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What's with the name?

Allow us to explain.

badass women in history

The Scarlet Pimpernel and What Superheroes Owe to Baroness Emma Orczy

You’d think after discovering that Alexandre Dumas was multiracial years ago, I’d have learned to assume less about the writers of historical adventure novels, but I had no idea that The Scarlet Pimpernel was written by a woman. Or narrated by a woman! They left that out of the Broadway show and illustrated book retelling of the Looney Tunes adaptation that were, uh, my only experiences of the story as a kid.

Here’s to reading the original!

Previously in Badass Women in History

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Power Grid

10 Hardcore Female Military Leaders From History

300: Rise of An Empire came out on Friday, and its release should give Queen Artemisia of Caria some well-deserved public recognition. Played by Eva Green in the film, Artemisia was a real-life naval commander for Xerxes the Great‘s fearsome Persian military in the 5th century BCE. According to the writings of war historian Polyaenus, Xerxes declared that she was the finest officer in his fleet. But she’s far from the only amazing female military commander in history. Here are ten others, most (though not all) of whom have never had movies made about them… but definitely should someday soon.

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Buckle Buckle Swash Swash

Maggie Q to Star in Series Based on Pirate Queen Ching Shih, the Terror of the South China

Deadline is reporting that one of our favorite historical ladies may be coming to a television screen near you: Ching Shih, a pirate’s widow who, at the dawn of the 1800′s, began a career that would make her one of the most notorious pirates in the world, the terror of the Chinese, British, and Portugese navies, so unstoppable that the only way to end her naval empire wound up being to offer her complete amnesty and a nice retirement.

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Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Let Us Renew Our Vows, Tumblr That’s Just Illustrated Puns on Famous Ladies Names

Seven months ago, I pledged myself utterly to Ladypuns.tumblr.com, in the most formal way I could manage on short notice. At the time I wasn’t even sure if a human being could marry a blog! Especially if they’ve never even talked to the people who run it!

But I’m happy to report that more than half a year later, Ladypuns still brings me joy with every post.

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Olden Lore

“History’s Forgotten Women” Get Their Own… Eyeshadow Line?

OK then. This is Ignis Antiquita, a line of 40 eyeshadows “inspired by the amazing, fiery, passionate, strong women who have been largely forgotten in our history books, or had their histories revised due to the fact that they were what they were- WOMEN!” Here are descriptions of all the women included. Before you scoff at the idea of famous women of history being paired with a makeup line—let me say A) there’s nothing wrong with makeup itself, and B) Ignis Antiquita wasn’t created by some huge conglomerate seeking to take advantage of the struggles of women to sell some impossible beauty standard, but by independently owned company Aromaleigh. I can only assume founder Kristen Leigh Bell thought “You know what’s cool? Eyeshadow. You know what’s also cool? Historical women!”

True on both counts.

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For A More Civilized Age

Women Airforce Service Pilots Got Their Rose Parade Float Yesterday

If we talk about the Women Airforce Service Pilots a lot, it’s only because they were awesome. Classified as civilians working for the Air Force as they performed the same job as (and even trained) enlisted men, unceremoniously dismissed at the end of the war, with their actions unnecessarily classified for thirty years and subsequently omitted from history textbooks. It’s been a struggle for the aging members of the WASP to find their proper due, but one such effort went off without a hitch this very week.

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A Series of Fallopian Tubes

Series of Real-World Heroines As Disney Princesses Is Snarktastically Wonderful

If you’ll remember, Disney’s redesign of Brave’s Merida kicked up quite the controversy earlier this year, causing many to be upset by how Disney crushes their princesses’ individuality in favor of creating generic, glitter-tastic images for them to slap on products and sell. Among those less-than-impressed is artist David Trumble, who worked with educational psychologist Lori Day to parody Disney’s “princessification” by illustrating what it would be like if the same treatment were applied to real-life female role models.

Hit the jump to see the entire series and some quotes from Trumble on his inspiration.

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Power Grid

10 Geeky Halloween Costumes For Inveterate Procrastinators

It’s October 28th already, and you don’t have a Halloween costume. You could always go buy something at the last minute, but the high prices for poorly made, mass-produced costumes aren’t for you. But worry not, because we’ve got your back. Here are our picks for 10 geeky Halloween costumes for procrastinators, so named because they for the most part call for normal, everyday clothes. Minus assorted accessories, you’re pretty much guaranteed to have what you need for at least a few of these costumes in your closet already. Procrastinators and costume cheapskates unite!

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Oh My Stars and Garters

What’s Inside the 125-year-old Safe Left by the Woman Suffrage Party? Today We Find Out

Today is the day– here in New York City, the locked vault of the Women’s Suffrage Party will be opened, 125 years after the organization’s founding. The safe has been sitting in the Manhattan office of National of Women of the United States– which was founded back in 1888 by people like Susan B. Anthony and Clara BartonIt hasn’t been opened due to “limited funds,” but that changes now.

What’s in the safe? Find out under the cut.

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Imagine What You'll Know Tomorrow

BBC Celebrates Susan Travers, The Only Woman in the French Foreign Legion

susan-travers-chauffeur-du-general-koenig-dr

This week, BBC Online Magazine proudly celebrates the life and complete badassery of the late Susan Travers, who would have been 100.

Travers was (and is) the only woman to have been a member of the French Foreign Legion. During her later years, surprised reactions to seeing her with the tell-tale red and blue ribbon would not have been unusual, especially given the Legion’s reputation and standing within France. For our American and non-French readership, let us say that the Foreign Legion, a military unit for foreign nationals who wish to serve in the French Armed Forces that is commanded by French officers, is notoriously tough. Because soldiers in the Legion hail from all over, a sense of cohesion is developed through rigorous training that is both physically and mentally extreme. Starting to get the idea?

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