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Shownotes Episode 44: Queen Elizabeth 1, Part Two

Posted 10 February 2014 by
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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.

*cue trumpets*

Elizabeth, Armada Portrait

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.

One major contender: Francis, Duke of Anjou (by Nicholas Hilliard)

Elizabeth and Robert DudleyRelationship Status: It's Complicated

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.)

Battle of the Spanish Armada- England and Spain (Henrick Cornelisz Vroom)

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.

The Death of Queen Elizabeth (Paul Delaroche maaaaany years after her death- we talked about this painting in the episode)

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).

This ring was on her finger for many years, inside a portrait of herself and of her mother

Elizabeth's tomb (courtesy Westminster Abbey)

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

News!!

Posted 1 November 2013 by
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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.

HOW TO VOTE

HERE IS THE LINK TO THE PODCAST AWARDS!

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.

Suffragists marching costume 1916, which has very little to do with what we are talking about, but it's still cool to see.

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

ONE MORE LINK TO THE PODCAST AWARDS!

Josephine Baker’s Speech from The March on Washington, August 28th, 1963

Posted 28 August 2013 by
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Josephine, wearing her French Resistance uniform and her medals from her service in WW2.

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.

Jim Crow sign.

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.

Josephine's show at the Follies (see lower right)

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?

Josephine fought against hotel discrimination.

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?

Newspaper article of Josephine's libel suit against gossip columnist Walter Winchell.

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.

Aerial view of The March on Washington, August 28th, 1963.

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.”

Josephine is honored in her adopted country.

Want to read more about Josephine Baker?
Go here:
Episode 34; Josephine Baker, Part 1 (shownotes)
and here:
Episode 34: Josephine Baker, Part 2 (shownotes)

Want to listen, instead, to what we had to say?
Follow these links:
Episode 34; Josephine Baker, Part 1 (audio)
or
Episode 34: Josephine Baker, Part 2 (audio)

Episode 41: Bessie Coleman

Posted 9 August 2013 by
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Amelia Earhart wasn’t the only American woman who soared into aviation history as she took her dreams to the sky. Bessie Coleman not only set aviation records of her own, but the story of her ascent above racial and gender barriers makes her a woman worthy of a long chat.

Bessie Coleman was born January 26, 1892 in Atlanta, Texas, the 10th child of George and Susan Coleman, both sharecroppers. George was part American Indian and proud of his ancestry but pride doesn’t put food on the table, does it?  George and Susan scraped together enough money for a small plot and settled the family in Waxahachie, Texas.  As the more elder of the  Coleman children to survive childhood grew and moved out of the home, life never got  easy for Bessie. We talk about Bessie’s childhood in the podcast, the slow path to an education that she had due to time away from school because of cotton harvest,  the chores and responsibilities that she had and the impact of her father leaving the family for a life he thought would be more accepting of him in Oklahoma.

A book wagon, circa 1920 (courtesy libraryhistorybuff.com)

A bookwagon, circa 1920 (courtesy libraryhistorybuff.com)

Susan wanted her children educated and helped encouraged them to make that happen as best she could. Once Bessie completed the eight grades available to her, she helped save and eventually registered at college.

Colored Agricultural and Normal University in Langston, Oklahoma (now simply Langston University...go Lions)

Unfortunately her money ran out after only one semester and headed back to Waxahachie to work as a laundress for several years. But Bessie wanted more out of life and moved to Chicago to live with two of her older brothers. The bright lights and big promises of the city didn’t prove all that more life advancing than they did in Waxahachie- laundress? Again? Bessie saw her opening and enrolled in Burnham School of beauty and Culture where she quickly trained to be a manicurist. Badda bing, Bessie is working in a barber shop on the see and be seen area known as The Stroll.

State Street early 1900's (courtesy nps)

When her brother John came back from World War I, he bragged about the amazing French women and teased Bessie that no African American woman could fly like a French woman.

With Wipe That Grin Off Your Face determination, Bessie set out to prove her brother wrong. (Such a strong motivator, isn’t it?) She had been bitten by the aviation bug while in Chicago, but she could not find any flight schools that would enroll her. Being both a woman and black was a double whammy.

So, she wants to fly.

She wants to show her brother that French women aren’t the only ones who can fly.

