Tales of History and Imagination

Eccentric tales from History by Simone Whitlow

17: Ungern’s Army

July 28th, 2021

Content warning: This week’s episode features monsters doing monstrous things - as they are apt to do.

The after-effects of World War One on the Western World are well documented. It also upturned significant parts of the East. Trapped between Russia and China, both imploding - Mongolia had it’s share of outlaws with large private armies to deal with. This is one such tale. 

My Patreon is finally up! Click here to support the show, and get bonus episodes. This week’s episode is on Puyi, China’s Last Emperor. 

The blog post of the episode is here. 

Please leave us a like or review. Follow the show. If you enjoyed this episode, share it with someone else you think will also like it. I post new episodes fortnightly, Wednesday night New Zealand time.

Follow Tales of History and Imagination on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest. I also write a weekly Wordpress Blog.

Support me on Patreon for exclusive, extra content. $2 a month (US) gets you access. 

 

Music, writing, narration, mixing all yours truly. The machine gun was just from a free sounds effects app.

Main texts: Mostly The Bloody White Baron by James Palmer, and a handful of Jstor articles.

 

About the Author: Simone Whitlow is an academic, competitive quizzer, songwriter and musician. She turned down the chance to be head teacher at a Mongolian language school in her 20s and regrets it… but, my god those winters would have been brutal… 

Transgender, she uses she/her pronouns.     

 

16: eden ahbez - Nature Boy

July 14th, 2021

There was a boy, a very strange, enchanted boy - both his prototypical hippie lifestyle, long before the summer of love - and the ethereal song he left us in 1947 have fascinated me endlessly since first reading his Tale. Today, we discuss eden ahbez, and how the song Nature Boy came to be. 

Patreon episodes will start next episode, to help me make the show please show some love here!

 

Read the blog post of this episode here.

Please leave a like. Follow the show. Share the channel – it helps Tales grow. I post a new episode every fortnight, Wednesday night New Zealand time.

Follow Tales of History and Imagination on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest. I also write a weekly Wordpress Blog.

Support the show on Patreon for exclusive, extra content. 

 

Music, writing, narration, mixing all yours truly. I normally write the music - this week I’m just vamping over a couple of phrases taken from ahbez’ song Nature Boy. Hear Nat King Cole’s version here! 

 

Main texts: I don’t know… I think I got this story from a Vanity Fair article. Of course I consulted the LA Times, as I often do first with anything based in Los Angeles. Andrew Hickey’s podcast ‘A History of Rock Music in 500 Songs’ tuned me in to the Petrillo strikes. I cannot recommend Andrew’s show too highly, go check it out.

 

About the Author: Simone Whitlow is an academic, competitive quizzer, songwriter and musician. 

Transgender, she uses she/her pronouns.

15: Nellie Bly

July 1st, 2021

In an age where female reporters were few and far between, and wrote on little more than fashion and gardening - Nellie Bly got locked up in a ‘madhouse’ to expose the horrors of such an institution. In this 10 minute episode Simone discusses her 10 days in a madhouse. 

Check back in in a week’s time for a Patreon bonus episode - am playing catch up with those this week. 

 

You can read the blog post of the episode here

 

Please leave a like. Follow the show. Share the channel – it helps Tales grow. I post a new episode every fortnight, Wednesday night New Zealand time.

 

Follow Tales of History and Imagination on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and weekly Wordpress Blog.

Support the show on Patreon for exclusive, extra content. 

 

 

 

Music, writing, narration, mixing usually all yours truly. This episode uses an arrangement of Steven Foster’s Beautiful Dreamer under the Asylum scene, played by me.

Main texts: Of course Nellie Bly’s Ten Days in a Madhouse.
and articles on The Womans’ History Museum  And Encyclopedia Britannica 

 

About the Author: Simone Whitlow is an academic, competitive quizzer, songwriter and musician. She is currently on a multi-year mission infiltrating a giant corporation, probably no less insane than Blackwood Island Asylum. 

Transgender, she uses she/her pronouns.     

