nevertheless, she persisted
nevertheless, she persisted is our celebration of inspirational women throughout history. Here are some of our favourite titles!
What Would Boudicca Do? Everyday Problems Solved by History’s Most Remarkable Women
Elizabeth Foley and Beth Coates
Tired of your boss bropropriating your ideas and presenting them as his own?
Wondering if the pursuit of having it all has in fact resulted in having not very much?
It is time to start channelling the spiky superwomen of history to conquer today. It is time to turn to women like Frida Kahlo and Josephine Baker, Hypatia and Cleopatra, Coco Chanel and Empress Cixi. In this irreverent guide they will help you figure out how to dispatch a loverat, back yourself, kill it at work and trounce FoMo.
With original illustrations by Bijou Karman, What Would Boudicca Do? will make you fired-up and ready for anything.
Widow Cliquot: The Story of a Champagne Empire and the Woman Who Ruled It
Tilar J Mazzeo
The Widow Clicquot is the New York Times bestselling business biography of the visionary young widow who built a champagne empire, became a legend in her tumultuous times, and showed the world how to live with style.
Tilar J. Mazzeo brings to life the woman behind the label, Barbe-Nicole Clicquot Ponsardin, in this utterly intoxicating book that is as much a fascinating journey through the process of making this temperamental wine as a biography of a uniquely tempered and fascinating woman.
A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of Virginia Hall, WWII s Most Dangerous Spy
In September 1941, a young American woman strides up the steps of a hotel in Lyon, Vichy France. Her papers say she is a journalist. Her wooden leg is disguised by a determined gait and a distracting beauty. She is there to spark the resistance.
By 1942 Virginia Hall was the Gestapo’s most urgent target, having infiltrated Vichy command, trained civilians in guerrilla warfare and sprung soldiers from Nazi prison camps. The first woman to go undercover for British SOE, her intelligence changed the course of the war – but her fight was still not over.
This is a spy history like no other, telling the story of the hunting accident that disabled her, the discrimination she fought and the secret life that helped her triumph over shocking adversity.
In Her Footsteps
Discover the lives and locations of trailblazing women who changed the course of history as you journey to the heart of women’s activism, history and creativity through the ages.
From the temple of Queen Hatshepsut in Egypt and Empress Dowager Cixi’s summer palace in Beijing, to the homes and meeting sites of suffragette heroes Sylvia Pankhurst and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the creative workrooms of Frida Kahlo and Virginia Woolf, and the tennis courts where the Williams sisters first learned to play – we showcase female pioneers whose lives and actions continue to inspire today.
In Her Footsteps is not only a celebration of incredible women, but a travel guide to the places where they studied, lived, worked, reigned and explored. We’ll tell you where to find the secret feminist history of sites around the world.
Catherine the Great: Portrait Of A Woman
Robert K. Massie
The story of one of the truly great female rulers in history by an award winning historian.
The daughter of an impoverished aristocrat, Catherine was married aged 16 to Grand Duke Peter, heir to the throne of all the Russias, a feckless teenager with a weakness for drink. Catherine was only able to give him an heir by passing off her lover’s son as his own.
In 1762, Catherine rode out of St Petersburg at the head of an army to arrest her husband. Three months later she became sole empress of the largest empire on earth. She was 33 years old.
She ruled Russia as a benevolent autocrat for 34 years,fighting the Turks abroad and rebellion at home, and shepherding her people through the upheavals of the French Revolution. She took on many lovers but gave her heart to General Potemkin, the foremost statesman of her time.
She died in 1796 aged 67, revered by her people as ‘our mother’, praised by Voltaire as a philosopher, reviled by her enemies as the Messalina of the North and remembered in history as Catherine the Great.
From this extraordinary life of great events, fabulous splendour and barbaric cruelty, Robert K. Massie has woven a thrilling narrative based on impeccable scholarship and a cinematic eye for detail.
Truganini – Journey through the apocalypse
Cassandra Pybus’s ancestors told a story of an old Aboriginal woman who would wander across their farm on Bruny Island, in south-east Tasmania, in the 1850s and 1860s. As a child, Cassandra didn’t know this woman was Truganini, and that Truganini was walking over the country of her clan, the Nuenonne.
