Vulgar History

Vulgar History

By Ann Foster
A feminist women's history comedy podcast about the scandalicious stories of people from olden times. Hosted by Ann Foster.
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Agrippina the Younger

Vulgar History

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Juana I of Castile
Juana I of Castile (1479-1555) was the third child of Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon. She's remembered now for being "Juana La Loca/Juana The Mad" but, in fact, that reputation was just part of a larger scheme that found her caught between her ambitious and terrible husband and her ambitious and terrible father. References: Sister Queens: The Noble, Tragic Lives of Katherine of Aragon and Juana, Queen of Castile by Julia Fox Juana I: Legitimacy and Conflict in Sixteenth-Century Castile by Gillian B. Fleming Other stuff: Vulgar History Recommended Reads on Bookshop.org My Patreon Follow Vulgar History on Instagram and Twitter Vulgar History merch
51:14
April 8, 2020
Joan Of England: The Princess And The Plague (Pandemic Super Special)
Joan of England (1335-1348) was the first known English person to die of the bubonic plague. She set out with a massive entourage from England to Castile to meet her betrothed, didn't listen to warnings in Bordeaux about the plague, and then lived through a horror movie of mass death. If you find this sort of story interesting right now, here you go! If you don't want to hear about lots of people dying through exposure to a gruesome disease, YOU DON'T HAVE TO LISTEN TO THIS. References: Joan of England (Wikipedia) The black death and Joan of England (History of Royal Women) Joan of England & the Black Death (Rebecca Starr) On This Day: Death of Joan of England (Creative Historian)
25:04
April 6, 2020
Isabella I of Castile
Isabella I of Castile (1451-1504) was one of the most significant figures in world history. We continue this season’s theme of Women Leaders In History And The Men Who Whined About Them with the Isabella's journey from little girl trapped in a ghost castle to teenage war mediator to PR stunt inventor to genocidal dictator! This is a heavy one, so get ready. References: Essays I wrote about her: Isabella I, part one; Isabella I, part two Two recent-ish biographies that do a solid job of balancing the genocidal parts of her legacy with other parts of her legacy are: Isabella of Castile: Europe's First Great Queen by Giles Tremlett and Isabella: The Warrior Queen by Kirstin Downey, both of which are featured on my list of recommended books at Bookshop.org Further links as mentioned in the podcast, that dive into other aspects of her legacy: Modern Jewish History: The Spanish Expulsion Islam In Spain ‘These are the keys of this paradise’: how 700 years of Muslim rule in Spain came to an end Christopher Columbus 1451 – 1506 Opens the Door to European Invasion of the Americas Atrocities Against Native Americans Columbus and Genocide Columbus Controversy In a nutshell: Spanish Inquisition Other stuff: My Patreon Follow Vulgar History on Instagram and Twitter Vulgar History merch
1:02:28
April 1, 2020
Empress Matilda
Empress Matilda (1102 - 1167) was the daughter, wife, and mother of Kings. She also should have been England's first crowned female monarch, but the patriarchy got in the way. She also once escaped by camouflaging herself in white cloaks in the snow!! A true legend. Referenced in this episode: Vulgar History's recommended reads at Bookshop.org, a site that supports local bookstores!!! (I especially suggest, from that list, Matilda: Empress, Warrior, Queen by Catherine Hanley, and She-Wolves by Helen Castor, both of which I used to research this episode Support Vulgar History on Patreon Vulgar History merch (including a new HILARIOUS shirt with an image of Matilda, camouflaged in the snow) Follow Vulgar History on Instagram and Twitter
55:12
March 25, 2020
Æthelflæd, Lady of the Mercians
Æthelflæd, Lady of the Mercians was a significant figure in English history. Not only did she repel Viking invaders through the clever use of BOILING BEER and BEES, she also worked alongside her brother Edward to see through their father's goal of a united England. Also: BEES. Referenced in this episode: My essay on Æthelflæd Æthelflæd: England's Forgotten Founder (A Ladybird Expert Book) by Tom Holland Support Vulgar History on Patreon Vulgar History merch Follow Vulgar History on Instagram and Twitter
52:38
March 18, 2020
Boudica, Queen of the Iceni
“Camulodunom. Camulodunom.” Boudica was Queen of the Iceni, a Celtic tribe during the Roman conquest of Britain. She led a rebellion of united tribes against their Roman invaders, leaving a path of death and bloodshed in her wake.  Referenced in this episode: My essay on Boudica Boudica: Warrior Woman of the Roman Empire by Caitlin C. Gillespie (also available from Audible.com; click here for a 30-day free trial that benefits Vulgar History!) Support Vulgar History on Patreon Merchandise Follow Vulgar History on Instagram and Twitter
44:45
March 11, 2020
Agrippina the Younger
Julia Agrippina Augusta, aka Agrippina Minor aka Agrippina the Younger, was a completely badass woman in ancient Rome. She leveraged her power as first the sister of the Emperor, then the wife of the Emperor, then the mother of the Emperor (three separate Emperors) to break new ground for Roman women. She also murdered a lot of people. Her placement on the Scandilicious Scale may SURPRISE YOU  Referenced in this episode: My essay on Agrippina Agrippina: The Most Extraordinary Woman of the Roman World by Emma Southon (also available from Audible.com; click here for a 30-day free trial that benefits Vulgar History!) Support Vulgar History on Patreon "FUCK OFF AND DIE" Agrippina merch at the Vulgar History store Follow Vulgar History on Instagram and Twitter
1:08:55
March 4, 2020
Cleopatra VII
