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Know Your Women in Herstory

I have received so many questions from my readers about where do I start?


Where to I start, when I want to learn more about women in history. I always answer: "Start with my blog! I created this blog for all those of you seeking more knowlege and insights into women in herstory." So dig in. Please. There's lots of information, it's easy to read and the blog articles provide easy access to more background material. You can also go to my research article collection here.


Usually my blogs are about a single character or topic, but for this one, right now, 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.


Above: Queen Christina of Sweden (1626-1689) © National Galleries of Scotland / Ebba Sparre (1629-1662) National Gallery of Art.


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)

The tomb of Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine.

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)


Dr. Gertrude Bell. Picture: Public domain

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)

Famous buste of Queen Nefititi, Ancient Egypt. Berlin National Museum/Shutterstock

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)


Remember, this list is in no way complete. They are just suggestions as to where you could start learning. As you learn more about women in history, I invite you to add more of your own as you go along.


Pictures above: Byzantine empire empress Theodora / Marie Corelli / Christina of Pisan / Lady Carcas / Queen Elizabeth 1st of England

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