French History

Cosmetics From Ancient Egypt to the Modern World

Makeup has a rich and lengthy history that spans the globe and crosses cultures. From 10,000 B.C.E. to the 20th century, people have been using cosmetics to enhance their looks -- sometimes with unintended side effects.

The Battle of Mons and the Angels That Followed

The Battle of Mons was one of the earliest battles of World War I. In the months after the battle, stories spread that a supernatural presence had covered the British army, preventing it from being destroyed. Read the show notes here.

Battle of Poitiers

On Sept. 19, 1356, one of the decisive battles of the Hundred Years War took place in France. It was the first major battle after almost a decade of relative quiet, and it stacked a small English army against a French military three times its size.

Frances Glessner Lee and Tiny Forensics

Many forensic investigation standards of today have roots in the work of a Chicago heiress who was more interested in crime scenes than high society. Her most notable contribution to the field came in the form of tiny homicide dioramas. 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.

The Explosive Career of Antoine Lavoisier

Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier was a chemist, biologist, geologist, physiologist, and economist. But at the end of the day, he's most often referred to as the father of modern chemistry. He also was smack dab in the middle of the French Revolution.

Paul Poiret

French designer Paul Poiret's work, which was often avante-garde, changed the fashion world in significant ways. He got rid of corsets, introduced the concept of lifestyle branding, and used draping rather that tailoring to create his dramatic designs.

When Mary Frances Creighton was arrested for poisoning her brother, the tabloids went crazy, comparing her to Lucrezia Borgia. Mary was also accused of poisoning her mother-in-law and her work caught up with her when she struck again, years later.

Today, Vincent van Gogh has come to fit our idea of the tortured artist. Aside from his art, he's best known for cutting off his ear and committing suicide. Yet new research debates both of these van Gogh moments. Listen in to learn more about van Gogh.

The Mystery of Saint-Ex: Antoine de Saint-Éxupery

Since its publication in 1934, The Little Prince has become one of the world's most well-known children's books -- and the story of its author, Antoine de Saint-Éxupery, is almost as extraordinary. Tune in to learn more about the life -- and disappearance -- of this author.