Stuff You Missed in History ClassHistory

Stuff You Missed in History Class

Stuff You Missed in History Class

SYMHC Classics: Mother Shipton

Sat, 30 Sep 2023

This 2020 episode covers Mother Shipton, who may or may not have been a real person. She's described as everything from an oracle to a witch to the daughter of the devil, depending on which of the many sources you’re reading.

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Behind the Scenes Minis: Sad Clowns, Sad Trees

Fri, 29 Sep 2023

Tracy talks about how Grimaldi's memoirs read more like a Dickens novel than a source of biographical information. Then, Holly and Tracy talk about plant diseases. 

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Eponymous Foods – Autumn Apple Edition

Wed, 27 Sep 2023

The eponymous Bramley and McIntosh apples are both lucky accidents, and both of them have stories which stretch from the early 19th century into present day. 


  • Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. "Ann Radcliffe". Encyclopedia Britannica, 5 Jul. 2023,

  • Radcliffe, Ann. “The Romance of the Forest, interspersed with some pieces of poetry.” London. 1824. Accessed online:

  • Facer, Ruth. “Ann Radcliffe (1764-1823).” Chawton House Library. 2012.

  • Dugdale, John. “Happy 250th, Ann Radcliffe.” The Guardian. Oct. 31, 2014.,sent%20up%20in%20Northanger%20Abbey.

  • Flood, Allison. “Gothic fiction pioneer Ann Radcliffe may have been inspired by mother-in-law.” The Guardian. Jan. 30, 2014.

  • “Mr. Radcliffe … “ Sunday Dispatch/ London. October 30, 1825.

  • Clarke, N. (2005). Anna Seward: Swan, Duckling or Goose?. In: Batchelor, J., Kaplan, C. (eds) British Women’s Writing in the Long Eighteenth Century. Palgrave Macmillan, London.

  • Norton, Rictor. “Mistress of Udolpho.” Leicester University Press. 1999.

  • Thomas, Donald. “Queen of Terrors.” The Guardian. July 10, 1964.

  • Townshend, D., & Wright, A. (2014). Gothic and Romantic engagements The critical reception of Ann Radcliffe, 1789–1850. In D. Townshend & A. Wright (Eds.), Ann Radcliffe, Romanticism and the Gothic(pp. 3-32). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/CBO9781139507448.003

  • Schwertfeger, S. 'No spoilers, please': the crux of illustrating the explained Gothic without explaining the mystery. Palgrave Commun3, 16 (2017).

  • Scott, Sir Walter. “The Lives of the Novelists.” London. 1906. Accessed online:

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Joseph Grimaldi, the First Modern Clown

Mon, 25 Sep 2023

Joseph Grimaldi was one of England’s most famous Regency-era entertainers. Sometimes he’s described as the first modern clown, because he established a lot of the hallmarks of clowning that still exist today. 


  • Boyle, Laura. “Joseph Grimaldi, King of Clowns.” Jane Austen Centre. 4/14/2014.

  • Grimaldi, Joseph. “Memoirs of Joseph Grimaldi.” Edited by Charles Dickens (“Boz”), illustrated by George Cruikshank. London, George Routledge and Sons. 1838.

  • Kaplan, Charles. “The Only Native British Art Form.” The Antioch Review , Summer, 1984, Vol. 42, No. 3, "Divine Goalie" Sport and Religion (Summer, 1984). Via JSTOR.

  • Moody, Jane. "Grimaldi, Joseph [Joe] (1778–1837), actor and pantomimist." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. May 29, 2014. Oxford University Press. Date of access 7 Sep. 2023,

  • Read, Leslie du S. "Grimaldi, Joseph [Giuseppe] (1709x16?–1788), dancer and dentist." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. September 23, 2004. Oxford University Press. Date of access 7 Sep. 2023,

  • Simon, Ed. “Here We Are Again!—How Joseph Grimaldi Invented the Creepy Clown.” JSTOR Daily. 5/4/2022.

  • Stott, Andrew McConnell. “Clowns on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown: Dickens, Coulrophobia, and the Memoirs of Joseph Grimaldi.” Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies, Vol. 12, No. 4 (Fall 2012). Via JSTOR.

  • Stott, Andrew McConnell. “The Memoirs of Joseph Grimaldi.” The Public Domain Review. 11/14/2011.

  • Stott, Andrew McConnell. “The Pantomime Life of Joseph Grimaldi: Laughter, Madness and the Story of Britain’s Greatest Comedian.” Canongate. 2010.

  • Woods, Leigh. “The Curse of Performance: Inscripting the ‘Memoirs of Joseph Grimaldi’ into the Life of Charles Dickens.” Biography , Spring 1991, Vol. 14, No. 2 (Spring 1991). Via JSTOR.

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SYMHC Classics: Frieda Belinfante

Sat, 23 Sep 2023

This 2019 episode covers Frieda Belinfante who broke gender barriers in becoming a conductor. She was also a member of the Dutch resistance, who risked her life during WWII in defiance of the German occupation of the Netherlands.

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