Shin-Kickers From History

Grace O’Malley, the Pirate Queen

  Sixteen century Irish clan leader Grace O’Malley was the most famous “pirate queen” in the English-speaking world, and in fact the woman for whom the term seems to have been coined. Ireland in the sixteenth century was a decentralized society, ruled by independent clan chieftains who were continually at war with each other. It…

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A Woman’s Home is Her Castle

As I believe I’ve mentioned before, in Treasure of the City of Ladies; or the Book of the Three Virtues, author, intellectual, and champion of female education Christine de Pizan (1364–1430) instructed noblewomen of her time to learn the military skills they needed to defend their property: “She ought to have the heart of a…

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Shin-kickers from History: Christine de Pizan

Christine de Pizan (1364–1430) was one of the most important European writers of the late Middle Ages and the first woman known to make a living as a writer (1). She was born in Venice. When her father was appointed royal astrologer to the French king Charles V, the family moved to Paris, where she…

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