Thursday, 19 January 2012

World Famous Women History

There are many famous women around the world. Women have excelled in the fields of arts and literature, politics and governance and also in the field of science and inventions. Here we look at some of the famous women around the world, who paved the way and have shown that women are on par with men in their accomplishments. 

World Famous Women in Ancient History

Though most of the rulers of the ancient world were kings and pharaohs, there are a few women rulers who wielded power and influence. There were queens, empresses, saints and other women rulers who ruled their kingdom in their own name. These women had great influence on their subjects. Here are a few of the most powerful women who controlled their kingdom with the rule of thumb. 

Artemisia: Artemisia ascended the throne after the death of her husband. She was proclaimed the ruler of Halicarnassus (present day Turkey). Xerxes was the ruler of a state, which was the part of the Persian Empire. Artemisia helped Xerxes defeat the Greeks in the naval battle of Salamis. She supported Xerxes by sending her men and five of her warships. Artemisia became a threat to the Greeks. Greeks were ready to reward anybody who would capture Artemisia. However, no one succeeded. 

Boudicca: Also known as Boadicea, she was the queen of the Iceni tribes. She was known as the warrior queen. She led a revolt against the Roman occupation in East England (present day Norfolk and Suffolk). 

Cartimandua: Cartimandua was also known as "sleek pony", that probably was the meaning of her name. She was the Queen of Brigantes. Bringantes were the largest English tribal community. As Queen of Bringantes, she signed a treaty of peace with the Romans who invaded England. She ruled as client of Rome. 

Cleopatra: Cleopatra was the Queen of Egypt. She is also known as Cleopatra VII and Cleopatra VII Philopator. She was famed for her beauty. She was associated with famous Roman rulers such as Julius Caesar and Marc Antony. Cleopatra was the last pharaoh of Egypt and the last ruler of the Ptolemaic dynasty. 

Queen Elizabeth I: Queen Elizabeth I was known as the Virgin Queen. She ascended the throne of England in 1558. Queen Elizabeth I was the last ruler of the Tudor Dynasty. She knew six languages and her reign was considered the golden period in English history. 

Hatshepsut: Hatshepsut was a Pharaoh of Egypt. After the death of her husband, she reigned over Egypt until her son Thutmose III, grew up. Hatshepsut was endowed with many titles and powers. She called herself the "Female Horus". She wore ceremonial clothing of male Pharaohs and a false beard.

Queen Isabella: She was the Queen of Castile. She along with her husband King Ferdinand, conquered Granada and Spain. She was instrumental in sponsoring Christopher Columbus's voyage to America. Queen Isabella made many reforms in the Spanish society before she died. She opened schools and reformed the church in Spain. 

Catherine the Great: Her real name was Sophie Fredericke Auguste von Anhalt-Zerbst. She was a German princess married to Grand Duke of Holstein. After marriage, she moved her base to Russia. The Russians overthrew the duke from power and proclaimed Sophie as their empress. She was named as Empress Catherine II. She won two important battles against the Ottoman Empire and extended the borders of Russia to the shores of Black Sea. She signed agreements with Prussia and Austria that led to the partition of Poland. Because of this treaty, Russia acquired more area in Europe. She made reforms in the government and gave importance to education and literacy. Catherine the Great supported westernization. 

Joan of Arc: She was also known, as Jeanne d'Arc. When she was a girl, she had visions of the angels asking her to free France from the clutches of the English army. Shortly, the King of France sent Joan with a French army to Orleans. Here for the first time, the French defeated the English. With her help, the French won more battles against the English. However, she failed in capturing Paris, only because her army was not given ample supply of resources. Her victories made it possible for Dauphin to be crowned as King Charles VII. She was later burned to death at the stakes. In May 1920, the Catholic Church of Vatican gave her sainthood. 

Cleopatra Thea: Cleopatra Thea was the Syrian queen who exercised power after the death of her husband. She ruled Syria, until her son grew up to succeed the throne.

Elen Luyddog: Elen Luyddog is also known as "Helen of the Hosts". She was a Celtic princess who married a Roman soldier, who later became the Emperor of Gaul. He proclaimed her as the Empress. After his death, she returned to Britain. Here she propagated Christianity and Christianized the Britons. 

Queen Victoria: Queen Victoria ascended the throne of England on her eighteenth birthday. Her reign is known as the Victorian Era. Under her rule, England progressed socially and economically. Since India was under the rule of the British, Victoria was known as the Empress of India. Queen Victoria broadened the suffrage to include English women, when she passed the Reform Acts of 1867 and 1884. The Victorian Era came to an end, when she died at the age of 83. 