14: Lord Lucan

June 20th, 2021

Content warning, this Tale deals with a murder. Richard John Bingham, John to his friends, ‘Lucky' to others – officially titled the 7th Earl of Lucan, entered the history books on November 7th 1974 for the worst kind of reasons. He then captured the imagination of much of the English speaking world when he vanished without a trace.

This week, a You Choose topic chosen by the show's listeners and readers, Simone discusses the case.

I’ll get the first Patreon only release, a companion piece on John Stonehouse, up in the coming days.

You can read the blog post of this episode here.

 

 

Please leave a like. Follow the show. Share the channel – it helps Tales grow. I post a new episode every fortnight, Wednesday night New Zealand time.

My Patreon, soon to be active can be found here

You can follow Tales of History and Imagination on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest. I also write a weekly Wordpress Bloghttp://www.historyandimagination.com.

 

Music, writing, narration, mixing all yours truly.

Except the music under Lucan's time in America, I borrowed and rearranged Art Noel and Don Pelosi's ‘Kiss Me Goodnight, Sergeant Major', a popular drinking song amongst the British soldiers during World War Two.

 

Main texts: I referenced a load of online articles , but my main book was A Different Class of Murder by Laura Thompson – whose facts were solid, but whose opinions (she is something of a Lucan apologist) are often utterly repugnant to me. Still a recommended read.

 

About the Author: Simone Whitlow is an academic, competitive quizzer, songwriter and musician. Simone, like his Lordship, fled the United Kingdom – though admittedly I never murdered a nanny first.

Transgender, she uses she/her pronouns.     

13: Jack Parsons - Babalon’s Rocketeer (Part Two)

June 4th, 2021

I may as well leave the content warning up from last fortnight... I don’t  know, if you’re prudish I mention sex magick several times in this Tale – though hardly go into detail.. When John Whiteside Parsons – Jack to his friends – died suddenly in an explosion, one may have expected platitudes to the man. As a pioneering rocket scientist, the world -  and the future would owe much to his innovations. Instead, all anyone could talk about was the gossip about his lifestyle – and membership to a cult which worshipped a man known as ‘The Great Beast'.

This is part two of the two parter.

You can read the prelude here. Part one here. This episode here.

I also loaded Franklin D Roosevelt’s date which will live in infamy speech, and Aleister Crowley’s Hymn to Pan onto a blog post here.

 

 

Please leave a like. Follow the show. Share the channel – it helps Tales grow. I post a new episode every fortnight, Wednesday night New Zealand time.

My Patreon, soon to be active can be found here

You can follow Tales of History and Imagination on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest. I also write a weekly Wordpress Blog.

 

 

Music, writing, narration, mixing all yours truly.

Main texts Strange Angel by George Pendle, Sex and Rockets, the Occult World of Jack Parsons by John Carter and Robert Anton Wilson. I watched several YouTube videos on Crowley's Gnostic Mass (Liber XV) – which was so far from what I expected it to be... referred to a couple of LA Times articles (Paywalled) about Clifford Clinton, his Clifton's Cafes, Frank Lloyd, and the LA Mafia in the 1920s and 30s, over a year ago. The info on Pearl Harbour was sealed into my brain from high school.

 

About the Author: Simone Whitlow is an academic, competitive quizzer, songwriter and musician. Meh, I’ve got no personal anecdote for this one... 

Transgender, she uses she/her pronouns.

12: Jack Parsons - Babalon’s Rocketeer (Part One)

May 21st, 2021

Content warning! I discuss a violent death in this Tale, and allude to another.

When John Whiteside Parsons – Jack to his friends – died suddenly in an explosion, one may have expected platitudes to the man. As a pioneering rocket scientist, the world -  and the future would owe much to his innovations. Instead, all anyone could talk about was the gossip about his lifestyle – and membership to a cult which worshipped a man known as ‘The Great Beast'

Over the next two episodes, we're talking about the mad life of Jack Parsons – Rocketeer, Occultist...... Spy?

You can read the episode here.
I also mention the Prelude written in the blog, here. And, of course Tipu's Tiger.

 

Please leave me like, give us a follow. Share the channel – it helps Tales grow. I post a new episode every fortnight, Wednesday night New Zealand time.

