Six Impossible Episodes: Soldiers, Snipers and Spies

This installment of our impossible episodes series features a set of stories that are all about front-line heroism. Most of them are listener requests.

Aphra Behn, Writer and Spy

There's really not a lot concretely known about the life of Aphra Behn, who, in addition to being a spy, was a dramatist, poet, novelist, translator, and the first woman in English literature known to have made her living as a writer.

Mongolian Princess Khutulun

Khutulun's story is a little bit cloudy, in part because it’s many hundreds of years old, and in part because accounts of her life involve a combination of propaganda and an outsider’s interpretation of it.

Lady Jane Grey, the Nine-day Queen

For a very short time between Edward VI and Mary I, Lady Jane was, at least nominally, Queen of England and Ireland, but whether she had any right to the title is still the subject of dispute.

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.

Lucille Ball

Lucille Ball was the grande dame of American comedy. The famed star worked in modeling, radio and film, but she really made her mark in television, and her work set the standard for the TV sitcom.

Maria Montessori

While she's mostly associated with education, Maria Montessori worked in several fields. Her theories on early education still shape the way kids learn today around the globe.

Edmonia Lewis

The American sculptor was a celebrated artist in her day, but she receded from the spotlight; her final years remained a mystery for quite some time. Her marble works are striking examples of the neoclassical style popular at the end of the 19th century.

Belinda Sutton's Post-enslavement Petitions

After she became a free woman, Belinda Sutton successfully petitioned for compensation for her years of enslaved labor. This was one of many legal efforts of enslaved and formerly enslaved people to advocate for themselves in Massachusetts courts.

Rejected Princesses with Jason Porath

Author and illustrator Jason Porath joins Tracy and Holly in the studio to talk about women from history featured in his new book, including the Mancini sisters, Sayyida al-Hurra, Tomyris and Noor Inayat Khan.