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Tagged As: British Monarchy, Queen Elizabeth I, Tudors | Categories: Podcasts | Comments Off
Tagged As: Elizabeth 1, Elizabethan England, Queen of England | Categories: Uncategorized, shownotes | Comments Off
Welcome to part two of our chat about Elizabeth I. When we left, our fair princess had overcome 25 years of uncertainty. During her youth, Elizabeth’s future had been uncertain, her place in court uncertain, even her ability to keep her head was, at times *coughmarycough* uncertain. She had outlived the rules of her father, her half brother and her half sister. She had even been used to assist in getting a cousin who really had no reason to wear a crown, off the throne.
And now that she had outwitted, outlasted and outplayed these people-Elizabeth was crowned Queen of England.
The country that she stepped up to lead is kind of a mess, and the big elephant in the room making the biggest piles of mess: the aftermath of the religious turmoil created by her father and perpetuated by her half-sister.
We spent a nice chunk of the first episode talking about the early stages and some long lasting issues of her reign including many years of playing Tudor Suitor, a game where she juggled contenders for her hand brilliantly…but none would win it.
We spend a bit of time talking about three things that defined the Elizabethan age: Gunpowder, Printing and Compass, and we give you a nice thumbnail sketch of the relationship between Mary, Queen of Scots and cousin Elizabeth (talk about complicated!) We also rant on about the CW show Reign and how any historical fiction should be taken with a grain of salt yet can be an excellent gateway to learning what really happened. It’s a good lesson, bring the kids.
We tend to stay away from talk of war, battles and such aren’t something that usually affects the women we discuss- but oh! Elizabeth was the head of navy and LO! There is a mighty famous battle that she was a part of, the Spanish Armada. We give you our spin on this historic event (spoiler: The English are triumphant but it may not have been because anything they did.)
Most of Elizabeth’s reign was very successful. She created an environment where her people were able to relax a bit, she encouraged the arts and those who created it. She was a powerful and masterful ruler who was extremely devoted to her subjects. The end of her rule wasn’t quite as successful. Events within as well as beyond her power worked together and there was that pesky issue of her never marrying, therefore never bearing an heir to take over when she died. Towards the end of her life this was great concern to many. We do talk about why and what she said in her famous Golden Speech, as well as what we thought she was like. Yes, speculating. It’s fun, you should try it.
On March 24, 1603 at the age of 69 and after 44 years as queen Elizabeth, surrounded by those who had been loyal to her, took her last breath.
But we don’t want to remember that Elizabeth. We would like this image to linger instead. A woman who remembered and learned from her past, lived wise in her present, whose legacy lives on in her future (and took some secrets with her to the grave).
TIME TRAVEL WITH THE HISTORY CHICKS
For all media recommendations and links, please see Shownotes Episode 44, as well as any other Tudor episodes that we have done in the past. There is a feast of information in there worthy of an inquiring mind as great as Elizabeth’s.
As always, music provided by Music Alley. Visit them at Music.mevio.com
End song for this episode: Introit” by Hazlitt
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Tagged As: Badass Queens, Elizabeth I, Elizabethan England, Queen Elizabeth I, Tudors | Categories: shownotes | Comments Off
She was called many things: Princess, Bastard, Gloriana, Good Queen Bess, and the Virgin Queen. We add to our Tudor series this chat about the extraordinary life and reign of Queen Elizabeth I.
So long was our talk, that we have broken Elizabeth’s story up into two episodes. This first one will cover her life until she is crowned, and the next until her death and beyond.
Some of you are thinking, “Wait, Chicks, didn’t you talk about Elizabeth before?”
Yes, we did, but only her life as it related to others: her parents, Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, her stepmothers including Catherine of Aragon, cousin Lady Jane Gray and her half sister- Queen Mary I. If you have not listened to those episodes, you might like to and gain a fuller view of how her life intertwined into those stories.
Henry VIII was married for 24 years to one wife, Queen Catherine of Aragon. This marriage produced only one child- Elizabeth’s half sister, Mary. Henry, desperate for a son to carry on his bloodline, pulled some serious political and religious chess moves to divorce Catherine and marry Anne Boleyn who was- at the time of their secret wedding- pregnant with Elizabeth. She was born on September 7, 1533.
So, okay, Hank wanted a boy. But Anne could get pregnant, let’s try again.
When Elizabeth was two years old, her father figured out a way to get a male heir: be rid of Anne on trumped up charges and marry someone else.
