Gwen & Kate's Library

Two sisters' reviews of Young Adult and Middle Grade books, inspired by their lovely library.

Gwen & Kate’s Recommendation: Stuff You Missed in History Class Podcasts

For history lovers like Kate and me, Stuff You Missed in History Class podcasts are a dream come true. Created by, which also has podcasts such as Stuff You Should Know and Tech Stuff, the podcasts are released twice a week, and are usually 15-40 minutes long. They creatively discuss topics ranging from well-known figures and events such as King Henry VIII, Amelia Earhart, and the Salem Witch Trials to lesser known Mary Anning, Nellie Bly, and the Affair of the Poisons. The current hosts are Holly Frey and Tracy Wilson, but our favorites are Sarah Dowdy and Deblina Chakraborty. Recent episodes are available on iTunes for free, but all the episodes are also available for free online on websites such as Player.FM. Here is a list of our favorite episodes with a short description of each.

Gwen’s Favorites:

The Prisoner Princess: Sophia Dorothea of Celle

Sophia Dorothea of Celle married her cousin, George I of Great Britain. Sophia had an affair with a Swedish count, and her in-laws decided to stop the couple from running away together. The ensuing events became known as the Königsmarck Affair.

Why Did Lady Godiva Take a Naked Horse Ride?

In an argument over taxing peasants, Lady Godiva — whose real name was actually Godgifu — called her husband’s bluff and rode naked through the marketplace. Or did she? learn more about the fact and fiction surrounding Lady Godiva in this podcast.

The True Story of the Chevalier d’Eon Part 1-2

Recently, London’s National Portrait Gallery acquired a portrait of the Chevalier d’Eon, the first oil painting in its collection to feature a man in women’s clothing. Learn how Louis XV’s underground foreign policy led d’Eon to acquire a female identity.

Upset with the prospect of a demotion, the Chevalier d’Eon published his diplomatic correspondence. Worried that d’Eon might reveal the King’s Secret, Louis XV desperately negotiated d’Eon’s return — with one catch: the Chevalier had to become a woman.

The Sisters Fox: They Talked to Dead People

In 1848, the Fox family began hearing strange noises, and sisters Maggie and Kate started communicating with spirits. They built a career as mediums, and today they’re credited with launching the modern spiritualist movement. But was it all a hoax?

For fans of BBC Sherlock, or Sherlock Holmes in general:

Stuff You Missed in History Class has three wonderful episodes that discuss Arthur Conan Doyle, and the historical figures that Sherlock Holmes and Professor Moriarty are based off of.

Who Was the Real Sherlock Holmes?

Arthur Conan Doyle wasn’t the first person to write a mystery novel, but his focus on scientific methods and brilliant protagonist made the stories of Sherlock Holmes world-famous. Yet is Sherlock Holmes based on a real person?

Who Was the Real Professor Moriarty? Part 1-2

Professor Moriarty was based on a real man: Adam Worth. After being falsely reported as dead during the Civil War, Worth began a life of crime. When Worth moved to London he began his Moriarty phase, but his peculiar criminal quirks led to his near ruin.

When Adam Worth stole a portrait of the Duchess of Devonshire, he fell in love with the painting. But a botched theft in Belgium landed him in prison, where the story of his life reached Arthur Conan Doyle and inspired the character of Professor Moriarty.

Kate’s Favorites:

Deblina and Sarah’s Renaissance Adventure

In this episode, Sarah and Deblina visit the Georgia Renaissance Festival. Interviews with musician Luca Callo and TechStuff’s Jonathan Strickland give us an understanding of processes they use to recreate Renaissance characters, music and culture.

Ghosts of History: Versailles

In 1901, two women visiting Versailles lost their way and met a series of strange, anachronistic characters. Looking back on the event, the women became certain they had slipped through time into 1789.

Ghosts of History: A Haunted House Tour

Whether or not you believe in ghosts, the tragic histories behind some homes are enough to send a chill down your spine. In this episode, we look into the real stories behind five historic houses that are believed to be haunted.

Did Someone Really Escape from Alcatraz?

Alcatraz was one of the United States’ most notorious prisons — isolated on an island and surrounded by sharks. Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast to learn more about the fact and fiction surrounding escape attempts at Alcatraz.

(Descriptions from Player.FM)


2 comments on “Gwen & Kate’s Recommendation: Stuff You Missed in History Class Podcasts

  1. anna
    December 17, 2013

    fan of lady godiva? watch this

    • gwenkate
      December 17, 2013

      Interesting video – thank you for the recommendation!

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This entry was posted on December 5, 2013 by in Author: Gwen, Author: Kate, Favorites and tagged , .
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