Editorial note: This node was originally created by Colorless Green Idea. I took over its ownership after maintaining it for three years in CGI's absence.

Can you name twenty non-fictional women, born before 1900, who are famous for their own accomplishments?
Seriously, try it before you peek.

Here's a starter list of great women, to get us thinking --
(1) Many people on this list should be in multiple categories and I've put them in just one. (Within each category, listings are roughly chronological.)
(2) The list isn't intended solely as an answer to the question presented above; it's supposed to be a metanode of noteworthy historical women; I've included some people born since 1900, if they did something especially noteworthy. The 1900 stricture is mostly to prevent the list getting uncontrollably large, and "famous for" can also be read as "unjustifiably ignored despite".
(3) And of course, the list is by no means comprehensive; in particular, it's very heavily slanted toward American and European women, since that's the shape of my ignorance.

Please add more below, or /msg me with additions. Also, if you're looking for factual stuff to node, look for women on this list who aren't yet written up.

(If you know that one of these ancient women is mythological, let me know)
Pharoah Hatshepsut
Queen Tiye -- Egypt
Candace of Ethiopia
Semiramis of Babylon
Makeda, Queen of Sheba
Empress Theodora
Empress Wu Zetian of China
Blanche of Castile
Raziya Iltutmish
Sorghaghtani Beki, Mongolian
Catherine de Medici
Eleanor of Aquitaine
Isabella I of Castille
Queen Amina of Hausa
Mary, Queen of Scots
Queen Elizabeth I of England
Queen Victoria of Britain
Catherine the Great of Russia
Nur Jahan of Kashmir
Tz'u-hsi, the Empress Dowager of China
Liliuokalani of Hawaii
Jeannette Rankin
Sirimavo Bandaranaike
Golda Meir
Indira Gandhi
Shirley Chisholm
Ella Grasso
Benazir Bhutto
Corazon Aquino
Margaret Thatcher
Wilma Mankiller

Belva Lockwood
Sandra Day O'Connor
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Edith Spurlock Sampson

Ban Zhao
Li Qingzhao
Murasaki Shikibu
Sei Shonagon
Christine de Pisan
Anna Comnena
Margery Kempe
Aphra Behn
Lady Mary Wroth
Anne Kingsmill Finch
Juana Inés de la Cruz
Emily Dickinson
Anne Bradstreet
Phillis Wheatley
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Christina Rossetti
Elizabeth Inchbald
Jane Austen
Charlotte Bronte
Emily Bronte
George Eliot
Georges Sand
Mary Shelley
Sarah Josepha Hale
Harriet Beecher Stowe
Sarah Orne Jewett
Fanny Burney
Mourning Dove
Eudora Welty
Edith Wharton
Kate Chopin
Yosano Akiko
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Dorothy Parker
Selma Lagerlöf
Virginia Woolf
Lillian Hellman
Katherine Anne Porter
Emily Post
Fanny Farmer
Beatrix Potter
Laura Ingalls Wilder
Louisa May Alcott
Frances Hodgson Burnett
Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Emma Lazarus
Isak Dinesen
Anna Sewell
Zora Neale Hurston
Gertrude Stein
Marina Tsvetayeva
Anna Akhmatova
Elizabeth Bishop
Marianne Moore
Gwendolyn Brooks
Daphne du Maurier
Margaret Mitchell
Pearl S. Buck
Willa Cather
Flannery O'Connor
Madeleine L'Engle

Artemisia Gentileschi
Judith Leyster
Elisabeth Vigée-LeBrun
Camille Claudel
Berthe Morisot
Mary Cassatt
Kathe Kollwitz
Grandma Moses
Georgia O'Keeffe
Frida Kahlo
Kate Greenaway

Ida Tarbell
Ida B. Wells
Nellie Bly
Margaret Fuller
Julia Margaret Cameron
Imogen Cunningham
Berenice Abbott
Margaret Bourke-White
Katharine Graham
M. Therese Bonney
Dorothea Lange

Feminists/Suffrage Leaders
Mary Wollstonecraft
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Lucretia Mott
Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Susan B. Anthony
Emmeline Pankhurst
Carrie Chapman Catt
Matilda Joslyn Gage
Amelia Bloomer
Alice Paul
Lucy Stone
Fanny Wright
Qiu Jin
Betty Friedan

