Five Books for International Women's Day

March 7, 2013 | M. Elwood

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March 8 is International Women's Day. Often exploited, frequently overlooked, women have faced challenges in every era. These  biographies acknowledge the lives of women who made a difference, sometimes unintentionally.

Hanging of angelique Hatchepsut ImmortalLifeHenriettaLacks-100x150 Rosalind franklin

The Hanging of Angélique: the Untold Story of Canadian Slavery and the Burning of Old Montreal by Afua Cooper
Marie-Joseph Angélique, a twenty-nine year old slave was accused of setting a fire that destroyed 46 buildings in 1734 Montreal. She was tortured, tried, convicted and executed for the crime. This book shines a spotlight on a part of Canadian history that we tend to ignore.

Hatchepsut: the Female Pharaoh by Joyce Tyldesley
Hatchepsut ruled Egypt for twenty years during the Eighteenth Dynasty. During her reign she established trade routes and commissioned hundreds of significant construction projects. Historians consider her one of the most successful pharaohs, however subsequent rulers attempted to eliminate her from history, defacing statues and removing her from written records.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
Large Print
Talking Book (restricted to Print Disabled patrons)
Before her death from cervical cancer in 1951, cells were removed from Henrietta Lacks without her knowledge or consent. These cells would become the first "immortal" cell line spawning a multi-billion dollar industry for which she has never been acknowledged or financially compensated.

Rosalind Franklin: the Dark Lady of DNA by Brenda Maddox
Her data and photographs, used without authorization, played a crucial role in the discovery of DNA's structure, yet Rosalind Franklin's contribution has never been fully recognized.

Wedlock: the True Story of the Disastrous Marriage and Remarkable Divorce of Mary Eleanor Bowes, Countess of Strathmore by Wendy Moore
Mary Bowes was the wealthiest heiress in 18th century Britain. She was also a botanist and acclaimed playwright however, when she found herself trapped in an abusive marriage she discovered she had no power to escape. This book documents her attempts to obtain a divorce from her husband.