For nearly seven decades, Truganini lived through a psychological and cultural shift more extreme than we can imagine. But her life was much more than a regrettable tragedy. Now Cassandra has examined the original eyewitness accounts to write Truganini’s extraordinary story in full.
Hardly more than a child, Truganini managed to survive the devastation of the 1820s, when the clans of south-eastern Tasmania were all but extinguished. She spent five years on a journey around Tasmania, across rugged highlands and through barely penetrable forests, with George Augustus Robinson, the self-styled missionary who was collecting the survivors to send them into exile on Flinders Island. She has become an international icon for a monumental tragedy – the so-called extinction of the original people of Tasmania.
Truganini’s story is inspiring and haunting – a journey through the apocalypse.
Amazons: The Real Warrior Women of the Ancient World
Since the time of the ancient Greeks we have been fascinated by accounts of the Amazons, an elusive tribe of hard-fighting, horse-riding female warriors. Equal to men in battle, legends claimed they cut off their right breasts to improve their archery skills and routinely killed their male children to purify their ranks.
For centuries people believed in their existence and attempted to trace their origins. Artists and poets celebrated their battles and wrote of Amazonia. Spanish explorers, carrying these tales to South America, thought they lived in the forests of the world’s greatest river, and named it after them.
In the absence of evidence, we eventually reasoned away their existence, concluding that these powerful, sexually liberated female soldiers must have been the fantastical invention of Greek myth and storytelling. Until now.
Following decades of new research and a series of groundbreaking archeological discoveries, we now know these powerful warrior queens did indeed exist. In Amazons, John Man travels to the grasslands of Central Asia, from the edge of the ancient Greek world to the borderlands of China, to discover the truth about the warrior women mythologized as Amazons.
In this deeply researched, sweeping historical epic, Man redefines our understanding of the Amazons and their culture, tracking the ancient legend into the modern world and examining its significance today.
Girls Who Run the World: 31 CEOs who mean business
The perfect graduation gift for future entrepreneurs! Part biography, part business how-to, and fully empowering, this book shows that you’re never too young to dream BIG! With colorful portraits, fun interviews and DIY tips, Girls Who Run the World features the success stories of 31 leading ladies today of companies like Rent the Runway, PopSugar, and Soul Cycle.
Girls run biotech companies.
Girls run online fashion sites.
Girls run environmental enterprises.
They are creative. They are inventive. They mean business.
Girls run the world.
This collection gives girls of all ages the tools they need to follow their passions, turn ideas into reality and break barriers in the business world.
The Unwomanly Face of War
Why, having stood up for and held their own place in a once absolutely male world, have women not stood up for their history? A whole world is hidden from us. Their war remains unknown . . . I want to write the history of that war. A women’s history.’
In the late 1970s, Svetlana Alexievich set out to write her first book, The Unwomanly Face of War, when she realized that she grew up surrounded by women who had fought in the Second World War but whose stories were absent from official narratives. Travelling thousands of miles, she spent years interviewing hundreds of Soviet women – captains, tank drivers, snipers, pilots, nurses and doctors – who had experienced the war on the front lines, on the home front and in occupied territories.
With the dawn of Perestroika, a heavily censored edition came out in 1985 and it became a huge bestseller in the Soviet Union – the first in five books that have established her as the conscience of the twentieth century.
Renia’s Diary: A Young Girl’s Life in the Shadow of the Holocaust
July 15, 1942, Wednesday
Remember this day; remember it well. You will tell generations to come. Since 8 o’clock today we have been shut away in the ghetto. I live here now. The world is separated from me and I’m separated from the world.
Renia is a young girl who dreams of becoming a poet. But Renia is Jewish, she lives in Poland and the year is 1939. When Russia and Germany invade her country, Renia’s world shatters. Separated from her mother, her life takes on a new urgency as she flees Przemysl to escape night bombing raids, observes the disappearances of other Jewish families and, finally, witnesses the creation of the ghetto.
