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Uppity Women of Ancient Times    by Vicki Leon order for
Uppity Women of Ancient Times
by Vicki Leon
Order:  USA  Can
Conari Press, 1998 (1995)
Hardcover, Paperback

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* * *   Reviewed by Marian Powell

Heard about the bartender who founded a dynasty that lasted a hundred years? Want to know the name of the first author of hymns that have been preserved? Curious to find out which queen was also an admiral and fought in several battles?

Vicki Leon has done an incredible amount of research for references to women in the most ancient civilizations. In this book, she devotes one or two pages to each of over two hundred women. There's Kubaba, listed in the Sumerian list of kings as ruler and founder of a dynasty; her name was 'Kubaba the beer woman'. Enheduana was a Sumerian priestess who wrote hymns, of which forty-two have survived. Her name is the first name of an author that has come down through the ages, and she wrote over 4,300 years ago. A queen in her own right, Artemesia was also an admiral for the Persian king Xerxes, and fought in several battles.

Readers should know in advance that this is not a dry reference book. Vicki Leon has a sassy, smart-alecky style as can be guessed from the Uppity Women title. She often begins with little information other than a single reference, and from there she builds up details of what life was like and what was probably going on. It makes the book a lot of fun to read and one also picks up a great deal of information along the way.

Uppity Women of Ancient Times is the first in a series. Others include Uppity Women of Medieval Times, Uppity Women of the Renaissance, Uppity Women of the New World and Uppity Women of Shakespearean Times. The author has also written a series on Outrageous Women.

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