Nefertiti: Nefertiti was an Egyptian queen, renowned for her classical beauty. Her husband was Pharaoh Amenhotep IV (later known as Akhenaten). She was instrumental in promoting the Aten cult or worship of sun god in ancient Egypt.

Queen Olympias: Olympias was the Queen of Macedonia and wife of King Philip II. She was the mother of Alexander the Great. She was known as snake charmer. After the death of Alexander the Great, she became the regent queen of Macedonia till her grandson Alexander IV, was crowned. Cassander, one of her enemies, later murdered her. 

Queen Zenobia: Zenobia was a warrior queen, who fought against the Romans. She was the Queen of Palmyra. The soldiers held her in high esteem because she fought like a man on frontline. She conquered Phoenicia and Palestine. She defeated the Roman army at the frontiers of Egypt. 

Queen Tomyris: After the death of her husband, Tomyris became the queen of Massagetai. Cyrus, a Persian king captured Spargapises, the son of Tomyris, on the sly. Spargapises committed suicide. This enraged the queen and she led an army against King Cyrus and eventually killed him. 

Queen Samsi: Queen Samsi (Shamsi) was an Arabian who fought against King Tiglath Pileser III of Assyria. She also provided aid to the King of Damascus against Tiglath Pileser III. Queen was not willing to pay tribute to him and had to battle with the Assyrian army. However, she lost the battle and surrendered and was allowed to rule. However, the King of Assyria stationed an officer at her court to collect the tribute. 

Trung Sisters: Trung Trac and Trung Nhi were the daughters of a Vietnamese lord. Vietnam was under the Chinese rule during the first two centuries. However, under the leadership of these two sisters, Vietnamese rebelled against the Chinese. The Trung sisters trained around 36 women to become generals. They gathered an army of 80,000 people to defeat the Chinese. Trung Trac became the ruler and was known as Trung Vuong. 

Rani Laxmi Bai: She was an Indian princess who was married to Gangadhar Roa, the king of Jhansi. After the death of her husband, she became the throne Queen of Jhansi. She recruited women in the army. In 1857 mutiny, she led an army against the British rule in India, but lost the battle. She is one of the renowned women in the history of India.

World Famous Women Entrepreneurs

"We entrepreneurs are loners, vagabonds, troublemakers. Success is simply a matter of finding and surrounding ourselves with those open-minded and clever souls who can take our insanity and put it to good use." - Anonymous 

Traditionally, entrepreneurship is a male dominated arena. Many of the women today are business savvy and have made their stance felt. Women entrepreneurs have exhibited leadership and decision-making capabilities. They are not only career oriented, but also know tactics of striking a balance between family and work. Here we look at the popular women entrepreneurs. 

Martha Stewart: Martha Helen Kostyra is the real name of Martha. Stewart. She was listed twice by Fortune magazine as one of the "50 Most Powerful Women". She is not only a television host, but also an author and magazine publisher. She is an American business magnate who founded Martha Stewart Crafts and Martha Stewart Collection of home utilities. She served as the Chairman, President and CEO of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. 

Oprah Winfrey: She is the anchor of the ever-famous Oprah Winfrey show. Oprah Winfrey is an African-American who is a broadcasting pioneer and an entertainment entrepreneur. She is the founder of Harpo Studios, Harpo Films and Oprah Magazine for women. Oprah Winfrey Foundation was created to educate women and children. She is the first African-American woman to become a billionaire. 

Eliza Lucas Pinckney: She is an Antigua-American who is known as the first lady agriculturists of America. She introduced quality blue indigo dye in the mid 18th century, when the textile industry was booming. The indigo dye of Eliza Pinckney ranked second as an export product. Later, she went on to produce figs, flax, hemp and silk. She was the first woman to be inducted into the Business Hall of Fame in South Carolina.

Mary Katherine Goddard: Mary Goddard, an American, was the first woman publisher and printer of the late 18th century. She is also the first female postmaster of America. However, she is most famous for printing the first copy of the "Declaration of Independence" that included the names of all those who signed the draft. 

Lydia Pinkham: Also known as Ann Landers or Dr Ruth, she was a noted entrepreneur of the late 19th century. She founded the company known as "Pinkham's Vegetable Compound". Here she manufactured herbal medicinal products and also patented the medicines. She also emphasized on woman's health issues.

Olive Ann Beech: She co-founded the Beech Aircraft Corp in 1932. During the World War II, Beech Aircraft Corp manufactured two hundred and seventy aircraft of the Beech Model 17 Staggerwing for the US Army. By the late 20th century, Olive Ann had transformed Beech Aircraft Corp into a multimillion-dollar aerospace company. 

