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Uppity Women of Ancient Times Paperback – November 1, 1995


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Red Wheel / Weiser; 1ST edition (November 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1573240109
  • ISBN-13: 978-1573240109
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.8 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #804,440 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Okay, you've heard of Sappho, Nefertiti, maybe even the pharaoh Hatshepsut and the warrior queen Tomyris. But what about the murderous Macedonian queen Arsinoe, the Talmudic teacher Beruria, the Greek priestess Lysimache, or Audata-Eurydice, Philip of Macedon's horse-riding Illyrian queen? And then there is Kisaya, a Sumerian slave who sued for the right to choose her own husband. Leon has collected hundreds of historical women's names and the facts about the lives of those who bore them. Where very little is known, she fleshes out the text with fascinating cultural tidbits. Rendered in a zippy tone, such stuff makes delightful reading. Patricia Monaghan

Review

200 pyramid builders, poets, princesses and other women in positions of power over the centuries are profiled in a series of biographies concentrating on unusual women. Uppity Women of Ancient Times is an excellent, fun title which is packed with information on women who influenced history and created lasting names for themselves. -- Midwest Book Review

More About the Author

My roots: convinced I was left on strangers' doorstep in the Pacific Northwest, I fled in my teens and began to fill the first of seven passports. Wanderlust is apparently hereditary; my progeny now busy filling their own passports.
My higher education: mostly self-inflicted
I collect: pyramids, ancient cemeteries, seashells, foreign languages, long stays in foreign lands.
Allergic to: gray skies, household routines, watches, gas-guzzlers.
Addicted to: laughter, Spanish aceitunas con anchoas, George Dalaras and other Greek music, foreign films, beach walks, getting a glimpse of animals and birds in the wild.
Am a magnet for: odd facts, weird stories, unusual connections (all of them fodder for my writing)
Am sustained by: a worldwide web of family, friends, publishing colleagues, and readers

My books: 35 titles (about half of them for readers 10 and up). Many, miraculously still in print.

My GOALS as a writer of nonfiction:
1. Dig deeper to find the whole human history, to illuminate the unsung men and women of long ago
2. Leaven my books with humor and humanity
3. Try to astonish the reader on every page. Astonish, from the Latin attonare, "to be struck by lightning." Thus to write in a way that leaves the reader thunderstruck.

My research: more fun than a whodunit. In fact, I go through a lot of shoe leather even when I'm time-traveling.That's why I call myself (partly tongue in cheek) Vicki Leon, historical detective

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 26, 2000
Format: Paperback
Ms. Leon is clearly a well-researched historian, and has endeavoured to provide useful information in easily digestible sound-bites for those who could otherwise be bored by history. Brava! I really enjoyed this book, and plan on getting the others in the series. People who never read history will be entertained by the short, informative, juicy little 1-page tidbits on each compelling woman. Ms. Leon presents a view of some of these women that is different for what I have seen elsewhere, and I would be interested in seeing how she arrived at some of her conclusions. Probably another story.
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 4, 1999
Format: Paperback
I received this book and its companion on Medieval women as gifts. One lives in the bathroom and one by my bed. I am deeply interested in history and was looking forward to learning about an often-overlooked segment of the population - the women, famous and not, who influenced and contributed in large and small ways to their times.
It's clear that Ms. Leon has done a lot of research, but her writing style is terribly irritating and ultimately gets in the way of the material. She could have written it in an informal conversational style that would have served the same purpose, that of making the material accessible and interesting, but she chose instead to use a dated, "cool" Daddy-O style that just doesn't suit the material or ring true to her voice. Hip jargon is cool only briefly, and people who try to be funny usually aren't; why did she find it necessary or appropriate to trash her research and insult the intelligence of her readers with her silliness? I appreciate her obviously extensive research and the fact that she included ordinary women as well as movers and shakers, because we really know very little about women in history, but then she undermined her own efforts with her ridiculous writing style. That's why I rate the book at 3 instead of 5 - the content is worth a 5 but it's hard to take seriously a work that its own author obviously didn't.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By W. Marshall on September 1, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book (and the rest of the series) is written for people who are NOT fascinated by dry, scholarly textbooks. Plenty of people are subjected to the usual bland recounting of historical events and have surmised that history is not only boring, it's sexist. This series turns both notions on their heads. If you are looking for a "serious" tome on feminist history, don't bother reading this. The author wrote in conversational, slang-ridden style in order to appeal to people who AREN'T history buffs. Why so many people wrote reviews trashing this book because it isn't boring just shows the elitist snobbery that academica carries within. If you are mildly interested in learning a bit about women who never got their fair shake in male-centric world of historical writing, this book is for you. THe research is solid, the stories are true and nothing in this book is "bad" other than her glib style. If writing in an appealing way is somehow tantamount to heresy in historical writing then so be it. I personally cannot understand why a book with so much to say (in a short amount of time) is so maligned just because it isn't written to put you to sleep.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Angela M. Smith on September 30, 2000
Format: Paperback
I enjoy the Uppity Women series by Vicki Leon greatly. I have read most of the volumes and have been lucky enough to purchase for myself a couple for my library. I will keep adding to the collection until I have every one. Some may find her style to be flip or fluffy. But, I think her writing is passionate and shows a deep love and affinity for women in history. If anyone who wrote the other reviews actually read the writing of women in history. In particular, travel literature by Isabelle Eberhardt, Flora Tristan, Isabelle Bird, Francis Trollope etc. You and they might see that women in history wrote about themselves in an exuberant, lively, fun and impassioned manner. Ms. Leon is only following in their brilliantly and unfortunately almost forgotten footprints. If you love women, literature, and history, please by the series and buckle up! It is a wild and wonderful ride through the world of women!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 16, 1998
Format: Paperback
In her entertaining and excellent work Vicki Leon, has written biographies of some of the most famous, not so famous, and infamous women of the ancient world. Leon spins her tales of these women, who are indeed uppity, with humor, wit, and a knack for presenting them as real people not just historical figures. Many professional historians, and other fans of history would scoff at a book like this as not being serious history. However, history also need not be heavy, and dry. Why not make it an exercise in both learning and fun? This book is simply for the fan of history, who wants to enjoy it with a good laugh. And in this Leon has done a superb job, and I recommend her book highly.
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23 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 14, 1999
Format: Paperback
I feel sorry for the author, Vicky Leon, who is trying to appeal to the cheap side of her readers, if there is such a thing. She obviously has done a good amount of research, but her cliched, hackneyed writing style and attempts to be "cute" make it impossible for me to read with seriousness or enjoyment. Frankly, and I must admit this with some guilt, I bought the book just for factual information-- names, dates, general data-- but with chapter headings such as "Pharaohs, Physicians, Fat Cats & Filly-Fanciers" and "Singers, Sexual Stand-Ins & a Sassy Slave or Two" and practically every sentence containing duds such as "good old Sam," "put him off," "let it all hang out," "dear old grandma," etc., etc., etc., it's impinging on a clear desire to learn what I should already know....Ok, if I'm such a deadbeat, let's make it two and a half stars.
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