18th Century

The Discovery of Longitude

People knew how to find their north-south position even before we had the idea of "latitude." But once people lost sight of land, they didn't have reliable way of figuring out how far east or west they'd gone - how to measure their longitude.

The La Scala Opera House

The Teatro alla Scala is one of the most renowned opera houses in the world, and is Italy's crown jewel of the arts. Even if you have only a passing knowledge of opera, odds are, you know a name connected to the history of this legendary cultural hub. Read the show notes here.

The Doctors' Riot of 1788

In the late 1700s, medical colleges needed cadavers for educational dissection, but there were no legal means for obtaining them. This led to some unorthodox dealings in the acquiring of bodies, and brought New York to a fever pitch in 1788. Read the show notes here.

Caroline Herschel: Astronomy's Cinderella

Herschel managed to break the barrier of women in scientific fields far earlier than you might suspect, in part because of her association with her brother, and in equal measure due to her steadfast dedication to her work. Read the show notes here.

Blackbeard Update

Since the 2009 episode on Blackbeard, a lot of new information has come to light about the life of the infamous pirate. We'll catch you up on the latest, then listen to the original episode for review. Read the show notes here.

Wreck of the Ten Sail

It was the biggest shipping disaster in Cayman Islands history -- 10 ships went down together one night in 1794. Why would so many ships be traveling so closely to one another, and how did they all end up in peril? Read the show notes here.

The Count of Saint-Germain

Accounts of teleportation, alchemy and even immortality swirl around the legend of Count of Saint-Germain. Was he a spy? A concealed royal? A skilled con man? Or just a compulsive liar? Read the show notes here.

Rose Bertin: The First Fashion Designer

The legendary wardrobe of Marie-Antoinette has been criticized, envied and discussed to no end. But where did all those glorious clothes come from? In large part, they were the work of Rose Bertin, a milliner who found herself the stylist to the queen. Read the show notes here.

13 Reasons for the American Revolution

"No taxation without representation" is often thought of as the main beef that led to the American Revolution, but it was only one of many moving parts in the bigger picture. Read the show notes for this episode here.

It's the Jane Austen Episode!

She was not a shy spinster who wrote some little books mostly to amuse her own family. She also was not a real-life Elizabeth Bennett. Jane Austen's life was very different from any of her heroines. Here's a link to our show notes.