Claire Gardner Gardner de Romney Street, Sevenoaks, Kent , UK
I read this on suggestion from my little brother, who is a history major who focuses on Asian history. It's, as the title suggests, the diary of a court lady from Japan, c. 1000 AD. Lady Murasaki went on to write the first novel ever, "The Tale of the Genji", but this is just a cool collection of her observations of the court, the royal family, and the events of her life there. She likes to dicuss kimonos in length - it's so much fun to read. Like Cosmo from a thousand years ago.
American women in the 18th century dispelled the European glamour of an idle lifestyle. They encouraged women to be well-read citizens of the new republic and disdained men who treated women as conquests or posessions. Mercy Otis Warren's satirical play "The Group" is remarkable because of it's erudite allusions and pro-woman themes.