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Kate Mosse shares her top list of Brilliant Books by Brilliant Women for International Women’s Day

7th March 2021

Brilliant Books by Brilliant Women for International Women's Day

Brilliant Books by Brilliant Women for International’s al Women’s Day.

To mark International Women’s Day (8 March) and in support of indie bookshops, Kate Mosse – bestselling author of The City of Tears – shares her top list of Brilliant Books by Brilliant Women, revealed exclusively on Bookshop.org, the online bookselling platform supporting independent bookshops.

From Difficult Women by real badass Helen Lewis to Toksvig’s Almanac by much-loved author, comedian and TV presenter Sandi Toksvig, and from The Book of Gutsy Women by Hillary Clinton to A History of Women in 100 Objects by Prof Maggie Andrews and Dr Janis Lomas – Kate’s list is a real celebration of female voices across history.

Featuring inspiring, world-changing, incredible women of the past and present, Kate’s list is part of her global campaign #WomaninHistory, aiming to put women back into history.

 

A History of Women in 100 Objects by Professor Maggie Andrews and Dr Janis Lomas

The history of the world has been told in objects. But what about the objects that tell the history of women? What are the items that symbolise the journey of women from second-class citizens with no legal rights, no vote and no official status to the powerful people they are today? And what are the objects that still oppress women, even now?

From the corset to the contraceptive pill, the bones of the first woman to Rosa Parks’s mugshot and the iconic Mary Quant cape, A History of Women in 100 Objects documents the developing role of women in society through the lens of the inanimate objects that touched women’s lives, were created by women or that at some time perhaps even still oppressed them. Woven by two leading historians, this complex, fascinating and vital tale of women and womanhood is told with a lightness of touch and depth of experience that will appeal to all those interested in women’s history.

Brilliant Books by Brilliant Women for International Women's Day100 Nasty Women of History by Hannah Jewell

These are the women who were deemed too nasty for their times.

When you learn about (the very few) women in history, it’s hard not to wonder: why do they seem so prim and proper? The truth is, (mostly male) historians keep glossing over the real details, or leaving out the women who threatened their idea of what a woman should be like. Fake news!

But fret not. Former Buzzfeed senior writer and Washington Post pop culture host Hannah Jewell has got you covered. In 100 Nasty Women of History, Hannah will give you the brief on, among others:

  • Aethelflaed, who fought off Vikings at her wedding;
  • Ching Shih, a swashbuckling pirate known as ‘The Terror of South China’;
  • Ida B. Wells-Barnett, who fought racism with the point of her pen;
  • Lilian Bland, who built her own plane and flew it;
  • Rani Chennamma, who was a (literal) queen and went to war with the British;
  • Nell Gwynn, one of the greatest hos in English history;
  • Coccinelle, the first known trans woman to be legally married in France;
  • Noor Inayat Khan, who may have literally punched Nazis.

And that’s just eight of them.

So if you think that Nasty Women are a new thing, think again. They’ve always been around – you just haven’t always heard of them. It’s time to get learning. These are the 100 Nasty Women of History who gave zero f*cks whatsoever. These are the 100 Nasty Women of History whom everyone needs to know about, right now.

She Speaks: Women’s Speeches That Changed the World by Yvette Cooper

Fully updated with new preface and five new speeches for paperback edition. A Guardian Book of the Year. Looking at lists of the greatest speeches of all time, you might think that powerful oratory is the preserve of men. But the truth is very different – countless brave and bold women have used their voices to inspire change, transform lives and radically alter history. In this timely and personal selection of exceptional speeches, Yvette Cooper MP tells the rousing story of female oratory. From Boudica to Greta Thunberg and Chimamanda Adichie to Malala Yousafzai, Yvette introduces each speech and demonstrates how powerful and persuasive oratory can be decidedly female. Written by one of our leading public voices, this is an inspirational call for women to be heard across the globe.

