18th Century

Olive Oatman

In 1851, Olive Oatman's family was attacked while traveling near the Gila River in Arizona. Olive was taken by her attackers, and lived for five years with Native Americans before being ransomed by the U.S. government.

Hokusai

Hokusai lived during a time when there wasn't a lot of contact between Japan and the West. But even so, he drew influence form Western art, and Western art was greatly influenced by his own work.

Beast of Gevaudan

Attacks on women and children of Gevaudan in the 1760s sparked a huge effort to hunt and kill the mystery beast behind them. While efforts to track the animal struggled, France was gripped in terror. Read the show notes here.

The Lady Juliana

Great Britain didn't only send criminals to Australia as punishment; they also wanted to colonize the continent. But to do that, they had to send women in addition to men. This plan involved some unsettling facts, and had some unexpected consequences. Read the show notes here.

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.