In late medieval Europe, groups of women called beguines assembled in twos and threes, or in large communities, to practice the religious life. They lived simply, served the poor and sick, and sometimes engaged in business. But unlike nuns, they didn’t take vows. So what did it mean to be a beguine? This episode takes on that question, on which both medieval authorities and modern scholars have disagreed.
According to a plaque on the Brooklyn Bridge “back of every great work we can find the self-sacrificing devotion of a woman.” Indeed, when John Roebling died and his son, Washington, was struck ill it was Washington’s young wife Emily Warren Roebling who worked day and night to ensure that the Brooklyn Bridge was built.
In 1486, two German inquisitors published a treatise on the nature and prosecution of witches: the Malleus Maleficarum or "Hammer of the Witches." This work overturned centuries of Catholic teaching regarding sorcery and witches, turning them into dark agents of evil who drew power from sexual union with the Devil himself. In this episode, we look at the origins of this text and how it led to the deaths of thousands of innocent people in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
In 1910, Ida Delancey lost custody of her niece because her neighbors complained to child services that Ida, a white woman living in Brooklyn, was known to move in the same circles as Chinese-Americans. Elizabeth explores why this was a cause to have the child removed and how fears had increased after a 1909 murder of a young woman in New York City.
Join Elizabeth as she once again examines the stories of three people buried in a cemetery in the Atlanta metro area. Second-sight, sharecropping, and a street called Auburn Avenue provide context for the lives of those resting at Washington Park Cemetery many of whom were descendants of slaves.
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