This episode features three unique women, all of whom are notable in their own way. The two things they have in common: They each have a surprising aspect to their stories, and they each have the name Belle.
In the late 18th century, Sarah Ponsonby and Lady Eleanor Butler, also known as the Ladies of Llangollen, abandoned their life in the upper tiers of Irish society and made a home for themselves in Wales. And they became rather famous in the process.
Maroons are Africans and people of African ancestry who escaped enslavement and established communities in the Caribbean and parts of the Americas. In the 17th and 18th centuries, Jamaica's Maroon communities clashed with British colonial government.
In the summer of 1791, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton and Maria Reynolds began an affair that would lead to blackmail, political rumors, a 98-page confessional document ... and eventually a song in a hit Broadway musical.
In January of 1700, a tsunami struck the coast of Japan. While the connection between earthquakes and tsunamis was known, it actually took a very long time to figure out where the catalyzing earthquake had taken place.
As man was looking to the skies and yearning to fly, two inventive brothers came up with an idea to set humans aloft. The Montgolfiers were among many inventors working toward flight in the 18th century, but they often get all the attention.
Eighteenth-century Englishman Thomas Day decided that the only way to have a perfect wife was to create one. So he adopted two orphans and attempted to train them, sometimes in incredibly abusive ways.