Share HERstory: 10 Books About Overlooked Women of History

HERstory: 10 Books About Overlooked Women of History

Kerry Fiallo is a New York native and copywriter at Simon & Schuster. A lifelong voracious reader, she has a particular fondness for ghost stories, history, and anything to do with Mary Shelley, Ada Lovelace, and the Brontë sisters. The only thing she may love more than books is black tea, but they do often go well together. You can find her as she navigates through literature and history on Twitter @ReadingInNYC and on Tumblr.

Women’s History Month is the perfect time to learn about and celebrate some of the most colorful, inspirational, and remarkable women throughout time. Sometimes, however, truly incredible women are overlooked in favor of more famous icons, so here at Off the Shelf, we’ve collected some fabulous books—both fictional and non—starring these little-known heroines. From fiercely independent first daughters to pioneering pilots, these women will motivate you to live your best life.


Young and Damned and Fair
by Gareth Russell
Most of us are familiar with the story of Henry VIII and his tragic wives. But in this authoritative biography, discover more about the little-known Catherine Howard, Henry’s teenaged fifth wife. A captivating look at the complicated politics of being a young woman in sixteenth-century court life, YOUNG AND DAMNED AND FAIR is a sympathetic and gripping work of research.
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Young and Damned and Fair
Gareth Russell

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MENTIONED IN:

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Stolen Beauty
by Laurie Lico Albanese
Though her name is mostly known from the famous painting of her, the true story of Adele Bloch-Bauer is incredibly fascinating. In this dazzling novel that whisks you to early-twentieth-century Vienna, a young socialite meets the painter Gustav Klimt, and her life changes forever. Forty years later, her niece must save her aunt’s legacy in the rising face of Nazism.
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Stolen Beauty
Laurie Lico Albanese

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MENTIONED IN:

HERstory: 10 Books About Overlooked Women of History

By Kerry Fiallo | March 8, 2019

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The Women of the Cousins' War
by Philippa Gregory, David Baldwin and Michael Jones
The Wars of the Roses were a significant series of civil wars that changed British history and in this extraordinary work of nonfiction, New York Times bestselling author Philippa Gregory and two historians weave unforgettable essays on three largely overlooked royal women who were involved. Richly illustrated, this is the perfect companion to fans of Gregory’s lyrical novels.
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The Women of the Cousins' War
Philippa Gregory, David Baldwin and Michael Jones

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MENTIONED IN:

HERstory: 10 Books About Overlooked Women of History

By Kerry Fiallo | March 8, 2019

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Never Caught
by Erica Armstrong Dunbar
Bringing new light to the First Family of the United States, NEVER CAUGHT is the unforgettable true story of Ona Judge, a slave of George and Martha Washington who risked it all to be free. With engrossing research and compelling writing, this is an eye-opening exploration of slavery in the early days of the United States and the intense perseverance of one woman’s journey to freedom.
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Never Caught
Erica Armstrong Dunbar

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MENTIONED IN:

HERstory: 10 Books About Overlooked Women of History

By Kerry Fiallo | March 8, 2019

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American Princess
by Stephanie Marie Thornton
Though not as well known today as her more famous father and cousins, Alice Roosevelt Longworth was a beloved and often infamous celebrity in her time. In this enchanting and evocative novel, President Theodore Roosevelt’s daughter charms and shocks Washington, DC, with her unconventional independence. From love affairs to engaging in politics, Alice is a remarkable figure that you won’t soon forget.
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American Princess
Stephanie Marie Thornton

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MENTIONED IN:

HERstory: 10 Books About Overlooked Women of History

By Kerry Fiallo | March 8, 2019

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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
by Rebecca Skloot
This passionate and outstanding work of investigative journalism explores twentieth-century medicine, race, ethics, and justice. More than simply a biography of the woman who unknowingly helped change medical research forever, this modern classic is fascinating, moving, and eye-opening. No matter your background in science or medicine, THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS will grip you from the very first page.
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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Rebecca Skloot

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The Handfasted Wife
by Carol McGrath
A fast-paced adventure of medieval England during the Norman Conquest, THE HANDFASTED WIFE follows Edith Swanneck, an Anglo-Saxon queen, as she works to ensure her and her children’s future in an uncertain world. Between bloody battles and complex politics, this is a riveting tale that will leave you breathless.
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The Handfasted Wife
Carol McGrath

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MENTIONED IN:

HERstory: 10 Books About Overlooked Women of History

By Kerry Fiallo | March 8, 2019

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The Civil Wars of Julia Ward Howe
by Elaine Showalter
An insightful and lively biography on a complex and brilliant woman, THE CIVIL WARS OF JULIA WARD HOWE follows the life and times of the pioneering activist and writer of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic.” With the pacing of a novel, this masterful work sheds light on sex, race, politics, and power in the nineteenth century.
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The Civil Wars of Julia Ward Howe
Elaine Showalter

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MENTIONED IN:

HERstory: 10 Books About Overlooked Women of History

By Kerry Fiallo | March 8, 2019

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Crossing the Horizon
by Laurie Notaro
We’ve all heard of America Earhart, but in Laurie Notaro’s page-turning novel, learn all about three little-known female aviators and their intense desire to be the first woman to cross the Atlantic. Featuring photographs of these remarkable women and authentic prose, CROSSING THE HORIZON will have you soaring.
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Crossing the Horizon
Laurie Notaro

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MENTIONED IN:

HERstory: 10 Books About Overlooked Women of History

By Kerry Fiallo | March 8, 2019

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Mr. President, How Long Must We Wait?
by Tina Cassidy
A timely and authoritative celebration of Alice Paul, the suffragist and writer of the Equal Rights Amendment, this nonfiction book explores one of the most crucial moments in American women’s history: the fight for women’s suffrage. A compelling read as inspiring as the heroine it depicts.
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Mr. President, How Long Must We Wait?
Tina Cassidy

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MENTIONED IN:

HERstory: 10 Books About Overlooked Women of History

By Kerry Fiallo | March 8, 2019

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