Cover art for podcast The Exploress Podcast

The Exploress Podcast

73 EpisodesProduced by Kate J. ArmstrongWebsite

Join us as we time travel back through history, exploring the lives and stories of ladies of the past, from the everyday to the extraordinary, imagining what it might have been like to be them.

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Childbirth with Jane Seymour

August 8th, 2022

54:30

Henry VIII's third wife will take us on a journey through all things fertility and childbirth during the Tudor period: getting pregnant, staying pregnant, and getting through the delivery ordeal in (we hope) one piece.

Lady Shakespeare

July 23rd, 2022

25:29

Shakespeare is one of the most famous English writers of all time, and yet some people still debate who the Bard truly was. Some even ask the rather …

A Tale of Two Queens

July 8th, 2022

49:36

I had the privilege of interviewing Jennifer Kranz, the producer of The King's Wife, a musical that reimagines the relationship between Catherine of …

All Things Anne Boleyn with Natalie Grueninger

June 24th, 2022

1:20:46

I enjoyed my chat with our special guest from Fashion with Anne Boleyn so much that I've decided to publish it in full. Natalie gives us such an …

Fashion with Anne Boleyn

June 8th, 2022

54:49

Let Henry VIII's most fabulously fashionable queen be your guide as we glide through the halls of the Tudor court, exploring why fashion was so …

Religion with Catherine of Aragon, Part II

March 30th, 2022

36:16

Religion lives at the heart of Catherine of Aragon's story, and at the center of Tudor life.  Let's continue our journey with our queen as she finds herself faced with a divorce crisis and the English Reformation. How …

Religion with Catherine of Aragon, Part 1

March 18th, 2022

33:35

Religion lives at the heart of Catherine of Aragon's story, and at the center of Tudor life.  Let's walk beside this regal queen and find out what …

Introducing: Pub Dates

February 15th, 2022

2:36

I'm excited to announce the new podcast I'm making with my friend Amie Kaufman. It'll take you behind the scenes on the making of our books, The Isles of the Gods and Nightbirds, which are both coming out in 2023. Think …

The History of Mrs, Miss, and Ms

December 20th, 2021

15:54

Ever wondered about the origin stories of the titles Mrs., Miss, and Ms.? They're more than likely to surprise you.

This bonus episode come courtesy of my patrons. Patrons not only really help me keep the show going, …

The Magnificent Lady Fu Hao

December 13th, 2021

13:03

For years, China's ancient Shang Dynasty was almost a myth, but its stories were lying in wait in the Yellow River plain, where it had been hiding for centuries. And at the heart of it all, an almost lost queen. Let's …

What She Wore: A Brief History of Sequins

December 6th, 2021

13:53

This month, I'm pulling three bonus episodes from the Patreon vault to share with everyone. Happy holidays! I LOVE me some sequins. It’s hard to feel …

Something Wicked: Witch Hunts in the Tudor Age

October 30th, 2021

47:35

In the 16th and 17th centuries, Scotland and England saw witch panics sweep through the land. Many people were tried, and some were put to death because of changes of witchcraft. The vast majority of them were women. In …

Re-release: That Girl Is Poison

October 18th, 2021

40:16

This is one of my earliest Halloween-inspired bonus episodes, finessed and remastered, to get you warmed up for our Tudor-era Halloween special next week. It will take us from the ancient world into the Tudor and …

A Lady's Life in Tudor England, Chapter IX: Feast & Fun

October 11th, 2021

33:25

We Tudor ladies have done a lot of work in this series. So let's prepare a meal, then take our place at the table and enjoy it. We'll find out what kinds of food we might be enjoying, how to make sure we mind our …

A Lady's Life in Tudor England, Chapter VIII: Women of Business

October 4th, 2021

21:56

We've talked a lot about the kinds of work Tudor women were doing inside of the domestic sphere. But what about out in the wider world? Let's see what professions were open to the ladies, talk about their rights under …

A Lady's Life in Tudor England, Chapter VII: A Woman's Work, Continued

September 27th, 2021

16:45

In our last chapter, we found out just how much work we ladies have to do in Tudor England. Now...well...we’re going to work some more. Grab your linen basket and a sturdy accounts ledger, and let's explore how Tudors …

A Lady's Life in Tudor England, Chapter VI: A Woman's Work is Never Done

September 20th, 2021

20:27

Women in Tudor England had a LOT to do on the day to day. Let's dive into what kinds of tasks she would typically be getting into, from cleaning to …

A Lady's Life in Tudor England, Chapter V: Let's Get Dressed

September 13th, 2021

23:36

What the Tudor woman wears, and particularly what type of fabrics, will depend a lot on her level of wealth and social station, but they're all …

A Lady's Life in Tudor England, Chapter IV: Getting Clean

September 6th, 2021

16:10

Before we get dressed in Tudor England, we've got some cleaning of our bodies to do. What DOES a Tudor lady smell like? Let's go traveling.