But alongside the terror of war, there is also great beauty, as she begins to find her voice as a writer and falls in love for the first time. She and the boy she falls in love with, Zygmunt, share their first kiss a few hours before the Nazis reach her hometown. And it is Zygmunt who writes the final, heartbreaking entry in Renia’s diary.
Recently rediscovered after seventy years, Renia’s Diary is already being described as a classic of Holocaust literature. Written with a clarity and skill that is reminiscent of Anne Frank, Renia’s Diary also includes a prologue and epilogue by Renia’s sister Elizabeth, as well as an introduction by Deborah E. Lipstadt, author of Denial. It is an extraordinary testament to both the horrors of war, and to the life that can exist even in the darkest times.
Songspirals: Sharing women’s wisdom of Country through songlines
Gay’Wu Group of Women
A rare opportunity to connect with the living tradition of women’s songlines, as recounted by Yolngu women from far north Australia.
‘We want you to come with us on our journey, our journey of songspirals. Songspirals are the essence of people in this land, the essence of every clan. We belong to the land and it belongs to us. We sing to the land, sing about the land. We are that land. It sings to us.’
Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, and Nero—these are the names history associates with the early Roman Empire. Yet, not a single one of these emperors was the blood son of his predecessor. In this captivating history, a prominent scholar of the era documents the Julio-Claudian women whose bloodline, ambition, and ruthlessness made it possible for the emperors’ line to continue.
Eminent scholar Guy de la Bédoyère, author of Praetorian, asserts that the women behind the scenes—including Livia, Octavia, and the elder and younger Agrippina—were the true backbone of the dynasty. De la Bédoyère draws on the accounts of ancient Roman historians to revisit a familiar time from a completely fresh vantage point. Anyone who enjoys I, Claudius will be fascinated by this study of dynastic power and gender interplay in ancient Rome.
Women must quit their jobs when they marry.
They are barred from trade unions and universities.
Their husbands can legally rape them.
And they are not allowed to vote.
This could be the reality in Australia today — if it weren’t for the many women who, over more than a century of activism, fought for change.
In this passionate and timely account, Emily Maguire charts a course through the history of Australian feminism — from the First Wave to the Fourth, from suffragists to Riot Grrrls, from equal pay to #metoo. Along the way, she pays tribute to those who’ve spoken up and taken action in the face of ridicule, dismissal and violence.
This Is What a Feminist Looks Like shows us how we got to where we are today — and reminds us that some battles must be fought over and over again.
Pat Dudgeon, Jeannie Herbert, Jill Milroy and Darlene Oxenham
A collection of writings on women and Aboriginal identity from 15 senior Indigenous academics and community leaders. The collection engages with questions such as: What makes Aboriginal women strong? Why are grandmothers so important (even ones never met)? How is the connection to country different for Aboriginal people compared to non-Aboriginal people’s love of nature or sense of belonging to an area? What is Aboriginal spirituality?
These writings are generous, inclusive and considerate of the non-Aboriginal reader’s feelings. They are hopeful for the future, with an emphasis on acknowledging, joining, collaborating and caring. From the Introduction: “The value that Aboriginal women place on relationships emanates throughout the book.”
Gentleman Jack: A biography of Anne Lister, Regency Landowner, Seducer and Secret Diarist
The extraordinary life of history’s first modern lesbian who inspired the television series Gentleman Jack.
Anne Lister’s journals were so shocking that the first person to crack their secret code hid them behind a fake panel in his ancestral home. Anne Lister was a Regency landowner, an intrepid world traveller … and an unabashed lover of other women.
In this bold new biography, prizewinning author Angela Steidele uses the diaries to create a portrait of Anne Lister as we’ve never seen her before: a woman in some ways very much of her time and in others far ahead of it. Anne Lister recorded everything from the most intimate details of her numerous liaisons through to her plans to make her fortune by exploiting the coal seams under her family estate in Halifax and her reaction to the Peterloo massacre. She conducted a love life of labyrinthine complexity, all while searching for a girlfriend who could provide her with both financial security and true love.
Anne Lister’s rich and unconventional life is now the subject of the major BBC TV drama series Gentleman Jack.
