Cover image for Ahead of their time : a biographical dictionary of risk-taking women
Ahead of their time : a biographical dictionary of risk-taking women
Duncan, Joyce, 1946-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Westport, CT : Greenwood Press, 2002.
Physical Description:
xii, 312 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Harriet Chalmers Adams -- Joy Friederike Victoria Gessner Adamson -- Elizabeth Cabot Cary Agassiz -- Delia Denning Akeley -- Mary Lenore Jobe Akeley -- Jacqueline Marie-Therese Suzanne Douet Auriol -- Isabelle Autissier -- Ann Bancroft -- Gertrude Margaret Lowthian Bell -- Ruth Fulton Benedict -- Gertrude Benham -- Isabella Lucy Bird Bishop -- Arlene Blum -- Magaret Bourke-White -- Louise Arner Boyd -- Susan Butcher -- Rachel Louise Carson -- Lucy Evelyn Cheesman -- Eugenie Clark -- Geraldyn "Jerrie" Cobb -- Jacqueline Cochran -- Elizabeth "Bessie" Coleman -- Eileen Marie Collins -- Alexandra David-Neel -- Meta Ann "Annie" Doak Dillard -- Florence Catherine Douglas Dixie -- Amelia Earhart -- Dian Fossey -- Clare Mary Francis -- Birute Marija Filomena Galdikis -- Jane Goodall -- Ernestine "Dee Dee" Green -- Beatrice Ethel Grimshaw -- Marguerite Elton Baker Harrison -- Mae Carol Jemison -- Amy Johnson -- Mary Henrietta Kingsley -- Monica Kristensen -- Ann LaBastille -- Sharon Christa Corrigan McAuliffe -- Beryl Clutterbuck Markham -- Margaret Mead -- Sylvia Earle Mead -- Ruth Nichols -- Valentina Tereshkova Nikolayev -- Marianne North -- Diana Sneed Nyad -- Annie Smith Peck -- Harriet Quimby -- Sally Kristin Ride -- Freya Stark -- Junko Istibashi Tabei -- Alexandrine Petrinella Francina "Alexine" Tinne -- Fanny Bullock Workman -- Appendix I: vignettes of other women.
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HQ1123 .D86 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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This unique reference work brings together a wealth of information about pioneering women who took risks and made remarkable strides in a diversity of fields. Whether in the name of science, sport, or humanitarianism, the spirit of adventure runs through the lives of these 75 daring woman who broke down barriers as they explored the far reaches of the globe, the depths of the seas, and the lofty expanses of space. These inspiring profiles investigate a wide range of notable women from throughout history and from around the globe. Included are the familiar and famous names such as Amelia Earhart, Jane Goodall, and Margaret Mead. Lesser known but equally inspiring women for whom it is more difficult to find information are also included, from early explorers to recent role models.

An appendix offers short vignettes about women on whom little information is available, but whose accomplishments are significant particularly when they may have played a part in the contributions of other women cited here. This biographical dictionary will be a valuable research tool for students looking for information on a specific person, from a particular profession, time period or country of origin. For easy reference, alphabetized entries identify the subjects' country of origin and field of pursuit, and appendices list the names by these categories. Each biographical entry offers further suggested readings on the subject, and a more inclusive bibliography follows.

Author Notes

JOYCE DUNCAN is on the faculty at East Tennessee State University where she teaches English and Service-Learning. She is the Managing Editor of the Sport Literature Association, editor of H-Arete listserv and a freelance writer, editor and photographer. Her previous publications include numerous contributions to reference books including: Dictionary of World Biography , Masterplots II , Encyclopedia of Civil Rights in America , American National Biography , Great Events from History and Encyclopedia of Popular Culture in the United States .

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

This selective dictionary describes the lives of 75 women from the eighteenth through the twentieth centuries who have "broken traditional bounds and ventured into uncharted territory" on land, at sea, or in the air. The alphabetical entries are introduced with dates of birth and, where appropriate, dates of death; country of origin; field of endeavor; and, in many instances, a photograph. Narratives of two to four pages are accompanied by short bibliographies. The volume concludes with several appendixes: "Vignettes of Other Women" about whom little is known, followed by lists of women grouped by category (e.g., "Aviators," "Iditarod Champion") and by nationality. The women include mountaineers, explorers, aviators, anthropologists, archaeologists, environmentalists, naturalists, sailors, and adventurers. One finds such well-known names as anthropologist Ruth Benedict, aviator Amelia Earhart, and astronaut Mae Jemison; but there also are entries for Ruth Nichols, heiress turned aviator; Marianne North, nineteenth-century conservationist; and Alexandrine Tinne, Dutch explorer of the Middle East. Though subjects are predominantly from the U.S. or England, there are some representatives from other parts of the world (Valentina Nikolayev and Junko Tabei, for example). This easy-to-use, highly readable dictionary is suitable for high-school, public, and undergraduate collections, although libraries that own other titles such as Encyclopedia of Women in Aviation and Space Technology (ABC-CLIO, 1998) and Encyclopedia of Women's Travel and Exploration (Oryx, 2001) may find it an optional purchase.

