Welcome to Louise Sommer's blog about Women in History & Religion

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Know Your Women in Herstory

I have received many questions from my readers about where do I start?, when one wants to learn more about women in history. I always answer: Start with my blog! There's lots of information, it's easy to read and the blog articles provide easy access to background and more in-depth information.

Usually my blogs are about a single character or topic, but for this one, I have collected a list of interesting and exceptional women everybody should know about. These are the women that I have come across in my own study, so the list is in no way complete, and is only meant as an inspiration. There are still many more great women to be discovered and to learn about. But at least, this gives you something to start with.

Esclarmonde de Foix, France (ca.1151-1215) Also known as Esclarmonde the Great

Queen Christina of Sweden (1626-1689)

Princess Nest Ferch Thys, The Helen of Wales (ca.1085-1136)

Romaine Brooks, US/France (1874-1970)

Olympias, Queen in Epirus (3rd Century BC)

Shieldmaiden and warrior leader Hervor, Scandinavia (dates unclear as usual)

Simone de Beauvoir, France (1908-1986)

Alice Guy-Blanché, France (1873-1968)

Anne Lister, UK (1791-1840)

Pharaoh Hatshepsut, Ancient Egypt (1508BC-1458BC) (one of the most important pharaohs)

Pharaoh Maryt-Neith, Ancient Egypt (3000BC)

Gertrude Bell, England (1868-1926)

Karen Gyllenstjerne, Denmark (1544-1613)

Wu Zentien, China (625-705)

Pope Joan, Frankenland (born around 814)

Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire, England (1757-1806)

Karen Blixen, Denmark (1885-1962)

Olimpia Maidalchini, Italy (1591-1657) (known as the female Pope.)

Pharaoh Cleopatra, Ancient Egypt (69BC-30BC)

Catherine the Great, Russia (1729-1796)

Florence Nightingale, England (1820-1920)

Empress Margaret of Austria (1480-1530)

Margarite of Navarre, Spain/France (1492-1549)

Madame de Pompadour, France (1721-1764) (The unofficial Prime -and foreign Minister of France)

Countess Mathilda of Tuscany/Canossa, Italy (1046-1115)

Anne Boleyn, England (1501-1536)

Dr. Maria Montessori, Italy (1870-1952)

Holy Romans Empress Eleonore Magdalene of Neuburg, Austria (1655-1720)

Johanne Luise Heiberg, Denmark (1812-1890)

Eleanor of Aquitaine, France (1122-1204)

Marija Gimbutas, Lithuania (1921-1994)

Queen Blanca of Navarra and Castile, Spain (1387-1441)

Lucrezia Borgia, Italy (1480-1519)

Catherine d’Medici, Italy (1547-1559)

Astrid Lindgren, Sweden (1907-2002

Greta Garbo, Sweden (1905-1990)

Marlene Dietrich, Germany (1901-1992)

Indira Ghandi, India (1917-1984)

Boudica, Queen and warrior, Wales (61 AD)

Saint Brigit of Kildare, Ireland (451 AD-525 AD)

Saint Catherine of Alexandria, Egypt (c. 282-c.305)

Pharaoh Neferititi, Ancient Egypt (18th Dynasty)

Christine de Pizan, Italy/France (1364-1430)

Isabeau of Bavaria, France/Germany (1370-1435)

Pharaoh Nitocris, Ancient Egypt (6th Dynasty)

Holy Roman Empress Adelaide of Burgundy, France (931/932-999)

Pharaoh Sobeknofru, Ancient Egypt (12th Dynasty)

Joanna, Queen of Napels, Jerusalem and Sicily (1326-1382)

Eugenie de Montijo, Empress of the French (1826-1920)

Mary, Queen of Scotts (1542-1587)

Dr. Sabina Spielrein, Russia (1885-1942)

Marie Antoinette, Austria (1755-1793)

Empress Maria Theresa of Austria (1717-1780)

Sophie Brahe, Denmark (1556-1643)

Empress Theodora, Roman (500-548 AD)

Isabella 1 of Castile, Spain (1451-1504

Queen Victoria, England (1819-1901)

Frida Kahlo, Mexico (1907-1954)

Princess Diana, England (1961-1997)

Queen Margrethe 1 of Denmark (1353-1412)

Queen Elizabeth 1 of England (1533-1603)

Baroness Barbara von Krüdener, Baltic German (1764-1824)

Camille Claudel, France (1865-1943)

Angelica Kauffman, Austria (1770-1975)

Lady Mary Bankes, England (c.1598-1661)

Nancy Wake, New Zealand/UK (1912-2011)

Mademoiselle Maupin, France (ca.1670-1707)

Hannah Nydal, Denmark (1946-2007)

Remedios Varo, Spain/Mexico (1908-1963)

Selma Lagerlöf, Sweden (1858-1940)

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