Evonne Goolagong – Little People, Big Dreams
Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara
Evonne grew up on a hot, dusty farm in Australia. She was the third of eight children, and descendant of the Wirundjuri people, who have lived on the land for more than 60,000 years. Her talent for tennis was discovered at a local tennis club, and before she knew it, the girl dreaming about the place called “Wimbledon” was playing on center court. This moving book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the brilliant tennis player’s life.
Marie Curie: A life of Discovery
In her intensely researched, inventively drawn exploration of Marie Curie’s life, artist Alice Milani follows the celebrated Polish scientist from Curie’s time as a struggling governess to her years in France making breakthrough discoveries. Curie was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize and the only person to win a Nobel Prize in two different sciences. With skill and care, Milani traces Curie’s flight from Russia-controlled Poland, her romance with fellow scientist Pierre Curie, and Marie and Pierre’s stunning discoveries of the elements radium and polonium. Throughout this distinctive graphic work, Curie defies doubt and double standards to make an enduring impact on the scientific world.
Elizabeth Macarthur: A Life at the Edge of the World
Michelle Scott Tucker
In 1788 a young gentlewoman raised in the vicarage of an English village married a handsome, haughty and penniless army officer. In any Austen novel that would be the end of the story, but for the real-life woman who became an Australian farming entrepreneur, it was just the beginning.
John Macarthur took credit for establishing the Australian wool industry and would feature on the two-dollar note, but it was practical Elizabeth who managed their holdings—while dealing with the results of John’s manias: duels, quarrels, court cases, a military coup, long absences overseas, grandiose construction projects and, finally, his descent into certified insanity.
Michelle Scott Tucker shines a light on an often-overlooked aspect of Australia’s history in this fascinating story of a remarkable woman.
Meet the remarkable Ada Lovelace: rebellious rule-breaker and maths whizz-kid. Growing up in the shadow of her eccentric superstar father, the poet Lord Byron, and under the eye of her strict mother, Ada spends her time inventing and designing flying machines and studying her favourite subject – maths. In Ada’s time, girls aren’t encouraged to pursue maths, physics or engineering as they’re considered not clever enough but Ada doesn’t let this stop her. Once she grows up, Ada meets the famous inventor and engineer Charles Babbage, who introduces her to a truly extraordinary machine … one that will test Ada’s powers of logic and imagination, and establish her as the world’d very first computer programmer!
This is the absolutely astonishing, fantastically feminist and, best of all, totally true story of one amazingly determined young lady!
More Than Enough: Claiming Space for Who You Are (No Matter What They Say)
In this part-manifesto, part-memoir, the revolutionary editor who infused social consciousness into the pages of Teen Vogue explores what it means to come into your own – on your own terms.
Elaine Welteroth has climbed the ranks of media and fashion, shattering ceilings along the way. In this riveting and timely memoir, the groundbreaking editor unpacks lessons on race, identity, and success through her own journey, from navigating her way as the unstoppable child of a unlikely interracial marriage in small-town California to finding herself on the frontlines of a modern movement for the next generation of change makers.
Welteroth moves beyond the headlines and highlight reels to share the profound lessons and struggles of being a barrier-breaker across so many intersections. As a young boss and the only black woman in the room, she’s had enough of the world telling her – and all women – they’re not enough. As she learns to rely on herself by looking both inward and upward, we’re ultimately reminded that we’re more than enough.
A Woman of Firsts: The Midwife Who Built a Hospital and Changed the World
Edna Adan Ismail
Imprisonment. Mutilation. Persecution.
Edna Adan Ismail endured it all – for the women of Africa.
Edna saw first-hand how poor healthcare, lack of education and ancient superstitions had devastating effects on Somaliland’s people, especially its women. When she suffered the trauma of FGM herself as a young girl at the bidding of her mother, Edna’s determination was set.
The first midwife to practise in Somaliland, Edna became a formidable teacher and campaigner for women’s health. As her country was swept up in its bloody fight for independence, Edna rose to become its First Lady and first female cabinet minister.
