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Notable women in world history : a guide to recommended biographies and autobiographies /

Main Author: Adamson, Lynda G.
Format: Book
Language: English
Published: Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 1998
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Review by Choice Review

For her extensive biobibliography of notable international women, Adamson cites five main criteria for inclusion: those chosen must have been born outside the US (although no explanation is offered as to why US-born women are excluded), must have made noteworthy achievements, must be the subject of a full-length biography published since 1970, the biography must be listed in the Library of Congress catalog, and contemporary women writing in English must have won at least one award. Each entry contains the woman's name, birth and death dates, field of endeavor, and place of birth. A short biographical sketch discusses each woman's general achievements, parental heritage, education, occupation or interests, and awards. An annotated bibliography that follows each sketch includes as appropriate an authoritative biography, autobiography, correspondences, journals, interviews, and other primary resources. Three appendixes list each woman according to date of birth, country of birth, and occupation or general area of interest. The book ends with an alphabetical index by name. Recommended for academic reference collections, high school and beyond, and for larger public libraries. A. E. Bonnette; University of Southwestern Louisiana

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Booklist Review

The original plan for this work was to select 500 important women in history and the five best biographies on each published in English since 1970. The author discovered that only 250 women had three or more biographies in English and 150 had two. The remainder had only one biographical source. The four main criteria for inclusion became being born outside the U.S., making an important contribution, having at least one book-length biographical source, and listing of that source in the Library of Congress catalog. The entries are arranged alphabetically by last name with appropriate cross-references for alternative designations. Each contains the woman's name, key dates, occupation or avocation, and birthplace. A short biographical sketch about parents, education, general achievement, and recognition or awards follows. Women of all time periods are included, from Cleopatra to Jane Goodall. An annotated bibliography with information on biographies (both fiction and nonfiction), autobiographies, letters, diaries, journals, and interviews completes the entry. The annotations provide brief overviews of content and indicate target audience if a work is appropriate for younger readers. Appendixes list women by date of birth, country of birth, and occupation or area of interest. An index of names with appropriate cross-references is included. The entries are generally well written and informative. Occasionally, a problem does occur, as in the entry for Birgitta, the fourteenth-century Swedish saint. Reference is made to neighbors' concerns that her children would be exposed to germs in the hospital she founded, but the germ theory of disease was unknown until much later. The index can also be a problem since every mention of the person is indexed, but there is no indication of the main entry. It would help to have the main entry indicated in boldface. Biographical reference sources on women abound, but this work is useful on two levels because it combines basic biographical information with information on more in-depth sources. Because it includes only those born outside the U.S., it complements sources on American women. Notable Women in World History is a useful addition to academic, public, and high-school libraries. It would be especially useful for women's studies collections. The price, coverage, and information make it a worthy purchase.

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.