Reformers/Educators/Enlightened Patrons
Elizabeth Fry
Lady Godiva
Isabella d'Este
Abigail Adams
Dorothea Dix
Mary Church Terrell
Mary Lyon
Emma Willard
Sarah Grimke and Angelina Grimke
Julia Ward Howe
Harriet Tubman
Sojourner Truth
Florence Nightingale
Mary McLeod Bethune
Sarah Josepha Hale
Jane Addams
Margaret Sanger
Marie Stopes
Victoria Woodhull
Mary Harris Jones aka Mother Jones
Carry Nation
Helen Hunt Jackson
Mary Shadd Cary
Maria Montessori
Helen Keller
Eleanor Roosevelt
Frances Perkins
Rachel Carson
Rosa Parks
Crystal Eastman
Marian Wright Edelman
Fannie Lou Hamer

Scientists/ Mathematicians/ Inventors/ Health Care Workers
Hypatia of Alexandria
Shi Dun and Si Ling Chi: mythological?
Trotula of Salerno
Heloise (see also Abelard and Heloise)
Hildegard von Bingen
Elena Lucrezia Cornaro Piscopia
Laura Bassi (1711-1778)
Sophie Germain (1776-1831)
Ada Lovelace, aka Ada Byron, Lady Lovelace
Clara Barton
Elizabeth Garrett Anderson
Elizabeth Blackwell
Maria Mitchell
Sofia Vasilyevna Kovalevskaya
Annie Jump Cannon
Marie Curie
Émilie du Châtelet
Maria Agnesi
Evelyn Boyd Granville
Grace Murray Hopper
Margaret Mead
Maria Goeppert Mayer
Florence Sabin
Virginia Apgar
Lise Meitner
Mary Leakey
Jane Goodall
Dian Fossey
Hedy Lamarr (seriously!)
Barbara McClintock
Rosalind Franklin
Emmy Noether
Chien-Shiung Wu

Religious Leaders/ Mystics
St. Teresa of Avila
Saint Catherine of Siena-- for more female saints, see list of saints
Julian of Norwich
Mother Shipton
Mother Seton aka Elizabeth Ann Seton
Mary Baker Eddy
Anne Hutchinson
Madame Blavatsky
Dion Fortune
Mother Teresa

Princess Elizabeth of Bohemia
Queen Christina of Sweden
G.E.M. Anscombe
Phillippa Foot
Luce Irigaray
Simone de Beauvoir
Emma Goldman
Hannah Arendt
Simone Weil
Ayn Rand

Warriors / Pirates
Hua Mulan -- schist informs me that Mulan is mythological
The Trung Sisters -- Vietnam
Laskarina Boubouline
Grace O'Malley
Joan of Arc
Lady Agnes Randolph
Mbande Zinga or Nzhinga-- Angola
Yaa Asantewaa -- Ghana/Ashanti
Anne Marie Louise d'Orléans, duchesse de Montpensier
Nehanda --Zimbabwe
Nandi -- Zulu
Flora Sandes
Lily Litvak
real, non-mythical Amazons?:Myrene, Lysippe, Penthesilea -- see www.gendergap.com's section on women military leaders, according to them there are many more

Valentina Tereshkova
Svetlana Savitskaya
Ann Bancroft
Sacagawea, also spelled Sacajawea
Jaqueline Cochran
Bessie Coleman
Amelia Earhart
Eileen Collins
Sally Ride
Gina Yeager
Tori Murden

Athletes/ Dancers
Mildred "Babe" Didrikson Zaharias
Anna Pavlova
Martha Graham
Isadora Duncan
Josephine Baker
Wilma Rudolph
Libby Riddles
Dawn Riley
Annie Oakley

Musicians/ Composers/ Actors/ Directors
Beverly Sills
Kate Smith
Marian Anderson
Bessie Smith
Etta James
Sarah Bernhardt
Helen Hayes
Billie Holiday
Ella Fitzgerald
Sarah Vaughn
Dinah Washington
Julie Dash

See also:
Web sites: www.womenshalloffame.org, www.distinguishedwomen.com, www.undelete.org, www.womeninworldhistory.com, www.gendergap.com (amazing section on women in military history)

Other starting places within E2: people nodes; National Women's Hall of Fame, which includes American women only; The Literary Award Metanode; The listings at Nobel Prize; Jazz Female Vocalist Metanode; list of saints, authors...

Thanks to Gritchka, Segnbora-t, Mauler, anthropod, and fuzzy and blue for additions. Thanks to Segnbora-t for telling all the stories that were untold.

With reservations about their historical roles:
Helen of Troy
Lady Yang Guifei
Marie Antoinette

This was a nodeshell rescue. If you're inclined to troll below, please remember that misogyny isn't clever or new or punk, it's dumb and very old and very mainstream.

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