Hey, it was a plan. And it worked…maybe not so well for Anne or Elizabeth but they were never Henry’s primary priority. Wife #3, Stepmother #1- Jane Seymour had the good fortune to give birth to a male heir, Prince Edward- and then she died of complications from childbirth. Okay, maybe that wasn’t entirely good fortune- but Henry is on to his next wife…and his next until Stepmom #4-Katherine Parr, who is the only one of the six to add “widow” to her title. Henry VIII died.
We do go into all the details of Elizabeth’s upbringing in the episode. She was raised to live at court, and she did have moments of happiness in her childhood. She was bright, inquisitive, educated and well liked from a very early age. She also was pretty much ignored by her father except for a modest to small allowance during his life.
In his death, she became third in line for the throne and was a very valuable commodity. This was realized by her then stepfather-ish, Thomas Seymour. Oh, we had a great deal of fun at ol’ Tom’s benefit. He doesn’t make it very long into the story- he is executed for charges that were not trumped up. As Elizabeth herself said, “Today died a man of much wit and very little judgement.”
First to rule after her father: King Edward, her half brother. Elizabeth and Edward were fairly close in age and raised togetherish (as much as the royal dysfunction allowed). Edward died about 6 years after becoming King- he was only 16.
For a very brief time, Lady Jane Gray was put up as his replacement (oh, that was a doozie of a story- we cover it in the Lady Jane Gray minicast) and Elizabeth’s older half-sister Mary needed Elizabeth to help her get her to her rightful place. After Queen Mary succeeded in getting crowned, she had very little use and a big dose of mistrust for Elizabeth. After a term in the Tower, Elizabeth is sent off to life at Hatfield House for the majority of Mary’s reign (of terror, we are talking Bloody Mary here. Okay, if you want the real details, go listen to the Queen Mary I podcast).
Finally, at the age of 25 after her mother died at the hands of her father, her father handed her over to others to raise her, many men attempted to win her hand in marriage Elizabeth is handed the crown and becomes Queen Elizabeth.
Did you catch the part where we said that Elizabeth was smart and cunning and well liked? These are all traits that help her as soon as she gets that crown on her gingerhead. She reinstates her father’s Act of Supremacy which puts her at the head of the church- but she makes some significant changes. She gives nods to Roman Catholicism, gives a generous hand to Protestantism and creates a religious environment that allows people to breath and only ticks off the extremists.
She appoints advisers who not only can be trusted by her but will tell it to her like it is. They are are smart and respect her although she is (think like it’s 1560) a woman. These advisers agree on one key item: Elizabeth must marry.
We banter about playing Tudor Suitors for awhile, outlining the relationships with the men most likely to walk off with the final Tudor Rose.
There were some who she simply played for political reasons (Prince Phillip of Spain? Mary’s Sloppy Seconds? We don’t think so), and some who really had a shot including her “Frog” and “Bonny Sweet Robin”. As always there is far more information in the podcast than in these notes, but the result is the same: none would ever win her hand.
That’s where this episode ends- but oh, it is not the end of Elizabeth’s story, not by a long shot.
TIME TRAVEL WITH THE HISTORY CHICKS
In Part Two we referenced two sources for more detailed information on the Irish Rebellion as well as the relationship between Ireland and the Tudors in general. If you are looking for more information on this aspect of Elizabeth’s life we recommend you start with this BBC post, Turning Ireland English but Steven Ellis as well as his book, Ireland in the Age of the Tudors.
Ah, the great Who’s the best Elizabeth Debate- we pick our favorites during the episode and here are the top contenders (but not the only ones- this is a story that has been made and remade- and many versions are excellent, just remember that they are mostly historical fiction not necessarily a documentary, and all will be well.)
We had the opportunity to be a part of several min-biographies for the Biography Channel. Here is one on Elizabeth that you might enjoy.
Books: Okay here is the deal. Elizabeth I is QUITE a popular literary subject, there are a lot of books about her out there and most of them are really informative. We’ve read so many that listing them all would bore you. You really can’t go wrong with anything written by David Starkey or Alison Weir.
The Tudor Tutor has a list of source material she uses (as well as A LOT of information that you might enjoy spending time with).
