Bad Girls by Jan Stradling

Bad Girls: The Most Powerful, Shocking, Amazing, Thrilling, and Dangerous Women of all Time by Jan Stradling


Book Description:

BGCSassy, brilliant, vicious, cunning, unstable, tough-as-nails—readers will relish these stories of 22 women in history who defied the mainstream boundaries and social mores of their times.

Each gripping story speaks for itself: from Queen Mary I who did ‘what it took’ to protect Catholicism in England, to Madame Mao who became one of communist China’s most powerful and feared leaders, to Georgia Tann who, as a director of the Tennessee Children’s Home, made millions selling babies on the black market.

Some of these women were cruel, others visionary, yet others blinded by ambition or love. All were driven by a powerful combination of primal forces.

The most powerful, shocking, amazing, thrilling & dangerous women of all time. Breathtaking, at times inspiring and always riveting, this book takes the reader into the lives and times of 32 of history’s most ruthless and ambitious women.


My Review: We generally don’t review nonfiction but on occasion we do make the odd exception. I enjoyed this book so much. It would have been cruel not to share this book.

I’ve heard of several of these women before but have never read anything so detailed. The book starts out with Cleopatra. Everyone knows the story of Cleopatra and she is often portrayed as Caesar and Mark Antony’s whore but after reading her story you’ll see that she was protecting her rule and her people.  Both of which she cared deeply about.

Cleopatra only aliened with Caesar because her brother/husband Ptolemy XIII wanted her dead. With family like that who needs enemies?  This book made me consider aspects of Cleopatra’s story that I hadn’t really thought about before. Cleopatra was the first Ptolemy to speak the native language of her people. FYI the Ptolemy’s were Greek and they spoke Greek. Official documents were in Greek. They married their siblings, I’m assuming, so that the Greek bloodline wasn’t diluted and not because of any kind of native traditions. In short, the Ptolemy’s liked being Greek and they flaunted it every chance they got. That’s why I think Cleopatra actually cared about her people. Don’t get me wrong; she spoke many languages but if it was just an issue of enjoying learning other languages there were many, many others that would have been just as beneficial.

Consider this history lesson over. This is a great book about well known and not so well known women of history. It makes them human. Some of them were not so nice and some of them were not so nice for very human reasons. Whether you love them or hate them you’ll learn new things about these infamous women of history.

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These ladies of history lived real lives and most of the time it wasn’t pretty.




Background Image: Coast, Elgol by FrankWinkler



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