Episode 195: Emily Dickinson, Part One

Posted 15 January 2022 by
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Only authenticated photo of Emily, circa 1847, taken at Mt. Holyoke Women’s Seminary. wikicommons

For a woman who led a very quiet and secluded physical life, her inner experiences were vast and colorful. But lack of documentation after her passing left a lot of her story to fill in. Was Emily Dickinson a quiet, unmarried recluse, always clad in a white dress, the myth of Amherst, or was she a witty artist ahead of her time, who loved her family, had close friendships, many interests…and sometimes wore a white dress?

And the big question: How accurate is the Apple TV+ show, Dickinson?

Emily Elizabeth Dickinson was born on December 10, 1830, in Amherst, Massachusetts into a family that went back in the US to the 1600s and who helped to found not only the town of Amherst but also Amherst College (which still exists!) Her immediate family– Papa Edward, Mama Emily Norcross Dickinson, older brother Austin, and younger sister Lavina– were all very close and led a fairly common life for their New England social class. Papa was a lawyer and politician, and young Emily was well educated through one year of college at Mount Holyoke Women’s Seminary.

Emily, Austin, and Lavinia as children, we tell you why the girls’ hair is short. Public Domain

In this episode, we’ll introduce you to the main players in Emily’s story, get you through her childhood and education, and end when she is fully an adult and embarking on what she’s now famous for. For a woman who is often simply identified as, “a poet, a recluse who never married or saw people and never ventured from her house,” there is a lot of living that is left out of that description–two episodes worth!

All of the media recommendations will be on Part Two, however, here’s a couple of things to tide you over that will only make sense if you listen to the episode:

Here is a collection of Julia and Paul Child’s Valentines in Bon Appetite  –we promise this will make sense after you listen to the episode.

Here’s a bit about Emily’s very tiny writing desk from the Emily Dickinson Museum in Amherst, Massachusetts.  That one probably makes sense to anyone, but this video? No way.

 

Part Two will be available next week, so you don’t have to wait long–we get it, really.

 

 

Mrs. Claus: A Biography, Revisited 2021

Posted 23 December 2021 by
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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from us! It’s our tradition to put Mrs. Claus at the top of your podcast queue each year, and we also add a little bit to the episode…it’s almost like an audio time capsule!

If there are little ears in the room, you may want to preview this episode and prepare yourself for questions…or t skip them altogether, you have enough on your plate!

For photos, video, and a recap, please visit our shownotes here: MRS. CLAUS

Episode 190: Tattooed Ladies

Posted 13 December 2021 by
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Inspired by her new tattoo (and challenged by another podcaster) Beckett explores the history of tattoos in women (mostly of North America and Europe, but there’s a history of the art itself, too.)

Olive Oatman, 1863 by Benjamin Powelson

 

Nora Hilderandt, circa 1880

 

Did she or didn’t she? Jennie Jerome Churchill, circa 1899

 

Maud Stevens Wagner, circa 1907

 

Betty Broadbent, 1938, courtesy State Library New South Wales

 

 

Time Travel With The History Chicks

Books!

By Margo Mifflin

 

By Amelia Clem Osterud

 

By Jane Caplan

 

By Maarten Hesselt Van Dinter

 

By Marc Hartzman

 

By Joe Nickell

 

Beckett’s favorite, by Linda Simon

Web!

More about Maud Stevens Wagner’s life.

The exhibit at the Field Museum in Chicago is no longer open, but you can explore the history of tattoos online through their website.

PBS Skin Stories: The Art and Culture of Polynesian Tattoos

The Bowery Boys discuss, among other things, the invention of the tattoo gun/pen, Episode 323 and here’s an article and photo of that first tattoo pen.

The Washington Post has an article about the complicated history of travel and tattooing. and one about travel, tattoo, and Maud’s husband, Gus.

Snakes? Why did it have to be snakes? An article about snakes in tattoos.

Some women are revitalizing an ancient tattoo tradition, read all about it in this piece from the New York Times.

Did Crusaders get tattoos? Here’s a talk at the Museum of St. John that explores that very question:

Curious about the history of tattoos in America? Skin Factory Tattoo has an article for you!

