This summer we’re all Barbie Girls, but the origin of this iconic doll stems from a very real woman, Ruth Handler. After seeing the movie, we thought that listening to Barbie and Ruth’s history really would enhance the experience–there are A LOT of Barbie history Easter Eggs in there, thanks Greta Gerwig!
This episode was recorded several years ago, and the entire shownotes can be found HERE! SHOWNOTES ARE HERE!
*The beginning section of part two of this episode, the story of Sarah Forbes Bonetta, has the strongest Little Ears warning we’ve ever had. Adults, please preview this before kids (or really, anyone who is sensitive to violent content) listen. You can pick her story back up at the 48:00 minute mark.*
After our discussion about the heritage of Queen Charlotte, we decided to divide and conquer with two mini-episodes on aristocratic women of color in the Georgian and Victorian eras.
We left Charlotte in a very sweet place: her family was growing, she was able to indulge her love of botany and other sciences through her many homes, her husband, King George III, was on a high note on the favorable scale…life was pleasant and lacked (much) drama.
But all that is going to change. She does keep having children in this final episode of our series, 13 of them reach adulthood. Okay, so her boys–especially the heir, the Prince of Wales- were growing into rogues but in an almost cute way and when things went sideways they went sideways hard.
In this episode, we tracked the mental illness of King George III (which didn’t really strike until he was in his 50s) and the impact it had on Charlotte, the family and the country. Charlotte goes from a sweet shepherdess of a mother who has her stuff together to a frazzled, confused, suspicious, and ever-stressed-out queen.
Within the two episodes, we cover her entire life and try to make it easy for you to separate the fact from the fiction on Netflix’s limited series, Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story.
Time Travel With The History Chicks
Was Queen Charlotte black? How far back in her family tree did this ancestor live and what is the story behind why people think so? This Smithsonian article will give you a place to start you tumble down a rabbit hole. SMITHSONIAN
For the whole heartbreaking story of Princess Charlotte of Wales, the heir that never was, we covered her back when we were newbie podcasters, in 2011! Episode 13.
Historic Royal Palaces has a treasure trove of information on all things British Royal, here’s Kew Palace (well, the rebuilt one) you can see why it was a favorite of the family (and why we need to go there when we visit London this fall!)
Ways that the zebra became shorthand for greed and stupidity through political cartoons: PRINCETON
There are many Horrible Histories (no Drunk History though) on Charlotte’s era that we’ll just put this one episode here as a lovely example.
Break song: Handel’s End Song: Lost by Mary Ellen Lynch
Come with us to visit the world of Queen Charlotte (and centuries of others) this September as we take a Field Trip to London! Almost full! If you would like to sign up or learn more, visit our friends at Like Minds Travel!
Season Three of Netflix’s Bridgerton series, Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story begins:
Dearest Gentle Reader, This is the story of Queen Charlotte from Bridgerton. It is not a history lesson, it is fiction inspired by fact. All liberties taken by the authors are quite intentional.
Cool, cool…but what is the true story of this very real figure in history? How much truth did Julia Quinn and Shonda Rhimes let into the series, what is entirely fiction…and what is open for debate? While we’re no Lady Whistledowns, we can confirm those truths, and reveal the fictions for what they are.
This isn’t a media recap, having seen the series or not really doesn’t matter, although we do reference the show a few times, it’s basically our usual Not A History Lesson chat about this oft-misunderstood 18th Century queen.
Time Travel With The History Chicks
All media sources and recommendations will be on the shownotes for Part Two
In late April we set off on our first Field Trip of 2023 with a whirlwind tour of Washington, D.C. with 40 of our newest friends. It’s hard to get away for the eight or nine days of our other Field Trips, so what can we see and do in half that time?
The answer: a lot.
We outlined the trip in the episode from the first night to the last final dinner together and gave our fellow travelers a chance to share their impressions, highlights, photos, and lessons that they learned from the trip.
We began with cocktails and a trolly tour of the nation’s capital at night. All the monuments and buildings were lit and sparkling–it was a magical way to see the city as a whole.
On our first full day, we toured the museum and estate of Marjorie Merriweather Post, Hillwood, from the mansion to the gardens and a special visit to the archives. That afternoon we visited the former home and office of another previous subject, Clara Barton’s Missing Soldiers Office, and followed that with afternoon tea at the historic Willard Hotel.
Day three brought us to two Smithsonian Museums: The National Museum of African American History and the National Museum of American History and ended with dinner, dancing, and meeting visiting listeners on a Potomac cruise.
I go to prepare a place for you by Bisa Butler. Read about it HERE (Susan LOVED this piece of art.)
Finally, on day four, we had a “Women That Changed America” walking tour, a trip through the National Portrait Gallery, and on to a private tour and dinner at Mount Vernon, the site we were just talking about on both the Martha Washington and Ona Judge episodes! That is a high point of all these trips: Standing where so many of our former subjects had been during their remarkable lives.
If you would like to join us on Field Trip, there are still (as of May 17, 2023) a few spots for London in September of this year. That trip is almost sold out (Paris is so sold out that the waitlist could fill two more tours) but there are still tickets for the dinner cruise in both London and Paris so head over to Like Minds Traveland take a gander at that itinerary and join us for dinner!