Random Research: Stuff you Missed in History Class (Part 3)

Image via American Studies at the University of Virginia.

1. A Brief History of Vaudeville – Vaudeville flourished from the late 19th century into the Depression era. It was one of America’s most famous forms of entertainment at the time. Tune in as Katie and Sarah take a look at this family-friendly variety show from America’s bygone days.

2. 10 Notable Vaudevillians - In a follow-up to the earlier episode on the history of vaudeville, Katie and Sarah take a closer look at some of the most memorable vaudevillians. Listen in and learn more about everyone from the Marx brothers to Winsor McCay in this episode.

3. Who Was the Real Bluebeard? – “Bluebeard” is one of Charles Perrault’s most disturbing and grisly stories — but could it be true? Join Sarah and Katie as they explore the depraved life and crimes of Gilles de Rais, the real-life basis for Perrault’s Bluebeard.

4. Wallice Simpson and the Abdication Crises – In 1936, Britain’s King Edward VIII renounced his throne in order to marry an American socialite named Wallice Simpson. Join Katie and Sarah as the explore the astonishing story behind Britain’s only royal resignation.

5. How the Hearst Castle Worked – When newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst grew weary of camping, he asked Julia Morgan to build a ‘small bungalow’ in San Simeon, California. More than 20 years later, the gigantic Hearst Castle remains one of the most opulent homes in North America.

6. The Kidnapping of Patty Hearst – In 1974, publishing heiress Patty Hearst was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army. Originally a hostage, Hearst eventually became a member of the SLA, participating in at least two robberies.

7. The Real Citizen Kane – Critics around the world agree that Citizen Kane is one of history’s best films — but who was the basis of this story?

8. What Was Saturnalia? – Winter solstice celebrations predate Christmas, and trace back into antiquity. Saturnalia was one of these ancient traditions, and it was very different from the celebration we recognize as Christmas today.

9. The Virgin Queen’s Great Love – Elizabeth I never married. Instead, she encouraged (and avoided) many suitors without making a commitment. Additionally, many people believed Elizabeth was in love with a man named Robert Dudley.

10. Elizabeth the First, Before She Was Queen – As the only child of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth I was born into a world of privilege and danger. Learn more about the tumultuous life of Elizabeth I before she became the Queen of England in this episode.

 

Random Research: Stuff You Missed in History Class (Part 1)

The Fox Sisters

I’ve been on a history podcast kick lately, and I’m a huge fan of the Stuff You Missed in History Class podcast, which I usually listen to via Castroller. Most of the ones I listened to are hosted by Sarah Dowdey and Deblina Chakraborty.

So, below in no particular order, are a few I’ve been listening to lately. Some are directly related to books I’m writing, but plenty are topics I’m interested in or knew shockingly little about. I’ll occasionally make posts listing 10 or so podcasts.

1. The Fairy Tale Life of Hans Christian Andersen

2. H.H. Holmes and the Mystery of Murder Castle, Part 1

3. H.H. Holmes and the Mystery of Murder Castle, Part 2

4. Secret Science: Alchemy!

5. The Sisters Fox: They Talked to Dead People

6. Who Was the Mistress of Murder Hill?

7. The Radium Girls

8. Victoria and Albert

9. Civil War Spies: Allan Pinkerton

10. Princess Caraboo: Imposter from Javasu

Random Research: Smoke & Mirrors Podcast

For my day job, I work as a document controller, which is basically a corporate librarian. I issue documents to clients and ensure they adhere to our QA procedures. Excuse you–please cover your mouth when you yawn.

For quite a lot of my time per week, I’m saving emails and documents to a database. This is very boring. It is hard to concentrate on it for long periods of time. In fact, it’s impossible. Unless I’m listening to a podcast. I’m always on the lookout for new and interesting ones, so if you know any that seem to be in the vein of what I like to research, please do pass them my way.

Smoke & Mirrors is a 10-part podcast produced by Resonance FM and features various members and non-members of the Circle of Magic, or the British society of magicians. The earlier episodes speak a bit about the history of magic and also focus on the modern application of magic and the different types, with a bit of magical-related news thrown in for good measure.

I was enchanted from the first episode, when the Executive Librarian of the Circle of Magic (aka the man with one of the Best. Jobs. Ever.) speaks for a bit about the history of magic. Each podcast features a guest, such as: Paul Kieve, the magic consultant in the Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban film, Marc Paul, a mentalist, Paul Daniels, who had a successful TV magic show for many years and inspired a generation of magicians, Professor Richard Wiseman, who is a psychologist as well as a magician, Jonathan Goodwin, an escapologist, John Lenahan, who was kicked out of the Circle of Magic for exposing secrets, Fay Presto, a female close-up magician who has performed for the Queen multiple times, and others.

My three favourite episodes were Epsidoe 1, which focused the most on the history of magic; Episode 3, which looked more at the theatrics of magic; and Episode 9, with Fay Presto, which examined the gender inequality in magic. Fay is the top female magician in the UK, and she is also trans. According to The Independent, she was kicked out of the Circle of Magic when she transitioned because females aren’t allowed in the group (to which I say–WTF). She makes fascinating arguments as to why there aren’t as many female magicians–using the props of magic can almost be considered a crutch, and many women perform openly without that crutch, for in dance and music the gender split is a lot more even. Fay is also a firecracker and I chuckled more than once as I saved yet another email. If you only have time to listen to one of the ten part series–listen to the one with Fay.