The Stowe-Byron Controversy
I read twitter a lot. You know as one does and a couple of months ago I saw a viral tweet. That made me think I must know more. It was by the journalist. Sarah Young it said people keep asking for my opinion on cancel culture and the only thing I have to say is that the Atlantic was nearly destroyed in eighteen sixty nine by thousands of subscription cancellations over an article by Harriet Beecher stowe insinuating that Lord Byron F. His sister then there was another tweet the best part of this saga being that he most certainly did like I said had to know more decoding a show about cracking cultural mysteries and Willa Paskhin every episode. We take a cultural question habit or idea. Crack it open and try to figure out what it means and why it matters a hundred and fifty years ago. Lord Byron and Harriet Beecher Stout collided in the pages of the Atlantic the resulting smash up endangered in August American publication altered the reputations of two of the most famous in their time authors that have ever lived and most lastingly besmirched the less famous woman at the story center at issue. Were so many of the topics that are still consuming us today. Civility celebrity feminism fairness fake news and bad literary and also. It's juicy so today undercoating. What DID CANCEL CULTURE? Look like in the eighteen sixties. There are three major players in the story. The romantic poet Lord Byron his wife. Lady Byron born Annabella millbank and the American author and abolitionist. Harriet Beecher stowe. I'm going to begin with Lord Byron. Because in addition to being the oldest of the three his Gargantuan celebrity and it's incredible longevity are the stage upon which all of this plays out one way to see this whole incident is a referendum on the shifting meaning of Byron of how it who's most lasting legacy was not his poetry but himself. He's had this incredible cultural impact possibly more than any other figure among the romantic poets. But not for his poetry for his. Persona. Laura Miller slates book critic and people who've never heard of him are basically still in love with him whether they're reading regency romance novels or twilight. Byron was born. George Gordon Byron in London in Seventeen eight his father a womanizer and gambler nicknamed mad. Jack died when Byrant was three leaving his second wife and son without much money Byron. Who's born with malformed foot of which he was very conscious was raised in Scotland but when he was ten he unexpectedly inherited the family title. Becoming a Lord. Byron lived in outside life and there is a bounty of gossipy facts about him like forbidden from bringing his dog to Oxford Byron. Brought a small there he wants described. Wordsworth as turds worth. He was very handsome and personally kicked off a craze for the open collared shirt and a nod neckerchiefs. The details of his diet were widely known he would sometimes drink vinegar to maintain his figure he was veraciously omnibus sexual betting men and women to say just one par for the course example. He claimed himself to have had liaisons with over two hundred women during a visit to Venice. It's easy to Slot Biron into the framework of modern celebrity. What he ate what he wore. Who is beefing with who he was sleeping with? And that's not a coincidence. He created that frame Mark Byron really the first true celebrity first person whose primary claim to fame was just himself was just this persona that he created and that he conveyed in this poetry. This persona. I mean appearance in child. Heralds pilgrimage travel poem that Byron wrote while he was on a grand tour of Europe in the years after university when the first two cantos republished in eighteen twelve? They made Byron and night sensation? I awoke one morning and found myself famous. He wrote in the poem. The protagonist Harold like Byron visits Portugal and Spain Albania and Greece. He's angsty naughty alluring. Here's how Byron Describes Harold early in the poem while Oh in Albion's isle. There dwelt a youth who may in virtues ways to take delight but spent his days in riot most uncouth and vexed with Mirth. The drowsy of night Me In suth. He was a shameless white. So are given to revel ungodly glee. Few earthly things found favor in his sight. Safe Concubines and Karnal Company and flaunting Wa- Salo's of high and low degree. This type of character has a name. Of course the byronesque hero. We just take for granted now. The idea of the brooding tormented loner hero who breaks rules and is a genius and no one really understands him but he follows his own instincts Even the causes him. This tremendous pain Byron really invented that sewn-up invent it. He embodied it inspiring two centuries worth of copycats so like every sort of chains teen every bad boy especially every vampire hero because actually the first vampire story was based on Byron. The FIRST REAL VAMPIRE STORY EVEN BEFORE DRACULA was a story that was written by Byron's doctor who likes so many people. The time was completely obsessed with Byron. This obsession which began after the publication of child Harold pilgrimage was called even at the time by Romania. His picture was everywhere. His looks were copied and lusted after one of his poems. Sold ten thousand copies in a day and his every move was widely gossiped about and there was so much to gossip about take the most famous of his many affairs with. Lady Caroline Lamb. She's the person who described Byron as mad bad and dangerous to know at this point more famous than almost any line of his