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The Homance Chronicles

Nicole Bonneville and Sarah Ando

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Welcome to “The Homance Chronicles” podcast, where we celebrate women’s history in the most captivating way – by sharing stories about incredible women we should all know but often don’t. Join us for our weekly series, “Hoes of History,” where Nicole and Sarah discover the untold stories of women who defied expectations, shattered barriers, and paved the way for future generations. BUT… if you start from episode 1, get ready for a surprise. This podcast isn’t just about historical heroines. ...
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Wilma Mankiller was the first woman to be elected as Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation. We explore Wilma's early life and the challenges she faced growing up in a rural, economically disadvantaged area. Her family's relocation to San Francisco as part of the Bureau of Indian Affairs' relocation program profoundly impacted her understanding of …
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Born Josephine Esther Mentzer in 1908, Estée's journey from a modest upbringing in Queens, New York, to founding one of the world's most iconic beauty empires is nothing short of inspirational. Join us as we explore Estée's early influences, including her uncle, a chemist who sparked her interest in skincare. We'll discuss her tenacity in promoting…
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Mary Anderson, the pioneering woman behind one of the most essential inventions in automotive history: the windshield wiper. Journey with us back to the early 1900s, a time when driving was a perilous endeavor, especially in inclement weather. Learn how Mary Anderson, an astute real estate developer from Birmingham, Alabama, transformed her frustra…
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Helena Rubinstein was a trailblazing beauty magnate who transformed the cosmetics industry. Born in Kraków, Poland, in 1872, Helena's journey from a small European town to becoming a global beauty icon is nothing short of remarkable. We explore her early years and the bold move to Australia that marked the beginning of her empire. Discover how Hele…
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Marjorie Merriweather Post was one of America's most prominent heiresses and philanthropists. Born into immense wealth as the daughter of cereal magnate C.W. Post, Marjorie's life was anything but ordinary. From her early days in Battle Creek, Michigan, to becoming the wealthiest woman in the United States, Marjorie's journey is a testament to resi…
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Born Florence Nightingale Graham in 1881, she transformed herself into the iconic figure known as Elizabeth Arden. From humble beginnings in rural Canada to building a global beauty empire, Arden's journey is one of resilience, innovation, and empowerment. Join us as we explore Arden's groundbreaking contributions to the beauty world, from introduc…
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Ella Eaton Kellogg, often overshadowed by her famous husband, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, emerges as a force in her own right, contributing significantly to the fields of nutrition, wellness, and progressive education. From her early years as a teacher in Michigan to her pivotal role in the development of the renowned Battle Creek Sanitarium, Ella Eat…
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One of history's most captivating figures: Zheng Yi Sao, better known as Ching Shih – the Pirate Queen of China was born in 1775 in Guangdong Province, China. We recount Zheng Yi Sao's remarkable rise to power alongside her husband, the notorious pirate captain Zheng Yi, and the fateful events that propelled her to command the Red Flag Fleet, one o…
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Suzanne Morrow Francis, affectionately known as Suzi, was born in Toronto, Canada where she took on figure skating to strength her leg after an injury and then dominated the skating world. Suzi's passion for figure skating propelled her to unparalleled success, culminating in historic victories at the 1948 Winter Olympics and the 1948 World Figure …
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Born in Australia in the late 19th century, Annette Kellerman defied societal norms from a young age. Overcoming childhood illness, she discovered her love for swimming, a passion that would propel her to international fame. As one of the first women to attempt long-distance swims, Annette shattered records and captivated audiences with her daring …
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Janis Joplin was an iconic rock and blues singer whose raw talent and unapologetic spirit left an indelible mark on the music world. From her humble beginnings in Port Arthur, Texas, to her rise to fame as the queen of psychedelic rock in the 1960s, Janis Joplin's journey is one of resilience, passion, and ultimately tragedy. You'll discover the st…