Choice Review

Seeking to uncover the adventurous accomplishments of women who have "broken traditional bounds and ventured into unchartered [sic] territory," Duncan offers a highly selective but elementary biographical guide. The 75 entries range from early explorers (Isabella Bishop) to modern role models (Mae Carol Jemison), women who demonstrate "shared characteristics of going beyond what was expected, either by their era or gender or both." Organized alphabetically by name, entries include the years each woman lived, her nationality, and her field, followed by two- to three-page profiles. Appendixes include "Vignettes of Other Women" (without explaining why these 21 women were not simply included in the body of the work) and "Women by Category," which includes activists, aquanauts, sailors, and a spy. Duncan attempts to gather international examples, yet most entries represent the US and UK, and while they show some diversity of ethnicity and social background, none are from the "developing" world--a marked inadequacy. Although it might meet some needs at the secondary school level, this reference work's disappointing execution fails to fulfill its conceptual promise. Readers and researchers who want a truly useful compendium of unconventional, risk-taking women will be better served by publications like Macmillan Dictionary of Women's Biography, ed. by Jennifer Uglow (3rd ed., 1998). J. Ariel University of California, Irvine

Table of Contents

Introductionp. ix
Harriet Chalmers Adamsp. 1
Joy Friederike Victoria Gessner Adamsonp. 7
Elizabeth Cabot Cary Agassizp. 13
Delia Denning Akeleyp. 17
Mary Lenore Jobe Akeleyp. 23
Jacqueline Marie-Therese Suzanne Douet Auriolp. 27
Isabelle Autissierp. 31
Ann Bancroftp. 37
Gertrude Margaret Lowthian Bellp. 43
Ruth Fulton Benedictp. 49
Gertrude Benhamp. 55
Isabella Lucy Bird Bishopp. 59
Arlene Blump. 65
Margaret Bourke-Whitep. 69
Louise Arner Boydp. 73
Susan Butcherp. 77
Rachel Louise Carsonp. 83
Lucy Evelyn Cheesmanp. 87
Eugenie Clarkp. 91
Geraldyn "Jerrie" Cobbp. 97
Jacqueline Cochranp. 103
Elizabeth "Bessie" Colemanp. 109
Eileen Marie Collinsp. 115
Alexandra David-Neelp. 119
Meta Ann "Annie" Doak Dillardp. 125
Florence Catherine Douglas Dixiep. 129
Amelia Earhartp. 133
Dian Fosseyp. 141
Clare Mary Francisp. 147
Birute Marija Filomena Galdikisp. 153
Jane Goodallp. 159
Ernestine "Dee Dee" Greenp. 165
Beatrice Ethel Grimshawp. 169
Marguerite Elton Baker Harrisonp. 173
Mae Carol Jemisonp. 179
Amy Johnsonp. 183
Mary Henrietta Kingsleyp. 189
Monica Kristensenp. 195
Anne LaBastillep. 201
Sharon Christa Corrigan McAuliffep. 207
Beryl Clutterbuck Markhamp. 211
Margaret Meadp. 217
Sylvia Earle Meadp. 223
Ruth Nicholsp. 229
Valentina Tereshkova Nikolayevp. 235
Marianne Northp. 239
Diana Sneed Nyadp. 245
Annie Smith Peckp. 249
Harriet Quimbyp. 255
Sally Kristen Ridep. 261
Freya Starkp. 265
Junko Istibashi Tabeip. 271
Alexandrine Petronella "Alexine" Tinnep. 275
Fanny Bullock Workmanp. 281
Appendix I Vignettes of Other Womenp. 285
Mary Baileyp. 285
Winifred Blackmanp. 285
Anne Isabella Noel Bluntp. 286
Diane Doranp. 286
Gertrude Caroline Ederlep. 287
Mina A. Ellisp. 288
Joan Rosita Forbesp. 288
Sophia Heathp. 288
Jill Heinerthp. 289
Jeanne Holmp. 289
Kara Hultgreenp. 289
Dora Keenp. 290
Claude Koganp. 290
Elizabeth Hawkins-Whitshed Leblondp. 290
Jerri Nielsenp. 291
Edith "Jackie" Ronnep. 291
Sheila Christine Scottp. 291
Gertrude Emerson Senp. 292
Miriam O'Brien Underhillp. 292
Mary Vaux Walcottp. 292
Lucy Walkerp. 293
Appendix II Women by Categoryp. 295
Appendix III Women by Nationalityp. 299
Selected Bibliographyp. 303
Indexp. 305