Here’s a post at Rinn Reads: Female Historical Figures I’d Love To Read More Fiction About
Rinn’s picks are all really interesting women:
Ada Lovelace — the only legitimate child of the poet Byron, and was born in 1815. She was a mathematician and writer, and wrote the first algorithm intended to be carried out by a machine.
Mary Seacole — a Jamaican woman who nursed wounded officers and soldiers during the Crimean War.
Katherine Ferrers — an English heiress, but also, according to popular legend, a female highwayman known by the name ‘The Wicked Lady’.
Gertrude Bell — a female archaeologist who worked during the 19th and 20th centuries. She was also a highly influential spy.
Click through to read a little more about all of those women. Don’t they all sound amazing? I’d never heard of Katherine Ferrers. And are you SURE Gertrude Bell was a real person? Because wow.
This so reminds me of some of the books on my wish list, books that I haven’t even got them onto my TBR pile yet. Starting with:
An engrossing biography of the longest-reigning female pharaoh in Ancient Egypt and the story of her audacious rise to power in a man’s world, says Goodreads. Hatshepsut totally deserves to be the centerpiece of a novel or three. I really want to read this biography, but I would love fiction too.
Not quite the same thing, but I first learned about Hatshepsut by reading CJ Cherryh’s HEROS IN HELL, where she features as a secondary character. So does Cleopatra, although for her I immediately think of CLEOPATRA’S HEIR by Gillian Bradshaw. Cleopatra does not feature in that book herself, but she casts a long and rather terrible shadow over her son Caesarion. It’s a wonderful book, one of my favorites by Bradshaw.
And thinking about CLEOPATRA’S HEIR leads me to Augustus, who reminds me of another biography I haven’t read but want to:
Which takes me away from Rinn’s theme of historical women, but really, Augustus is a fascinating person. Someday I want to read that biography, and I see there is also a novel by John Edward Williams that sounds good.
The closest I’ve come to this idea recently — fiction about real historical figures — is of course ROSE UNDER FIRE. The main character was not a historical figure, but so many of the secondary characters were. I think that counts.