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Angela Burdett Coutts was a philanthropist whose legacy continues to inspire generations. Born into privilege in 1814, Angela defied societal expectations by dedicating her life to charitable endeavors. From a young age, Angela demonstrated a deep empathy for the less fortunate, advocating for social reform and championing various causes. As one of…
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Born in the 5th century, St. Brigid's journey is shrouded in myth and legend, yet her impact on Irish culture and spirituality remains profound to this day. Our exploration begins with the early years of Brigid, born into a pagan family but destined for greatness in the Christian faith. We uncover the miraculous stories surrounding her birth, where…
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Melitta Bentz, the pioneering inventor behind the modern coffee filter. Born in Dresden, Germany, in 1873, Bentz's story is one of ingenuity, perseverance, and entrepreneurial spirit. From humble beginnings as a housewife frustrated with the bitterness of coffee grounds in her brew, Bentz embarked on a journey that would revolutionize the way we en…
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Bertha Benz, the wife and business partner of Carl Benz, played a pivotal role in the invention of the automobile and the success of the Benz Patent-Motorwagen, the world's first automobile. Born in 1849 in Pforzheim, Germany, Bertha Benz defied the norms of her time by embracing her husband's passion for engineering and automobiles. Despite societ…
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The extraordinary story of Mamie Till, a mother whose profound grief transformed into a catalyst for change during one of the darkest periods in American history. Mamie Till's life is a testament to the power of maternal love and the pursuit of justice. Her son, Emmett Till, became a tragic symbol of racial violence when he was brutally murdered at…
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Shirley Chisholm, the first African American woman to be elected to the U.S. Congress and earned the nickname “Fighting Shirley.” From her humble beginnings in Brooklyn, New York, to her historic achievements as the first African American woman elected to the United States Congress, Shirley Chisholm's journey is one of resilience, courage, and unwa…
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Phyllis Wheatley was a young African woman who defied the odds of her time to become one of America's most celebrated poets. Born in West Africa and enslaved at just seven years old, Phyllis Wheatley's trajectory is a testament to resilience and the power of the human spirit. Despite the harsh realities of slavery, Phyllis's intellect and poetic ta…
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From her early days as a mathematics prodigy to her groundbreaking work at NASA, Margaret Hamilton's story is one of perseverance, innovation, and dedication to advancing technology. We explore how her innovative approach to software development and her insistence on rigorous testing. Both helped ensure the success of the Apollo 11 moon landing, so…
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Lucille Ricksen, a luminary of the silent film era whose promising trajectory was cut short by tragedy. Born in Chicago in 1909, Ricksen's entrance into the world of entertainment was early and marked by exceptional talent. We trace her journey from child actress to leading lady, exploring her significant contributions to the burgeoning film indust…
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Nail polish dates all the way back to Babylonian times starting in Egypt, then making it's way to China and India. It didn't make it's way to Europe and the United States until the 1800's. Throughout history it was used as an identifier of wealth, royalty, and the upper class. Often times, certain colors depicted which class of people you were. The…
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Bessie Coleman, a trailblazing aviator who defied racial and gender barriers to become the first African American woman to hold a pilot's license. Join us as we explore Bessie's humble beginnings in Texas, her determination to overcome obstacles, and her relentless pursuit of a dream that would change aviation history. From working as a manicurist …
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Women have dominated the real estate industry in recent years, but it definitely didn't start out that way. For a long time women couldn't buy or own property in their name. They couldn't join the National Association of Realtors. They couldn't get financing without their husband. There a handful of women we highlight in this episode who said f*ck …
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Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler was the first African American woman in the United States to earn a medical degree. Dr. Crumpler's journey began in a society where racial and gender inequalities were deeply entrenched. Born in 1831, she faced formidable obstacles as an African American woman aspiring to become a physician. Yet, against all odds, Dr. Crump…
