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Anne with an “E” Recap: Episode 2

Posted 19 May 2017 by
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I am no bird and no net shall ensnare me directed by Helen Shaver

or: Anne canon? We don’t need no stinkin’ Anne canon!

Looking for Anne of Green Gables in Anne with an "E"

Looking for Anne of Green Gables in Anne with an “E” (Courtesy Netflix)

We aren’t fancy enough over here for a Buzzfeed-style quiz but here is our Anne with an “E” Quiz:

Did you, literally or figuratively, throw something and yell at the TV while watching this episode? You’re an Anne Book Loyalist.

Did you not mind the deviation from both the original books and 80s’ Anne? You are not an Anne Book Loyalist.

Using rough math, we figure this episode is 98% true to the book–and even that 2% is open for debate.

You have been warned.

That doesn’t mean we didn’t like it and it certainly doesn’t mean we had nothing to say–we did. A lot. But if you wanted to hear what we had to say you would be listening, not reading. You really just came here for the rules to the Anne With An “E” Drinking Game, didn’t you?

Susan made Diana Barry's Favourite Raspberry Cordial from the Anne of Green Gables Cookbook---then she messed with the recipe so that it only had the vaguest resemblance to the original.

Susan made Diana Barry’s Favorite Raspberry Cordial from the Anne of Green Gables Cookbook—then she messed with the recipe so that it only had the vaguest resemblance to the original.


Anne with an “E” Drinking Game 

Pour yourself a tumblerful of your favorite beverage, and another of something else (perhaps with a bright-red hue) for the middle of the table– to be called “Table Glass” (leave the bottle, you’re gonna need it)– and hit play!

One Ladylike Sip for everyone:

Use of “Scope of Imagination”

Use of “Puffy Sleeves”

Use of “Depths of Despair”

Use of “Cordelia”

Anne tells a tall tale

Anne has one braid undone


Two Thirsty Rachel Lynd Chugs for everyone:

Use of “I’ve always imagined…”

Anne plays the Orphan Card

Action of depths of despair by any character

Gilbert is Friend-Zoned by Anne

Scenery Porn (Those beautiful sweeping shots that look like a PEI Tourism ad)


Bosom Friend, One Sip Share

(Upon each appearance of anything below, the first player to “call” the action chooses someone to drink once with them. Optional degree of dorkability: the two must link arms while they sip):

Use of “Bosom Friend”

Use of “Kindred Spirit”

Gossip—anyone, anytime

Anne/Marilla Eye Conversation


Josie Pye Drink

(First player to “call” the action chooses someone to chug the Table Glass…alone.):

Use of “Vex”

Mensa Anne (Anne quotes literature far beyond her education level)

Mensa Anne Challenge (after a Mensa Anne- if anyone can cite the literature reference they can choose someone else to drink the Table Glass. If they are wrong—they drink it.)

Disproportionate Retribution (Payback/punishment is much stronger than the ‘crime.’)

Purist Loss of Countenance (A grand deviation from Anne canon)


Oh! You really came to get an update on the Anne With An “E” Reading Challenge?

1- Bible (link to BibleGateway)

2- Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte (link to Project Gutenberg)

3-Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen(link to Project Gutenberg)

4-Henry and Emma: A Poem, Upon the Model of The Nut-brown Maid by Matthew Prior (link to

5- If Thou Must Love Me (Sonnet 14) by Elizabeth Barrett Browning (Link to

Or, perhaps, you wondered about the filming location of the train scenes? Yes, the South Simcoe Railway in Tottingham, Ontario WAS used for filming and here is a link to their site to book your historic train excursion (or just go look at the pretty pictures.)

via wikicommons

via wikicommons


Anne With An “E” Recap: Episode 1

Posted 12 May 2017 by
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via imdb

via imdb

Over the next several weeks we’re going to be recapping the new Netflix series, Anne with an “E”. If you’re new here- hello! Glad you found us! We hope you’ll stick around and listen to our usual fare: conversations about historical women (logically, you could start with our last one about Anne of Green Gables author, Lucy Maud Montgomery.)

framedLucy_Maud_Montgomery v small

Lucy Maud Montgomery

Secondly- our shownotes are typically filled with links to learn more about what we discussed during the show and that’s what we’ll do with this series although it’s a bit more relaxed and informal (that’s a joke, we’re always relaxed and informal.) The shownotes are going to highlight just a few things we talked about…and sometimes not in complete sentences.

