Release Date: 03/03/11
From earliest times, women gained access to leadership in times of conflict and proved themselves equal to the challenge of commanding during war. Women leaders abounded in the ancient world from Ireland to Israel, sometimes through the accident of birth, but often rising to power through naked opportunism and raw courage in the ranks - and it is no accident that women war leaders, like men, are often famous for their strong sexual drive. Wherever there is war, there has often been a woman at the helm. Later ages frequently wrote these women out of history, but their stories have refused to die. From the legendary leader of the Amazons who fought the greatest of Greek heroes, Achilles, to the Iron Ladies of today, the women of both West and East directing military campaigns and leading their countries in war. Presenting an array of fascinating and sometimes little known women war leaders, popular author Rosalind Miles and the acclaimed military historian Robin Cross do full justice to the achievements of these women, some of whose amazing stories have so far never been told. Warrior women include: Penthesilea the Amazons queen, Deborah, Cleopatra VII, Boudicca, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Joan of Arc, Elizabeth I, Grace O'Malley, Deborah Samson, Nadezda Durova, Harriet Tubman, Anna Etheridge, Soldaderas, Flora Sandes, Lily Litvak, Women of the Warsaw Ghetto, Hanna Reitsch, Ruth Werner, Jeanne Holm, Margaret Thatcher, Women in Today's Armies, Martha McSally and more...
Whilst there are an absolute ton of books on Heroes (mainly male) there are very few that sing the praises of the heroine which is what intrigued me so much about this title by Rosalind Miles and Robin Cross. Within this title the reader gets the life story of many heroines, from Boudicca to Eleanor of Aquitaine from Lilya Latvak to Jeanne Holme, there’s a heroine for all.
Whilst this is quite easy to dip into each separate chapter brings each of the subjects lives together succinctly so that the reader can learn a lot about these notable women that might otherwise have escaped their attention. It’s beautifully written and whilst I may have originally been ignorant of a good few, the title has inspired me to do a bit more research into a number of them. Add to this illustrations/photographs of the subject matter and you know that it’s a title that will be utilised time and again. either just to satisfy some curiosity or as material to help inspire either a writer or a young historian. Great stuff.