For show notes, suggested reading, a list of my sources and more, go to my …

A Lady's Life in Tudor England, Chapter III: Of Godliness and Privies

August 30th, 2021

11:43

In Chapter 2, we got out of bed and explored our Tudor cottage a little. Now it's time to get right with God and find a place to have our morning pee. How are we going to the bathroom in Tudor England? And what're we …

A Lady's Life in Tudor England, Chapter II: Rise and Shine

August 23rd, 2021

15:53

Last time, we got some context about where we're time traveling back to. Now we'll open our eyes on Tudor England and get going with our day.

For show notes, including a transcript, images, and a list of my sources, …

A Lady's Life in Tudor England, Chapter I: Where Are We, Exactly?

August 16th, 2021

13:43

Welcome to Season 3! Let's time travel back to Tudor England and explore your average lady's day. For show notes, including a transcript, images, and a list of my sources, visit my website

Blood Magic: A History of Menstruation

August 2nd, 2021

36:56

For show notes, including a transcript of this episode, further reading and images galore, go to my website.

She-Wolves: Writing the Women of Pompeii with Elodie Harper

May 13th, 2021

42:59

You can order The Wolf Den in the U.K. and Australia wherever books are sold! For American listeners, Blackwell’s in the U.K. is offering 100% FREE …

Rebel Spirits: Boudicca and Zenobia Go to War with Ancient Rome

March 22nd, 2021

1:05:48

Ancient Rome's military machine was legend, taking over lands far outside its capital. But there were always those who fought back against the Empire, giving everything they had for freedom. A few of them even happened …

Sisters in Arms: Cleopatra and the Hasmonean Women

February 16th, 2021

38:08

Cleopatra was a boss lady who loomed large during her lifetime as one of the most successful monarchs of the East. But there were other royal women …

Augusta: The First Ladies of Imperial Rome, Part VI

January 25th, 2021

40:17

Last time, we saw Agrippina the Younger survive her exile AND a jealous young empress, only to marry her uncle Claudius and become empress herself. What a comeback! What will she do, now that she's finally achieved the …

Augusta: The First Ladies of Imperial Rome, Part V

January 11th, 2021

49:16

Last time, we saw Agrippina the Elder making some big power plays for her children, but ultimately she lost the imperial game. Her daughter Agrippina …

Augusta: The First Ladies of Imperial Rome, Part IV

November 13th, 2020

50:44

When we last left Agrippina the Elder and empress Livia, both had hit a real high point in terms of their personal power. But things are about to get pretty messy. Let's explore the end of Livia's life, the rest of …

Silent No More: American Women and the Fight For Their Rights

October 31st, 2020

58:09

The story of the American suffrage movement is long and complex, filled with noteworthy characters, highlights and shadows, and plenty of paths we …

Augusta: The First Ladies of Imperial Rome, Part III

October 24th, 2020

48:15

Daughter of Rome’s most venerated war hero, favorite granddaughter of its first emperor, wife of one of its most shining stars, Agrippina the Elder was born to be famous, thrust into the spotlight, whether she wanted to …

Shaping the Ladies: A Brief History of the Bra

October 9th, 2020

28:10

Love them or hate them, bras have always been with us in one form or another. They've squashed us down, lifted us up, and shaped our silhouettes, a constant part of our day to day. Let's take a trip through time to see …

Augusta: The First Ladies of Imperial Rome, Part II

September 25th, 2020

54:52

When we last left our Roman ladies, Octavia and Livia, their lives were changing fast. After all that bloodshed and drama, Octavian has finally been …

Augusta: The First Ladies of Imperial Rome, Part I

September 11th, 2020

49:15

Let's trace the paths of some of ancient Rome’s first imperial superstars: the wives, sisters, and daughters who rose with Octavian (later Augustus) …

Arsinoë II, Queenmaker of Ptolemaic Egypt

July 11th, 2020

38:31

Cleopatra maneuvered her way through Egyptian, Greek, and Roman politics, defying the odds to keep the Ptolemaic dynasty – and Egypt’s independence – …

Cleopatra: She Came, She Saw, She Conquered, Epilogue

June 22nd, 2020

46:24

Cleopatra died more than 2,000 years ago. And yet stop any person on the street today and ask them who she was, and they’ll know – at least her name. That name has been attached to soaps and bath balms, to slot machines …

Cleopatra: She Came, She Saw, She Conquered, Part III

June 13th, 2020

1:00:54

When we last left Cleopatra, she was creeping out the back door of a chaotic Rome in the wake of Julius Caesar’s death. As she sails the waves back …

Cleopatra: She Came, She Saw, She Conquered, Part II

May 19th, 2020

30:58

Last time, we saw Cleopatra grow up in the city of Alexandria, amid both luxury, excess, and the constant threat of death by family member. When her pharaoh father fled Egypt, she went with him, experiencing Rome for …

