Historycal: Words that Shaped the World

Historycal: Words that Shaped the World

Quickfire history in history’s own words, Historycal is the podcast for anyone who’s ever marvelled at the stories that shape us. From the earliest Cuneiform to the crooning of Elvis, from Rock Art to the Model T Ford, Historycal is an exuberant jaunt through the words people have spoken, sung, or scribbled down, and the unexpected ways in which they echo through our world.

Episodes

August 16, 2022 11 min

What happens when you pay for a wife and lose the husband? This time, we're talking about what Prince Arthur did (or didn't do) in Spain, where Henry VII found his crown, and who really won The King's Great Matter. 

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What do you get if you combine four lovers, two sea captains, and one brilliant disguise? If you aren't thinking of every tacky motivational poster you've ever seen, this one is for you. In this episode, we're tackling Twelfth Night, Taylor Swift, and some not-so-rousing speeches. 

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July 26, 2022 11 min

What gruesome sport is favored amongst Princes, and can a glass slipper really carry the weight of a running girl? Today, we're tackling the tough stuff behind one of Disney's shiniest fairytales.    

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July 19, 2022 10 min

What do a lawyer, a poet and the King of Prussia have in common? In this episode, we're talking love, loyalty, and how cats (and people) can't be trusted. 

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June 14, 2022 12 min

What came before Twilight, the Salvatore brothers, and even Count Dracula? In this episode, we're talking Penny Dreadfuls, cheap thrills, and the geometric improbability of vampires.

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June 7, 2022 11 min

What did the innocent words in a high school yearbook foreshadow for one of the world's oldest and most stigmatized diseases? If you aren't thinking of Alice Ball, this one is for you. Today we talk leprosy, stolen credit, and why people in old photographs never smile. 

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May 31, 2022 10 min

What was John Peter Toohey thinking when he first called the Algonquin Round Table to order? And what did it take to crack an invite? Today we're talking about Dorothy Parker, her place among the literary elite, and the time she tried to train a turtle. 

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May 24, 2022 10 min

What does mail have to do with morale, and how can you ruin both in one fell swoop? In this episode we're talking women, war and Dear John letters... with a little Christina Rossetti for good luck.

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What do Winston Churchill, William Shakespeare and Pope John XXIII have in common? The answer: they all know how to deliver a sick burn. And now you do too. In this episode we have the history of all sorts of things our mothers told us not to say - said in style.

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May 10, 2022 9 min

What's better for brothers than stowaways, shipwreck, and a good long fishing trip? Today, we're talking canoes, New Zealand's countryside, and the demi-god that accidentally caught a country. 

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What do Brer Rabbit, spiders and Tom Hiddleston have in common? If trickster figures in ancient mythology wasn't your first thought, this episode is for you. Today, we're talking Brer Rabbit, Anansi the Spider, and what Shakespeare considered a good disguise. (Spoiler: It wasn't). 

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April 26, 2022 10 min

What makes a cocktail a cocktail, and how did some unsuspecting horses get dragged into it? In this episode, we've got Mint Julips, speakeasies, the Frozen Water Trade, and - of course - tiny paper umbrellas.

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April 19, 2022 11 min

What does the world's favourite cat have against Mondays, and in how many other ways do they suck? As it turns out, many. And they're mostly self-inflicted. In the episode, we're talking about the road to the seven day week, the Boomtown Rats, and whether or not it was easier to enjoy yourself before the Second Industrial Revolution.

 

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April 12, 2022 9 min

What do you do when someone tells you to burn the ride you came in? And how do you get home for dinner if you burn the bridges too? Today, we're going back to the murky origins of these two famous phrases, crossing the Rubicon, and finishing up at the Paris Opera House. 

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April 5, 2022 10 min

What do you say to a man who has taken the keys to your kingdom? And what do you say to cheer up your grieving daughter?  In this episode, we're tackling Temüjin, the slaughter at Nishapur, and Genghis Khan's troubled childhood.

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March 29, 2022 7 min

What do you get when you cross a hat with a common (or garden) thermometer?

Mad hatters... and hatted madmen. In this episode, we're delving into Lewis Carroll, mercury poisoning, and all the other ways that tea time might go wrong.

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March 22, 2022 9 min

What does it take to get a cow's head onto your doorstep? (Rest of cow, not included). Today, we're talking Ukrainian fairy tales, evil stepmothers, and how to be an awesome dad. Or something like that. 

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March 8, 2022 9 min

What would you sacrifice for Art? And, more importantly, what does a wizard give an Armadillo when he comes to tea? In this episode, we take our first foray into South American folklore, featuring an ancient hero, some puffed up bull frogs, and a few insects who really need to get a room.  

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March 1, 2022 10 min

What is the juice of smallpox, and when it is it best served? In this episode, we explore variolation, milkmaids, and how a slave in Boston helped change the world.

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February 22, 2022 9 min

What's squiggly, saucy, and digs a pirate patch? If Bobby Henderson's open letter to the Kansas School Board didn't spring to mind, this one is for you.

If it did, ditto. 

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