Brilliant Books by Brilliant Women for International Women's Day100 Women Who Made Historybrought together by DK publishers

If you thought that it was a man’s world, think again! 100 Women Who Made History is the exciting story of the women who changed the world.

Get ready to meet some of history’s wonder women. From super scientists like Marie Curie and Rosalind Franklin to clued-up creatives like Emily Dickinson and J.K Rowling. Celebrate centuries of brave and brilliant women with this visual educational book.

Meet the most talented and famous women in history. Figures who changed politics, science, business, and the arts, to those who were exciting entrepreneurs and clever creatives.

Discover the landmark moments in the lives of amazing historical women. Learn about leading ladies like Joan of Arc and Eleanor Roosevelt, and modern game-changers such as Maya Angelou, Angela Merkel, Serena Williams, and Malala Yousafzai.

A rich history book for kids that explores the lives of each woman in detail with beautiful photography and quirky “bobblehead” illustrations that present history on an engaging and fun way.

The Book of Gutsy Women by Hillary Rodham Clinton

She couldn’t have been more than seven or eight years old. “Go ahead, ask your question,” her father urged, nudging her forward. She smiled shyly and said, “You’re my hero. Who’s yours?”
Many people—especially girls—have asked us that same question over the years. It’s one of our favorite topics.

HILLARY: Growing up, I knew hardly any women who worked outside the home. So I looked to my mother, my teachers, and the pages of Life magazine for inspiration. After learning that Amelia Earhart kept a scrapbook with newspaper articles about successful women in male-dominated jobs, I started a scrapbook of my own. Long after I stopped clipping articles, I continued to seek out stories of women who seemed to be redefining what was possible.

CHELSEA: This book is the continuation of a conversation the two of us have been having since I was little. For me, too, my mom was a hero; so were my grandmothers. My early teachers were also women. But I grew up in a world very different from theirs. My pediatrician was a woman, and so was the first mayor of Little Rock who I remember from my childhood. Most of my close friends’ moms worked outside the home as nurses, doctors, teachers, professors, and in business. And women were going into space and breaking records here on Earth.

Ensuring the rights and opportunities of women and girls remains a big piece of the unfinished business of the twenty-first century. While there’s a lot of work to do, we know that throughout history and around the globe women have overcome the toughest resistance imaginable to win victories that have made progress possible for all of us. That is the achievement of each of the women in this book.

Brilliant Books by Brilliant Women for International Women's DayInvisible Women by Caroline Criado-Perez

Imagine a world where…

· Your phone is too big for your hand
· Your doctor prescribes a drug that is wrong for your body
· In a car accident you are 47% more likely to be injured.

If any of that sounds familiar, chances are you’re a woman.

From government policy and medical research, to technology, workplaces, and the media. Invisible Women reveals how in a world built for and by men we are systematically ignoring half of the population, often with disastrous consequences. Caroline Criado Perez brings together for the first time an impressive range of case studies, stories and new research from across the world that illustrate the hidden ways in which women are forgotten, and the profound impact this has on us all.

Discover the shocking gender bias that affects our everyday lives.

Rebel Women by Rosalind Miles

‘They will have to choose between giving us freedom or giving us death’
So said,in 1913 ,the brilliant orator and suffragette ,Emmeline Pankhurst, just one of the inspiring women who won the vote for women.
She remains a heroine for those determined to go to any lengths to change our world and one of those inspirational souls who feature in Rosalind Miles’ gallery of famous, infamous and little-know rebels.
We begin with the French Revolution when women took on the fraternite of man, then it’s off to America to round up the rebels fighting side by side for freedom with their men, before heading back to Britain to witness the courage of the suffragettes. From Australia to Iceland, from India to China and from many other countries, we track women who – often at a very high cost to themselves – have stood up to age-old cruelties and injustices. Recording the important milestones in the long march of women towards equality through a colourful pageant of astonishing women, we chart the birth of modern womanhood. Women in sport, women in business, women in religion, women in politics and women in power – all female life is there.

