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Cranky Ladies of History: Table of Contents Announced!

cranky ladiesThis morning, Fablecroft Publishing announced the table of contents for their Cranky Ladies of History anthology, and I am delighted to say that I’ve got a story in this book! My piece is set in early medieval Iceland (surprise, surprise) and tells the story of Hallgerðr Höskuldsdóttir, a very cranky lady indeed, who caused no end of trouble in her lifetime. Before writing this story, I always thought Hallgerðr was a pretty despicable character — largely because that’s how she is depicted in one of Iceland’s most famous sagas, Njáls saga. But when I started thinking about how I would tell the story from her perspective, I saw a whole other side to her, a side that was never shown in the medieval narrative. And so now, even though I still think Hallgerðr is one of the crankiest of cranky women, I also love her.

Tehani Wessely and Tansy Rayner Roberts have come together to edit this anthology, and they received enormous support for the Pozible campaign. “Late in 2013,” Tehani explained earlier this year, “Australian writer and editor Liz Barr blogged about Tsaritsa Sophia Alekseyevna of Russia, dubbing her one of history’s great “cranky ladies”. Being the editor I am, I immediately thought of several fantastic writers I would love to see write short stories about history’s cranky ladies, those women who bucked the trends of their time and took on cultural norms to challenge society’s rules and ideas about how women should behave.”

Fast forward to now, and here’s the line-up (listed in roughly chronological order). I’m so excited to be sharing the ToC with so many excellent writers — and I’m dying to read all of these stories!

Author Provisional Title Cranky Lady A little detail…
Joyce Chng “Charmed Life” Leizu Chinese empress who discovered silk
Amanda Pillar “Neter Nefer” Hatshepsut Egyptian ruler
Barbara Robson “Theodora” Theodora, wife of the Byzantine Emperor, Justinian the first Wife of the Byzantine Emperor, Justinian the first
Lisa Hannett “Hallgerðr Höskuldsdóttir / For So Great a Misdeed” Icelandic woman
Garth Nix “The Company of Women” Lady Godiva Anglo-Saxon noblewoman
Juliet Marillier “Hallowed Ground” Hildegard of Bingen German writer, composer, philosopher, Christian mystic, Benedictine abbess, visionary, and polymath
LM Myles “Little Battles” Eleanor of Aquitaine French queen & mother of dynasty
Foz Meadows “Bright Moon” Khutulun Central Asian warrior
Laura Lam “The lioness and her prey” Jeanne de Clisson French pirate
Liz Barr “Queenside” Mary Tudor (Mary I of England) Queen of England
Deborah Biancotti “Look How Cold My Hands Are” Countess Bathory countess from the renowned Báthory family of nobility in the Kingdom of Hungary. She has been labelled the most prolific female serial killer in history
Dirk Flinthart “The gift of freedom” Grace O’Malley Queen of Umaill, chieftain of the Ó Máille clan sometimes known as “The Sea Queen of Connacht”
Faith Mudge “Glorious” Elizabeth I Queen of England
Havva Murat “The Pasha, the girl and the dagger: The story of Nora of Kelmendi” Nora of Kelmendi Albanian warrior
Kirstyn McDermott “Mary Mary” Mary Wollstonecroft English writer, philosopher, and advocate of women’s rights.
Thoraiya Dyer “Vintana” Queen Ranavalona I of Madagascar, also known as Ranavalona the Cruel Queen of Madagascar
Stephanie Lai “The dragon, the terror, the sea” Cheng Shih Chinese pirate
Jane Yolen SACAGAWEA SACAGAWEA Lemhi Shoshone woman, who accompanied the Lewis and Clark Expedition, acting as an interpreter and guide, in their exploration of the Western United States
Kaaron Warren “Another week in the future” Miss CH Spence Scottish-born Australian author, teacher, journalist, politician and leading suffragist.
Sylvia Kelso “Due care and attention” Lilian Cooper British-born Australian doctor
Sandra McDonald “Cora Crane and The Trouble with Me” Cora Crane American businesswoman, nightclub and bordello owner, writer and journalist.
Nisi Shawl “A Beautiful Stream” Colette French novelist and performer
Liz Argall “Oodgeroo is Not Yet Your Name” Oodgeroo Noonuccal Australian poet, political activist, artist and educator.
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