As the first part of our new series "Women Leaders And The Men Who Whined About Them," we take it all the way back to the first century BCE and the legendary Egyptian Pharaoh Cleopatra VII. Growing up amid non-stop familial murder, she cannily usurped control of the kingdom from her relatives and teamed up with Rome. But where will she wind up on the Scandalicious Scale??  Referenced in this episode:  My essay on Cleopatra  Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff (also available from Audible.com; click here for a 30-day free trial that benefits Vulgar History!) Support Vulgar History on Patreon "Cleopatra says fuck off" merch from the Vulgar History store  Follow Vulgar History on Instagram and Twitter
1:14:06
February 26, 2020
Vulgar History Presents: So This Asshole: Count Cagliostro
Bonus!! This is a preview of So This Asshole, a new spinoff podcast available through my Patreon. This side series will share the wild stories of some of the many, many assholes involved in the stories of the women profiled on the main Vulgar History podcast. This episode is all about Giuseppe Balsamo, aka Count Alessandro di Cagliostro (1743-1795), who was briefly mentioned in the Vulgar History episode about Jeanne de la Motte. Referenced in this podcast: My essay about Jeanne de la Motte and The Affair of the Necklace How To Ruin A Queen by Jonathan Beckman (which is a GREAT book!) Jeanne de la Motte merch in the Vulgar History store
39:22
February 5, 2020
Lucy Percy Hay, Countess of Carlisle
Lucy Percy Hay, Countess of Carlisle (1599-1660) was a British noblewoman known for her espionage work surrounding the English Civil War. But she was not just a spy... was a #LADYSPY, mentored by one of the most memorable heroines of a previous Vulgar History episode!! Will it all be enough for her to take the top spot in our Scandalicious Scale??  Mentioned in this episode:  Sweet Valley Sagas by Francine Pascal  Court Lady and Country Wife: Two Noble Sisters in Seventeenth-Century England by Lita-Rose Betcherman  Invisible Agents: Women and Espionage in Seventeenth-Century Britain by Nadine Akkerman  Lucy Hay #LADYSPY merch from the Vulgar History store  Support me on Patreon, and be sure to follow Vulgar History on Instagram and Twitter!
53:19
December 11, 2019
Mary Toft
Mary Toft (1701 - 1763) was an English peasant who became notorious for her involvement in her family's scheme to pretend she'd given birth to seventeen rabbits. The story is profoundly, continuingly, and rage-inducingly bananas. Mentioned in this episode: My essay about Mary Toft, including all the references I consulted in researching her story Mary Toft merch from the Vulgar History store The book The Imposteress Rabbit Breeder: Mary Toft and Eighteenth-Century England by Karen Harvey Follow Vulgar History on Twitter and Instagram, and check me out on Patreon too!
1:01:12
December 4, 2019
Countess Elizabeth Báthory de Ecsed
Countess Elizabeth Báthory de Ecsed (7 August 1560 – 21 August 1614) was a Hungarian noblewoman who, for a time, oversaw more properties and estates than anyone else in Europe. Her undoing came about when the Palatine of Hungary accused her and four servants of mass murder, and she's now remembered as more of a myth than a person. Did she really commit these gruesome crimes, and bathe in the blood of her victims?? And how will she score on the scandalicious scale?? Click here to read my essay about Elizabeth. Mentioned in this episode: Countess Dracula: The Life and Times of Elisabeth Bathory, the Blood Countess by Tony Thorne The Unobscured podcast by Aaron Mahnke Vulgar History merch, including the badass Báthory design! Follow Vulgar History on Twitter and Instagram!
1:00:55
November 27, 2019
Jeanne de Valois-Saint-Rémy, Comtesse de la Motte
Jeanne de Valois-Saint-Rémy, Comtesse de la Motte (22 July 1756 – 23 August 1791) was an illegitimate descendant of the French royal family who became famous on her own as AN INCREDIBLY CLEVER CON ARTIST/HEROINE! But how will she score on the Scandalicious Scale?? Click here to read my essay about Jeanne. Mentioned in this episode: How to Ruin a Queen by Jonathan Beckman Frock Flicks review of the hats and wigs in The Affair of the Necklace Follow Vulgar History on Twitter and Instagram!
38:12
November 20, 2019
Frances Howard, Duchess of Somerset
Frances Howard Carr, Duchess of Somerset (31 May 1590 – 23 August 1632) was a British noblewoman who, among other things, pled guilty to murder and also most likely faked her own virginity inspection. She also showed much more bosom in her portraiture than anyone in the history of breasts and lived her life both physically and psychologically Tits Out. But where does that place her on the Scandaliciousness Scale???  Read more about Frances Howard in this essay.  Mentioned in this episode:  The Poison Bed by E.C. Fremantle  The Overbury Affair: The Murder Trial That Rocked The Court of King James I by Miriam Allen DeFord  Unnatural Murder: Poison in the Court of James I by Anne Somerset Follow Vulgar History on Twitter and Instagram!
43:53
November 13, 2019
Caroline of Brunswick
Caroline of Brunswick (17 May 1768 – 7 August 1821) was Queen consort of the United Kingdom for a year, but that's basically the least interesting thing about her. Where does our inaugural story subject score on the Scandalicious Scale?? And was she really having an affair with Bartolomeo, her Italian servant???   Click here for an essay I wrote about Caroline of Brunswick.  Mentioned in this episode:  "What Eye Has Wept For George IV" from the Noble Blood podcast Caroline & Charlotte: Regency Scandals by Alison Plowden Follow Vulgar History on Twitter and Instagram!
1:02:33
November 6, 2019
Vulgar History - Coming Soon!
It's a trailer for the new feminist women's history comedy podcast, Vulgar History! Subscribe to this feed in your fav podcast situation, and get ready to learn lots of scandalicious stories of women from (mostly) British history who you (likely) haven't heard of before. Learn more about me and the podcast at vulgarhistory.com
04:07
October 23, 2019