If you are looking for confirmation that this isn’t a Let’s Slam the 1980s’ Megan Follows Version podcast: this is NOT a Let’s Slam the 1980s’ Megan Follows Version podcast. We both love that classic series but easily found places in our hearts for Book Anne, Megan Follows Anne, and now AmyBeth McNulty Anne. What we will do is compare and contrast the new show to the 1980s’ version as well as the original book, throw in a lot of historical context and detail (it’s kind of our thing), and dot it all with our opinions and discussion about this Anne for the 20teens created and written by Moira Walley-Beckett, Emmy Award winning writer for Breaking Bad.


Episode one: Your Will Shall Decide Your Destiny  (Or: This Ain’t Your Childhood Anne)


The first installment is longer than the rest and directed by Niki Caro, who wrote and directed the 2002 movie (also now available on Netflix), Whale Rider.

Whale_Rider_movie_poster buena vista international

In this pilot episode we meet Anne, the Cuthberts, and get our first views of Avonlea and Green Gables. While the basic storyline is from the L.M. Montgomery book, we get backstories and characters never seen before.

Amybeth McNulty via Netflix

Newest Anne Shirley, AmyBeth McNulty via Netflix

Newest Marilla Cuthbert, Geraldine James via Netflix

Newest Marilla Cuthbert, Geraldine James via Netflix

And the newest Matthew Cuthbert, R.H. Thomson

And the newest Matthew Cuthbert, R.H. Thomson via Netflix

Rachel Lynde loves to make cotton warp quilts and stare out the window acting as a real life NextDoor App. What’s a cotton warp quilt? Lady-N-Thread has a very nice description.cottonwrap quilt

Anne is one very well-read kid for not having had much schooling and questionable book acquiring choices. We talked about her quoting Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte which is in the  public domain and available for reading by anyone with an internet connection (dang, sorry, Anne, you would have found this very handy) thanks to Project Gutenberg.

Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte

Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte (intro by….whaa? Well, that’s an interesting twist)

If you are keen to learn more about Prince Edward Island, or plan your own Anne of Green Gables pilgrimage, visit PEI Island Information or Tourism PEI.

Another book we talked about (and will be making regular appearances) The Anne of Green Gables Cookbook by Kate Macdonald, L.M. Montgomery’s granddaughter!

Kate Macdonald

Kate Macdonald

We’ll be rating each episode with glasses of Raspberry Cordial but if you would like to drink with us, here is a recipe for the kid friendly, traditional kind (we’ll share the grown-up version next time along with the official History Chicks, Anne with an “E” Drinking Game.)

See you next time, bye!

Episode 88: Lucy Maud Montgomery

Posted 6 May 2017 by
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framedLucy_Maud_Montgomery v smallAn abandoned little girl raised by elderly guardians during the Victorian era on Prince Edward Island, Canada. It sounds like the premise for a book, and it was, but it was also the early life of author Lucy Maud Montgomery.

Lucy Maud (without and E) Montgomery was born on November 30, 1874 to Hugh John and Clara Macneill Mongomery. Her early life wasn’t the stuff of dreamy imagination, but it sure set the stage for one to develop. As usual we cover a lot more detail in the podcast, the whos, whys and the whats of her story.

When Maud was an infant her mother died, her father moved to find work, and she was left to be raised by her maternal grandparents as part of a large extended family. When Maud was about nine she read the Bad Boy books, stories of a little boy written as journals (read the one Beckett talked about one here). She liked the idea so much she began her own journals and copied the style of of storytelling right down to the language (which wasn’t like her own.) She eventually destroyed those, but journaling became part of her life from then on, and her scrapbooks? Life souvenir goals, right?

