We're back at it again! Get in the Halloween spirit with this selection of short, eerie, historical anecdotes hand selected by our historians. With ghosts and ghouls around, you might want to keep the light on while listening...
Podcasters: Christine, Elizabeth, Lesley, Kristin
Witchcraft in the late medieval and early modern European world was a highly gendered crime. The majority of victims were women but a significant percentage were men – and in some regions, men made up the majority of the accused. The male witch appeared wherever there were witchcraft accusations – he was known as a maleficius, a wicca, a sorcier, or hexenmeister … just don’t call him a warlock.
In 1536, there were two Anne Boleyns in the Tower of London. One was a queen who helped inspire the English Reformation and stood accused of treason; the other was the aunt whose testimony may have helped to convict her. Lady Anne Shelton, née Boleyn, was the sister of the queen’s father, Thomas Boleyn and the mother of one of Henry VIII’s alleged mistresses. She was to play a critical role during the reign and fall of Henry’s second queen – who was her namesake and who became her nemesis.
When Victor Hugo wrote his novel, Notre-Dame of Paris in 1831, the cathedral of Notre Dame was over 600 years old and crumbling. The ensuing tale was one that inspired a massive renovation project and continues to stir imaginations today. In this week’s episode, Kristin talks about the story of Hugo’s Notre-Dame of Paris and its continuing resonance with modern audiences.
Ghosts, vampires, and more lurk in this year's installment of History for Halloween. Join us for our traditional episode featuring bits of history perfect for the creepiest time of the year.
Podcasters: Christine, Elizabeth, Kristin, Lesley, and Lucy.
In the 1760s, Occramer Marycoo was taken to the American colonies against his will. When he re-crossed the Atlantic in 1826, he was a free man who also went by the name Newport Gardner. In between, he was a composer, a teacher, a small-business owner, and a prominent member of Newport, Rhode Island Free African community. In this episode, Kristin follows the remarkable journey of the man, who bought his freedom and returned to Africa, known as both Occramer Marycoo – and Newport Gardner.
Theriac was a medicine of legendary origins, multiple ingredients, and a reputation for efficacy that extended for hundreds of years. It was said to be able to cure everything from migraines to the plague. In this episode, Kristin looks at some of the ingredients and processes that went into making theriac, where it could be found, who was selling it, and whether there was anything behind its extraordinary claims.
King John is often remembered as one of England’s most inept and disliked rulers. By the time he was forced to sign the Magna Carta in 1215, John lost authority, territory, and a lot of friends. Some, however, did remain loyal. In this week’s episode, Kristin looks at King John and his dogs.