An award-winning novelist brings to life the stories of the greatest women adventurers in history. From deserts and jungles to mountains and icebergs, they faced unimaginable dangers as they crossed all five continents, often armed with little more than a corset and an umbrella. Spanning a decade, this book mixes triumph and tragedy. The featured women include Fanny Vandegrift, the wife of Robert Louis Stevenson, who ventured all the way from Indiana to Samoa, and Nellie Bly, journalist and social reformer, who went around the world in seventy-two days. The thirty-one women celebrated here hail from fourteen countries and traveled to the farthest reaches of our planet. Twice as brave as their male counterparts, in the face of social convention, these women set off into the unknown. Their bold journeys across the globe had long-lasting effects on the role and status of women in society, and they made important contributions to disciplines as varied as medicine, archeology, and anthropology.