My Patreon, soon to be active can be found here

You can follow Tales of History and Imagination on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest. I also write a weekly Wordpress Blog.

 

Music, writing, narration, mixing all yours truly. Sound FX a single explosion, marked ‘Sound 1000’.

 

I read Strange Angel by George Pendle, Sex and Rockets, the Occult World of Jack Parsons by John Carter and Robert Anton Wilson, watched several YouTube videos on Crowley's Gnostic Mass (Liber XV) – which was so far from what I expected it to be... referred to a couple of LA Times articles (Paywalled) about Clifford Clinton, his Clifton's Cafes, Frank L. Shaw, and the LA Mafia in the 1920s and 30s, over a year ago....that which I ramble through in the middle of the episode (and write about in the prologue) is from my notes on those articles, in my big red book of ideas.

I also stole a single musical phrase from Prokofiev's Violin concerto no.2 in music on part 2. Thanks Spotify for having a version to learn the piece from.

 

About the Author: Simone Whitlow is an academic, competitive quizzer, songwriter and musician. She has never joined a sex cult.... well, not before this episode was published anyway...

Transgender, she uses she/her pronouns.   

11: Grace O’Malley

May 5th, 2021

This episode we attend a meeting at Greenwich palace, the date, some time in September 1593. The ‘Fairy Queen’ of England, Elizabeth I, awaits the arrival of one Grace O’Malley – the pirate Queen of Connaught. The two rulers had been at loggerheads for decades and in some ways they seemed wildly different characters – one a genteel Law-lord in charge of a nation.... the other a swashbuckling Warlord from beyond the Pail. Were they all that different? The philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson reminds us...

Piracy and war gave place to trade, politics and letters; the war-lord to the law-lord; the privilege was kept, whilst the means of obtaining it were changed”

Today, we discuss Grace O’Malley, the Pirate Queen of Connaught.

Read the episode here.

Please leave a like, give us a follow. Share the channel – it will help Tales grow. I post a new episode every fortnight, Wednesday night New Zealand time.

My Patreon, soon to be active can be found here (Launching late May)

Tales of History and Imagination is on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest.
I also write a weekly Wordpress Blog.

 

Music, writing, narration, mixing all yours truly. No Foley sounds this week.

I'm planning to share bibliographies far more from now on, why not right? In this case I wrote this episode for the first run at a podcast in 2019 using several news articles (many now paywalled)  and Anne Chambers 'Grace O'Malley, the biography of Ireland's Pirate Queen'

 

About the Author: Simone Whitlow is an academic, competitive quizzer, songwriter, history blogger and musician. Though brought up in New Zealand, Simone has some Irish ancestry on her mother's side.

Transgender, she uses she/her pronouns.   

 

 

 

 

Ten: Mithridates- The Poison King

April 21st, 2021

 This week's Tale takes place in 63 BC. The setting, the kingdom of Pontus – a once powerful Black Sea empire – now a region of Eastern Turkey. Mithridates VI Eupator paces, knowing his time is up. Like Hannibal, he spent decades at war with Rome – and like Hannibal he would meet his end like a caged lion. A renowned freedom fighter, he was also a genocidal despot. A paranoid megalomaniac, raised to believe a series of comets and other omens marked him out as a messiah. Saviour of the East. King of Kings. In short, Mithridates was a complex guy

Today, we discuss the Poison King of Pontus.

You can read the episode here.

Please leave a like, give us a follow. Share the channel – it will help Tales grow. I post a new episode every fortnight, Wednesday night New Zealand time.

Tales of History and Imagination is on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest. I also write a weekly Wordpress Blog.

 

Music, writing, narration, mixing all yours truly. Sound FX were from several free sites downloaded to laptop in 2019. The Mithridates poem is a section from A.E. Housman’s A Shropshire Lad.

I normally save bibliographies for the Patreon, but there is only one source for 95% of this Tale –
The Poison King by Adrienne Mayor.

 

About the Author: Simone Whitlow is an academic, competitive quizzer, songwriter and musician. Her favourite part of A Shropshire Lad is the bit which starts “Into my heart an air that kills, From yon far country blows.” Hell, we all have ‘happy highways where we went, and cannot come again' right?