At 16 her bright mind took her to college to earn her teaching certificate, but what she really wanted to do was write.Teaching college led to teaching as a day job while following her dream to be able to support herself as as freelance writer on the side (hmmm, that sounds familiar.) When her grandfather died, Maud moved in to care for her grandmother. It was during this 13-year period that Maud achieved her dream with a novel of a little, red-headed orphan girl adopted by an older brother and sister (who had sent for a boy, not a girl). Anne of Green Gables was an instant hit for a long working writer.

The image that may have sparked Maud to create Anne Shirley. The Eternal Question-Charles Dana Gibson (wikicommons)

The image that may have sparked Maud to create Anne Shirley. The Eternal Question-Charles Dana Gibson (wikicommons)

Marriage to a minister took Maud away from her beloved Prince Edward Island, but even raising a family, being a ministers wife, her war efforts during WWI, caring for her husband during episodes of his mental illness, her own battle with depression and two boys who created a bit of college age drama didn’t slow down her writing. The eight book Anne series was her biggest hit and was translated around the world, and Anne began to make silver screen appearances. (Oooh-the story behind that first one is a doozie! We tell it during the show.)

Want to see the 1934 version (Maud liked this one better than the first)?

When Maud died on April 24, 1942 at the age of 67, she left behind a legacy in her 10 volume journal collection, 20 novels, 530 short stories, 500 poems and a little girl with red hair who won the hearts of not only her adoptive family but the entire world.


Beginning next week we will be starting a series recap based on Anne with an E which drops on NETFLIX  May 12, 2017. We’ll cover that story and post once a week, one History Chicks recap show per Anne episode. We are so excited about it! We’ll cover the story as it unfolds, compare and contrast it to the book and (sorry) the 1985 (still a classic, always beloved) miniseries starring Megan Follows as well as other incarnations of Anne. We’ll dot in historical information from Anne’s time, point out real-life appearances from Lucy Maud Montgomery’s life and (probably) drink a lot of raspberry cordial but (probably not) wear puffy sleeves.
Our series will appear in your podcast feed entitled “Anne with an E Recap” (clever, right?) starting May 12 and will run for 7 or 8 episodes.



BOOKS (and Other Reading)!

You want to read some of her work so here is a complete list of all of it compiled by the L.M. Montgomery Institute at the University of Prince Edward Island.

Maud’s own words about her path to becoming a writer, The Alpine Path, the Story of My Career; if you feel like reading some of her poetry you can find a huge chunk of it on PoemHunter (which is a pretty cool site to know if you like poetry), and here is a piece she wrote at Dalhousie College: A Girl’s Place at Dalhousie College, 1896.

blackford holly


helibronmccabe kevin

shirley foster jody simons

What Katy Read by Shirley Foaster and Judy Simons

wallner alexandra

Kids’ non-fiction!


Mary Henley Rubio has written several L.M. Mongomery Biographies

Mary Henley Rubio has written several L.M. Mongomery biographies


Maud's journals!

Maud’s journals!

Irene Gammel

Irene Gammel



Now would be a perfect time to visit Prince Edward Island! We would go if we could, but if you do here is a list of places to visit and information for your perfect Maud and Anne pilgrimage! (Please take photos, post them on Instagram with #historychicksfieldtrip so the rest of us can live vicariously!)

Travel PEI seems to be the motherlode of information!

Lucy Maud Montgomery Birthplace

Anne of Green Gables Museum

Lucy Maud Montgomery Cavendish Home

Green Gables Heritage Place, National Park

Don’t forget to book tickets to see Anne and Gilbert: The Musical. Here is the original cast album for yours (and our) entertainment:

In Japan? Anne is big there…stop by Canadian World to walk through Avonlea…in Japan…complete with a replica Green Gables and Victorian row houses. It had been a commercial park but the town of Hokkaido took it over and now it’s a public park that celebrates “Red Haired Anne”.



