The word hero or heroine is easily used these days. There are a few people who actually earned it. Violet Jessop was a heroine; she didn't do any great deeds; she didn't show bravery on the battle field; she just got on with her life. And that life was quite astonishing even if she herself didn't think much about it. We are lucky she was induced to write down her memoirs for us to enjoy and marvel at.
Chatto & Windus published The Popes by John Julius Norwich. The Popes: That amounts to almost 300 individuals for a single book. You might guess that the result is less than impressive. Add some personal idiosyncrasy by the author, and the end product becomes surpassingly strange.