Transgender, she uses she/her pronouns.   

Nine: Buried Alive!

April 13th, 2021

This week's Tale is a quick, bonus tale. I’ll be back with proper episodes 21st April. Content warning this episode is all about premature burial – and was first posted Halloween 2020.

You can read the episode here.

Yes, voice is scratchy... someone in my bubble keeps passing round a cold, I've been checked and it is a cold... 
 Also, yes I did ditch on the proposed episode – apologies for that. ‘Ungern's Army’ is recorded, and mixed – but an episode on a monster who killed thousands of Chinese, released days after the shootings in Atlanta ... in the midst of the Sinophobic attacks on Asians in the USA, and elsewhere at present.... well, that monster can wait a while.

 

Please leave me a like, give us a follow. Share the channel – it will help Tales grow. I post a new episode every fortnight, Wednesday night New Zealand time.

You can follow Tales of History and Imagination on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest. I also write a weekly Wordpress Blog.

 

 

About the Author: Simone Whitlow is an academic, competitive quizzer, songwriter and musician, Like the druid William Price, she hopes - when it’s her time – to be cremated... while we’re on the topic of macabre things like burials.

Transgender, she uses she/her pronouns.

Eight: Three Short Tales

March 3rd, 2021

What do pirates, Lombards and 80s cultural phenomena have in common? Besides the time I bundled three short Tales from history together for a quick blog post (hey! I was exhausted that week) .... possibly nothing?

This week, three short Tales, which do examine elements of human behavior, set in very different settings.

This week’s episode was originally published October 20th 2020. You can read the episode here.

If anyone is curious, my voice is back... but I recorded this episode in November 2020, when I was still compressing narration a little heavily.

If you enjoyed the episode, please leave us a like and give us a follow. Share the channel, as that’s how these projects grow and sustain themselves. I post a new episode every fortnight, Wednesday night New Zealand time.

You can follow Tales of History and Imagination on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest. I also write a weekly Wordpress Blog.

 

 

About the Author: Simone Whitlow is an academic, competitive quizzer, songwriter and musician, She never owned a Cabbage Patch Kid, but has been known to drink with Lombards and Pirates. Transgender, she uses she/her pronouns.    

Seven: Sophxit! – The Tale of Count Konigsmarck and Princess Sophia Dorothea.

February 17th, 2021

Today’s tale is set Hanover, a small Germanic Duchy whose royal family would go on to become kind of a big deal. The date, July 1st 1694. A handsome young man, aided only by moonlight, sails along the Leine river till he reaches the Leineschloss – the palatial riverside home of the duke and his family. He moors his boat, then cautiously enters the property.
Little does he know at the time, but within hours he’d disappear without a trace. Never to be seen again.

This week’s tale is all about loveless marriages, dangerous liaisons, wicked behaviour ... and what it really took to leave ‘the firm’ many many years before the Megxit of Meghan and Harry.

Postscript: On the day I was mixing the music to this episode it was announced the Sussexes are expecting baby number two – For what it’s worth I offer them my congratulations and hope all goes well for them...  

This week’s episode was originally published March 24th 2020. You can read the episode here.

As per last episode, my voice remains scratchy – without even the usual side effect of huskiness. Sorry folks I ran out of time to redo the narration.

If you like the show please leave us a like and give us a follow. Share the channel with just one other person you think will like it.. This will help the channel grow. I post a new episode every fortnight, Wednesday night New Zealand time.

You can follow Tales of History and Imagination on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest. I also write a weekly Wordpress Blog. A Patreon, full of bonus content, is in the works, watch this space.

 

About the Author: Simone Whitlow is an academic, competitive quizzer, songwriter and musician, formerly with Auckland rock band Ishtar. She earns a living as a small, squeaky wheel in a big corporate machine...

Though she has never fought for, or against the Holy Roman Empire, her first job was mowing lawns on a military base. Transgender, she uses she/her pronouns, a fact she mentions every fortnight as – even when her voice is in perfect working order – it stands in stark contrast with her visage.    

Six: Sabbatai Zevi/ Dorothy Martin’s Flying Saucer.