own poetry when things were going well between the two of them she sent him a thatch of blood tinged pubic hair but they were not always going well at one point they were at some social event and she smashed a bottle and gouged her risks with the broken glass and this very theatrical suicide attempt because he wasn't paying enough attention to her all of this was happening during the regency right before the Victorian era at the particular moment that he was active was a time that was notable for a sort of laxity of public morals. You you could do it you could. You could fool around but you're expected to maintain a certain level of decorum now. He outraged public nevertheless he did this with an accumulation of scandal capped by one particularly outrageous outrage even by the standards of the regency like hotness like. Incest is like a little too far for them. Even yeah most definitely okay. So now what still the early nineteenth century. We're getting the part of Byron's life that would become fifty years later. The contentious subject of the Brouhaha at the Atlantic. We're getting to Byron's incestuous relationship with his half sister. A woman named Augusta. Leigh Augusta was the child of Lord. Byron's father magic and his first wife. She was five years older than Byron. And the two didn't meet until he was almost a teenager. They got to know each other. Well only after Byron returned from his grand tour of Europe in eighteen eleven at some point in the years after this Byron and Augusta who was already married began to have an affair one he would describe as the most enjoyable love affair of his life in May of eighteen fourteen. And this is still high. Romania Augusta gave birth to a daughter named Madora who's believed by Augusta Elite Madora and Byron himself to be Byron's childe upon seeing the baby for the first time. Baron wrote a letter to his close Confidante Lady Melbourne One of the most powerful women of the regency era expressing relief. That she was not deformed it is not an ape he wrote and yet while all of this was going on Byron it was exchanging letters with quiet bright mathematically inclined young woman named Annabella Millbank. The woman actually who coined the phrase buyer Romania after observing its effects and others. Miranda Seymour is the author of in Byron's wake the turbulent lives of Lord Byron's wife and daughter Annabella millbank was an potentially incredibly wealthy and rather Brennan Young Woman from the north of England. She was regarded as a tremendous Koch. Annabella had already turned down five proposals. When she met Byron a party at lady Melbourne's Lady Melbourne was also Anna's aunt Byrum who didn't dance because of his foot noticed. Annabel out not dancing as well. He was so intrigued the despite barely knowing her. He made an offhand not entirely serious proposal of marriage through lady Melbourne Annabella declined but the two began writing letters to one another we. All My bar is the most wonderful less writer they just rot long saying every kind of shocking thing and having fun but in his class born with Annabella darn changed character. He started imitating on the Bala managed to write. Let's actually remarkably boring. And he kept up waiting. Remarkably boring lessons about gp why these subjects lake. I can tell him poetry and religion and so on and so on a hotel us from Annabella perspective then Byron did seem to be table someone. She was already reforming when he finally proposed again. She accepted immediately. She was in love though. Byron professed a desire to be tamed. His motivations were more complicated but I needed to cover up. This incestuous relationship with an office and the child that they believe to be Dez and he also was in desperate need of money that was also the fact that lady. Melbourne was anybody. Supportive of the match now leading Melbourne. Who was tremendously fond of Bar was horrified by the story? Which Barn toyoto Mr a paste? And she said you cannot put your name at risk. In this way your reputation will be ruined and you must must must get married. Annabella and Byron or married January of Eighteen. Fifteen as a harbinger of what was to come. He told her that day shoot find she had married a devil lady. Byron did not know from the outset about his relationship with his sister who was very friendly towards Annabella but at some point she became aware of it when Augusta. Leigh stayed with the Byron's Byron would shoe Annabella upstairs early in the evening. Bad as that was wasn't the worst of IT Byron flaunted. His ongoing affairs threatened violence. When Lady Byron became pregnant she lock herself in her room while Beilin was raging for fear that she'd miscarry towards the end of her pregnancy she became convinced. Byron was going mad and took preliminary steps to have him committed. It was just a dreadful year environments life. He'd let he lost a lot of money. He was in a very another state and she left because she had for her life Byron when he was in one of his moods fix was a very frightening cartridge. Indeed in December of eighteen. Fifteen Annabella gave birth to their daughter. Augusta Ada yes named after his sister Augusta who grow up to be known as Ada lovelace the woman now famous in her own right for being the first to imagine a thinking machine. The computer one of the reasons Annabella had eight study. Math was in the hopes of counteracting. Her father's moody nature even though eight barely ever met him. Byron last laid eyes on her newborn because in January eighteen sixteen Annabella left