10 Audiobooks About Notable Women in History

To celebrate Women’s History Month, we’ve compiled a list of biographies and memoirs revisiting history’s most notable women. From queens and first ladies to political activists, their remarkable lives shifted the landscape of women’s impact in society and have paved the way for women of the future. Take a moment to honor their legacies by listening to their powerful stories.

Personal History

As seen in the movie The Post, this is the story of Katharine Graham, the woman who led The Washington Post through some of the most turbulent scandals in the history of American media. In this memoir, Graham confronts the crises in both her personal and professional life, and ultimately comes to discover her own strength and sense of self.

Listen to an excerpt PERSONAL HISTORY

Jane Austen, the Secret Radical
Author: Helena Kelly
Read By: Emma Bering

Beyond the lavish lifestyles and beautiful characters of Jane Austen’s novels is the ambitious and clever woman behind them. This reassessment of Austen’s life sheds light on how misconstrued her work was for the past two centuries and reveals just how subversive and daring—how truly radical—a writer she was.

Listen to an excerpt JANE AUSTEN THE SECRET RADICAL

Becoming Queen Victoria

In 1819, a girl was born to the fourth son of King George III. No one could have expected such an unassuming, overprotected girl to be an effective ruler—yet Queen Victoria would become one of the most powerful monarchs in history. The perfect companion to the PBS Masterpiece series Victoria.

Listen to an excerpt BECOMING QUEEN VICTORIA

Eleanor Roosevelt, Volume 3

Modest, self-deprecating, and a moral force in a turbulent world, Eleanor Roosevelt was truly unique. Historians, politicians, critics, and readers everywhere have praised Blanche Wiesen Cook’s three-volume biography of Roosevelt as the essential portrait of a woman who towers over the twentieth century.

Listen to an excerpt ELEANOR ROOSEVELT

Eyes on the Street

The first major biography of Jane Jacobs, the irrepressible woman who changed the way we view and live in cities, and who deeply influences urban planning to this day. Jacobs raised three children, wrote seven groundbreaking books, and when she wasn’t doing all that, she stood up against Robert Moses’s proposed expressway to protect Greenwich Village.

Listen to an excerpt EYES ON THE STREET

Elizabeth
Author: John Guy
Read By: Alex Jennings

Elizabeth was crowned queen at twenty-five, but it was only when she reached fifty, and all hopes of a royal marriage were behind her, that she began to wield power in her own right.

In this magisterial biography, we get to know a woman who is refreshingly unfamiliar: at once powerful and vulnerable, willful and afraid. For the first time, meet the woman behind the polished veneer.

Listen to an excerpt ELIZABETH THE FORGOTTEN YEARS

Jefferson's Daughters

This triple biography uncovers the story of Thomas Jefferson’s three daughters—two white and free, one black and enslaved—and the divergent paths they forged in a newly independent America. Although the three women shared a father, the similarities end there. Hear the story of these three strong women and their fight to shape their own destinies.

Listen to an excerpt JEFFERSON’S DAUGHTERS

Joan of Arc

The story of a young peasant girl who rallied the French nation and a reluctant king against British invaders in 1428. As one of the greatest heroines in human history, here is a shining exemplar of unshakable faith, extraordinary courage, and self-confidence during a brutally rigged ecclesiastical inquisition and in the face of her death by burning.

Listen to an excerpt JOAN OF ARC

Secrets of the Flesh

A scandalously talented stage performer, a practiced seductress of both men and women, and the flamboyant author of some of the greatest twentieth-century literature, Colette was our first true superstar. Now, Colette at last has a biography worthy of her dazzling reputation.

Listen to an excerpt SECRETS OF THE FLESH

The Woman Who Would Be King
Author: Kara Cooney
Read By: Kara Cooney

The daughter of a general who usurped Egypt’s throne, Hatshepsut was expected to bear the sons who would legitimize the reign of her father’s family. Her failure to produce a male heir, however, paved the way for her improbable rule as a cross-dressing king. Egyptologist Kara Cooney writes and narrates the unconventional life of an almost-forgotten pharaoh and explores our complicated reactions to women in power.

Listen to an excerpt THE WOMAN WHO WOULD BE KING