1985 (through the early 2000s) classic version is deeply lodged in the heart and memory of millions of Anne fans–as it should be. If you aren’t one of them, you should find a copy and watch it. It’s delightful. For the rest of you, here is Megan Follows audition tape because…oh my gosh! It’s Megan Follows flipping AUDITION TAPE!

Here’s a MentalFloss article about that version, 25 Spirited Facts!


Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Long Road to Fame is a short documentary that you might enjoy.

Lucy Montgomery Institute is a goldmine of Lucy intel!

Margaret Atwood essay on Anne of Green Gables

Article about Gibson Girls and Bowery Boys #188 The Murder of Stanford White for more information about Evelyn Nesbit whose image gave Lucy inspiration for Anne.


Episode 87: Eleanor of Aquitaine, Part Two

Posted 17 April 2017 by
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Part one followed Eleanor’s life from her birth through to the big cliffhanger: after divorcing King Louis and heading back to Aquitaine she popped up only a few weeks later married again to 18 year-old, King in Training, Henry FitzEmpress of Anjou.

The newlyweds took the “it’s easier to get forgiveness than permission” strategy and didn’t ask their king (Louis) if they could marry but, really? Would he have given it? No, he would not. Henry’s star was rising and his parents were powerful and connected. His mother, Empress Matilda, needs her own episode, she was that powerful and after a lifetime of civil war over the crown of England (Matilda was beat to it by her cousin, Stephen) Henry’s military training was substantial and he was very good at it. But the biggie? When Eleanor’s lands combined with Henry’s they controlled more than half of modern day France.

Eleanor's fancy new seal and one of the few illustrations of her

Eleanor’s fancy new seal and one of the few illustrations of her


Episode 86: Eleanor of Aquitaine Part One

Posted 26 March 2017 by
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You voted for Eleanor of Aquitaine in our last Guaranteed Content Poll. Excellent choice! The Queen of both France and England, and the mother of royalty, she contributed more than looking pretty in a crown – she ruled. And by that we mean, she RULED!


Eleanor’s seal


Episode 85: Artemisia Gentileschi

Posted 4 March 2017 by
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There are people who define Artemisia’s life by the trauma she endured, it’s where they begin her story and where they return time and time again.

We aren’t those people. While her rape as a teenager must have influenced her, what this Master Baroque painter did after that is where we spend most of this episode. (We do suggest that an adult preview the audio of this episode before letting kids listen.)

Self Portrait as the Allegory of Painting

Self Portrait as the Allegory of Painting


Episode 84: Ida B. Wells

Posted 11 February 2017 by
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Ida B. Wells- born a slave, educated in a post-Civil War south and left to care for her family at an early age. She grew to become a teacher, a writer, a crusader for civil rights, a suffragist, a wife and mother. A woman of strength and character who dared to speak up and challenge those who desired to oppress others, even when her own safety was at risk.

How could we not talk about a woman like this?


Episode 83: Lucille Ball, Part Two

Posted 28 January 2017 by
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In Part One, Lucille Ball worked her way up the entertainment ladder, married, had a baby and launched a new television show (which seems like enough for a full life,) but Lucille’s life was about to get MUCH fuller.


After I Love Lucy debuted in 1951, Lucille rapidly achieved the superstar status that she had worked over half her life for. (And for those of you looking for inspiration from women of experienced age…she was 40 when the show began AND when she had her first child.) You wanted the lyrics to the theme song so you could sing along, right? (more…)

Episode 82: Lucille Ball, Part One

Posted 31 December 2016 by
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She was named Lucille Désirée Ball at birth, used the stage name Diane Belmont, married an Arnaz and a Morton but the only name we really need? Lucy. To talk about her life from its roots in upstate New York to her legacy as an American icon–we’re going to need a couple episodes.

1945 glamour and darker hair! Yankee Army Weekly

1945 glamour and darker hair! Yankee Army Weekly

Lucille was born on August 6, 1911 in Jamestown, NY to Henry and Désirée Ball who quickly moved her to Montana and then Michigan where Henry found work. But by age five her father had died and her mother took her back to Jamestown right before her little brother, Fred was born. She had a bit of a bounce-around childhood: some of the time she lived with her maternal grandparents, some with her step-grandparents and some of it in a big multi-generational house with her mom, step-dad, brother, aunt, cousin and grandfather.