Elizabeth Arden: Florence Nightingale Graham founded the cosmetic company Elizabeth Arden. Initially, Elizabeth Arden manufactured beauty creams. She was the first person to introduce eye make-up in America. In 1966, Elizabeth Arden was at par with Singer (sewing machine) and Coca-cola.

Brown Wise: She is known for her marketing skills, and has headed the sales division of the Tupperware Home Parties, Inc. In mid 20th century, Wise recruited thousands of women for Tupperware Home Parties. She was the first woman to appear on the cover of Business Week. She became a household name in America because of her marketing strategies and also due to her articles in magazines and newspaper. 

Estee Lauder: Josephine Esther Mentzer is the real name of Estee Lauder. She co-founded Estee Lauder with her husband Joseph Lauder. This company is pioneer in the manufacture of cosmetic products. Time magazine recognized her as one of the 20 influential business geniuses of the 20th century. She has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Estee Lauder is a Fortune 500 company. 

Ruth Handler: Ruth Handler created the toy doll Barbie. This doll was named after her daughter Barbara. Her toy company Mattel Inc debuted Barbie in 1959 and within five years grew to become a Fortune 500 company. 

Mary Kay Ash: Mary Kay Ash is the founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics. She was named as the "Most Outstanding Woman in Business" in the 20th century. Fortune magazine recognized Mary Kay Inc as one of the top 100 American companies to work for. Today, Mary Kay Inc has presence in nineteen countries and has over 350,000 consultants. Giving incentives to the best employees was one of her best strategies. During her lifetime, she authored around three books that are all best selling. 

Coco Chanel: Considered one of the famous innovators of the 20th century, Coco Chanel introduced styles, fabrics and articles of clothing that are worn by men and women. She introduced the signature perfume "Chanel No.5". It was the first perfume to bear the designer's name and still is one of the best-selling fragrances around the globe.

Debbie Fields: She is the founder of the dessert known as "Mrs. Fields Cookies". From a humble beginning, she is today recognized as one of the famous women entrepreneurs. She has an entrepreneurial experience of 25 years. Debbie Fields has authored two bestseller cookbooks. She has 600 stores in the US and has presence in ten countries. 

Madame C.J. Walker: Sarah Breedlove McWilliams known as Madame C.J. Walker, was the first African-American millionaire of the early 20th century. She revolutionized the cosmetics and hair care industry. Her honest business dealings and quality products paid off when she became a millionaire. Her most famous product is "Madame Walker's Wonderful Hair Grower". She opened a college in Pittsburgh to train her hair culturist. One of the employees, Marjorie Joyner, invented a permanent wave machine in 1908 that became very popular among the elite class of America. She made her fortune in fifteen years. 

Anita Roddick: Anita Roddick is the founder and owner of "The Body Shop", one of the retailers of cosmetics and related products. Apart from being a famous entrepreneur, she is also a social activist. Anita Roddick was a strong campaigner for public health, social and environmental causes. 

World Famous Women Writers

Women have excelled in the field of literature also. The authors such as George Eliot, Mary Shelley, Enid Blyton, Agatha Christie are remembered even today for their literary works. There are many women poets, whose works are held in high esteem even today. Take a look at some of world's famous women writers. 

Alice Walker: She is an African-American author. Most of her works are based on issues such as racism and gender. Her novel "The Color Purple" won the Pulitzer Prize. 

Anna Laetitia Aikin: She was a British poet who lived in the 18th century. She is also known by her married name Barbauld. She has written many poems. "The Rights Of Women", "A Thought On Death", "The Caterpillar" are some of her famous poems that are revered by readers around the world.

Agatha Christie: Agatha Christie is a popular mystery writer of the 19th century. More than one billion copies of her books have been sold. Her books have been translated into 45 languages. Famous detectives Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple are characters who solve mysteries in her books. "Harlequin Tea Set And Other Stories", "The Regatta Mystery And Other Stories" are a collection of short stories penned by her. 

Enid Blyton: Enid Blyton is a British children's author. She has written 800 books in 40 years. Her notable works are "Noddy", "The Enchanted Wood" and "Famous Five" series. She has also written few books in a pseudonym Mary Pollock. Children around the globe love her books. 

Anita Desai: Anita Desai is an Indian writer of the 20th century. She received many national and international awards for her literary works. Her books "In Custody" and "Fasting, Feasting" were short listed for Booker Prize. 

