Posts tagged "non-fiction"

Women's Rights and the French Revolution: A Biography of Olympe de Gouges by Sophie Mousset

Cover of Women's Rights and the French Revolution: A Biography of Olympe de Gouges by Sophie Mousset

This is a biography of the playwright and feminist activist Olympe de Gouges, who was the author of pamphlets and other literature in support of women's rights and the abolition of slavery during the French Revolution. She was ridiculed and dismissed in her time, but later recognized as a pioneer of feminist theory, and had a great influence on later advocates for women's rights. The book has its flaws, but it is practically the only biography of this important figure available in...

Joan of Arc by Helen Castor

Cover of Joan of Arc by Helen Castor

Helen Castor tells the story of Joan of Arc in the context of her times. The book is a history of the part of the Hundred Years' War in which Joan played a major role, and it begins with the English victory at Agincourt in 1415. Castor writes about the political factions, and shifting alliances, in France at the time, and about how Joan's appearance at the French Dauphin's court, followed by her victory at Orléans in 1429, changed the course of the war. She also writes...

The World of Maria Gaetana Agnesi by Massimo Mazzotti

Cover of The World of Maria Gaetana Agnesi by Massimo Mazzotti

This is a fascinating biography of a female mathematician in 18th century Italy, Maria Gaetana Agnesi (1718-1799). A child prodigy, Agnesi received an education that was usually reserved for boys. She wrote one of the first textbooks on calculus, and was appointed to a university professorship, although she was unable to accept the position because of illness. Her later life was devoted to helping the poor, and educating the impoverished children in her neighborhood.

Blood Sisters by Marilyn Yalom

Cover of Blood Sisters by Marilyn Yalom

In Blood Sisters, historian Marilyn Yalom tells the story of the French Revolution through the perspective of women’s memoirs. She studied the memoirs of over eighty women, of various ages and social classes, who lived through the French Revolution. Many of them were aristocratic or upper-class women, because they were more likely to be literate, but she also writes about memoirs by poor or working-class women that were dictated to someone else. All of the memoirs make for compelling stories.

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