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Last Word's Uncommon Women

Celia Hayley

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Biography: science, technology & medicine, History of science, Popular science

An official companion book to BBC Radio 4's Last Word, showing the rich tapestry of women's lives in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Last Word is the popular BBC Radio 4 series broadcast weekly, featuring the lives of several famous people who have recently died. More than standard obituaries, the lives are summarised with narration and include interviews with some of those who knew them. The programme was first broadcast in 2006 and this compelling anthology of the remarkable and revealing lives of women who were are illuminating, inspiring or moving. Includes:

Lt Islam Bibi - Helmand's top female police officer, shot dead by the Taliban
Naty Revuelta Clews - Fidel Castro's mistress
Naomi Sims - first black supermodel
Sylvia Robinson - The 'mother of hip-hop' who was the founder/CEO of Sugar Hill records
Rosalia Mera - Zara founder, the world's richest self-made woman
Marie Colvin - war reporter killed in Homs
Clare Hollingworth - Telegraph reporter who was the first war correspondent to report the outbreak of the Second World War
Eileen Nearne - Wartime spy who was captured and tortured by Gestapo and who spent 6 months in Ravensbruck. Her story was only revealed after her death
Salome Karwah - Ebola survivor who went back to Liberia to nurse other sufferers
Jo Cox - MP murdered in her own constituency
Jill Saward - rape survivor and campaigner for victims of sexual abuse
Scharlette Holdman - 'the angel of death row' who fought against the death penalty in the US
Jeanne Cordova - former nun who became a lesbian rights activist
Francis Kelsey - pharmacologist who prevented thalidomide being licensed in the US
Mary Lee Berners-Lee - internet pioneer
Margaret Rule - archaeologist who raised the Mary Rose
Countess of Arran - Powerboat racer - 'the fastest granny on water'

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