She does the most logical thing: she goes to France to learn to fly.

So it wasn’t quite that easy, and we cover so much more in the podcast but essentially that’s exactly what she does! (And does it a lot faster than Amelia even though they began taking lessons at about the same time.)

Bessie Coleman- the first black woman in the world to earn one of these! Pilot's license

When Bessie returned to the US with her shiny new license and aviatrix skills ( and no plane of her own) she set off on the air show circuit. While she was skilled, mechanical error led to a crash. Barely alive with bones broken and injuries that kept her sidelined,she insisted that she would fly again.

Early 1900's airshow over Grant Park in Chicago (courtesy chuckmanchicagonostalgia.wordpress.com)

Of course she did! But she still didn’t have a plane of her own. What she did have was a dream. Bessie Coleman wanted to help desegregate aviation. Wherever she toured she refused to fly if blacks were not allowed into the show, and she held tight to a dream of opening her own flight school. Traveling the country on borrowed planes she fundraised- speaking and creating ever more elaborate and patriotic shows she was a big draw for air shows.

On April 30, 1926 Bessie and a mechanic were test flying a plane. As part of her performance Bessie parachuted off the plane, and the two were scouting a location. Bessie, so that she could see over the edge for a perfect landing spot, was not wearing her seatbelt. At 3,000 feet up, the plane went into a nose dive and Bessie fell to her death. She was 33 years old.

In 1929 the Bessie Coleman Aero Club , a flight school named in her honor opened in Los Angeles.

Bessie Coleman on a US postage stamp, 1995

TIME TRAVEL WITH THE HISTORY CHICKS

How did we miss this website? Get all your historical women gear (designed for kids but adult sizes available, too) A Mighty Girl. Maybe not exactly this doll though, unless that’s your thing, then here it is! You were looking for this!

Bessie Coleman Madam Alexander doll

Do not go here hungry! You were warned. The history of chili (and more…oh, so much more) What’s Cooking America

We know you are looking for this, all you runners, Marathon Du Medoc (Bordeaux Marathon). And here is a fun article about running it , good even if there is no chance of you ever attempting such an event! Food and Wine

Books! We only had a couple that we would recommend:

Fly High! by Louise Borden and Mary Kay Kroeger, Illustrated by Teresa Flavin

Queen Bess: Daredevil Aviator by Doris L. Rich

While surfing…er, following a lead we stumbled across this blog that has very little to do with Bessie Coleman (other than this post about an entry from her beauty school primer) but thought it too interesting to not add here: Bobby Pin Blog Vintage make-up and beauty instructions, anyone?

Our music is courtesy of Musicalley. Visit them at Music.mevio.com
Show outro music : “Dreamers” by The Hipstones

Our Friend’s Project And Giveaway

Posted 3 August 2013 by
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One of the best parts of our gig as History Chicks is getting to meet people through the podcast, website and social media pages. We met on a message board, so making friends online is nothing new to either of us, and it’s pretty sweet to be in a position to meet others with interests similar to our own.

Through the course of exchanged emails and private messages we have discovered that some of you are doing some really cool historically based projects or businesses that we admire. We thought that it would be fun to show them off. Some of the projects that we will share are focused on historical women and some will simply deal with anything in the past- but they are all run by listeners. This first one is both about women and the past ( and it, in a turn-your-head-and-squint way, ties in with a promise that we made a few months ago, so we will fulfill that now).

First up- let’s take a look at at topic that is near and dear to our hearts: historical fashion.

This is Rodellee Bas and her business is Adored Vintage.

From her website:

“A deep love for fashion and history bore the idea of ADORED VINTAGE, an online vintage clothing boutique for modern women that love fanciful and pretty things. Each vintage garment is hand selected for quality, beauty, and relevance to modern day fashion. We believe each garment bears a tale from its past and the women that chooses a vintage garment from our shop loves the idea of adding her own chapter to the story of a dress.

Not only does she select beautiful garments and accessories ( both true vintage and inspired by) but  the photography is, quite simply- lovely.

Some dresses from her shop

1950s emerald green halter dress

She carries accessories like these 1940s studded strap heels...

...and purses like this 1950s clutch...

...and hats!

But the dresses! Oh! The dresses!