And how did tattoos become fashionable in Victorian England? Here’s an article from The Conversation and another from Smithsonian Magazine that answers that question (It was a very curious route!)

Ever want to run away and join the circus? You would be in good company with these Stars Who Ran Away to Join The Circus.

Photos from the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair, and a bit about the mysterious Miss La La

Moving Pictures!

You can find this on Amazon Prime, streaming

You can find this on Peacock or Apple TV

 

A collection of Lydia the Tattooed Lady videos:

Groucho Marx:

 

Robin Williams, from the movie, The Fisher King:

 

The Muppets:

And the version that was performed at Jim Henson’s funeral (starts at 1:38):

 

Break music: Jack My Swag, Harper Active; End Music: Thrillbound by Napoleon Blownaparts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Episode 189: The Music Show #3

Posted 9 December 2021 by
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We put themed music at the end of each episode – “dessert,” if you will. In the spirit of this holiday season, where we give ourselves the joy of eating dessert first, we’d like to highlight the artists whose work has enhanced ours over the past few years.

This episode would make delightful background music to your holiday activities (or commute, or walk…whenever you listen!)

For a more expanded soundtrack, head on over to Spotify for a playlist of songs from the three music episodes we’ve done over the years! SPOTIFY PLAYLIST!

Episode 188: Fannie Merritt Farmer

Posted 13 November 2021 by
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Fannie Farmer circa 1900, around the time that she started her own school.

For a woman who taught generations of people to cook…she’s often forgotten. But this cook, teacher, administrator, author, and businesswoman has a lot to teach all of us, and not just about cooking! (more…)

Episode 187: Elizabeth Báthory, Revisited

Posted 31 October 2021 by
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The only original painting of her disappeared, this is a copy of that painting done when she was about 25.

Happy Halloween! This woman’s life story is the greatest (and definitely the creepiest) mystery we’ve ever discussed! Elizabeth Báthory: Cold, blooded serial killer, or misrepresented and framed, innocent noble? Maybe both? That’s what made her story so fascinating to so many people for so many years! The truth may never be realized, but even if it is, it’s so much fun to speculate about it, and perfect for Halloween!

Snag all the good candy from anyone’s bucket and settle in for a spooky tale that left us with one solid realization: We don’t care for the gore–there is a huge Little Ears warning on this one!

Time Travel With The History Chicks

For all the recommendations and things we discussed on this episode, click on over to our original coverage:

Elizabeth Báthory  

Episode 186: Happy I Love Lucy Day!

Posted 15 October 2021 by
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Lucille, circa 1976

 

Today, October 15th, 2021 is National I Love Lucy Day- a day devoted to celebrating the iconic life and work of Lucille Ball! We thought a good way to honor her would be to combine our previous two-part coverage of Lucille, remaster the audio, and create a supersized, LP of an episode!

For all the media recommendations for this episode, please visit our original shownotes here, LUCILLE BALL!

Episode 185: Sarah Bernhardt

Posted 1 October 2021 by
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One of the famous Felix Nadar portraits taken shortly after she joined the Conservatoire. Circa 1864

Sarah Bernhardt was an actress, sculptress, writer, mother, celebrity…legendary global phenomenon. She was also a courtesan, a master self-promoter, and an all-around unique individual who lived her life on her terms and in her own way. (more…)

Episode 184: Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Part Two

Posted 18 September 2021 by
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by Jean-Étienne Liotard 1756

We left Lady mary rolling her eyes as people found reason after reason to not immunize against smallpox. While she cared about people not contracting a deadly disease, what Mary really want to be was a writer. Those letters she wrote from the road? She edited them into a book that was the first to capture a woman’s perspective of the Ottoman Empire. It would not be published in her lifetime, she had other things to do…like garden, socialize, write more biting commentaries on political and court life, raise two kids, ditch her husband and run off with a n’er do well Count to Italy, tour Europe, then entwine her life with another unscrupulous noble. (more…)

Episode 183: Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Part One

Posted 6 September 2021 by
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Circa 1716 by Charles Jervas

For a woman who is not well known these days and who lived way back in the 1700s, it’s surprising that there’s enough of a story to fill two episodes…Lady Mary Wortley Montagu is such a woman! (more…)