The Sunday Collection – Top 5 Episodes of Stuff you Missed in History Class Podcast

Stuff You Missed in History ClassIf you’ve followed me on social media since my epic podcast hunt a few weeks ago, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve found quite a few gems. The one I want to talk about today? Stuff you Missed in History Class.

Hosted on HowStuffWorks.com, the home of TechStuff and Stuff to Blow Your Mind, this podcast is usually posted in a 30 or 50 minute segment (depending on the subject matter) and features two hosts (currently Holly and Tracy) as they attempt to separate truth from fiction about certain historical stories and personas. Sometimes, depending on how much information exists, it’s more narrative, and if it’s vague or mysterious, more speculative, but for somebody who loves reading historical fiction, biographies and history books in general, I was hooked from the start.

Here are five of my favourite (so far) episodes of Stuff You Missed in History Class Podcast.

Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald
1. The Fantastic Fitzgeralds
This episode would have been released just in time for the recent adaptation of The Great Gatsby by Baz Luhrmann if they hadn’t post-poned it a YEAR, but it makes good mandatory listening if you want to understand the man behind the story and the woman who inspired the man. This episode provides a great background on the wild relationship of Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald. I’ve read about the two in passing, but usually just comments about them with regards to Hemingway, so it was really neat to have such an informative backstory on Zelda’s influence and artistic passions in particular. Did you know she decided to be a professional dancer in her late 20s? And she wrote and painted, all before she went mad?

2. Why was Juana called “la Loca”? Part 1 & 2
I’m a big Tudorite. I’ve read all those lusty romances, historical tomes, watched the movies and scoured the web for rumours and intrigue. But recently I’ve become much more interested in the religious fervour behind certain dynasties. Juana of Castile is a curious figure, because you have to make a conscious decision, early on, as to whether you believe she was insane, or extremely religious, or depressed yet highly intelligent. Whichever side you believe can change the story immensely. This was a really fascinating two-parter which sheds some light on the way that women, even Queens, could be treated by their family, despite birthing a large number of healthy and influential heirs.

3. Unearthed!
In February, a team of archaeologists were extremely happy to report that they had officially found the body of Richard III, tucked away underneath a parking lot. The bones answered over 500 years of questions about the real curvature of his spine, his wounds and the mystery surrounding his body. This episode focuses on what we truly know about this man, and how representations of Richard III in theatre and film seem to always portray him as much older and more grotesque than what reality would suggest.

4. The Mystery of Saint-Ex
Who is Saint-Ex? Well, have you ever heard about this obscure, small story called The Little Prince? Yeah, there you go. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry was a reckless pilot and part-time author who wrote this excessively charming story about a man who crash-lands on a planet and meets a little cherub-like alien boy. He was also quite the daredevil. This episode sheds light on this mysterious flying man and his curious authorship.

William Randolph Hearst5. The Real Citizen Kane?
This episode is from 2009 and for some reason, doesn’t show up on iTunes but is easily accessible on the RSS feed. (I have an Android phone and use BeyondPod for my podcast listening pleasure) But you should be able to find it RIGHT HERE. This episode really ticked my fancy because it highlights William Randolph Hearst, the man that really made newspapers what they are today (for better and for worse), the brilliant investor and strategist, and the paranoid millionaire who inspired Citizen Kane. Learn all about his empire, his mistress and his mystery!

Honourable mentions: The Rite of Spring Riot, The Radium Girls, Queen Victoria and Abdul Karim, Growing up Bronte

How to listen? iTunes, RSS feed, website

You can also interact and read more of their history insight on Twitter and Facebook.

Do you have any podcasts you absolutely love? Share them in the comments, I’m always looking for ones to listen to!

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