Byron. They've been married for a little over a year. The end of Byron's marriage was scandalous but it was only one of the strikes against him. Others included his liberal politics. His bisexuality his attempt to sodomize both his wife and caroline lamb. And of course the incest altogether it was enough to push Byron out of England. Not He didn't want to go letters from this period show that he was eager to get away from his marriage. His country his expenses and the scrutiny in eighteen sixteen he set sail for Europe. And then we didn't know it then he would never come back at the time. He played up the tragedy of his partying. He wrote a poem about his angst having to leave his country his wife and child but the public wasn't really buying it. There's a cartoon from the time drawn by George cruikshanks of Byron on a small boat. Forlornly waving to Annabella and Asia on the shore even as he stands amidst bottles of alcohol. Three bosomy women hanging off of his body. Public view was very pretty cynical by Brown's departure and sympathy about time entire any a hundred percent with his Byron's adventurous life continued in Europe. He may have been a little disgraced but he was still regarded as a singular poetic genius. And it's not like bad. Behavior was off brand for him. He wrote more cantos of child. Heralds pilgrimage and his best regarded Work Don Juan. He continued to have affairs. He had another illegitimate child with a young woman named Claire Clairmont. That's a whole other unseemly rabbit hole. If you're looking for one to go down and a more stately multi year relationship with the Italian Countess Tereza Jujio Lee who will reappear later in the saga he also became more and more involved in the Movement for Greek independence eventually going to Greece to fight the Turks in Eighteen. Twenty four at the age of thirty six all fighting for the cause he died miscellany in death. His reputation was restored. Barring death in this noble courses that caused an every night and fiction and completely change your view about foreign despite everything that happened between them. Annabella still known as lady Byron because the two never officially divorced spent the rest of her life looking out for his legacy including financially supporting Augusta and Madora Lee remained devoted. Barin until the day she died. She paid off his debt soft and he died. She bought land in Greece. Booker she knew Byron loved Greece. She says schools in Greece In his memory she did a great great deal to to honor him. And that's we're going. Leave the Byron's for right now to head to America and Harriet Beecher stowe Harriet Beecher stowe is the other major figure in the story and though she was otherwise not at all like Byron. She was also extraordinarily famous in her own. Lifetime still was born in New England in eighteen eleven. The Sixth of eleven children to family was the equivalent of American religious and intellectual. Royalty devout and fiercely abolitionist. She wrote the anti slavery novel Uncle. Tom's cabin which was published in eighteen. Fifty two the book about Christ Lake Slave named Tom made the ABOMINATIONS OF SLAVERY. A concrete injustice to millions of white people who had previously thought about it only abstractly. It became the best selling book of the nineteenth century uncle. Tom's cabin so ten thousand copies a week on published in book. Form a hundred thousand copies by the end of the first year in this country a million and a half copies in England the first year Joan Hedrick is the author of Harriet Beecher. Stout a life. She was invited to go on anti slavery. Tour of the British Isles After the book was published and She was just fettered at crowds of two thousand three thousand people in Moscow and London and so forth. The Queen Victoria came to to see her. Yeah yeah she was truly an international phenomenon on still second trip to Europe in eighteen fifty. Six she had an extended audience with Lady Byron still had grown up reading and admiring. Byron's Work Meaning. His wife and grandchildren would have been a thrill in and of itself But Lady. Byron in the years since her separation from Byron had become serious about a number of causes including abolition despite both being reserved women. They had an intense personal connection. She was very very very smitten. I think is the right word. By Lady Byron shed. She had almost a Like a a girlish reaction that she felt this throbbing feeling it from the interview with her like she was almost infatuated by her bond between the two was so strong. That lady Byron shared with stow the details of her howirling marriage to Byron including his relationship with Augusta. Leigh I mean she just had an extraordinary emotional response to her her intelligence her her range of of knowledge and the fact that she was this injured woman who told her fur story. Personally after this encounter the two women stayed in touch wrote letters side at least one more time and then in eighteen sixty lady Byron died at the time of her death. Despite the past scandals she was a well regarded woman. Miranda Seymour. Lady Byron's biographer again. Landon Borrowing Eighteen sixteen and revered regarded as honest to saint. And that's how things stayed until eighteen. Sixty eight that year. Byron's former Lover Countess. Terresa Jujio Lee published her memoir mentioned Theresa earlier. She had a long affair with Byron after he left England for good. That's the idea that UNA BELA had killed. Barn with a code nece goodhearted. She had not understood his great. Love says