Kiran Desai: Kiran Desai is an Indian author who received a Man Booker Prize for her work "The Inheritance Of Loss" in the year 2006. This was her second book. Her first novel was "Hullabaloo In The Guava Orchard".

Maya Angelou: Marguerite Ann Johnson is an African-American poet, actress and memoirist. She writes under pen name Maya Angelou. Maya Angelou is famous for her six autobiographies starting with "I know Why The Caged Bird Sings". "Just Give Me A Cool Drink Of Water 'Fore I Die" is a volume of poetry which was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Maya Angelou participated in the American Civil Rights Movement. 

J.K. Rowling: Joanna Rowling is her real name. She is a British author, who has gained popularity through her Harry Potter series. She is a noted philanthropist. Movies have been made based on her book series.

Phillis Wheatley: She is an African-American poet of the 18th century. The poetry of Phillis Wheatley created the genre of African-American literature. Some of her popular poems include "An Address To The Atheist", "Atheism" and many more.

The Bronte Sisters: The three world famous sisters who lived in the 19th century are Charlotte Bronte, Emily Bronte and Anne Bronte. They were British authors. "Jane Eyre", "Wuthering Heights" and "Agnes Gray" were written by Charlotte, Emily and Anne respectively. These books are classical best sellers even today.

Margaret Atwood: She is a famous Canadian writer. Her works includes poetry, criticism, children's books, fiction and critical essays. "The Edible Woman", "Cat's Eye", "Lady Oracle", "The Robber Bride" and "Lie Before Man" are some of her notable works. 

Jane Austen: She is a British writer who lived between the late 18th century and the early 19th century. She laid emphasis on the English middle class rural life. She introduced the concepts of marriage and social classes in her literary works. "Emma", "Sense and Sensibility", "Pride and Prejudice" are some of her famous books. A couple of her books "Lady Susan", "Sanditon" and "The Watsons" were left unfinished.

Louisa May Alcott: Louisa May Alcott is an American author of the 19th century. Her pen name was Barnard. She has written many adult stories. "Little Women" was her best work. This novel is based on her childhood experiences that she shared with her sisters. 

Harriet Beecher Stowe: Harriet is an American author who lived in the 19th century. She has written almost ten books for adults. However, she became famous for the novel "Uncle Tom's Cabin". 

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley: Mary Shelley was the wife of poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. She was born in a family that patronized art and literature. She is known for her work, "Frankenstein".

Virginia Woolf: She is a British writer who lived in the early 20th century. "Mrs Dalloway", "To The Lighthouse" and "The Waves" are some of her popular books.

George Eliot: This is the pseudonym of Mary Ann Evans. "Middlemarch", "The Mill On The Floss" and "Silas Marner" are few of her renowned works. She is British writer of the 19th century.

Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald: Zelda is an American writer who lived in the 20th century. Her best work is an autobiography called "Save Me the Waltz". It is claimed she was an inspiration for some of the heroines in the works of her husband, Scott Fitzgerald. 

Isabel Allende:Isabel is a Peruvian writer of the 20th century. She is one of the best Latin-American writers. Her popular works include "The House Of Spirits", "Of Love And Shadows", "The Infinite Plan" and "The Stories Of Eva Luna". 

Julia Alvarez: Julia Alvarez is not only a novelist, but also an essayist and a poet. She is a native of Dominican Republic. Her popular novels are "In The Times Of The Butterflies" and "How The Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents". "In the Times of the Butterflies" was made into a motion picture starring Salma Hayek, Marc Anthony and Edward James Olmos. 

Rebecca Harding Davis: Rebecca Blaine is an American journalist and author who lived in the 19th century. One of her most important literary works is a novel, "Life In The Iron Mills", "Men's Rights" and "Here And There In The South" are some of her famous essays.

Zora Neale Hurston: Zora Neale Hurston is an African-American folklorist and author. "Their Eyes Were Watching God" is her best work. The other literary works of Hurston include "Moses, Man Of The Mountain" and many more. Her works were published at the time of Harlem Renaissance. 

Maxine Hong Kingston: Maxine is an Asian-American novelist. "The Woman Warrior" and "Tripmaster Monkey" are some of her notable works. She has received literary awards such as National Humanities Medal, National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award. 

Bharati Mukherjee: Mukherjee is an Indian-American novelist. She is also a short-story writer and an essayist. Her notable works include "Jasmine", "The Tiger's Daughter" and "Wife".

Anzia Yezierska: A Polish-American who lived during the late 19th century, Anzia Yezierska wrote about the struggles of Jewish and Puerto Rican immigrants. Her notable works include "Bread Givers", "Hungry Hearts (collection of short stories), and "The Open Cage".

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