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It's Christmastime, so we're talking about the iconic, Donna Reed. She played Mary Bailey (the wife) in the timeless classic, "It's a Wonderful Life." As a natural born beauty she was quickly identified by Hollywood producers and started appearing in films at just 20 years old. During World War II, she quickly became a leading lady in Hollywood. Sh…
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Minerva Parker Nichols is one of the first feamle architects and was the first woman to own her own architecture firm. From her early years as a trailblazer in education to her groundbreaking work as a pioneering suffragist, Minerva Parker Nichols defied societal norms and shattered glass ceilings. In addition to create success for herself she was …
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Anna Sutherland Bissell was a Canadian-American businesswoman who was the first female CEO in the United States. Anna became a teacher at just 16 years old and then married Melville Bissell three years later. They had five children together. They moved from Wisconsin to Kalamazoo, Michigan to Grand Rapids, Michigan where they settled and had a succ…
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Mata Hari is an infamous exotic dancer and accused spy whose life was shrouded in intrigue and seduction. Her name became synonymous with espionage during the early 20th century. Born Margaretha Geertruida Zelle in the Netherlands, Mata Hari's life took unexpected twists and turns that led her from a tumultuous marriage to becoming the toast of Par…
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Sarah Josepha Hale is known as the "Mother of Thanksgiving," but she's so much more than that. She was an American writer, activist, and editor. At the age of 18, in 1806, she started teaching at a school; however, women were not allowed to be teachers at that time and most women weren't even being taught how to read. She married David Hale and the…
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Ever wonder where the term "Sugar Daddy" came from? We have Mrs. Alma Spreckels to thank for that. She was married to a man 24 years older than her and he actually owned Spreckels Sugar Company. Born into modest beginnings in 1881, Alma de Bretteville aka Alma Spreckels emerged from the shadows to become a prominent figure in the social and cultura…
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Betty White's story is one for the ages. Born in 1922, she witnessed the rise of the entertainment industry from its earliest days. From her early beginnings in radio to her groundbreaking work on television, Betty's versatility and talent made her a household name. We explore her early days as a model and radio personality, her transition to telev…
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Catherine de Medici, born in 1519, was a member of the renowned Italian Medici family. Her life took a dramatic turn when she married Henry II of France and became Queen of France in the mid-16th century. Despite her humble beginnings as an Italian noblewoman, Catherine quickly rose to prominence and played a pivotal role in shaping the destiny of …
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Clara Barton was an educator and nurse who assisted soldiers during the American Civil War. She became the founder of the American Red Cross in 1881. She's a remarkable woman whose unwavering dedication to humanitarian causes forever changed the landscape of healthcare, disaster relief, and women's rights in 19th-century America. Clara Barton, know…
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oin us for a captivating journey through the life of the enigmatic Hedy Lamarr, a woman whose beauty was as striking as her intellect. Hedy Lamarr was more than just a silver screen legend. Her journey from a young Austrian actress to a groundbreaking inventor is one of beauty, brilliance, and resilience. We explore the early years of Hedy's career…
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Known as the "Queen of Code" and the "Mother of COBOL," Grace Hopper left an indelible mark on the world of computer science and the U.S. Navy. Grace Hopper defied societal norms by pursuing a career in mathematics and science at a time when opportunities for women in these fields were scarce. Her unwavering determination led her to become one of t…
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Mileva Marić is a brilliant and often overlooked scientist whose contributions to physics remain shrouded in history. Mileva's story is one of talent, determination, and the challenges faced by women in the male-dominated world of science at the turn of the 20th century. She is a woman whose genius was often overshadowed by her famous partner, Albe…
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Amy Winehouse is one of the most iconic voices in modern music history. Join us as we journey through the highs and lows of her tragically short but profoundly impactful life. Amy Winehouse, a gifted jazz and soul singer-songwriter, captured the hearts of millions with her soulful voice and candid lyrics. Born in North London, Amy's rise to fame wa…
