Rating: 4 / 5
In her anthology, She, Harriet Hall celebrates the achievements of 100 ‘renegade women’. Stretching from Boadicea to Beyoncé, it is a remarkable collection of mini-biographies. As Hall says, her problem was keeping it to 100 lives as there are so many from which to choose—though it seems she found none in Australia.
Of course, given the limited space for each woman, the descriptions are rather superficial. The Brontës are far from identical, as are the Williams sisters, but they are lumped together and there is no acknowledgement that the story of Boadicea may be a myth. The illustrations are disappointing, as each woman is presented as big-eyed and attractive. Photographs, where possible, may have been a better choice.
However, the stories are riveting and inspirational and well worth retelling, simply to reveal to the reader what women have done against the odds.