Since we are sharing websites, here are the ones that we talked about: (excellent for kids) Tudorhistory.org , (sistersite to Anne Boleyn files) Elizabeth Files , and Being Bess, another really terrific site, On the Tudor Trail (this link will take you to a post on Hatfield house)
So, you’re visual. Here is a link to a particularly terrific documentary- The Virgin Queen David Starkey (We told you you really can’t go wrong with Starkey)
And after that highbrow educatin’ you earned yourself a nice Horrible Histories bender.
Time Traveller’s Guide to Elizabethan England – follow this video (and book) along as historian Ian Mortimer shows what life is like for the non-regal set during this era.
Pottage recipe from the Elizabethan era, just like Beckett promised. (And a really interesting site for people who like to eat their way through history!)
Keen eared listeners might remember a very clever letter that we read a few seasons ago from long-time friend, Tom. He is currently living in Scotland, and offers this interesting addition to the legacy portion of Elizabeth’s story. (We didn’t talk about this during the episode, but link it nonetheless because Tom is a very loyal listener and History Nerd of the highest caliber.) Operation Highlander
And because we like to make Doctor Who references as much as we like to make Harry Potter references…the 1st Doctor visited her, the 10th visited TWICE: once with companion Martha in the Shakespeare Code…and then there was much jubilation when this happened on the 5oth Anniversary special:
End song: “Leaf in the Tree”, by Frozen Ocean Wave
As always, music comes courtesy of Music Alley. Visit them at Music.mevio.com
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We have received our third Podcast Award Nomination in as many years! Voting starts now and the window is very short- November 1st-15th.
Voting is easy and very self explanatory. You get one vote per IP address a day, and a lot of the time you will have to verify your vote ( there was some shenanigans in years past). Check off your favorite shows, add your name, click submit and done.
We will be happily giving our votes to The Satellite Sisters in both the General and People’s Choice categories. If you’ve never listened, you should, it’s a fun podcast by a group of real life sisters who talk about eeeeverything!
And of course, The Bowery Boys, a history podcast so wonderful you don’t have to be in New York to enjoy it. The fellows are in the Travel category and up against a ballot FULL of Disney themed podcasts.
We will be showing our love for these two shows and ask you to vote with us. We not only listen to the podcasts, but the hosts have been very supportive of us behind the scenes since we began.
From November 1st through the 15, please vote once a day and fill out the ballot carefully!
We won’t nag you, although we will remind you when voting is closing. This is a pretty big deal in our world and getting nominated THREE times has been really amazing to us, But we are wondering… is is third time is the charm? We’re up against some pretty heavy hitters so every vote counts. (when doesn’t it?)
Thank you for the nominations, for voting, for spreading the word to vote, but mostly thank you all for listening.
Beckett and Susan
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Tagged As: Artist, Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, Mexican Art, Self Portraits, Unibrowed painter | Categories: shownotes | 2 Comments
Put some flowers in your hair, drape yourself in bold fabrics and listen to a chat about the colorful and dramatic life and art of Frida Kahlo.
If you thought selfies were an invention of the Twentytens, step back in a time a bit farther. The majority of Frida’s art was of herself- it’s how she told her story. Frida experienced a great deal of pain and joy (and every emotion in between) in her lifetime, and painting was how she expressed herself.
Born (deep breath) Magdalena Carmen Frieda Kahlo y Calderon on July 6, 1907 to Guillermo and Matilda Kahlo in Coyoacan, Mexico. She was the third of four daughters, although Papa had two girls with his first wife.
Frida’s childhood was off to a tumultuous start when the Mexican Revolution broke out when she was 3. A few years later, she contracted polio and was bedridden for most of a year. Both of these events foreshadowed some very significant challenges that would come her way.
But first she had to grow-up! We talk about her schooling, her neighborhood shenanigans and her entre into a prestigious school to study to become a doctor. While there she gets her first taste of radical political life and she meets a man- muralist Diego Rivera. At this point, Frida’s role in his life was to taunt him while he tried to work…or play (Diego excelled at “play”).
When Frida was 18, she boarded a bus with her boyfriend, just like she did every day. But that day the bus and a trolley collided. Frida was left with severe injuries that affect her physically for the rest of her life. We do go into details during the podcast, and give a warning because the accident and recovery was horrific.
A teenager, laying at home immobilized by a full-body cast, would get bored very quickly. Her parents set Frida up with paints, a mirror over her bed and an easel- the result? Frida’s first painting- a self portrait. More paintings came and we talk about some of them. When she is finally vertical she brings a sample of her work to her former tormentee: Diego.
And he liked them!
And he liked her!