Cleopatra: She Came, She Saw, She Conquered, Part I

May 1st, 2020

45:59

Cleopatra, the last great queen of Egypt, doesn’t really need an introduction. You can see her in your mind already, can’t you? Pretty and sultry …

That Girl is Poison: A Partial History of Women and Toxic Things

April 3rd, 2020

39:02

Throughout the ages, women have used poison - but their worlds also found ways to poison them. Doctors who didn’t know better, giving them medicine that hurt instead of cured; toxic cosmetics; workplace negligence. In …

Domina: The Women Who Ran Ancient Rome, Part III

March 20th, 2020

1:00:51

It’s 47 or 46 BCE, and we’ve stepped into a private chamber, where a woman is pulling down her saffron-colored veil. Today she’s getting married, but …

Domina: The Women Who Ran Ancient Rome, Part II

February 27th, 2020

43:23

In ancient Rome, a woman was defined in relation to her family. Any fame she won was supposed to be confined to the private, domestic sphere. She …

Domina: The Women Who Ran Ancient Rome, Part I

February 14th, 2020

45:36

In ancient Rome, a woman was defined in relation to her family. Any fame she won was supposed to be confined to the private, domestic sphere. She …

When In Rome: A Lady's Life in the Ancient Roman Empire, Part 3

November 29th, 2019

1:06:30

Welcome to a day in the life of an ancient Roman matrona. In Part 3 of our exploration of a Roman woman's day, we go out into the streets, taking in …

When In Rome: A Lady's Life in the Ancient Roman Empire, Part 2

November 21st, 2019

1:02:10

Welcome to a day in the life of an ancient Roman matrona. Now that we've learned a bit about Rome's overarching history, woken up, visited the bathroom, and gotten dressed and ready for the day in Part 1, let's explore …

When In Rome: A Lady's Life in the Ancient Roman Empire, Part 1

November 14th, 2019

1:01:25

Let's travel back to ancient Rome and meet the women who lived amid this ancient-world juggernaut. Many are Roman citizens: the wives and daughters …

The Hair Down There: The History of Our Relationship with Lady Jungles (BONUS!)

October 10th, 2019

37:13

Our grooming habits are a contested issue, no more so than the question of what we do with our hair down below. This is especially true for women, for whom the question of whether or not to keep the hair down there has …

Alexander's Women: Olympias and the Ladies Who Helped Shape a Conquerer, Part 2

August 22nd, 2019

42:54

In Part 1 we met Olympias, Alexander the Great's mother, and saw her navigate some savage drama to get her and her son to the top. Now let's see what she does when he goes off conquering. When he dies, she and several …

Alexander's Women: Olympias and the Ladies Who Helped Shape a Conquerer, Part 1

August 15th, 2019

49:01

Ancient Greek queen Olympias went to epic lengths to ensure her son Alex ended up on the throne. In doing so, she helped make him worthy of his title: Alexander the Great. Alexander accomplished a lot all on his own, …

Armed and Dangerous: Amazons and the Real Warrior Women Who Intimidated Ancient Greece, Part 2

August 8th, 2019

32:53

The ancient Greeks told lots of stories about the Amazons: the mythic bands of warrior women that Hellanikos of Lesbos described as "golden-shielded, …

Armed and Dangerous: Amazons and the Real Warrior Women Who Intimidated Ancient Greece, Part 1

August 1st, 2019

46:03

The ancient Greeks told lots of stories about the Amazons: the mythic bands of warrior women that Hellanikos of Lesbos described as “a host of …

That Loosener of Limbs: Sappho and Sexuality in Ancient Greece

July 24th, 2019

36:16

When it comes to the words that made it through time to us, ancient Greece is particularly loud with men’s voices. But if you listen, you can hear …

It's All Greek to Me: A Lady's Life in Ancient Greece, Part 2

July 10th, 2019

41:57

Ancient Greece is notorious for keeping women silent, veiled, and firmly fixed at the loom. But was life for women in places like Athens really so restrictive? What did they get up to behind those veils and shaded …

It's All Greek to Me: A Lady's Life in Ancient Greece, Part 1

July 3rd, 2019

46:11

Ancient Greece is notorious for keeping women silent, veiled, and firmly fixed beside the loom. But was life for the ladies in places like Athens really so restrictive? What did they get up to behind those veils and …

Pour Us Another: Women and Beer, from Ancient Past to Present

May 29th, 2019

46:08

For millennia, brewing was overwhelmingly a woman’s game. You can’t research beer’s history without stumbling across female brewers. So why, when we conjure up an image of a brewer, is it a dude we always picture? How …