system. Nothing said about incest your mind but just you need the great love food and She was a code halted. Who should never have been married to a wonderful man who was in fact hold. Your breath compete celebrates Any went to bed with women when they threw themselves slash him because he was such a gentleman. Well you would think a book like that. Would just you know four flavor a small cliff and never be seen again but it was published during a summer when there wasn't much news getting on and the gentlemen of the press fell upon it with up salute delight point when Lady Byron is under attack from Theresa Chili and the press that hire beat? You're still feels called upon to defend her friend stowe's Intel engines in doing so. Were good but they were not entirely. Disinterested stowe's fame was on the way in the civil war was over. It was the middle of reconstruction and she was almost sixty her. Most recent novel been badly reviewed. It would be ungenerous to say that she was simply looking for a way back into the spotlight but she did it. See in Lady Byron a righteous means of doing. Just that in defending lady. Byron's you could do two things at once. Stand up her friend and once again align herself with a surging moral 'cause this time the one for women's rights women really expected that after the civil war you know They would be granted. The right to vote to Joan. Hedrick does biographer again and they started Agitating in public Around the issues of sexuality and divorce so this is the the context where where sexuality was now being discussed publicly. So so had just read mills on the subjection of women and written a couple of of people about how this it just opened her eyes So she's thinking about women's rights now in other words the moment still wrote her piece was not entirely unlike our own. The world was changing rapidly and there was a new feverish. Attention being paid in some quarters to the mistreatment of women and here was his legendarily. Libidinous male writer whose prolific sexual shenanigans had long been part of its towering reputation despite his abhorrent and menacing behaviour towards his own wife. So sees all of this and she thinks she can do something about it. She can bring this immoral man to account and do right by her friend and herself in the process that the problem is she's not she's such a novice at this you know she hasn't really got very well worked out philosophy of women's rights. She's she's just sort of fallen into this suddenly so what she thought would be. I think the The uncle Tom's cabin of of women's sexual slavery it. It just didn't work out that way in fact it backfires spectacularly in eighteen sixty nine. Harriet Beecher stowe wrote a piece defending Lady Byron for the Atlantic monthly the Atlantic which is the same Atlantic that is still publishing. Today was founded in eighteen fifty seven in Boston with the ambition to be a first-class Literary magazine and exponent of the American idea. Kind of American ideal. The mission statement included in its first issue with signed by the likes of Emerson Melville Hawthorne and so famous Popular Immoral Beacon and embodiment of exactly the noble and literary American values at the Atlantic itself. Aspire to represent stow was one of the publications star writers the P. She wrote for the magazine. About Lady. Byron is still to this day a fun. Read Beecher stowe by synopsys Inc. and dismissing the claims of Theresa Julie's book which he says rousing up new sympathy for Byron and doing its best to bring the youth of America once more under the power of the brilliant seductive genius from which it was hoped. They had escaped. Byron was a bad habit. She thought America had kicked. But now he's back and she's going to help him out again. She shares all of Byron's misdeeds highlighting lady Byron's immense class and forbearance in remaining quiet about his sins which include incest the paragraph in which she takes a decades old open secret about Byron and his half sister and deems it fit to print reads as follows. He fell into the depths of a secret adulterous intrigue with the blood relation. So near in consanguinity that discovery must have been utter ruin an expulsion from civilized society? It was immediately apparent to the acting editor. In chief. The writer William Dean howells this piece was potentially explosive. Howls consulted a number of people about whether or not he should run it. Some told him no the doctor and poet Oliver Wendell Holmes Senior told him yes basically saying he should do it for the clicks because it will quote attract considerable attention. Howls position was further complicated by stoves starpower as one of his colleagues joked. With the ring of truth he might have felt like he couldn't say no to her and howls also came to think Asto. Did this. Telling the truth about Byron's misdeeds was the righteous thing to do. He wrote soon after the world needed to know. Just how base? Filthy and mean Byron was in order. That all glamor should be forever removed from his literature. In other words the could not be separated from the artist and the ought to both go down in September of eighteen sixty nine. The Atlantic publishes the true story of Lady Byron's life whatever the complicated motivations for printing it a combination of moral outrage and wanting to make a splash wanting to tell the truth about Byron while keeping Harriet Beecher stowe happy the piece is received and this is an understatement very badly so it created an uproar from England. Susan Goodman is the author