Her showroom as photographed by Connie Lyu Photography

50's Floral

'60s little black dress

Her  brick and mortar showroom is in downtown Long Beach, California, but we follow the beautiful vintage fashion show via her  facebook page and website where you can fill your cart with beautiful pieces and have them delivered. If you are fortunate enough to be nearby, the showroom is open by appointment only or check out her once-a-month Vintage Sunday on the third Sunday of the month- it coincides with the Long Beach Flea Market (as if vintage fashion, and the beach wasn’t enough to draw you in).

We’ve been talking women in history with Rodellee for a bit and we can’t help but notice her History Chickness show through in some collection and garment titles. Each item has a clever title and  recently she named a collection of garments in honor of Jane Austen. Of course, her one-of-a-kind items aren’t on the Adored Vintage site for long, so going back frequently to see what she has added that is new and available is such a hardship. (yeah…not really.)

AND (turn your head and squint now) speaking of Jane Austen and things formerly loved by others : we had promised to give away a couple of Beckett’s loved (read:used) copies of the parody novels Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (by Jane Austen and Seth Graham-Smith) and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadful ( by Steve Hockensmith). Just leave a comment on this post (using an email that we can contact you through) telling us WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE JANE AUSTEN HEROINE and you will be entered into a random drawing (both books, one winner) held on August 17th, 2013.

Beckett's books can be yours! Well, these two anyway. Just leave a comment on this post telling us who your favorite Jane Austen heroine is. Random drawing 8/17/13

We will share more friends’ projects whenever the whim strikes us, but keep an eye out because- just like our ever growing and amazing list of historical women that we would like to discuss- we have a list for this, too!

One more link, just because- Adored Vintage.

Tudor Grandmothers Revisited

Posted 29 July 2013 by
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A year and a half ago we sat down to talk about Margaret Beaufort and Elizabeth Woodville. Since then a lot of you have joined us…and a lot of you are really excited about the television show The White Queen, which is  based on the novel series THE COUSINS’ WAR, by Philippa Gregory.  So are we!  (So excited) (So very excited)  Here in the good ol’ US of A the show begins on the Starz network on August 10th, 8 PM ET/PT, so we thought that this was a good time to brush up on the stories of the women who would become grandmothers to our favorite bad guy, Henry VIII.

Because we posted portraits on our original shownotes, we thought that  getting the faces of the actresses playing the parts into our heads would be a good idea.

Elizabeth Woodville, played by Rebecca Ferguson ( Courtesy Starz)

Margaret Beaufort, played by Amanda Hale (Courtesy Starz)

Starz has a very slick website (facebook page and twitter) for this show which makes talking about it with other fans really easy.
The shownotes from the original episode, including book recommendations, from our original posting are here: SHOWNOTES.

And if you are in the UK, you can watch entire episodes online here: BBC ONE

Episode 37: The Wizard of Oz

Posted 8 March 2013 by
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Once a season we step away from factual subjects and focus on a fictional one. This season we traveled to the land of Oz and took a look around.

“But Chicks,” you say,”a Wizard is a man.”

To that we respond: Thank you for pointing this out. Yes, the Wizard is a man, and L. Frank Baum is a man…but Oz is full of women! Dorothy! Glinda! Ozma! Oz is a land of female rulers and strong charactered inhabitants- how could we not talk about it? (Besides, we like fantasy, okay? And there are several points in the Six Degrees of History Chicks Separation game with this subject.  Just trust us.)

W.W. Denslow illustration from The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

We’re sure several images popped into your head when you saw the title, and we will cover most of them in this episode…except three: Judy Garland, Billie Burke and Margaret Hamilton. We decided to have a separate conversation about the lives of the three female stars of the 1939 movie . That chat will be posted as a companion minicast .

In 1900 L. Frank Baum introduced the world to the imaginary land of Oz. It wasn’t the first children’s book that he had written-but it would become a series that he would work on for the rest of his life that is full of characters, settings and storylines that are still being explored today.

Born in 1856 in  Chittenango, New York, Lyman Frank Baum was the son of a barrel maker and occupational experimenter who struck it rich in the oil business- Benjamin Baum and his wife, Cynthia Stanton Baum. Frank was a sick child with a weak heart but a big imagination. He also had the gift of very indulgent parents.