She built her own hospital, brick by brick, training future generations in what has been hailed as one of the Horn of Africa’s finest university hospitals. This is Edna’s truly remarkable story.
Snakes and Ladders
It was no surprise that Angela Williams went to jail. A traumatic, violent upbringing saw to that. But after serving a short sentence for theft as a teenager, she became a model of rehabilitation. Thirteen years later, Angela was studying, teaching, providing a stable home for her son, and finally getting her life together. Then she got hit by a postie bike, and Police realised that Angela had ten months remaining on a prison sentence she thought was in her distant past.
However, Angela was a different prisoner the second time around: no longer a scared, damaged nineteen-year-old, she knew how to speak up for herself and her fellow prisoners against a system of power, privilege and cruelty that controls the lives of Australia’s most vulnerable women and offers little hope for redemption.
With unwavering courage, intelligence and humour, Snakes and Ladders reveals an astonishing true story of falling through the cracks, and what it takes to climb back out again.
Hope in a Ballet Shoe: Orphaned by War, saved by ballet: an extraordinary story
Hope in a Ballet Shoe tells the story of Michaela DePrince. Growing up in war-torn Sierra Leone, she witnesses atrocities that no child ever should. Her father is killed by rebels and her mother dies of famine. Sent to an orphanage, Michaela is mistreated and she sees the brutal murder of her favourite teacher.
Michaela and her best friend are adopted by an American couple and Michaela begins to take dance lessons. But life in the States isn’t without difficulties. Unfortunately, tragedy can find its way to Michaela in America, too, and her past can feel like it’s haunting her. The world of ballet is a racist one, and Michaela has to fight for a place amongst the ballet elite, hearing the words ‘America’s not ready for a black girl ballerina.’
And yet . . . Today, Michaela DePrince is an international ballet star, dancing for The Dutch National Ballet at the age of nineteen. This is a heart-breaking, inspiring autobiography by a teenager who shows us that, beyond everything, there is always hope for a better future.
About a Girl: A Mother’s Powerful Story of Raising her Transgender Child
Rebekah Robertson’s extraordinary personal story of raising her transgender child, Georgie Stone, who has become a voice not just for other transgender kids – but for an emerging generation.
In 2000, Rebekah gave birth to twin boys, George and Harry. But as they grew older, their preferences began to show, and by the age of three it was clear Georgie was drawn to anything that was pretty or had a skirt that could swirl.
Before long Georgie was insisting that she was a girl and became distressed that she had to hide who she really was when she began school. Soon the bullying started and she would come home in floods of tears, begging her mother to help her.
Rebekah and her husband, conflicted about how to proceed and overwhelmed by fear, united in their determination to help her live freely and fearlessly. To ensure Georgie had access to medical support they sought permission for her to begin puberty-blocking medication. Their case was the start of the long road to justice for transgender children in Australia and became the basis of the 2013 landmark decision to remove the Family Court’s jurisdiction.
Georgie has gone on to become one of the brightest stars of the Australian youth leadership landscape through her advocacy work. And Rebekah founded Transcend, a support network for transgender kids and their families in Australia.
Part memoir and part inspirational message of hope for those navigating a similar path, About a Girl is a thought-provoking and profoundly moving true story. Above all, it is a celebration of family and the values that unite us all.
Women in Art: 50 Fearless Creatives Who Inspired the World
Illustrated profiles of 50 pioneering female artists–from the 11th century to today–from the author of the New York Times bestseller Women in Science.
A charmingly illustrated and inspiring book, Women in Art highlights the achievements and stories of 50 notable women in the arts–from well-known figures like painters Frida Kahlo and Georgia O’Keefe, to lesser-known names like 19th-century African American quilter Harriet Powers and Hopi-Tewa ceramic artist Nampeyo. Covering a wide array of artistic mediums, this fascinating collection also contains infographics about artistic movements throughout history, statistics about women’s representation in museums, and notable works by women. Women in Art celebrates the success of the bold female creators who inspired the world and paved the way for the next generation of artists.
