Playing the Fool
The jester is an archetypal character found in various cultures dating back to the early Chinese dynasties and the Roman Empire. For the inside story, we visit Lily Hufnagel and Amanda Renaud of the Jypsy Jesters, and Ann-Elizabeth Shapera, who portrays Jane the Phoole.
Cotswold Morris Dancing
Men with bells on knees and shins whirl and stamp to the beat of a tabor. The dance builds above the wine of a melodeon, there's a flourish of waving kerchiefs and a momentary pause. Add in fools and beasts, jokes and riddles, and it's obvious why, even after five centuries, Cotswold Morris is still such a crowd-pleaser.
Whatever their nationality, religion or politics, whether outlaws, outsiders or rebels against established orders, we reveal how people have often been forced into exile beyond the walls or boundaries of their homeland or known community.
The Art of the Broom
We discover one of the oldest domestic tools in existence and see how contemporary artisans make brooms in the same way as they have for centuries.
Elegant Contortions: Renaissance Prints
We take you to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston for a stunning exhibit featuring 50 engravings, etchings and woodcuts in the flamboyant Mannerist style.
Today the word "lycanthropy" evokes American werewolves in London. In the Middle Ages it was a manifestation of sorcery and satanic possession, while to Greek physicians of late antiquity and doctors of the Islamic world, this mysterious ailment was a treatable medical condition.
Renaissance Gun Control
High above the street, an assassin leans from a window. Gunshot! The leader slumps, mortally wounded. This scene was enacted in Linlithgow, Scotland, in January 1570. The target was James Stewart, First Earl of Moray, Regent of Scotland. The assassin, James Hamilton, chose as his weapon the newfangled matchlock carbine. We explore how gun violence has been a topic of discussion for centuries.
Of the many picturesque castles and palaces in Austria, few are more scenic than Schloss Ort (Castle Ort) located in the town of Gmunden on a small island in Lake Traun, about an hour's drive northeast of Salzburg. Built on the ruins of a Roman fort, it's one of the oldest structures in the province of Upper Austria.