House in Celoron, NY. courtesy

Grandpa Hunt’s big house in Celoron, NY.  Courtesy

Lucille started her long climb to stardom with teenage years as a bobbed-wild girl, a quick, failed trip to a New York City drama school and attempts at live theater and chorus lines. She finally found her people (and steady work) as a dress model for Hattie Carnegie in New York City.

It's always " Bette, Bette, Bette..."

It’s always ” Bette, Bette, Bette…”

A high profile job as a cigarette ad model led to her first step on the ladder of success in Hollywood! Her six- week contract as a showgirl morphed to six months then a year. While she always considered the Jamestown area ” home” she was able to move her family to the sunshine of California.


“The Goldwyn Girls” That’s her! First of many uncredited or bit parts for Lucille

Of course we go into a lot more detail in the show- her Adventures in Hair Color, her successful steps forward and her crushing steps backward, her family dynamics, people who gave her a boost up the ladder, and little bits of trivia along the way. Lucille’s was no overnight stardom story–she worked HARD and SMART for years and took as many jobs as she could, learning and honing her comedic and acting skills along the way.

Don't smoke, Kids.

Don’t smoke, Kids.  Flickr

Speaking of not paying one’s dues…although Lucille had dated (for networking or fun…who are we to judge? But we do talk about it) nothing prepared her for the whirlwind and electric romance with a young, new-to-show-business Cuban musician with a flashy smile and big personality named Desiderio Alberto Arnaz y de Acha III–“Desi” for short. “Lucy” was his nickname for Lucille and passion, in all it’s incarnations, ruled their relationship. In no time they had eloped and settled into married life.

And separated life.

And almost divorced life.

And, many times, reconciliation life.

Lucille’s career went up, then down…until a stint on a very popular radio show led to a chance at a CBS TV show for her. But she wanted to work with Desi (heck, she wanted to know where Desi was all the time.) CBS said America wouldn’t believe an interracial couple were really married (uh, duh? They had been married for almost 10 years. America can’t be that dumb.) (Don’t answer that.)

Lucille and Richard Denning in My Favorite Husband

Lucille and Richard Denning in My Favorite Husband

The two came up with a strategy to prove that America would not only believe they were a couple (the easy part) but they would adore and be highly entertained by them (the trickier part.) While they were creating that environment across the country in live shows, they were also trying to create a family. And, because this is how life works out, Lucille gave birth shortly after they filmed the pilot for I Love Lucy, to their first child, Lucie Désirée Arnaz (creative with the names, right?)

Movie career- check!

Marriage and family-check!

Launch herself into history? Come back for Part Two and we’ll talk about all that.



Most of the media recommendations will be on the shownotes for Part Two, but we thought you might enjoy these that are relevant to Part One:

The ranch house with the coveted orange and avocado trees is no more…but this post on the San Fernando Valley blog has a very thorough search for it and a TON of pictures that you’re going to want to see.

And here is the original pilot, it didn’t air but sold the show to Phillip Morris and proved that–oh. shock.– they are believable as a married couple and funny as all heck.

And Lucille singing and dancing just after she met Desi, in Dance, Girl,Dance

And the fight scene we talked about! See you again in Part, Two!

Episode 81: Mulan

Posted 10 December 2016 by
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Once a season we take a historical look at a fictional woman and this season we have to get in the Way, Way, Way Back Machine to follow the life of Mulan.

Mulan as depicted in He Dazi's album Gathering Gems of Beauty

Mulan as depicted in He Dazi’s album Gathering Gems of Beauty

The story of Mulan goes back a whole lot farther than 1998 when the Disney version introduced her from their very tall, very American stage–the origins of her story go back into SINGLE DIGIT AD. Fact or folktale? More than likely Mulan was not a real person but that’s admit  since her story is beloved in China. She could have been real, but her story has been told so many times and for so many years that if she didn’t really exist we can Velveteen Rabbit her to life?