Corpse Talk: Ground-Breaking Women

Publisher: David Fickling Books

Review

Chat-show host Adam Murphy interviews 18 amazing women from history in this witty, informative comic book. Freshly dug up from the grave, the dead famous women sport a skeletal, decayed look, and are not afraid to reveal the gory details of their lives. There are big names, such as the saintly Joan of Arc and teenage diarist Anne Frank, as well as lesser-known figures, including 17th century swashbuckler Julie d'Aubigny and Princess Caraboo, a con-artist from the 1800s.

Discover how English monarch, Queen Elizabeth I, power-dressed to impress, wearing gossamer "fairy wings" to add to her magical, otherworldly image, and stuffing her shrunken cheeks with rags after losing all her teeth. She even painted her face white to cover smallpox scars, although the poisonous lead paint may well have contributed to her death.

Learn about Khutulun, a 13th-century Mongolian wrestling princess, fearsome warrior and great-granddaughter of Genghis Khan. She agreed to wed any man who could beat her at wrestling, but though countless tried, none succeeded, so she was free to marry for love.

With a casual, chatty style and colourful comic-strip illustrations, this unique, accessible and slightly macabre series is packed full of humour and fascinating facts.

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