We end in the present day thrilled with what women have done – and can and will do.
Give us Freedom is as brave and as brilliant as its heroines.

A History of the World With the Women Put Back In by Kerstin Lucker and Ute Daenschel

‘Who says that daughters cannot be heroic?’

Once upon a time, history was written by men, for men and about men. Women were deemed less important, their letters destroyed, their stories ignored.

Not any more.

This is the story of women who went to war, women who stopped war and women who stayed at home. The rulers. The fighters. The activists. The writers.

This is the story of Wu Zetian, who as ‘Chinese Emperor’ helped to spread Buddhism in China. This is the story of Genghis Khan’s powerful daughters, who ruled his empire for him. This is the story of Christine de Pizan, one of the earliest feminist writers. This is the story of Victoria Woodhull, who ran for president before she could even vote for one

.This is the story of the world with the women put back in.

Difficult Women by Helen Lewis

Well-behaved women don’t make history: difficult women do.

Feminism’s success is down to complicated, contradictory, imperfect women, who fought each other as well as fighting for equal rights. Helen Lewis argues that too many of these pioneers have been whitewashed or forgotten in our modern search for feel-good, inspirational heroines. It’s time to reclaim the history of feminism as a history of difficult women.

In this book, you’ll meet the working-class suffragettes who advocated bombings and arson; the princess who discovered why so many women were having bad sex; the ‘striker in a sari’ who terrified Margaret Thatcher; and the lesbian politician who outraged the country. Taking the story up to the present with the twenty-first-century campaign for abortion services, Helen Lewis reveals the unvarnished – and unfinished – history of women’s rights.

Drawing on archival research and interviews, Difficult Women is a funny, fearless and sometimes shocking narrative history, which shows why the feminist movement has succeeded – and what it should do next. The battle is difficult, and we must be difficult too.

Bloody Brilliant Women by Cathy Newman

A fresh, opinionated history of all the brilliant women you should have learned about in school but didn’t.

For hundreds of years we have heard about the great men of history, but what about herstory?

In this freewheeling history of modern Britain, Cathy Newman writes about the pioneering women who defied the odds to make careers for themselves and alter the course of modern history; women who achieved what they achieved while dismantling hostile, entrenched views about their place in society. Their role in transforming Britain is fundamental, far greater than has generally been acknowledged, and not just in the arts or education but in fields like medicine, politics, law, engineering and the military.

While a few of the women in this book are now household names, many have faded into oblivion, their personal and collective achievements mere footnotes in history. We know of Emmeline Pankhurst, Vera Brittain, Marie Stopes and Beatrice Webb. But who remembers engineer and motorbike racer Beatrice Shilling, whose ingenious device for the Spitfires’ Rolls-Royce Merlin fixed an often-fatal flaw, allowing the RAF’s planes to beat the German in the Battle of Britain? Or Dorothy Lawrence, the journalist who achieved her ambition to become a WW1 correspondent by pretending to be a man? And developmental biologist Anne McLaren, whose work in genetics paved the way for in vitro fertilisation?

Blending meticulous research with information gleaned from memoirs, diaries, letters, novels and other secondary sources, Bloody Brilliant Women uses the stories of some extraordinary lives to tell the tale of 20th and 21st century Britain. It is a history for women and men. A history for our times.

Through Her Eyes by Clodagh Finn

Told through the prism of the lives of 21 extraordinary women, this remarkable book offers an alternative vision of Irish history – one that puts the spotlight on women whose contributions have been forgotten or overlooked.

Author Clodagh Finn travels through the ages to ‘meet’, among others, Macha, the Celtic horse goddess of Ulster; St Dahalin, an early Irish saint and miracle worker; Jo Hiffernan, painter and muse to the artists Whistler and Courbet; Jennie Hodgers, a woman who fought as a male soldier in the American Civil War; Sr Concepta Lynch, businesswoman, Dominican sister and painter of a unique Celtic shrine; the Overend sisters, farmers, charity workers and motoring enthusiasts; and Rosemary Gibb, athlete, social worker, clown and accomplished magician.