Of course we go into greater detail in the podcast, but in short order Frida and Diego marry. He was 22 years her senior and was almost a foot and 200 pounds larger but the match between, “an elephant and a dove” (as her mama claimed) was passionate and electric.
Diego’s job as muralist took him many places, and Frida followed. She continued to paint although her very small, mostly self-portraits juxtaposed with his large and quite full murals mirrored the physical dissimilarities that they had. The couple traveled to the United States, where she was “Mrs. Rivera” ( and not much else) but is celebrated because of her relationship to the famous painter. For a variety of reasons (that we cover, you know the podcast is much fuller than these shownotes, right?) she is not happy in the United States and eventually, they work their way back to Mexico.
But with great passion often comes great drama. Diego has never managed (or even attempted) to keep himself away from other women, and- quite frankly- Frida didn’t do such a great job keeping herself away from other women (and men), either. Their love was…er- unique. And so was their house!
And then this happened.
And things get pretty dramatic for a few years (like they weren’t before?) It’s like a telenovela…except it’s real! We do our best to keep this talk PG-13, we really do, but their lives weren’t all that PG-13. For instance, after a separation, then a reconciliation of sorts, they take in exiled Russian Revolutionary, Leon Trotsky and his wife. A short affair ensues (Frida with Leon). Later, Trotsky is killed while in Mexico: Diego and Frida are suspects for a short time, but Diego had conveniently left the country. See? Drama.
All of the drama really fires up her art. Frida painted to work through her feelings and she clearly had a lot of feelings that needed to be addressed. Because of that, her art was beginning to get noticed. She was given several exhibits in both New York and Paris.
Paris loves her!
The Parisians adore her style and slap her on the cover of Paris Vogue.
But she and Diego need eachother. Somehow. They work out an amiable arrangement and get married again. For several years she takes care of him, he takes care of her…they move back into the Casa Azul and have a colorful and workable relationship.
But Frida’s health has never been good. Several pregnancies that never came to term took a toll on her body, as well as lifelong complications from her bus accident. She spends the better part of her last years in bed or hospitalized.
On July 13th, 1954, at the age of 47, Frida Kahlo dies at her home. Official cause: Pulmonary Embolism. Unofficial Speculation: suicide or assisted suicide.
Her remains were cremated and are still on display at Casa Azul.
TIME TRAVEL WITH THE HISTORY CHICKS
You want to look at lots of pictures of Frida- you must! She told her biography through her paintings, and there are a lot of images of her to be seen. Click on over to the Frida Kahlo Museum, or The Frida Kahlo Foundation to get started. The first you can visit and is located in her family home, Casa Azul in Coyoacon, Mexico.
Here is the link (about a documentary) that we spoke about where you can roll your mouse over some of her art for explanations, Life and Times of Frida Kahlo, PBS.
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Beckett talked about this. Click on RELATED MULTIMDIA to start your adventure.
BOOKS! Start with the books Susan recommended. First up, historical fiction:
For the most part, we both really appreciated the books the showed her life along side her paintings- it’s the perfect way to understand both. If you find one, even ones we don’t recommend here, grab it. There are many exceptional art books about her out there.
We forgot to mention this one, but it was really great for kids:
As always, music comes courtesy of Music Alley. Visit them at Music. mevio.com
Tagged As: 50th Anniversary March on Washington, civil rights, Josephine Baker, The March on Washington | Categories: Uncategorized | 2 Comments
On this 50th Anniversary of The March on Washington,
we thought we would share the text of Josephine’s speech from this memorable day.
Here it is, in its entirety:
“Friends and family…you know I have lived a long time and I have come a long way. And you must know now that what I did, I did originally for myself. Then later, as these things began happening to me, I wondered if they were happening to you, and then I knew they must be. And I knew that you had no way to defend yourselves, as I had.
And as I continued to do the things I did, and to say the things I said, they began to beat me. Not beat me, mind you, with a club—but you know, I have seen that done too—but they beat me with their pens, with their writings. And friends, that is much worse.
When I was a child and they burned me out of my home, I was frightened and I ran away. Eventually I ran far away. It was to a place called France. Many of you have been there, and many have not. But I must tell you, ladies and gentlemen, in that country I never feared. It was like a fairyland place.
And I need not tell you that wonderful things happened to me there. Now I know that all you children don’t know who Josephine Baker is, but you ask Grandma and Grandpa and they will tell you. You know what they will say, “Why, she was a devil.” And you know something…why, they are right. I was too. I was a devil in other countries, and I was a little devil in America, too.
