16th century

Catalina de Erauso, the Lieutenant Nun

Despite growing up in a convent and coming very close to taking religious vows as a nun, Catalina de Erauso wound up living a life of danger and adventure. A lot of today's episode falls into the general category of "exploits."

Copernicus

While he's known primarily as the astronomer who promoted the idea of a heliocentric solar system, Copernicus was also a master mathematician and a doctor. He worked for the church his entire life, and wrote a manuscript on devaluation of currency.

Lady Jane Grey, the Nine-day Queen

For a very short time between Edward VI and Mary I, Lady Jane was, at least nominally, Queen of England and Ireland, but whether she had any right to the title is still the subject of dispute.

Gilles Garnier, the Werewolf of Dole

Sixteenth-century France had a serious case of werewolf panic. Did Garnier really transform into lupine form and attack and eat humans? Or were the gruesome deaths of several children merely the work of wild animals?

Charles IX of France

Much like many of the other mad royals that have been discussed on the podcast through the years, Charles IX of France was prone to fits of rage so intense that people at court feared for their lives.

Artemisia Gentileschi

She's often called the greatest female painter of the Baroque period, though there were only a few to compare her to. Her work is extraordinary, and reflects the influences of her father Orazio Gentileschi and Caravaggio.

Henry Hudson, Part 2

This episode picks up in the middle of Hudson's third voyage, as the Half Moon is making its way down North America's east coast. As Hudson doggedly pursues the idea of a northern sea route from Europe to Asia, he makes a number of poor decisions.

Henry Hudson, Part 1

Henry Hudson's voyages have all the makings of a juicy story: maritime exploration, horrible treatment of indigenous peoples, treacherous waters, treacherous shipmen, a mercenary switch in loyalties to countries, mutiny -- even a mermaid sighting.

Suleiman the Magnificent and the Siege of Vienna

The Ottoman Empire's Suleiman the Magnificent was a head of state, a poet, a reformer of the military and a goldsmith. His reign had a significant impact on the law, literature and art of the Ottoman Empire.

King Eric XIV of Sweden

A handsome playboy who once courted Queen Elizabeth I, Eric started his time as king with focus and ambition. But his paranoia led him to alienate the aristocracy, fall into violent rages and stab a captive noble to death. Read the show notes here.