Going beyond the sanitized and idealized to the dirty reality of human history with Jessica Cale. There's more to history than what you learned in high school, and we're going to skip to the good stuff together.
Once as common as aspirin, laudanum was immortalized in 19th century literature and still pops up in period dramas today. So what was it? Opium and alcohol, and it was used for *everything.* Today on DSH, we’re talking about those uses—authorized and otherwise—and looking at Thomas de Quincey’s Confessions of an English Opium Eater
Happy Bastille Day! This week, we’re talking about the factors that led to the storming of the Bastille on July 14th of 1789 and finding parallels between today’s income inequality and that of Revolutionary France
In the 19th century, no one ever married outside their class…right? In this episode, we look at some people who did. Elizabeth Armistead was a courtesan to the aristocracy who married the love of her life, politician and abolitionist Charles James Fox. Arthur Munby was a gentleman who secretly married Hannah Cullwick, a maid with a very interesting fetish.
Trans identities aren’t a new thing; they have existed since at least ancient Mesopotamia around 3100 BCE. In this episode, we take a look at the trans priests of the goddesses Inanna and Cybele, and how an oracle’s prophecy brought them to Rome to defeat Hannibal
In this week’s episode, Jess takes you on a tour of the darker side Parisian nightlife in the 19th century from Robertson’s Phantasmagoria to the awesomely goth nightclubs of 1890s Montmartre. As a bonus, she explains how to drink absinthe like a pro so you don’t embarrass yourself in front of Oscar Wilde
Did Columbus bring syphilis back to Europe from the New World? Almost certainly. In this episode, Jess talks about how Columbus caused the deaths of 120 million people worldwide from disease alone, leading to the invention of the modern condom in the 16th century.
In this double episode, Jess talks about the 19th century origins of BMI and explains how it’s still inherently flawed today. John covers Egyptian and Roman laxatives, then it’s on to the deadly diet pills of the 1930s, namely DNP and Pervitin, the once-legal meth added to chocolate that went on to fuel the Third Reich. Buckle up, minions, it’s going to get weird!