Episode 26 brings you spooky Dead Lady tales all the way from NYC! First, Claire Carroll introduces us to England’s Doreen Valiente, known as the mother of modern witchcraft. In the UK and beyond, she was key in the spread of modern day Wicca, now a world-wide religion. Doreen also had more than a few secrets under her cape.
Then, it’s time for a live lady taxidermist talking about a Dead Lady taxidermist! Divya Anantharaman of Gotham Taxidermy brings us the story of American naturalist and taxidermy pioneer Martha Maxwell.
The talks were recorded live at two separate editions of NYC DLS, which is hosted and curated by Molly O’Laughlin Kemper, with support from Nicolas Kemper and Christopher Neil and Lori Schwarz, general manager of the KGB Bar’s Red Room, where the event is held. Join the NYC newsletter to stay updated on the next ones!
Dead Ladies Show co-founder Katy Derbyshire joins podcast producer & presenter Susan Stone to chat about these spooky wonderful dames and more.
Now for some pictures!
Here’s Doreen with some of the tools of her trade.
And here are some of her ceremonial artifacts shown as they would be on an altar.
Ritual books owned by Doreen Valiente, including Gerald Gardner’s Book of Shadows at the back
The Blue Plaque marking the last home Doreen lived in. It’s the only historic plaque on a public housing building in the UK.
…onto the taxidermy portion of our show…
Presenter Divya Anantharaman artfully combines Rihanna lyrics with taxidermy to illustrate Martha Maxwell’s burning desire for knowledge.
Taxidermy hasn’t always been done skillfully. The Lion of Gripsholm is an infamous example of what happens when someone who has never seen the animal alive is tasked with recreating it from its skin alone.
And, get a load of these ocelots! Can you *spot* the difference? Again, one was prepared by someone with little to no knowledge of the actual animal.
Martha Maxwell sensibly attired in her hunting outfit.
Maxwell’s display at the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition was the first of its kind.
Our theme music is “Little Lily Swing” by Tri-Tachyon.
Thanks for listening! We’ll be back with a new episode in November. And here’s a link to our Patreon page, in case you’d like to help fund our work.