Mahon


Mahon, a self-proclaimed "history geek," reclaims history "one woman at a time" in short lighthearted accounts of the lives of rich and famous--and ordinary--women who caused wars, created drama, "defied the rules and brought men to their knees."


She-Wolves: The Women Who Ruled England Before Elizabeth by Helen Castor


"Man was the head of woman, and the king was the head of all," Castor writes.  "How, then, could royal power lie in female hands?"  Castor answers that suspenseful question in dense, historically rich accounts that set out every detail of the complex social mores, political machinations, familiar manipulations and feuds that formed {women's} paths to power and influence.  Women who claimed their earned power--even their birthright--outright during the 12th-15th centuries were seen as fanged, bloodthirsty "she-wolves."

100 Canadian Heroines: Famous and Forgotten Faces

Author Merna Forster has created the ultimate guide to cool Canadian women from every corner of the country, featuring famous and forgotten faces in science, sport, politics, war and peace, arts and entertainment, and many other fields. Meet remarkable women in Canadian history, from the adventurous Gudridur the Viking to murdered Mi'kmaq activist Anna Mae Aquash.

More about this book and reviews here.

Uncrowned Queens: women who influenced manners and moulded [sic] the society they lived in by Anny Latour, translated by A. A. Dent.  Published 1970.

History is studded with examples of women who shaped it in a myriad ways -- often invading what were regarded as male preserves to to so.  This is not a book of royal mistresses -- there are plenty of such books to be found -- but something much rarer, a study of those often magnetic women who influenced manners and moulded the society they lived in.  The book opens with a discussion of the role of women in medieval Anglo-French society, adored by troubadours as adept with lute and erotic ballad as with the lance and mace: the world of Richard Coeur-de-Lion.

Turning to the Italian Renaissance, we meet Isabella d'Este, a typical great lady, learned, a scheming politician, an avant-garde patron of the arts.  Then there is a detailed survey of the French literary salon, and of the English 'Blue-Stocking' movement.  Following this are studies of Rahel Varnhagen, mainspring of the European Romantic movement; the Princess Belgiojoso, solitary feminine figure in the Risorgimento; Juliette Adam, founder of La Nouvelle Revue; Gertrude Stein, a poet of startling and unmatched originality and a liberating influence also on the visual arts.

About the author:

Dr. Latour was born and educated in Austria.  She is a graduate in the History of Art.  Her earlier books include Les Magiciens de la Mode, Les Borgia and La Résurrection d'Israël.  Her workhas been translated into English, German, Dutch and Spanish.  While researching for her book on fashion she became absorbed also in women's part in literature, art and politics, and Uncrowned Queens was created out of this interest.



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