• Murasaki Shikibu

    Murasaki Shikibu

    Murasaki Shikibu (ca. 973-1014) was one of the world's great literary geniuses. She wrote the first novel in history---The Tale of Genji---and with it created not only a timeless masterpiece of ...

  • Phillis Wheatley

    Phillis Wheatley

    Some people are just born geniuses. Phillis Wheatley (1753-1784) was kidnapped from Senegal and sold into slavery at the age of seven or eight, eventually landing up with the Wheatley family of ...

  • Rosalind Franklin

    Rosalind Franklin

    In May 1952, Rosalind Franklin (1920-1958) made a photograph. It wasn't just any photograph: it was an X-ray diffraction image of the DNA molecule. Labeled "Photo 51," it would prove to be the ...

  • Sappho

    Sappho

    Sappho (ca. 620-570 BCE) was the world's first great love poet, composing lyrics of astonishing power and immediacy. The Greeks considered her the greatest of all the lyric poets; it's a tragedy ...

  • Sojourner Truth

    Sojourner Truth

    Sojourner Truth (1797-1883) was one of America's greatest heroines. Born into slavery in New York, she became a powerful voice for abolition and women's rights. Her most famous ...

  • Sor Juana

    Sor Juana

    In the relentlessly patriarchal society of New Spain, there was no place for a girl genius. Juana Inés de la Cruz (1648–1695) was a prodigy: she could read and write by the age of three, was ...

  • Susan B. Anthony

    Susan B. Anthony

    Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906) devoted her life to the cause of women's suffrage, toiling for over 50 years in the face of incredible opposition (not to mention ridicule). As the de facto "Napoleon" ...

  • Themistoclea

    Themistoclea

    The Greeks considered Pythagoras the "father of philosophy." He taught a system of natural science, mathematics, and ethics that profoundly influenced the Western canon. Ah, but who taught ...

  • Vestal Virgin

    Vestal Virgin

    Related post: Last-minute Vestal Virgin (a pile of sheets and some yarn, basically) The Vestal Virgins were the six priestesses who tended the sacred flame of Vesta, goddess of the hearth, in ...