Women Warriors in History

1,622 Biographies Worldwide from the Bronze Age to the Present


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About the Book

History paints war out to be a man’s business, but there is an army of women warriors who stand between the lines of history books, waiting to be seen. This biographical dictionary tells the story of the females who armed themselves against threats to self, family, home and country. Spanning 17 periods of world history, it compiles the daring deeds of 1,622 female fighters, from Bronze Age archers and Viking raiders, to helicopter pilots and commanders of aircraft carriers. Entries summarize heroes such as the Old Testament judge Deborah, Joan of Arc, Elizabeth I, Aisha, Mary Spencer-Churchill, Calamity Jane, Cleopatra VII, Molly Pitcher, Aung San Suu Kyi and— surprisingly— Julia Child. Included are the famous stands the unheralded scrappers and risk-takers took up in fierce crises.

About the Author(s)

Mary Ellen Snodgrass is an award-winning author of English and Latin textbooks and reference works for 35 years. She taught at Hickory High School and Lenoir Rhyne University in North Carolina for 23 years. Her writing focuses on women’s and world literature and history and general research topics, including epidemics, the history of money, clothing, food, and dance. She lives in Hickory, North Carolina.

Bibliographic Details

Mary Ellen Snodgrass
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 513
Bibliographic Info: glossary, appendices, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2023
pISBN: 978-1-4766-9305-7
eISBN: 978-1-4766-5032-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Preface 1
Introduction 3
Bronze Age, 3300–1200 bce 7
Iron Age, 1200 bce–500 ce 10
Middle Ages, 400–1400 45
Viking Age, 770–1066 61
High Middle Ages, 1000–1300 69
The Crusades, 1096–1291 72
Late Middle Ages, 1300–1500 95
Renaissance, 1400–1600 122
Early Modern Era, 1600–1750 152
Early Modern Civil Wars, 1640–1804 159
Colonial Wars and Revolutions, 1700–1850 178
Napoleonic Era, 1793–1815 211
Wars of Independence, 1815–1825 235
American Civil War, April 12, 1861–April 9, 1865 261
The Great War, 1914–1918 297
World War II, September 1, 1939–September 2, 1945 326
Afghan War, October 15, 1999–September 11, 2021 404
Glossary 437
Appendix A: Warriors by Birthplace and Time 441
Appendix B: Warriors by Role 464
Bibliography 493
Index 499

Book Reviews & Awards

• Outstanding Reference Source—Library Journal

• “Encyclopedic in breadth and range of cursory details, the book demonstrates the power women have had as leaders in unexpected spaces. … [Snodgrass] gives her subjects back some of the power that misogynistic historical narratives have removed. … A dazzling overview of women’s contributions to warfare, starting with archers from the Bronze Age. It’s sure to intrigue readers looking for both big-picture observations and small details about women’s triumphs and defeats on the battlefield.”—Library Journal

• “Throughout history, and across virtually all peoples, there has been continuous participation of women combatants in armed conflict. This work aims to highlight their contribution to defending their land, people, and ideals. … This work serves as a reminder that female combatants have participated in armed conflict throughout history and across nations. Short entries are well suited for curious readers and for middle- or high-school researchers looking for an introduction to the depth and breadth of female involvement in war.”—Booklist