After researching and recording our episodes on Loving v. Virginia the previous week, I was looking for a story that was a little narrower in scope. Something that wouldn’t be so weighty we’d want to split it into a second part. Something we could record without having to stop and compose ourselves. Somehow I wound up with the story of Princess Alexandra of Bavaria, who, in her young adulthood, came to believe that she’d swallowed a glass grand piano as a child, and that she had to move carefully or else it would break. (Past Stuff You Missed in History Class hosts also mention her in Mad King Ludwig Dines Alone.)
Our listener mail is one of many pointing out how we goofed up in Australia’s Rabbit-proof Fence. We meant to say that dingoes came to Australia with people – not that those people were the first ones ever in Australia. People have been in Australia for much longer than we said. In particular, we read notes from Carin and Alex on this point.
Maybe a modern analog: What is cyberchondria?
Episode link: The Princess Who Swallowed a Glass Piano
- “House of Wittelsbach.” Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online Academic Edition. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2013. Web. 08 Apr. 2013. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/646218/House-of-Wittelsbach
- “Otto.” Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online Academic Edition. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2013. Web. 05 Apr. 2013. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/434867/Otto
- BBC: Music for a Glass Man http://www.bbc.co.uk/northyorkshire/content/articles/2005/12/05/glass_music_feature.shtml
- Burton, Robert: The Anatomy of Melancholy http://www.gutenberg.org/files/10800/10800-h/ampart1.html.
- Cervantes. The Glass Graduate. http://www.gutenberg.org/files/14420/14420-h/14420-h.htm#THE_LICENTIATE_VIDRIERA_OR_DOCTOR_GLASS_CASE
- Famous Affinities of History: Ludwig 1 and Lola http://www.gutenberg.org/files/4691/4691-h/4691-h.htm#lola
- Kate Bland and Deborah Levy for Just Radio Ltd . “The Glass Piano.” BBC 3. http://thirdcoastfestival.org/library/1011-the-glass-piano
- Mind Hacks: Shattered Delusions http://mindhacks.com/2009/01/31/shattered-delusions/
- Speak, Gill. “An odd kind of melancholy: reflections on the glass delusion in Europe (1440-1680). History of Psychiatry 1990 1: 19.