February 3rd, 2021

This episode is based on two blog posts, with a unified theme. Apologies for the croaky voice this week. Let's discuss some Messiahs and aliens. 

One.
The year is 1666, the setting Adrianople in the Ottoman Empire – modern day Turkey. A middle aged preacher named Sabbatai Zevi, held captive since his arrival there, mulls over a difficult choice. Tomorrow he will be brought before the Ottoman Sultan Mehmet IV and be told to make a choice, a Monty Hall problem if ever there was one – though in his case there is no ‘behind one door there is a car, behind the other two doors, goats’ option. If only there were goats. Every door leads to death or disgrace. For close to a decade Zevi, a rogue Kabbalist rabbi, has been claiming to be the true son of God, and messiah. It is his proselytizing which has got him into this mess. Tomorrow he must choose instant execution, a trial by arrows or ‘the turban’

Originally posted 10th March 2020. You can read the blog post here.

Two.
Today we join our tale towards it’s climax, at a suburban home in Oak Park, Illinois. The time and date, 6pm, 21st December 1954. A dozen or so suburbanites – just regular Americans really – gather round the lady of the house, convinced she has supernatural powers. They’ve been camped out at the house for several days now. Many have sacrificed everything to be there. Earlier in the day they may have sung Christmas carols on the lawn to onlookers. They stood outside for some time, gazing skyward, hoping their visitor from Clarion, Sanada, would just arrive already. Perhaps feeling the glare of the camera, they retreated inside. If Sanada can traverse galaxies, surely he’ll have no trouble finding 847 West School Street.

Originally posted 17th March 2020. You can read the blog post here.

It you enjoy the show please leave me a like and give the show a follow. Share the channel with just one person you know will like it. For one you’ll have someone to discuss episodes with, and it helps the channel grow.
I post a new episode every fortnight, Wednesday night New Zealand time.

Tales of History and Imagination are on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and run a weekly Wordpress Blog.

 

About the Author: Simone Toni Whitlow is a songwriter and musician, formerly with Auckland rock band Ishtar. She is an academic with degrees in history, teaching and project management. A former Mastermind contestant, she has some idea what it’s like to face up to a Monty Hall. Transgender, she uses she/her pronouns.

 

Five: The Beast of Gevaudan

January 20th, 2021

Today’s tale is set in the former province of Gevaudan in South-Central France. The years between 1764 and 1767, following the bloody, and costly Seven Years War – a Proto World War if ever there was one – which had left deep scars in the psyche of many a European nation – France included- and left many a monarch broke in its’ wake.

An isolated, rugged, rural spot – The terrain rough and mountainous – it is far too rocky to grow much by way of crops. The locals eke out a living in the hills, tending to livestock. From youth, the locals worked alone, out in the elements – constantly on the lookout for wild predators on the lookout for a free meal. Gevaudan is also surrounded by a vast forest; a dangerous and lawless place full of wolves, lurking outlaws, footpads and highwayman. It really is the kind of place you could imagine in the most vicious Grimm Brothers tales.

It’s against this backdrop that La Bete du Gevaudan - the beast of Gevaudan - came roaring into the consciousness of the French.

This week’s episode was originally published October 30th 2019, but has been revamped and rereleased on the blog site today.

You can read the episode here.

 

If you enjoy this episode please leave me a like and follow my page. Share the channel with just one person you know would like it. I post a new episode every fortnight, Wednesday night New Zealand time.

Tales of History and Imagination are on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and run a weekly Wordpress Blog.

 

 

About the Author: Simone Whitlow is a songwriter and musician, formerly with Auckland rock band Ishtar. She is an academic with degrees in history, education and project management. A small, squeaky wheel in a big corporate machine, Simone is a former Mastermind contestant. Transgender, she uses she/her pronouns. Simone speaks no French and apologizes for any mangled pronunciations.

 

Four: The Incident on Eilean Mor

January 6th, 2021

The Flannan Isles, sometimes referred to as the 7 Hunters, are a tiny group of islands on the outside of the Outer Hebrides – a string of islands in the North of Scotland. Uninhabited, hilly and rocky, covered only by grass … people generally had little to do with these islands. For centuries Shepherds would use the islands to store sheep away from poachers. They themselves never stayed overnight – folklore warned of malevolent spirits on the islands. The lighthouse keepers were another case entirely. 