of Republic of words the Atlantic monthly and it's writers eighteen fifty seven to nineteen twenty five. We've seen as being so distasteful unheedful SAR it as A move on the Atlantic plot to make money by publishing something that lists sensational and so that that was considered tawdry the Atlantic monthly. It was widely seen to have published out of bounds poorly sourced dirty laundry about a poetic genius. The piece was riddled with factual errors. And this gave readers a further excuse to dismiss it. One of those errors had to do the dates of the Byron's marriage still made it seem as though Annabella had buried Byron knowing about the incest and this turn people against her. What kind of woman would accept that? Only vile one. The fact that Byron was dead instead of as it might now making the whole thing less contentious only made it more so he wasn't alive to defend himself but there are also plenty of ways in which the pieces reception sounds familiar now as then people might wonder if consensual incest was really any of our business and like us they looked to famous people to take sides and they did the feminist. Elizabeth Katie Stanton defended the piece but she was in the minority far more. Were outraged about it including Charles Dickens. Who wrote quote wish? Mrs Stow was in the pillory all the back and forth about the scandal all the hot takes published about it. Basically were gathered into a book. The print version of an explainer called the Sto- Byron controversy. And then of course. There were the cancellations. The magazine began to hemorrhage readers who struck their subscriptions and Masse. Even though there doesn't seem to have been an organized campaign to do so about a third of their you know subscribers. They had about forty five thousand subscribers and they lost fifteen. This is more than just financially calamitous damage. The reputation took away their moral authority. I think that when people read the Atlantic this is probably true today when people read the Atlantic or The New York review of Books. They feel Is though that can it that somehow? That's a sign of how smart they are. Or How Cultured Day are you know it it confers and so when the when the Atlantic didn't live up to that ideal that that people had which was in part a reflection of who they wanted to be then. They broke their connection to the magazine. It didn't reflect their values any anymore the Atlantic and stove were asking people to Rethink Byron and rethinking. A particularly beloved celebrity was also not something people wanted to do then any more than they. WanNa do it now. It's one of those things where people just didn't really want to believe it. Laura Miller again. They were just in love with him with either in love with what he represented the sort of Prometheus in figure the grandeur and you know he was such a Sloven he. He was so unkind to his wife. And you know. He was bad according to Victorian ideals which basically what she was saying but the value of someone like Byron in particular. I think he represented all of the Trans aggressive impulses that people could allow themselves to express so they needed him even more. If you think about the true story of Lady Byron's life as a boulder tossed into a lake. The effect on the Atlantic is the big splash. Immediate obvious dramatic but the Atlantic survives the impact basically by washing their hands of the whole thing. They just let it flow over. Basically Susan Goodman who authored a book about the Atlantic Again House didn't get fired. He blamed Harry though. You know four exaggerations. Let's say howls would actually go on to become the editor in chief of the magazine which slowly built its subscriber base. Back up for her part was completely blindsided by the reaction she just could not believe the reaction of the American press. Joan Hendrick does biographer again. She never thought that they would disbelieve her story which she heard directly from Lady Byron but instead they just decided that lady Byron. What's insane or you had a diseased mind or you know an end. Of course. They accused Stowe of being prurient and and and taking the Sensational Story. Dragging it before the public and some said even. If this is true you shouldn't you shouldn't say it in public but instead of backing off sto digs in. She turns the piece into a book. The vindication of Lay Byron. There is also at that point defense of her decision to write the piece in the first place. He never regained the kind of stature that that she wants had I probably would have continued to lose it anyway but this didn't help still. When stowe dies in her eighties in eighteen ninety six this is a minor ripple a footnote in the story of the woman who wrote uncle. Tom's cabin ultimately the stories most tidal repercussions. The people knocked flat by the way of kicked up by this boulder of a Brouhaha are the dead ones. Lord and Lady Byron since their separation lured lady Byron's reputations had become something of a zero sum game. When one was up the other had to be down in the years immediately after lady. Byron's death she had been on top but still is peace and the work that was responding to turn this upside down. Miranda Seymour again won Miss Interesting things about the response to hurry. It's book is that Byron was completely restored as a kind of angel clear. She's talking here about his persona not his poetry. Though Barnes work was wildly esteemed in his lifetime by the time. All this is happening. His poetry has become something of an afterthought and this mess