Footnoting History

Footnoting History

Podcast Overview

Welcome to Footnoting History! For links to further reading suggestions, a calendar of upcoming episodes, and the complete episode archive, visit us at!

Podcast Episodes

Cemeteries: Local History of Mid-20th Century Atlanta

(Elizabeth) Taphophilia is the love of cemeteries and headstones. In this episode, Elizabeth indulges her taphophilia as she uses stories from East View Cemetery on the outskirts of Atlanta to learn about life in the city in the early to mid-20th century as she traces the lives of three people buried there. Golf, textile mills, and military service help us complete the picture.

Guy de Montfort and Dante’s Inferno

(Christine) When your grandfather was a leading crusader and your father was a famous rebel, what is left for you to do? For Guy de Montfort the answer was to earn a spot in one of the circles of hell imagined by Dante in his Inferno. Find out how this medieval man came to such a fate in this episode.

The One-Legged Nazi-Fighting Jesuit: Rupert Mayer

(Lucy) Fr. Rupert Mayer’s pastoral career ranged from serving as a chaplain for German troops during the First World War, to finding people jobs and housing. Then, after Hitler came to power, Fr. Mayer defied the Gestapo, and lived to tell the tale.  Join Lucy for an episode about this remarkable Nazi-fighting Jesuit.

Jumbo the Elephant

(Christine) In May of 2016 the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus’ elephants performed for their final time before entering retirement. Over 130 years earlier, in 1882, Jumbo the elephant left London for New York and joined P.T. Barnum’s traveling menagerie. In this episode, Christine explores Jumbo’s life as one of the Victorian era’s most famous animals.

How to Punish a Witch in 16th-Century England

(Lesley) We've all seen movies burn witches at the stake. But how did England's lawmakers propose to punish these evil-doers? You might be surprised. This week, we explore the various ways a sorcerer or witch could be punished in early modern England.

The Great Unpleasantness? World War One in Whodunits

(Elizabeth and Lucy) The First World War was, infamously, a source of both transformation and trauma. In this episode, Lucy and Elizabeth find evidence of the ways in which the War to End all Wars influenced some of the greatest British mystery novels of the mid-20th century, especially how experiences of WWI were normalized, memorialized, or condemned within their pages.

Curious George Escapes Nazi Europe

(Samantha) Everyone knows the beloved children’s character Curious George, but how many of us know about his creators? When Hans and Margaret Rey created the mischievous monkey, they were German Jews living in Paris. As the Nazis swept through Europe, the dynamic pair escaped with their precious manuscript on a homemade bicycle.

Early American Newspapers and Freedom of the Press

(Nathan) In the First Amendment to the US Constitution, tucked between the freedom of speech and right of assembly, is a protection of the freedom of the press. But why did the Framers feel the need to include it? The answer lies in the early history of the newspaper, when broadsheet publications were small-time startup operations that were sometimes suppressed by the British government. In this week's episode, we'll look at the early history of print media in the United States, the role of libel and censorship, and the trial of a German immigrant printer that changed it all.

A Royal Son: Henry the Young King

(Christine) What is it like to be a king but still have to answer to your father? In the twelfth century, Henry the Young King lived in the shadow of one of Europe’s most powerful monarchs: Henry II of England. This episode delves into the life of a man who was crowned twice but never ruled the kingdom.

The Trotula and Medieval Gynecology

(Nathan) Imagine you were a medieval woman suffering from fertility problems or an irregular period. How would you deal with these issues, and what kinds of treatments might your physician prescribe? To what lengths would you be willing to go, what substances would you be willing to ingest or insert in order to solve menstrual cramps? In this week's episode, we'll talk about one of the most famous manuals of medieval gynecology and the ways women in the Middle Ages cared for their health.

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