Who Runs The World: Ancient Egypt's Female Pharaohs, Part 2

May 22nd, 2019

56:16

Let's continue exploring the lives of ancient Egypt's female pharaohs. We'll start by talking about Hatshepsut's rise to fame and glory: how she stayed on top and what she did while she was there. Then we'll dive into …

Who Runs The World: Ancient Egypt's Female Pharaohs, Part 1

May 15th, 2019

44:42

In ancient Egyptian, the word "pharaoh" doesn’t mean king; it means “great house”. They had no word for queen at all. All royal women were defined by their relationship to that house: with titles like Great Royal Wife, …

Walk Like An Egyptian: A Lady's Life in Ancient Egypt, Part 2

May 8th, 2019

40:11

Let's continue our day as an everyday lady in ancient Egypt's New Kingdom during the 18th Dynasty. We'll talk about what we're doing for both work and pleasure, go to a feast, and explore medicine, contraception, …

Walk Like An Egyptian: A Lady's Life in Ancient Egypt, Part 1

April 30th, 2019

46:16

Of all the civilizations in the ancient world, Egypt was perhaps the most prone to the miraculous. They invented many wonders: the 365-day calendar, …

Wild Western Women: Ladies on the American Frontier (Season 1, Episode 11)

January 11th, 2019

59:33

America's Wild West evokes images of grizzled men in fringed chaps, but women were also there to help shape the frontier: the pioneer women who fought through many hardships to carve out a life on the dusty plains and …

More Done With Pens Than Swords: How Harriet Beecher Stowe Rocked America (BONUS!)

December 21st, 2018

36:35

The 19th century's best-selling novel was an incendiary story about the evils of slavery, written by a northern woman who wanted to change the world. Meet Harriet Beecher Stowe, the authoress who refused to sit down and …

We Shall Overcome: Elizabeth Keckley & Harriet Tubman, Part 2 (Season 1, Episode 10)

November 30th, 2018

1:15:08

Harriet Tubman and Elizabeth Keckley took different paths to freedom, and navigating their new world. One because a famous conductor on the Underground Railroad, spending a decade liberating family and strangers alike. …

We Shall Overcome: Elizabeth Keckley & Harriet Tubman, Part 1 (Season 1, Episode 9)

November 9th, 2018

1:05:18

Elizabeth Keckley and Harriet Tubman spent decades in bondage, suffering everything the "peculiar institution" promised before finding very different …

The Madames: The Steamy Lives of Mary Ann Hall and Madame Restell (BONUS!)

October 26th, 2018

28:55

I'm bringing one of my bonus episodes out of the Patreon vault and sharing it with everyone! Back by popular demand, this bonus gives a more in-depth …

Something Wicked This Way Comes: 19th-century Spiritualist Mediums (Season 1, Episode 8)

October 11th, 2018

59:57

Victorian America was a very haunted place, and by mid-century the Spiritualist movement was sweeping through it. People went in droves to see mediums - who were mostly women - to try and reach the spirits of their …

Dangerous Liaisons: Lady Spies of the American Civil War (Season 1, Episode 7)

September 14th, 2018

1:18:57

19th-century women aren't supposed to be devious - and that's what made them such effective spies. Hundreds of women tied gun parts to their …

Sarah Emma Edmonds: Soldier, Nurse and Spy (Season 1, Episode 6)

August 30th, 2018

1:08:36

Franklin Thompson did it all as a Civil War soldier: spied, rode, nursed, and fought. And during his service, almost no one knew his secret: that he …

She Wore The Pants: Women Soldiers in the American Civil War (Season 1, Episode 5)

August 16th, 2018

1:03:19

When we think of a Civil War soldier, it's a man we see. But there were women out there on the battlefield, too - hundreds of them - fighting and …

Public Women: Sex in 19th-century America (Season 1, Episode 4)

August 2nd, 2018

1:12:04

Look for the word 'prostitute' in 19th-century America and you'll find it everywhere. But it went far beyond a job description: It was a line in the sand, a punishment for women who dared to step across and act out of …

Angel of the Battlefield: Clara Barton (Season 1, Episode 3)

July 19th, 2018

1:16:17

She was many things: A celebrated teacher, a pioneering civil servant, a battlefield nurse, a public speaker, and a leader of many initiatives, including the American Red Cross. In a time when single, middle-class women …

Havens in a Heartless World: Civil War Nurses (Season 1, Episode 2)

July 19th, 2018

1:01:51

The soldiers called them angels, but they were warriors: They battled bullets, disease, terrible medical knowledge, and the belief that they didn't …

A Lady's Life in Mid-19th Century America (Season 1, Episode 1)

July 19th, 2018

52:50

Mid-19th century America was a pretty buttoned-up place. Or was it?

For women, marriage and family was their destiny, their lives confined to a small …

Welcome to The Exploress

July 19th, 2018

2:29

Time traveling through women's history, one era at a time.

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