There's really not a lot concretely known about the life of Aphra Behn, who, in addition to being a spy, was a dramatist, poet, novelist, translator, and the first woman in English literature known to have made her living as a writer.
Khutulun's story is a little bit cloudy, in part because it’s many hundreds of years old, and in part because accounts of her life involve a combination of propaganda and an outsider’s interpretation of it.
The American sculptor was a celebrated artist in her day, but she receded from the spotlight; her final years remained a mystery for quite some time. Her marble works are striking examples of the neoclassical style popular at the end of the 19th century.
After she became a free woman, Belinda Sutton successfully petitioned for compensation for her years of enslaved labor. This was one of many legal efforts of enslaved and formerly enslaved people to advocate for themselves in Massachusetts courts.
Author and illustrator Jason Porath joins Tracy and Holly in the studio to talk about women from history featured in his new book, including the Mancini sisters, Sayyida al-Hurra, Tomyris and Noor Inayat Khan.