18th Century

The First Celebrity Chef: Marie-Antoine Carême

Today, there is an entire industry around celebrity chefs. But the first celebrity chef in the western world's history was born in late 18th-century France.

Elbridge Gerry’s Monstrous Salamander

Elbridge Gerry signed both the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation. Gerrymandering is the drawing of political districts to give a particular party or group an advantage or disadvantage, and it's named after him.

The Highland Clearances

The Highland Clearances were a long, complicated, messy series of evictions in the Highlands and western Islands of Scotland, when tenant farmers were forced from their homes to make way for sheep pastures.

The Minuscule Science of Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek

Leeuwenhoek wasn’t REALLY a scientist -- he had no formal training. But he made dozens of scientific discoveries. He’s credited with discovering microscopic life in a variety of forms, using lenses he ground himself.

Three Astonishing Belles

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.

The Mysterious Disappearance of Theodosia Burr Alston

Aaron Burr's daughter was incredibly smart and very well educated. She also vanished without a trace as an adult, and her ultimate fate is still a matter of debate.

Maria Sibylla Merian

As a naturalist illustrator, Maria Sibylla Merian helped dispel many entomological myths and improved the scientific study of insects and plants, and she did it beautifully.

The Ladies of Llangollen

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.

Jamaica's Maroon Wars

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.

The Women's March on Versailles

In 1789, a group of protesters -- mostly women -- marched from Paris to Versailles to pressure King Louis XVI to address France's food shortage.