Aside from a short stint at Peekskill Military Academy (where there was, literally, a yellow brick road), Frank was educated at home by tutors and  parents who helped him peruse any interests he had. When he took an interest in the printing process, his parents bought him a home printing press. Later when he took an interest in acting, they got him a theater.

Franks brief experience in a military school...not exactly his thing

Once grown, he began touring with an acting company until he met Maud Gage- daughter of Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s co-author Matilda Jocelyn Gage. Love. Within a year they were married, and when she became pregnant with the first of four sons, the acting life ended and Frank the dreamer needed to become Frank the supporter.

He did not find success as a chicken breeder, store owner, newspaper man, or traveling salesman. One day he wrote out the Mother Goose rhymes that he had been sharing with his sons and they became his first book- Mother Goose in Prose. His second was a spin-off of that one, Father Goose: His Book.

Shortly after these two successes, he wrote down the stories he had been telling his sons and the neighborhood kids about a little girl named Dorothy in a magical land named Oz. With clever illustrations by W.W. Denslow, The Wizard of Oz was a hit.

Frank brought the story to the theater with a stage version ( although the adult cast wasn’t exactly what he had in mind when he wrote the story), and this also was a success. While he had no interest in writing another Oz book, he did have an interest in putting food on the table for his family. Frank Baum was an imaginative writer, but a businessman he was not and he would earn and lose his wealth many times over the years. Within four years of the first Oz book he was publishing a second. He would write 13 sequels to the original story (including our favorite- Ozma of Oz).

Shh, don't tell the others, but this is our favorite

But that’s not all! Frank wrote several books and plays under pseudonyms and several of those were women’s names- the most successful being a series for teenage girls, Aunt Jane’s Nieces, under the pen name, Edyth Van Dyne.

L. Frank Baum circa 1911

Frank Baum died on May 6th, 1919 at the age of 92. His last book, Glinda of Oz,  was published posthumously a year later.

But the Oz books couldn’t end! Not only was the world enthralled with the story, it was making some serious coin for its publishers. After Frank’s death another 36 books would be written by a variety of authors making up what is considered the official 40 book Oz series.

About 38 years down the yellow brick road technology caught up with the stories. After Walt Disney scored big time with Snow White, movie makers were looking for the next big fairy tale and MGM landed Oz. We geek out about the making of this iconic movie for quite a while during the podcast. We chat about trivia as well as the differences between the movie and the beloved books (Like the shoes: Dorothy originally was gifted a pair of silver shoes, but red showed up so much nicer in Technicolor.)

2.6 million dollars, five directors, scores of writers, two Tin Man actors, and a shooting schedule that stretched from 6 weeks to 23 The Wizard of Oz finally opened…

Not the first technicolor movie by a long shot and didn't follow the books exactly (and we cover those differences in the podcast), 1939 MGM movie poster

…and didn’t quite do as well at the box-office as you would have expected. While this film lasts on mostly due to annual televised showings beginning in the mid 1950’s- the movie wasn’t a flop by any standard, but it did originally fail to be a financial success. The movie did win two Academy Awards as well as a special award for 16 year-old Judy Garland.

TIME TRAVEL WITH THE HISTORY CHICKS

So you really don’t want to read all the books in the Oz series, we get that- 40 is a lot of books. Here is a really fun shortcut to the plots and characters of each book as well as all the original cover art to them. Maybe after you read these reviews you will give in and get one of the books. And another. And another. Hey, fantasy series are all the rage these days- there is a reason and Oz started them all. Mari Ness on TOR.COM

Other than the books in the Oz series, we didn’t have a lot of recommendations for this episode. We  think that the Annotated Wizard of Oz was pretty terrific, as well as the Wicked Years series by Gregory McGuire and Was by Geoff Ryman (very dark, but very good).

Annotated Wizard of Oz edited by Michael Patrick Hearn

Was by, Geoff Ryman

The Wicked Series by Gregory Maguire (also available on Audible.com and you can get a free book just by clicking the link to the far right, no, up higher...just sayin')

And as far as movies go, get thee to the library and borrow the 3 -disc Collector’s Edition of the 1939 movie! So many special features you will be all Oz’d up in no time!

1978 brought a very interesting version of movie (it had previously been an Tony award winning Broadway play) The Wiz starring Diana Ross and Michael Jackson. Make your own judgement if it’s destined for Cult Movie Classic status or not.