doesn't change that it just gives his persona a hard Polish. The beginning of a new Passion full bio in the great figure. The neighbor mind injured husband above all which is his new role. He injured husband and that rule written well into the twentieth century to being injured husband. He has to have a cruel wife. Lady Byron. She seems to have become later in life. Not to put to find a point on it. A bit of a pig abstemious controlling a proud goody two shoots it's nothing that bad and certainly nothing that excuses Byron's behavior towards her but then as now it's nothing that fun. She's just a deeply unromantic figure surrounded by these deeply romantic figures who didn't always speak kindly of her. Byron insulted her in his poetry her daughter. Ada resented some of her controlling ways even as she assiduously kept her mouth shut in the years right before and after her death. This wasn't really held against her. She had her critics but she was a very respectable. Devout well-behaved woman. She was in a lot of ways a very good Victorian. When does article comes out? People don't just defend Byron the go on the offensive they latch onto lady Byron Self Regard. The complaints about her and wore per into a malevolent killjoy. With an anti artistic temperament who is out to get Byron nobre and wonderful woman who overnight almost it seen can be turned into a woman who is being described as I didn't know kite M Nesta and the woman in England and the types of there was no incentive. The main thing they wanted to say what's the was new incest. This was all a delusion of lady. Barnes mind And that idea was pushed relentlessly in book after book. Costa Book Lady Byron was cast as cold uptight heartless prudish and vindictive the wet rag to Byron swaggering genius out there. Besmirching his name. His every flaw was forgiven. Her every flat was magnified and this remained the predominant conception of her for more than a century in other words Lady Byron the least powerful least famous ensure least charismatic participant in this whole contre temps is the only one who was in the contemporary sense cancelled. As I was working on this piece I kept thinking about something that Laura Miller fleets book critic said to me about Romanticism. Still live in the sort of emotional and cultural soup of Romanticism. And so if I were to describe it to you it would be like I was describing what we live in now. If we have an idea of like the individual genius or the importance of gut feelings over reason or the imperative for self-fulfilment. All of those things are romantic ideas that were basically formulated during the romantic movement. But we just kind of take them for granted because we don't really remember what the world was like before the romantic movement this whole story underscore says we're still swimming in the same soup still working with the same archetypes asking the same kinds of questions fighting the same kinds of fights fascinated by the same sorts of things. I mean imagine if something similar to happen right now if a respectable outlet to run a piece alleging misdeeds about a famous man beast only on the words of the victim herself now as then the whole thing would be an enormous attention consuming to do. There would be pieces about the place of open secrets in our culture outrage the outlets frenzy for attention had led it to run such bad reporting questions about whether it was fair to judge a previous Arab by the standards of a new one and debates about the merits of the accusations themselves. Are they real? Are they really that bad? Should they have been shared? Has this whole thing gone too far? All of this will be capped by a lot of fretting about how we're now supposed to relate to the bad man at the center of the story even if after the dust settles. He goes on pretty much as he was. I'm not saying everything is the same. We're now at a moment. When stowe's basic position that there is a moral reason to expose the bad deeds of famous. Men is ascendant and blaming the victim. What happens too much is more generally understood to be an evil unto itself but you only have to think of the recent Michael Jackson documentary or the Cavanaugh hearing to see. We're not so far away from all of this. Even if in eighteen fifteen byron stands didn't have the ability to swarm it lady. Byron's Twitter Account Making Death Threats. Still if you're looking for a little reassurance that things have changed you can find it in the facts. That ours is the age. That finally took a harder. Better look at Annabelle millbank. It's only relatively recently well into the two thousand ten's the biographies like Miranda. Moore's have much more meticulously done. What Harriet Beecher? Stowe tried and failed to do a hundred and fifty years ago restore the reputation of the flawed by which I mean. The human woman married to a much more famous man. You know what they say better on cancelled late than never decoder ring. I'm Willa Pass. Can you can find me on twitter at will pass skin and you have any cultural mysteries. You want us to code you can email us at decoding at slate dot com. If you haven't yet subscribe and radar feed and Apple podcast or ever get your podcasts. And even better tell your friends. This podcast was written by Passion. Paskhin and edited by Benjamin fresh who also does `lustration for every episode it was produced by Willett Haskins. And Benjamin Fresh Cleo. Eleven is our research assistant thanks June. Thomas Gabriel Roth and Sasha on our thanks for listening. We'll see you in a few weeks.