18th Century

SYMHC Live: Anne Royall

Today we've got our live show from our recent East Coast tour, all about Anne Royall. She was a travel writer and a muckraking journalist way before Theodore Roosevelt coined that term, at a time when there were very few women doing either of those jobs. 

Libertalia: Legendary Pirate Utopia

Libertalia, which, in truth, may be completely fictional, is called a pirate settlement, though the man who spearheaded it claimed he wasn't actually a pirate. And it was set up as a sort of utopia, where men governed themselves, and every man was equal.

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.