1978 musical The Wiz

You can catch Tin Man, the Sci-Fi channel mini-series starring Zooey Deschenel, streaming on Netflix and decide if you think it’s good (and forgive Zooey for this one) like Susan, or if you can’t get past the first episode like Beckett.

Classic Oz touches sprinkled through story in semi Once Upon a Time style

Join in the serious business at the International Wizard of Oz Clubs, or join some chat with the Royal Historians and all at The Royal Website of Oz.

The Studio 360 podcast episode “American Icons: The Wizard of Oz” can be found here, or on ITunes: Studio 360

Want to read the rest of the Evil Overlord list? Find it here: The Evil Overlord List

Investigate your name’s popularity over time at The Baby Name Wizard (warning! It’s addictive!): Baby Name Wizard

Finally, there are a pair of the Ruby Slippers Judy Garland wore in the movie at the Smithsonian, but if you are looking for an Oz museum as you cross Kansas, here is one in Wamego, Kansas ( just  east of Manhattan). We have not been, but if you have let us know how it is in the comments!

On display in Washington, one pair of the movie ruby slippers

As always, our music comes courtesy of Music Alley. Visit them at music.mevio.com
(closing song – If I Only Had a Brain by Elijah Tucker)

Shownotes Episode 35: Josephine Baker, Part Two

Posted 21 January 2013 by
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In this episode we continue our chat about the many acts in the life of Josephine Baker. When we went to intermission, Ms Baker was touring  the world as an entertainment superstar with the help of her manager/fake husband/fake Count, Pepito Abatino. The one place that she had left to embrace her was her native country, the good ol’ US of A. When the house lights went up we were biting our nails! Would her homeland love and appreciate her as much as the people of other continents? Could Josephine go home?

Act Three

(It’s 1934 and Josephine  is taking the stage at the Ziegfield Follies in New York expecting a warm and loving response)

Crickets chirp.

Josephine didn’t have to get far onto US soil before she faced racial prejudice. As a ‘married” couple she and Pepito could share a hotel room, but not an entry door into the hotel. Her performances were not met with a warm reception for a variety of reasons: she danced with white male partners, her level of undress made audiences uncomfortable, and the songs that she was required to sing were not suitable for her voice. Her part in the show was your basic hot mess. Josephine blamed Pepito and sent him away, back to France ending their ten year relationship…and quite possibly his life. He was hospitalized and died of unknown causes a few weeks later. Stomach cancer or a broken heart?

Josephine got out of her contract and the US as quickly as possible. Shortly afterward she married Jean Lion, a wealthy French businessman. With this marriage she legally became a French citizen and had hopes of becoming a mother. Jean apparently had high hopes of her becoming his most fabulous accessory, a trophy wife. But first, Josephine must say good-bye to her public and set off on a farewell tour.

The only thing that fully got the good-bye and farewell part is the marriage; it doesn’t last long.

But our newly minted French citizen had some very important work in her future. WWII began and she volunteered to assist the war effort for her country. Her touring  continued from country to country with one major difference: She was doing it as a spy for the French Resistance.  She used her lifestyle of hobnobbing with those in the know to get intel and smuggled it back with her hat boxes and costumes, and eventually raised in ranks within the French Free Air Force.

Josephine in uniform

As always we go into much more detail in the podcast but essentially her spy duties came to a halt when she was hospitalized in Casablanca for 19 months.

But that wasn’t the end of  the war efforts of our heroine! Once recuperated, she went back on the road, this time  helping to spread a message of brotherly love by entertaining racially integrated audiences of soldiers. Ultimately she received two prestigious awards for her work in the war, the Croix de Guerre and the Medal of Resistance. And by the end of the war, she entered her fourth marriage, to her band conductor- Jo Boullion.

The war ws over, but Josephine still has some fight in her. At this point in her life, she directed it toward the fight for racial equality. She not only had lofty goals she had big…no, massive plans.

