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She Dared: True Stories of Heroines, Scoundrels, and Renegades    by Ed Butts & Heather Collins order for
She Dared
by Ed Butts
Order:  USA  Can
Tundra, 2005 (2005)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Ed Butts tells us that 'History has often overlooked women' and presents 15 historical Canadian women who 'dared in some way to challenge their societies.' Heather Collins' black and white sketches give a context to each of them.

Marguerite de la Roque de Roberval was a female Robinson Crusoe, whose affair with a commoner lover resulted in her being abandoned on an uninhabited island off the coast of Newfoundland. Chipewyan Thanadelthur escaped Cree captivity to work with Hudson's Bay officials to engineer a peace amongst the northern tribes. Mohawk Molly Brant lived between two worlds, and was a strong force in her people's alliance with the British during the American Revolution. Dr. James Miranda Barry was a brilliant Army surgeon, who practiced medicine in the mid-1800s, keeping her sex a secret for over fifty years!

Mary Ann Shadd was a teacher, publisher, a freedom fighter in the Underground Railroad, and a lawyer. Sarah Emma Edmonds disguised herself as a man and became a nurse, soldier and very effective spy in the American Civil War. Pearl Hart robbed a stagecoach in Arizona. Spendthrift Cassie Chadwick was a talented swindler (of millions) in the late 1800s. Socialite Martha Black was eventually elected as a member of Parliament for the Yukon. Mina Hubbard explored the wilds of Labrador in the early 1900s. Florence Lassandro was a 'Roaring Twenties mobster princess.'

The book ends with an account of four brave women pilots who flew with the Air Transport Auxiliary in World War II, and with references for further reading. She Dared includes many inspiring accounts of women who chose 'to step off the narrow path of custom.'

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