Death rays, invasions, and bombs, oh my! The plots foiled by fictional spies in the early twentieth century were outlandish enough to inspire numerous spoofs, from Agatha Christie to Dr. Strangelove. From Kipling’s “Great Game” to John Buchan’s 39 Steps, the rise of espionage in fiction mirrored British anxieties about the world and its place in it. Idealism and social criticism were often closely linked, with unlikely heroes (and sometimes heroines) being plucked from obscurity to save the day… and sometimes the world. This podcast episode discusses how the tropes of British spy fiction were formed and transcended in the first half of the twentieth century.
Music: "Evening Melodrama" by Kevin Macleod (www.incompetech.com)
Louis XVI of France wasn't the only European king to die at the hands of his subjects in the 1790s. In this episode Christine examines the life and dramatic assassination of King Gustav III of Sweden.
H. Arnold Barton, “Gustav III of Sweden and the Enlightenment”, Eighteenth-Century Studies, 6:1 (Autumn 1972) pp. 1-34.
--, Scandinavia in the Revolutionary Era: 1760 – 1815, University of Minnesota Press, (1986).
Marian C. Donnelly, “Theaters in the Courts of Denmark and Sweden from Frederik II to Gustav III”, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, 43:4 (December 1984), pp. 328-340.
A.D. Harvey, “Gustav III of Sweden”, History Today, 53:12 (December 2003) pp. 9-15.
‘Character of Gustavus III. Late King of Sweden’. The Independent Gazetteer. IX: 1403. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: July 28, 1792. via America's Historical Newspapers.
‘Death of the King of Sweden’. Hampshire Gazette. VI: 303. Northampton, Massachusetts: June 20, 1792. via America's Historical Newspapers.
In the mountains of fourteenth-century Southern France lived a woman named Beatrice de Planissoles, whose story remained largely unknown until the mid-20th century. In this episode, we will explore her remarkable life--her sexual affair with the town priest, her relationships with her neighbors, the contraceptive device she wore, the contents of her purse, her abuse at the hands of powerful men, and her trial for heresy--and how it changed the study of medieval history.
Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, Montaillou: The Promised Land of Error, Trans. Barbara Bray, Random House, (1979).
Christiane Klapisch-Zuber, A History of Women in the West: Silences of the Middle Ages, Vol. 2., Belknap Press, (1992).
Selections from the Inquisitorial Register of Jacques Fournier, including Beatrice's trial.
Notorious eccentrics, esteemed researchers, loose-cannon diplomats: this podcast looks at the histories of the British women who were travelers and archaeologists in the Middle East and India in the early twentieth century. As women, their accomplishments were often assessed by British audiences in terms of respectability. As British women, however, they often reinforced imperial control and imperial ideas.
Gertrude Bell Archive, Newcastle University.
Jane Fletcher Geniesse, Passionate Nomad: The Life of Freya Stark. Random House, (1999).
Peter H. Hansen, “Stark, Dame Freya Madeline (1893?–1993),” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, (2004; online edn, May 2009).
Peter Hulme, Writing, Travel, and Empire: In the Margins of Anthropology, I.B. Tauris, (2007).
Norman N. Lewis, “Stanhope, Lady Hester Lucy (1776–1839),” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, (2004; online edn, Jan 2008).
James Marshall-Cornwall, S. Copgil, and Thomas White. “Alexander’s Minor Campaigns in Turkey: Discussion.” The Geographical Journal, 122 (1956): 304-05.
The Life and Letters of Lady Hester Stanhope.
Dorothy Van Ess, “Review: Gertrude Bell. From Her Personal Papers, 1914-1926”, Middle East Journal, 16 (1962): 93-94.
One of the most inventive painters of his day, Caravaggio’s work is remembered for its ingenious use of light and shadow. Much like his work, Caravaggio’s life was lived in the shadows as he became involved in one criminal activity after another, which eventually culminated in his exile and death. This episode sheds a ray of sunshine into the darkened canvas of Caravaggio’s story.