First she and Jo remodeled an old castle she named Les Milandes, in the south of France, into a tourist destination with a theme of brotherly love. This pricey undertaking required some capital, so off she went on another world tour. This time she was confronted with more racial barriers and opportunities for her to use her celebrity. One, an incident in New York’s famous Stork Club that involved then popular newscaster, Walter Winchell, got her banned from reentering the US for many years. (It’s a doozie, and we gossip on about the details in the podcast)

Next up, Josephine embarked on a plan to finally put herself in the role of a lifetime: Mother. She and Jo began to adopt babies of all colors and nationalities from around the world. They named the TWELVE children, The Rainbow Tribe.

Jo and Josephine with their young, and as yet incomplete, tribe

But it’s not all rainbows and sunshine for this unique family.

Act Four

(Open on Jo driving away from Les Milandes, Josephine and 12 stunned children left in his wake)

Josephine and Jo didn’t see eye-to-eye on many things. Ahem, many - but one important one being the children: How many? How to raise them? When was enough enough?  When Josephine was on tour, the children were raised by Jo and a series of nannies at Les Milandes. Mama would breeze in, sometimes with a new brother or sister- take a few pictures, love on them all, then go back on the road. The costs of the constant renovations to the castle were astronomical, and eventually she was so far in debt she couldn’t get ahead. Jo couldn’t understand her, deal with her, take it- whatever his reasons, he left  - although they never divorced.

On one hand she had this falling down resort that is getting her more and more in debt each day and is filled with her very large  family.

The tribe has grown and are growing up

On the other hand, she was doing civil rights work all over the world as she was touring .  She even spoke with Martin Luther King, Jr at the March on Washington as the only official woman speaker.

Josephine at the March on Washington

So what hand won?

Josephine after being forced out of Les Milandes

Not Les Milandes. She got physically tossed out of it. But that’s again, not the end. Over the next few years, in not so short order:  Princess Grace  rescued her, helped set her up in a sweet villa in Monaco and funds a comeback show.

Opening night in Paris. It’s April, 1975 and Josephine is 68 years old. Does the old girl still have what it takes, or has Paris already seen the best she had to offer years before? Is she a washed up has-been, or a timeless superstar?

When the reviews came in the roaring cry was… Superstar!

Josephine was back on the stage, the cheers of the crowd ringing in her ears- she was a success.

The next day, no one could wake her as she lay among her rave reviews in the papers. She would never awake again.  Within the week she was declared dead of a brain hemorrhage on April 12, 1975.

Josephine's funeral procession through the streets of Paris

Fin

TIME TRAVEL WITH THE HISTORY CHICKS

Chateau des Milandes


You can visit Les Milandes without ever leaving your house! This is a really fun website and one of the few where we don’t mind music. Les Milandes Website.

If you are leaving your house and headed to New York, maybe you can dine at Chez Josephine, NYC.

Although her life really reads like a movie, this is the one movie that we could get our hands on: 1991 The Josephine Baker Story starring Lynn Whitfield.

We know you like your books and here are the ones that we recommend for this woman:

Children's book: Jazz Age Josephine by Jonah Winter illustrated by Marjorie Priceman

Middle Grade-Josephine Baker: Entertainer by Alan Schroeder

Have your own compare and contrast fest with these three biographies:

The Josephine Baker Story by Ean Wood

Josephine Baker: The Hungry Heart by Jean-Claude Baker and Chris Chase

Josephine by Josephine Baker and Jo Bouillion

Josephine Baker: Image and Icon by Olivia Gonzales

As always, our music comes courtesy of Music Alley. Visit them at Music.mevio.com

November Update

Posted 7 November 2012 by
Tagged As: | Categories: Misc. Business, Uncategorized | 6 Comments

We don’t usually post about any women other than the ones that we spotlight, but make an exception every once and again. Now seems like a very good time to do that.

After we had posted our Lady Jane Grey episode we were on track to bring you the final episode of Season Three. It’s a doozie, epically complicated with a lot of players covering a very long span of time. It’s a topic you asked for, we researched and were ready to record it.

But we had also promised that we wouldn’t take a break between Season Three and Season Four- and we needed to firm up our schedule for Season Four.

So we decided to meet and do just that: select a list of ten women and get a collection of options for you to vote for in the Guaranteed Content Poll. The plan was to meet one Friday, then record three days later on a Monday. Because of where we live, our day jobs and our preference to record in the same room- we usually only have one day a week where our schedules can work together. Taking that Monday was a choice we made to put everything else aside, and get this podcast recorded.

We had this foolproof, sure-fire plan...

