Abigail Adams

American Writer

Abigail Adams was a prolific letter writer whose correspondence blended comments of daily life with observations on the momentous events of the American Revolutionary period.

She strongly supported independence from England, espoused equal opportunities for women, and vigorously opposed slavery.

She was the wife of John Adams, second president of the US and mother of John Quincy Adams, sixth president.


Margaret of Anjou
English Queen

Henry VI's queen during the Wars of the Roses. The queen was a courageous and formidable commander, both in the field and at court, and was described as beautiful, witty, diligent and prudent.

Owing to Henry's mental weakness she was in effect sovereign, and the war of 1449, in which Normandy was lost, was laid by the English to her charge. In the Wars of the Roses, after a brave struggle of nearly 20 years, she was finally defeated at Tewkesbury (1471), and imprisoned for four years in the Tower, until ransomed by Louis XI. She then retired to France, where she died in poverty.


Susan B. Anthony
American Feminist

Susan B. Anthony was a pioneer crusader for the women suffrage movement in the US and acclaimed worldwide for her contribution to women's rights.

Together with Elizabeth Stanton she published 'The History of Women Suffrage'. In 1872 she tested the right of women to vote in Rochester; she was arrested, tried, and convicted.

Her work paved the way for the 19th Amendement (1920) to the Constitution, giving women the right to vote.


Rani Lakshmi Bai
Indian Leader

Rani Lakshmi Bai was the queen of thge princely state of Jhansi, which is located on the northern side of India. She was one of the leading personalities of the first war of India's independence that started in 1857.

Mistreated by the British, she was pushed into the rebel camp during the Sepoy Mutiny. Leading the rebel troops, she inflicted a series of defeats on British units but is killed by a Hussar during a skirmish.

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Lucrezia Borgia
Italian Patron

She was the illegitimate daughter of a cardinal and endured three political marriages. Her reputation for sexual corruption was mostly slander from her family's enemies.

She was known as a patron of the Renaissance and her court at Ferarra was filled with artists.


Margaret Brent
American Feminist

Born in England Margaret migrated to America in 1638 where she became the first woman landholder in Maryland.

She became America's first feminist when her demand for a vote in the Maryland Assembly was refused.

She actively supported military defence of the colony, and upon the death of her brother-in-law, Leonard Calvert, became executor of his estate. After the Maryland assembly denied her appeal for two votes in the proceedings, one as landowner and one as attorney to the Baltimore family, she moved to Virginia (c.1651), where she developed another large property. Sometimes cited today as a pioneering protofeminist lawyer, she seems to have acted basically as a strong-willed property owner, making no claims as a woman, nor in any way practising law.


Eleanor of Aquitaine
Queen of England and of France

Eleanor was one of the most influential figures of the 12th century.

She inherited the duchy of Aquitaine. Married at age fifteen to Louis VII of France, she was queen of France for 15 years, and participated in the second crusade. After the marriage got annulled she married Henry Plantagnet who became Henry II, king of England.

She took an active part in administering his kingdom and direct control of her own domain. Aquitaine became Europe's centre of high culture and all the great troubadours performed at her court in Poitiers. Of her 10 children two would reign as kings (Richard the Lion Heart and John of England) and two as queens, earning her the title 'grandmother of Europe'.

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