What happened to the lighthouse keepers of Eilean Mor?

This week we go way back to the early days of the blog. Written in January 2019, directly to the Facebook page, this is the second ever Tale of History and Imagination.

You can read the episode here.

 

If you enjoyed this episode please leave us a like, follow the page. Please help the channel grow by sharing with just one person. I post a new episode every fortnight, Wednesday night New Zealand time.

Tales of History and Imagination are on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and run a weekly Wordpress Blog.

 

About the Author: Simone Whitlow is a musician, songwriter, academic and former Mastermind contestant from New Zealand. Transgender, she uses she/her pronouns. Simone is an avid collector of strange tales from history and other ephemera.

Three: Tipu’s Tiger

December 23rd, 2020

One day, a young prince named Tipu went out hunting in the jungle with a friend – sometimes portrayed as a French mercenary in the service of the prince’s father – the fearsome Hyder Ali. While tracking a local deer or antelope the two men were surprised by a giant tiger leaping out at them from the undergrowth.

This fortnight’s tale focuses on the Mysore Kingdom’s ruler Tipu Sultan, and his macabre taste in musical instruments.

The script of this episode is based on a blog post on Tales of History and Imagination published September 8th 2020. You can read it Here.

 

If you enjoyed this episode please leave us a like, follow the page. Please help the channel grow by sharing with just one person. I post a new episode every fortnight, Wednesday night New Zealand time.

Tales of History and Imagination are on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and run a weekly Wordpress Blog.

 

About the Author: Simone Whitlow is a musician, songwriter, academic, skip tracer and former Mastermind contestant from New Zealand. Transgender, she uses she/her pronouns. Simone is an avid collector of strange tales from history and other ephemera.

Two: Hannibal in Bithynia

December 9th, 2020

Today’s tale is set in the Asiatic town of Libyssa, in Bithynia – on the periphery of what is now Turkey. The date, some time around 182 BCE. Hannibal Barca, perhaps one of the all time great generals in world history is pacing the room like a caged Barbary Lion. His life, from the age of nine had lead to this point – ever since his father made him take an oath he would “Never be a friend of Rome.” 
How did it all come to this for the Carthaginian strongman? Simone discusses.
The script of this episode is based on a blog post on Tales of History and Imagination published July 28th 2020. You can read it Here.

 

If you have enjoyed this episode please leave us a like, follow the page. Please help this channel grow by sharing with just one person. I post a new episode every fortnight, Wednesday night New Zealand time. 

Tales of History and Imagination are on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and run a weekly Wordpress Blog

About the Author: Simone Whitlow is a musician, songwriter, academic and former Mastermind contestant from New Zealand. Transgender, she uses she/her pronouns. Simone is an avid collector of strange tales from history.

One: Martial Bourdin

December 2nd, 2020

Martial Bourdin

At 4:45pm precisely, GMT, on 15th February 1894 the grounds of Greenwich Park, London – home of the Royal Observatory, and a clock we’ll discuss later – are shaken by a resounding boom. Staff at the observatory recalled a “sharp and clear detonation, followed by a noise like a shell going through the air”. They peered out the windows in trepidation attempting to work out what just happened. A park warden and a group of students ran towards the epicenter of the blast – where a solitary young man lay dying. The young man, who died not long after in a local hospital, was identified as 26 year old Frenchman Martial Bourdin.

Why was the young anarchist carrying a bomb through the park on a winter day? Simone discusses.

The script of this episode is based on a blog post on Tales of History and Imagination (Blog) published April 7th 2020. You can read it Here.

If you enjoyed this episode please leave a like, follow the page. Please help my channel grow by sharing with just one person. I post a new episode every fortnight, Wednesday night New Zealand time. 

Tales of History and Imagination are on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and run a weekly Wordpress Blog

About the Author: Simone Whitlow is a musician, songwriter, academic and former Mastermind contestant from New Zealand. Transgender, she uses she/her pronouns. Simone is an avid collector of strange tales from history and old guitars.  

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