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Just As Thirsty: Some of the Most Interesting Women In The World

So, after our last blog saluting the departure of The Most Interesting Man in the World, we received a few polite emails (polite because Duffy's Brew fans are awesome) reminding us that there've been plenty of Most Interesting Women in history too. And we heartily agree!

So without further ado, let's take a look at some female badasses who've made waves throughout history, thirsty for fame and adventure.

Saluting Some Of The Most Interesting Women In History

And speaking of making waves...

Ching Shih

If you want to talk about getting ahead in a man's world, look no further than Ching Shih, the most notorious female pirate in Chinese history.

Born in 1775, Ching Shih had great beauty but no money, and ended up working in a brothel from a relatively young age. There she met the pirate Cheng I, who was so taken by her beauty that after leaving port, he ordered his men to go back and kidnap her. Luckily, she apparently just considered this romantic, joining him as wife and partner in his plunderful pursuits.

Six years later, he was dead, and shortly afterwards Ching Shih was admiral of his fleet. She instituted a code of laws across her fleet, enforcing loyalty and (relatively) honorable behavior among the crew, as well as granting protections to any women taken captive. At her height, she commanded dozens of ships.

And the best part? She got away with it. In 1810, China was so sick of their piracy problems that they offered blanket amnesty to any pirate who'd retire. So she lived to a ripe old age on her ill-gotten gains.

Isabella Lucy Bird

If there's a woman who could give the Most Interesting Man In The World a run for his money, it's Isabella Lucy Bird. Born in 1831, she was sickly as a youth, with a tumor on her spine that had to be removed long before the days of general anesthesia. But apparently that just hardened her up for the adventures to come!

There isn't even room for a full narrative here. Among her ridiculous list of highlights, she:

  • Visited Hawaii, climbing both Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa
  • Saw 800 miles of the Rocky Mountains
  • Had a torrid affair with a notorious outlaw, Jim Nugent
  • Became a doctor
  • Explored China and Southeast Asia
  • Co-founded the John Bishop Memorial Hospital in India
  • Met the Sultan of Morocco, who gave her a black stallion
  • ...All while publishing 18 books of letters, journals, and reports.

And all this in an era when women were supposed to be meek homemakers!

Ada Lovelace


Most good geeks know that British inventor Charles Babbage was the father of modern computing, having created the Analytic Engine - an entirely physical computing device. Fewer, however, know of his partner (but not lover) Ada Lovelace, who should be called the mother of programming.

Her father was Lord Byron, and received the best upbringing money could buy in the 1820-30s. She showed a particular aptitude for mathematics, which she used to impress Babbage when they met at a party. She began working with him closely, discovering algorithms which could be implemented on the machine to produce impressive calculations - truly, the first programmer.

And she saw the Analytic Engine as far more than just a machine. She even foresaw the day that computers could produce music! She was probably the first person to grasp the true potential of computers.

Sybil Ludington

Paul Re-who? There's another famous "midnight ride" that puts his to shame. Paul Revere rode 10 miles to warn people around Boston that "The Redcoats are coming!" but Sybil Ludington has him beat by a factor of four.

On the night of April 26, 1777, sixteen-year-old Sybil Luddington received word that the British were about to march on Danbury, CT. Her father, Col Henry Luddington, was the head of the local militia, but had been stationed some miles from Danbury. So, she took it on herself to ride into the night, covering more than forty miles on a single horse. Like Paul Revere, she went door to door, warning everyone and forming a posse following in her wake.

She even had to fight off highwaymen who tried to rob her on those rainy roads.

The bad news was that she didn't arrive in time for her father to save Danbury, but all wasn't lost. Thanks to her intel and the additional volunteers she led to the militia, they were able to engage the British at the Battle of Ridgefield the next day and drove them out of Connecticut entirely.

And for her bravery, she was personally honored by George Washington.

Male or female, the thirst for adventure can strike anyone at any time. So pick up some Duffy's Brew, to ensure you've got fantastic hair when it happens!

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