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Women of Discovery: A Celebration of Intrepid Women Who Explored the World Hardcover – October 2, 2001

4.6 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School-"Celebration" is indeed the word for this exuberant assemblage of 84 amazing and outrageous individuals. Polk's vivid narratives capture the essence of each fascinating life and adventure, while Tiegreen's remarkable graphics create a sense of authenticity and immediacy, wrapping each account in a style that suits it perfectly. Readers feel they are witnesses to history thanks to well-chosen, first-person observations and ample visual contents such as contemporary maps, memorabilia, photos, and art. The "women of discovery" include aristocrats and paupers, ancient Vikings and modern scientists still in their prime. Some lives were more terrible than triumphant, but all "made comprehensible a part of the world that we didn't know, understand, or appreciate until they revealed it to us." The stories are loosely grouped into five freewheeling sections, each with a brief but thought-provoking introduction describing "Early Voyagers," "Intrepid Explorers," "Scientific Explorers," "Artist Explorers," and "Explorers on the Edge." Although a few of the names are well known (Maria Mitchell, Dian Fossey, Zora Neale Hurston), most will come as a complete surprise to readers, who will be wondering why they've never heard of these women before. This beautiful book is a browser's dream, but it should be equally attractive to students as a rich source of interesting research subjects. The authors hope that this book will guide anyone "[setting] forth on his or her own voyage of discovery."-Christine C. Menefee, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

This book defines exploration as "the expansion of knowledge and experience," enabling Polk (Egyptian Mummies) and Tiegreen (The Legend of the Villa Della Luna) to include women who were writers, pilgrims (a woman's primary mode of travel for centuries), photographers, anthropologists, scientists, aviators, astronauts, and traditional explorers in their collection of illustrated portraits. CNN correspondent Christiane Amanpour exemplifies this new standard when she states in the foreword, "I am exploring the human condition rather than physical space." The majority of the 84 entries highlight Western women, although the authors have made a conscious effort to include examples of women explorers from Asia and Africa. The entries are short and contain numerous photographs, illustrations, quotations, and maps. Despite its more multicultural approach, this volume does not supersede Marion Tinling's Women into the Unknown (LJ 5/1/89) or Rebecca Stefoff's Women of the World: Women Travelers and Explorers (o.p.), which provide a much more substantial treatment of the subject. Nevertheless, Polk and Tiegreen's book, with its brief biographical sketches, is engaging and fun to skim. Recommended for public libraries. Margaret Atwater-Singer, Univ. of Evansville Libs., IN
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter Publishers; 1st edition (October 2, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0609604805
  • ISBN-13: 978-0609604809
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 0.9 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #355,981 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Carole Herdegen on March 7, 2005
Format: Hardcover
You can read more of Carole Herdegen's book reviews at [...]

I have been waiting for a book like this to come along for a very long time. Milbry Polk and Mary Tiegreen's Women of Discovery is truly a celebration of intrepid women down through the ages. Women who conquered fear, resentment, discrimination, finance or lack of education in face of the then prevailing conditions that intimidated and inhibited them from having an unobstructed opportunity to pursue their dreams. Some of these women faced incredible challenges and most of them contributed substantially to our knowledge of the world. . The authors of this book have given us a chance to read about 82 brave but very different women beginning with the early Christian pilgrims in the Middle Ages. Women such as Elizabeth Van Der Woude, Catalina de Erauso, Jeanne Baret and Isabel Grandmaison y Bruno Godin who received no mention during the age of discovery in the 15th to the 18th centuries while their male counterparts, Cortez, Magellan and deGama received fame and glory. The book brings us to the present with the achievement of Louise Hose, an American geologist who, because of her passion for discovery, lead her into the dark, unexplored caves of Mexico and the finding of new life forms.

The book also obviously identifies familiar names like Amelia Mary Earhart, Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, Mary Leakey, and Margaret Mead. The written biographies range from 500 to 1500 words and almost virtually "come to life" by the authors' use of photography, cartography, watercolors, and drawings.

After reading this book, one could never forget the story of Sue Henderson, the fossil hunter and explorer, who from a very young age chose the pursuit of outdoor nature.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a terrific book and should be given to all girls over the age of 10. My life could have been different if I'd known there were so many wonderful women over the centuries pushing the limits in a multitude of authentic ways. This book is inspiring, motivating and a tear jerker all at the same time.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Really beautiful way to learn history. Also reassuring to know that not all discoveries were only made by 1 gender, but instead were often enriched by life-long, devoted, and highly intelligent women!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am pretty satisfied with this book . The quality is excellent . It looks like brand new. The only negative side was that it took a longer time to arrive at home .
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