Keun Suk Gendry-Kim, Janet Hong
Grass is a powerful anti-war graphic novel, offering up firsthand the life story of a Korean girl named Lee Ok-sun who was forced into sexual slavery for the Japanese Imperial Army during the second World War – a disputed chapter in 20th century Asian history.
Beginning in Lee’s childhood, Grass shows the leadup to World War II from a child’s vulnerable perspective, detailing how one person experienced the Japanese occupation and the widespread suffering it entailed for ordinary Korean folk. Keum Suk Gendry-Kim emphasizes Lee’s strength in overcoming the many forms of adversity she experienced. Grass is painted in a black ink that flows with lavish details of the beautiful fields and farmland of Korea and uses heavy brushwork on the somber interiors of Lee’s memories.
Cartoonist Gendry-Kim’s interviews with Lee become an integral part of Grass, forming the heart and architecture of this powerful non-fiction graphic novel and offering a holistic view of how Lee’s wartime suffering changed her. Grass is a landmark graphic novel that makes personal the desperate cost of war and the importance of peace.
Grass is translated from Korean by Janet Hong, an award-winning writer and translator based in Vancouver, Canada. Her translations include Ancco’s Bad Friends (Drawn & Quarterly, 2018), Han Yujoo’s The Impossible Fairy Tale (Graywolf Press, 2017) and Ha Seong-nan’s The Woman Next Door (forthcoming from Open Letter Books in 2019). She is currently long listed for the 2018 PEN Translation Prize.
For centuries, women’s self-portraiture was a highly overlooked genre. Beginning with the self-portraits of nuns in medieval illuminated manuscripts, Seeing Ourselves finally gives this richly diverse range of artists and portraits, spanning centuries, the critical analysis they deserve. In sixteenth-century Italy, Sofonisba Anguissola paints one of the longest series of self-portraits, from adolescence to old age. In seventeenth-century Holland, Judith Leyster shows herself at the easel as a relaxed, self-assured professional. In the eighteenth century, from Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun to Angelica Kauffman, artists express both passion for their craft and the idea of femininity; and the nineteenth century sees the art schools open their doors to women and a new and resonant self-confidence for a host of talented female artists, such as Berthe Morisot. The modern period demolishes taboos: Alice Neel painting herself nude at eighty years old, Frida Kahlo rendering physical pain on the canvas, Cindy Sherman exploring identity, and Marlene Dumas dispensing with all boundaries.
Frances Borzello’s spirited text, now fully revised, and the intensity of the accompanying self-portraits are set off to full advantage in this new edition.
Irena, Book One: Wartime Ghetto
Jean-David Morvan, Severine Trefouel, David Evrard
Irena Book One: Wartime Ghetto is a 136-page full color biography that chronicles the life of Irena Sendlerowa. Carefully researched by the creators, this book is truly a work of love. Irena was a member of the Citizen Center for Social Aid during World War II, joined the resistance, and saved over 2500 children from the hell of Nazi-Occupied Warsaw Ghetto. The artwork by David Evrard invokes an innocence and charm that serves as a stark juxtaposition to the tense and perilous moments the story provides. This book is a must have for admirers of Irena Sendlerowa’s extraordinary life and those looking to learn more about the Jewish experience during World War II.
Irena Sendlerowa was born in 1910 in Otwock, a small town in central Poland. Irena was 29 years old when the Germans invaded Poland. The Germans soon gathered all the Jews in Warsaw into a small portion of the city that became known as the Warsaw Ghetto. The ghetto’s prison-like conditions led to thousands of deaths every month from starvation and disease. As a non-Jewish social worker, Irena was one of few outsiders allowed to enter thanks to a permit authorizing her to check the grounds for typhus and to help contain the disease from spreading outside the ghetto.
Slowly and carefully, she and a group of friends began sneaking children out of the ghetto, giving them new identities and temporary families. She wrote down each child’s original name, new name, and new address on a small slip of paper and buried the papers in glass jars in hopes of reuniting the children with their parents once the German occupation had ended. Her story was embraced worldwide in 1999 with a celebrated play and television movie bringing global awareness to her bravery. She was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in both 2007 and 2008, and has earned countless other commendations and praise. She passed away on May 12th, 2008 at the age of 98.