But I must tell you, when I was young in Paris, strange things happened to me. And these things had never happened to me before. When I left St. Louis a long time ago, the conductor directed me to the last car. And you all know what that means.
But when I ran away, yes, when I ran away to another country, I didn’t have to do that. I could go into any restaurant I wanted to, and I could drink water anyplace I wanted to, and I didn’t have to go to a colored toilet either, and I have to tell you it was nice, and I got used to it, and I liked it, and I wasn’t afraid anymore that someone would shout at me and say, “Nigger, go to the end of the line.” But you know, I rarely ever used that word. You also know that it has been shouted at me many times.
So over there, far away, I was happy, and because I was happy I had some success, and you know that too.
Then after a long time, I came to America to be in a great show for Mr. Ziegfeld, and you know Josephine was happy. You know that. Because I wanted to tell everyone in my country about myself. I wanted to let everyone know that I made good, and you know, too, that that is only natural.
But on that great big beautiful ship, I had a bad experience. A very important star was to sit with me for dinner, and at the last moment I discovered she didn’t want to eat with a colored woman. I can tell you it was some blow.
And I won’t bother to mention her name, because it is not important, and anyway, now she is dead.
And when I got to New York way back then, I had other blows—when they would not let me check into the good hotels because I was colored, or eat in certain restaurants. And then I went to Atlanta, and it was a horror to me. And I said to myself, My God, I am Josephine, and if they do this to me, what do they do to the other people in America?
You know, friends, that I do not lie to you when I tell you I have walked into the palaces of kings and queens and into the houses of presidents. And much more. But I could not walk into a hotel in America and get a cup of coffee, and that made me mad. And when I get mad, you know that I open my big mouth. And then look out, ‘cause when Josephine opens her mouth, they hear it all over the world.
So I did open my mouth, and you know I did scream, and when I demanded what I was supposed to have and what I was entitled to, they still would not give it to me.
So then they thought they could smear me, and the best way to do that was to call me a communist. And you know, too, what that meant. Those were dreaded words in those days, and I want to tell you also that I was hounded by the government agencies in America, and there was never one ounce of proof that I was a communist. But they were mad. They were mad because I told the truth. And the truth was that all I wanted was a cup of coffee. But I wanted that cup of coffee where I wanted to drink it, and I had the money to pay for it, so why shouldn’t I have it where I wanted it?
Friends and brothers and sisters, that is how it went. And when I screamed loud enough, they started to open that door just a little bit, and we all started to be able to squeeze through it. Not just the colored people, but the others as well, the other minorities too, the Orientals, and the Mexicans, and the Indians, both those here in the United States and those from India.
Now I am not going to stand in front of all of you today and take credit for what is happening now. I cannot do that. But I want to take credit for telling you how to do the same thing, and when you scream, friends, I know you will be heard. And you will be heard now.
But you young people must do one thing, and I know you have heard this story a thousand times from your mothers and fathers, like I did from my mama. I didn’t take her advice. But I accomplished the same in another fashion. You must get an education. You must go to school, and you must learn to protect yourself. And you must learn to protect yourself with the pen, and not the gun. Then you can answer them, and I can tell you—and I don’t want to sound corny—but friends, the pen really is mightier than the sword.
I am not a young woman now, friends. My life is behind me. There is not too much fire burning inside me. And before it goes out, I want you to use what is left to light that fire in you. So that you can carry on, and so that you can do those things that I have done. Then, when my fires have burned out, and I go where we all go someday, I can be happy.
You know I have always taken the rocky path. I never took the easy one, but as I get older, and as I knew I had the power and the strength, I took that rocky path, and I tried to smooth it out a little. I wanted to make it easier for you. I want you to have a chance at what I had. But I do not want you to have to run away to get it. And mothers and fathers, if it is too late for you, think of your children. Make it safe here so they do mot have to run away, for I want for you and your children what I had.
Ladies and gentlemen, my friends and family, I have just been handed a little note, as you probably say. It is an invitation to visit the President of the United States in his home, the White House.
I am greatly honored. But I must tell you that a colored woman—or, as you say it here in America, a black woman—is not going there. It is a woman. It is Josephine Baker.
This is a great honor for me. Someday I want you children out there to have that great honor, too. And we know that that time is not someday. We know that that time is now.
I thank you, and may God bless you. And may He continue to bless you long after I am gone.”