On that Friday, the plan was working. We firmed up the upcoming season, had a lovely- and very rare- lunch together. We had a few minutes before we had to head home to pick up our kids, so we went to locate a nearby Geocache. Because we could. And it was fun. And we don’t ever have time to do goofy stuff like that together.

Then on the way home one of us came down with a pretty nasty stomach virus that wiped out the whole next week for recording.

The following week a Day Job emergency did the same.

Day job commitments, kid health issues, and our  schedules kept stealing our recording days. Finally, several weeks after our Friday meeting, we sat down and recorded what will be a two-part podcast.

Our microphone was getting lonely

Our microphone was getting lonely

You may not realize what we do after we have recorded an episode. Beckett gets to editing. She takes out the parts where a truck may have driven past the House of Wood, or one of us got up to get a fresh cup of coffee, or got off on a tangent (what? It’s a conversation-sometimes that happens). Basically she takes out anything that has no relevance to the topic at hand. She adds and selects the music, and gets our very smooth voiced History Dude to record something for the middle. This takes quite a few days- and an occasional night- worth of any free time she has.

While she is doing that, Susan writes the shownotes. This doesn’t take as long as Beckett’s editing, but we have a pretty sizable portion of our audience that don’t listen to the podcast, but use the shownotes to tell them the story of the women that we spotlight. (Waves to those people) And we have to make sure that all of our recommended reading and links to places we talk about are here for you to click.

At this point we started to wonder if our episode was cursed. Things continued to happen- a death in the family that required out of town travel, a technical issue that had us contemplating re-recording… one thing after another. In the span of time that we kept crashing into obstacles, we typically could have two full episodes out. It was very frustrating.

In the middle of all of that, we were informed that YOU had nominated us for a Podcast Award! Thank you so much for that! But we hesitated to link you to the voting, before we could get the next episode up to you. It felt wrong to us.

So we were silent.

And you noticed! You sent us notes asking if we were ok and when you could expect the next podcast episode… it was really nice and made us reevaluate our communication plans.

Today, we share the tale. Quite frankly we are nervous to tell you when the next episodes will be posted. It’s a two-parter that a curse really does tie into quite well. We HOPE to have that up by the end of this week.

Hope.

Cross everything.

Send good vibes, and energy and prayers and whatever you have to offer. Because after we post those, we need to record the beginning of Season Four…and we both are really excited to do that.

Do we have your vote?

If you don’t hate us for keeping you in the dark, here is a link to The Podcast Awards. We are nominated in the Education category and you can vote once a day until November 15th.

And because it’s fun, here is a link to learn more about geocashing.

Thank you for your patience and understanding!

Beckett and Susan

Shownotes: Episode 30 – Queen Mary I

Posted 16 September 2012 by
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Before she became the first Queen Regnant of England, before she was labeled illegitimate,  she was, quite simply, Princess Mary of England – the apple of her father’s eye. But, ahh, nothing is simple for those Tudors. Nothing.

A young Mary Tudor, future Queen Mary I

We discussed the early life of Mary Tudor in the Catherine of Aragon podcast-you might want to check that one out first. In a nut shell (and we use that term pretty accurately): Henry Tudor married a Spanish princess, Catherine of Aragon, who just happened to be the widow of his dead brother.  Catherine had several pregnancies, but only one child survived birth and infancy: Mary, who was born on February 18, 1516. Henry, desperate for a male heir and thinking that another wife could bring him that, went to extremes to sever his ties with Catherine.

But before he did, Mary was his ” pearl in the kingdom”. He doted on her and set her up like the princess that she technically was. She was raised royal- finest of everything and traveled from one estate to the next with her entourage.  But the Princess life Mary knew ended with her parents marriage. Her new step-mom had it out for her, more so once a step-sister, Elizabeth, entered the world.

Henry and Mary had a complicated relationship- when it was good, it was very very good, and when it was bad it was rotten, (And we thought Sarah Boldger made a great Mary in the Tudors TV show so we are sticking her in here)

But Step-Mummy Dearest couldn’t produce that male heir, so Daddy ended that marriage faster than the first. Step-Mom #2 was kind to Mary and gave her a little brother but she died from complications of childbirth.  Mary got along well enough with #3, but that marriage didn’t stick and #3 was transformed into an Aunt. Step-monster #4 wasn’t around long enough for Mary’s distaste of her to cause too much trouble, and Step Mother #5 was the fairest, and kindest of them all and saw Daddy King to his death. With that, Mary’s ride on the Step-Momcoaster came to a complete stop. Little brother Edward became King, and Mary set off to a well provisioned life. (See our podcast and shownotes from Episode 24: Last Four Wives for more details about this time.)

