Taphophilia is the love of cemeteries and headstones. In this episode, Elizabeth indulges her taphophilia as she uses stories from East View Cemetery on the outskirts of Atlanta to learn about life in the city in the early to mid-20th century. Golf, textile mills, and military service help us complete the picture.
When your grandfather was a leading crusader and your father was a famous rebel, what is left for you to do? For Guy de Montfort the answer was to earn a spot in one of the circles of hell imagined by Dante in his Inferno. Find out how this medieval man came to such a fate in this episode.
Fr. Rupert Mayer’s pastoral career ranged from serving as a chaplain for German troops during the First World War, to finding people jobs and housing. Then, after Hitler came to power, Fr. Mayer defied the Gestapo, and lived to tell the tale. Join Lucy for an episode about this remarkable Nazi-fighting Jesuit.
In May of 2016 the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus’ elephants performed for their final time before entering retirement. Over 130 years earlier, in 1882, Jumbo the elephant left London for New York and joined P.T. Barnum’s traveling menagerie. In this episode, Christine explores Jumbo’s life as one of the Victorian era’s most famous animals.
We've all seen movies burn witches at the stake. But how did England's lawmakers propose to punish these evil-doers? You might be surprised. This week, Lesley explores the various ways a sorcerer could be punished in early modern England.
The First World War was, infamously, a source of both transformation and trauma. In this episode, Lucy and Elizabeth find evidence of the ways in which the War to End all Wars influenced some of the greatest British mystery novels of the mid-20th century, especially how experiences of WWI were normalized, memorialized, or condemned within their pages.
Podcasters: Elizabeth and Lucy
Everyone knows the beloved children’s character Curious George, but how many of us know about his creators? When Hans and Margaret Rey created the mischievous monkey, they were German Jews living in Paris. As the Nazis swept through Europe, the dynamic pair escaped with their precious manuscript on a homemade bicycle.
In the First Amendment to the US Constitution, tucked between the freedom of speech and right of assembly, is a protection of the freedom of the press. But why did the Framers feel the need to include it? The answer lies in the early history of the newspaper, when broadsheet publications were small-time startup operations that were sometimes suppressed by the British government. In this week's episode, Nathan looks at the early history of print media in the United States, the role of libel and censorship, and the trial of a German immigrant printer that changed it all.
What is it like to be a king but still have to answer to your father? In the twelfth century, Henry the Young King lived in the shadow of one of Europe’s most powerful monarchs: Henry II of England. This episode delves into the life of a man who was crowned twice but never ruled the kingdom.
Note: Human Footnotes, the RadioPublic Playlist mentioned in this episode, can be found here.
Imagine you were a medieval woman suffering from fertility problems or an irregular period. How would you deal with these issues, and what kinds of treatments might your physician prescribe? To what lengths would you go, what substances would you be willing to ingest or insert in order to solve menstrual cramps, conceive a child, or whiten your teeth? In this week's episode, we explore one of the most famous manuals of medieval gynecology and the ways women in the Middle Ages cared for their health and appearance.
In the age before Anesthesia, what would you do with a pregnancy that would not end? Would you accept a doctor's diagnosis of death or would you press to find any possible treatment? Follow the story of Jane Todd Crawford, who traveled 60 miles by horseback to end a two-year "pregnancy"... and rode herself into the history books.
The Victorians gave the English-speaking world a lot of Christmas traditions:
trees, the exchange of cards… and, less famously, ghost stories. This week’s episode looks at the historical origins of Victorian England’s Christmas hauntings, and how they expressed the beliefs and anxieties of the age, and even, sometimes, its sense of humor as well.
In early 1900, actress Olga Nethersole and several of her colleagues were indicted for their roles in the production of a play. Find out what caused them to be called "of wicked and depraved mind and disposition" when Christine covers the scandal that made New York City headlines.
How did passenger pigeons, which numbered in the millions in the mid-19th century, become extinct in just over 50 years? Elizabeth explains the birds’ sudden decline as she discusses the life and death of Martha, the last passenger pigeon.
Jane Austen’s novels contain many courtships and brides, but the author herself never married. In this episode Christine will delve into the time in Jane’s life when she could have become a wife and introduce you to Harris Bigg-Wither, the man who sought her hand.
We're celebrating the creepiest of holidays with our third edition of History for Halloween. Join us for a selection of (true!) tales covering everything from haunted farmers to the bizarre fate of Oliver Cromwell's head.
Podcasters: Christine, Lesley, Lucy
Datura is a beautiful flower found throughout India. It is also a minor poison which has a storied past in local folklore. How did locals use this plant in medicine and local conflict? Join us as we explore local tradition and crime through the eyes of British officials.
Most people think of Fredonia as the fictitious country of the Marx Brothers film, Duck Soup, but Fredonia was actually a country...sort of. In 1826, a hot-tempered Virginian 'colonist' named Haden Edwards created an alliance with a local Cherokee tribe and led a short-lived rebellion against Mexican rule in East Texas that resulted in his proclamation of the Republic of Fredonia, which existed for just over a month. In this episode, we explore the circumstances surrounding Edwards' rebellion, the colony he created, and the aftermath of Fredonia's collapse.
Tycho Brahe was born into the Danish aristocracy at a time when noblemen normally didn’t follow academic pursuits. But he found himself so fascinated by astronomy that he decided to flout tradition as he did with his marriage and many other aspects of his personal life. His observations changed the way scientists perceived the heavens, even if he didn't get things quite right.
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