From a Stone Age farmer who lived in Co. Clare more than 5,000 years ago to the modern-day founder of a 3D printing company, this book opens a fascinating window onto the life and times of some amazing women whose stories were shaped by the centuries in which they lived.

Toksvig’s Almanac by Sandi Toksvig

Let Sandi Toksvig guide you on an eclectic meander through the calendar, illuminating neglected corners of history to tell tales of the fascinating figures you didn’t learn about at school.

From revolutionary women to serial killers, pirate nuns to pioneering civil rights activists, doctors to dancing girls, artists to astronauts, these pages commemorate women from all around the world who were pushed to the margins of historical record. Amuse your bouche with:

Belle Star, American Bandit Queen
Lady Murasaki, author of the world’s first novel
Madame Ching, the most successful pirate of all time
Maud Wagner, the first female tattoo artist
Begum Samru, Indian dancer and ruler who led an army of mercenaries
Inês de Castro, crowned Queen Consort of Portugal six years after her death
Ida B. Wells, activist, suffragist, journalist and co-founder of the NAACP
Eleanor G. Holm, disqualified from the 1936 Berlin Olympics for drinking too much champagne

These stories are interspersed with helpful tips for the year, such as the month in which one is most likely to be eaten by a wolf, and the best time to sharpen your sickle. Explore a host of annual events worth travelling for, from the Olney Pancake Race in Wiltshire to the Danish Herring Festival, or who would want to miss Serbia’s World Testicle Cooking Championship?

As witty and entertaining as it is instructive, Toksvig’s Almanac is an essential companion to each day of the year.

On This Day She by Tania Hershman, Jo Bell and Ailsa Holland

The tried and tested ‘On This Day in History’ format has elevated the stories of many people and their impact on the wider world. However, of those considered noteworthy by the Establishment, just a fraction are women. But this is not the whole story – not by half.

Our past is full of influential women, many of whom have been unfairly confined to the margins of history. Politicians, troublemakers, explorers, artists, writers, scientists and even the odd murderer; these women have shaped society around the globe.

From Beyoncé to Doria Shafik, Queen Elizabeth I to Lillian Bilocca, On This Day She sets out to redress this imbalance and give voice to both those already deemed female icons, alongside others whom the history books have failed to include: the good, the bad and everything in between – this is a record of human existence at its most authentic.

A Black Women’s History of the United States by Daina Ramey Berry and Kali Nicole Gross

A vibrant and empowering history that emphasizes the perspectives and stories of African American women to show how they are–and have always been–instrumental in shaping our country

In centering Black women’s stories, two award-winning historians seek both to empower African American women and to show their allies that Black women’s unique ability to make their own communities while combatting centuries of oppression is an essential component in our continued resistance to systemic racism and sexism. Daina Ramey Berry and Kali Nicole Gross offer an examination and celebration of Black womanhood, beginning with the first African women who arrived in what became the United States to African American women of today.

A Black Women’s History of the United States reaches far beyond a single narrative to showcase Black women’s lives in all their fraught complexities. Berry and Gross prioritize many voices: enslaved women, freedwomen, religious leaders, artists, queer women, activists, and women who lived outside the law. The result is a starting point for exploring Black women’s history and a testament to the beauty, richness, rhythm, tragedy, heartbreak, rage, and enduring love that abounds in the spirit of Black women in communities throughout the nation.

You can buy any and all the books via bookshop.org on THIS LINK

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  1. User: Tania Hershman

    Posted on: 11/03/2021 at 12:55 pm

    Hello! Thanks so much for including our book, On This Day She – it is written by me, Jo Bell and Ailsa Holland, it would be great if you could add their names in too.

    Comment

    1 Comment

    • User: Tina Hartas

      Posted on: 11/03/2021 at 1:40 pm

      Thanks for the heads up. Off to do it now!

      Comment

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