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Empress Elisabeth of Austria, fondly known as Empress Sisi, was a royal icon whose beauty, mystique, and unconventional spirit continue to captivate audiences around the world. She had an enchanted Bavarian upbringing and fairy-tale marriage to Emperor Franz Joseph I. Her transformation from carefree duchess to empress thrust her into a world of gr…
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Edith Wilson's influence transcended the traditional role of First Lady. She navigated the corridors of power with grace, resilience, and determination. Edith Wilson captured the heart of President Woodrow Wilson, but her life took an unexpected turn when her husband suffered a debilitating stroke during his second term, leaving him incapacitated. …
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Nellie Bly, a trailblazing journalist, adventurer, and advocate who shattered barriers and changed the face of journalism forever. Nellie Bly's life was an incredible journey marked by courage, tenacity, and a relentless pursuit of truth. In the late 19th century, Nellie Bly burst onto the scene with her groundbreaking investigative reporting. She …
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This week's episode is inspired by a penile piercing called a "Prince Albert." Prince Albert was husband to one of history's most iconic monarchs - Queen Victoria. She took the throne at 18 years old and had the second longest monarch reign in the United Kingdom that spanned 63 years. She was a sheltered princess who was forced to transform into a …
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Mary Kenner, an unsung hero whose contributions have left an indelible mark on the world of household and personal care products with her groundbreaking innovations. Mary Kenner's journey was marked by both ingenuity and adversity. From a young age, she displayed a remarkable curiosity and a desire to make a difference. As an African American woman…
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This is the dark history behind Barbie. Step into the time machine and travel back to the post-war era as we uncover the captivating origin story of the world's most iconic fashion doll. We dig into the intriguing journey of the Bild Lilli doll and how it paved the way for the creation of Barbie. We unravel the tale of Lilli, a sassy and stylish do…
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Policarpa Salavarrieta aka La Pola was no ordinary woman. Born in Guadas, New Granada (modern-day Colombia) in the late 18th century, she was destined to become a symbol of courage and determination in the struggle for liberty. As Colombia sought to break free from Spanish colonial rule, she became a key figure in the resistance movement. We take y…
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Often overshadowed by her renowned literary creation, Frankenstein, Mary Shelley's own remarkable life story is nothing short of a gripping tale of love, tragedy, and groundbreaking literary achievements. In the early 19th century, amidst a society that restricted women's roles and ambitions, Mary Shelley defied all odds and emerged as one of the m…
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Miriam Makeba is a legendary icon who left an indelible mark on the world of music, civil rights, and African culture. She's known as "Mama Africa." Miriam comes from very humble beginnings. Her mom actually went to jail shortly after she was born due to making illegal beer. Miriam literally started off her life in jail. Thankfully, as a child she …
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Legendary jazz vocalist, Billie Holiday, known for her soulful voice, captivating stage presence, and raw emotional performances. She remains an icon in the world of music. We trace the journey of Billie Holiday from her humble beginnings in Baltimore to her rise as one of the most influential jazz singers of all time. We explore Billie's groundbre…
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Step into the enchanting world of Madame Tussaud, where history, artistry, and fame converge in a mesmerizing tale. We delve into the fascinating life of the legendary woman behind the renowned wax museums that have delighted millions worldwide. Marie Grosholtz, later known as Madame Tussaud, had humble beginnings in 18th-century Paris. She rose to…
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Carmen Dell’Orefice is 92 years old and the world’s oldest model still actively working and gracing magazine covers. She’s had the longest modeling career in history; a true icon and trailblazer in the world of fashion. Her daily motto is to enjoy herself at no one else’s expense. She has had a remarkable journey - defying the odds and shattering c…
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Agnès Sorel, was a woman who defied convention and left an indelible mark on French history. We explore the life, intrigue, and scandalous affairs of one of the most influential mistresses of the 15th century. Agnès became King Charles VII's favorite mistress, so much so that he appointed her to royal court. She let all of that power go to her head…
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