Sybille Ebert-Schifferer, Caravaggio: The Artist and his Work,J. Paul Getty Museum (2012).
Andrew Graham-Dixon, Caravaggio: A Life Sacred and Profane,Penguin (2010).
Sebastian Schutze, Caravaggio: Complete Works,Taschen (2015).
David Willey, "Caravaggio's Crimes Exposed in Romse's Police Files", BBC News (February 19, 2011).
Many Americans are familiar with Al Capone's mobster rule over the city of Chicago during the Prohibition Era, but few know about his violent involvement in the so-called "Pineapple Primary." How far would Capone go to see his chosen man elected, and how many lives would be lost in the process?
John Kobler, Capone: The Life and World of Al Capone, Da Capo Press, (2003).
"History Files: Al Capone", Chicago History Museum.
Virgil Peterson, Barbarians in Our Midst: A History of Chicago Crime and Politics, Little, Brown (1962).
In Part II of their examination of the Easter Rising, Christine and Elizabeth follow Patrick Pearse and his associates from the GPO to Kilmainham Gaol, take a look at how Britain handled the rebels, and assess whether or not it was all worth it.
Podcasters: Christine and Elizabeth
‘Ireland’s Sudden Revolt: Prominent Irish-Americans Here Diagnose the Dublin Outbreak and the Causes Leading Up to It’, New York Times, April 30, 1916. Via ProQuest Historical Newspapers
Frances Clarke and James Quinn, "O'Farrell, Elizabeth", Dictionary of Irish Biography. James McGuire and James Quinn, eds., Cambridge University Press, (2013).
Joe Lee, "The Easter Rising 1916: Why Did It Happen & How Did It Change Ireland?" Lecture Series Podcast. Embassy of Ireland | Great Britain (2016).
James Lydon, The Making of Ireland: From Ancient Times to the Present, Routledge (1998).
F.S.L. Lyons, Ireland Since the Famine, Fontana Press (1985).
---, “The Revolution and After”, in A New History of Ireland VI, Ed. W.E. Vaughan, Oxford University Press (1989) pp. 207-223.
Piaras F. Mac Lochlainn, Last Words: Letters and Statements of the Leaders Executed after the Rising at Easter 1916, The Office of Public Works (2005).
For the centennial of the Easter Rising, Christine and Elizabeth look back to the mythology and reality behind the movement.
Podcasters: Christine and Elizabeth
David G. Boyce, The Irish question and British politics, 1868-1986, Macmillan Education,(1988).
David G. Boyce and Alan O'Day, editors. The Making of the Modern Irish History: Revisionism and Revisionist Controversy, Routledge, (1996).
Fearghal McGarry. The Rising: Ireland: Easter 1916. Oxford University Press, (2010).
In the 1950s, Walt Disney hired German rocket scientist, Wernher von Braun, to help make the Tomorrowland section of his developing theme park as accurate as possible. This relationship, however, had greater implications for the United States and its place in the Space Race.
Mike Wright, "The Disney-Von Braun Collaboration and Its Influence on Space Exploration," 1993.
“Dr. Wernher von Braun, First Center Director, July 1, 1960 - Jan. 27, 1970”.
In December 1900 the beautiful, fifteen year old Evelyn Nesbit arrived in New York. Within a year she became the “glittering girl model of Gotham,” the first iconic American sex-goddess. Her fame would transform into notoriety after June 25, 1906 when her millionaire husband, Harry Thaw, murdered Evelyn’s one time lover, Stanford White, in what was known by contemporaries as “the crime of the century.”
Evelyn Thaw, The Story of My Life, John Long Ltd. (1914).
Paula Uruburu, American Eve: Evelyn Nesbit, Stanford White The Birth of the “It” Girl and the Crime of the Century, Penguin (2008).
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