Mary had inherited quite a bit from both of her parents. From her mother she had her deep Catholic faith, and a stubborn streak that helped her hold her ground. From her father she had gained great wealth, much land…and a stubborn streak. During Henry’s life Mary and he had many years where the two battled with stubborn and manipulative weaponry.  After his death, she put those tools away during her brother’s reign.

And then he died. King Edward VI ruled for only six years and died at the age of 15. Because of his young age,  a Regency Counsel made most of the decisions for him in regard to ruling. A Counsel made of men.  Some of those men with ambition and drive and lust for power. As with everything, we do go into detail in the podcast about all of this and sum it up here: upon Edward’s death there was some confusion as to who would succeed him. Henry VIII had mapped out the line in his will-Mary would be  next. But members of the Counsel schemed a way around that, and for a very brief time that person was determined to be Lady Jane Grey.

Mary was having none of this. She whipped her royal blood into a well executed bid for the crown, and won. (This is the extremely abridged version).

At the age of 37 Queen Mary I was crowned.

Queen Mary I by, Antonis Mor

First up on her To-Do list: Convert England and her realm back to Roman Catholicism. Papa  and Brother King had allowed Protestant faith to become the official religion, but Mary was a very serious Catholic. She had a few hurdles in the way but worked with Parliament to make it so, (number one…get it?) She ultimately threw her royal weight around and enforced heresy laws which allowed those practicing religion other than, and speaking out against the religion of the land to be executed. Specifically, burned at the stake.

It’s not a pretty time in history. Despite the nickname that would follow her through time- Bloody Mary- it wasn’t the first time this law had been practiced. Her own father and brother had also executed many for similar religious reasons. (And don’t get us started on what her Spanish grandparents did.)

Also up on Mary’s list: Find a husband and produce an heir. She checked off the former with Prince Phillip II of Spain, but the latter was never to be. She had two phantom pregnancies and never had a child.

This is the odd portrait that we discussed in the podcast

Mary ruled for five years. In that time she had a complicated relationship with her half-sister and next in line for the throne, Elizabeth. Her relationship with her husband was also strained- he didn’t seem to be in it for more than political gain, and she was unable to provide an heir. By the end of her life, he was living and ruling in Spain and their time together had been minimal at best.

Mary died at the age of 42, and Elizabeth I was crowned. Mary’s original tomb was ruined over time. When Elizabeth died, James I buried both sisters together in the same tomb and that is where they lie now. With an effigy of ELIZABETH atop them both.

Final resting place of Mary and Elizabeth

Time Travel With The History Chicks

Want to get a Mary I ditty stuck in your head? Horrible Histories has one for you.

Good site for middle grades (or a quick read ) and LOTS of extras to click on:  Tudorhistory.org.

Of course there is the Showtime series, The Tudors where Mary’s story is shown with a heavy hand for the dramatic, not quite historically accurate but always riveting. If you are a fan, or want to discuss it, check out TheTudorsWiki.com

Books! We know you love your books and these are the ones that  we recommended during the podcast:

Mary Tudor: Princess, Bastard, Queen by, Anna Whitelock

The First Queen of England by, Linda Porter

The Tudors by, G.J. Meyer

Just because we can: Like Mary’s mug? At this writing Seaway China Company is sold out, but maybe you can find one of these Royal Doulton mugs to use at work. Especially handy if you have the unpleasant task of firing someone. (Royal Doulton has an entire line of Royal mugs like this.)

Is it just us? She looks a little tired, right?

You might want to research the origins of some of your favorite nursery rhymes. Mary, Mary Quite Contrary has a little debate surrounding it. Was it about Mary Tudor, or her Aunt Mary Queen of Scots? You decide. Mother Goose Club has a lot of info or Secret Rhyme Origins has a bit, too.

As always, our music comes courtesty of MusicAlley. Visit them at Music.mevio.com