Effed Up Mythology: Cupid and Psyche, A Valentine’s Day Story


Hello history nerds and historians!

Welcome to the first official segment of Effed Up MYTHOLOGY. This is where we talk about a little tidbit from mythology that’s super fucked up.  I’ve embedded the youtube and podcast link above, but for anyone who wants to read about this thrilling subject, you’ve come to the right place. So sit back, relax, and practice your “Oh, good gods what the fuck” faces. You can look at the youtube video above to see what mine looked like while researching this story.

In honor of Valentine’s day, we will be talking about that Roman myth about that time that Cupid completely fucked up a girl’s life because she was super pretty and mommy told him to. This is the roman telling because well cupid is associated with Valentine’s day, not Eros. But it is essentially the same story so when I introduce a god or goddess, I’ll also include their Greek name equivalence.

TRIGGER WARNING: Talk of suicide and mental/ emotional abuse.  If these topics bother you in any way, please log off now and I will see you next time. 

Domestic violence hotline: 1 800 799 SAFE (7233)                            Suicide lifeline: 800 273 8255


This mythological story seems to be the origin of so many fairy tales so we are going to start it in the true fairy tale format…

Once upon a time, in an unnamed city, in an unnamed town there lived an unnamed king and queen with two unnamed daughters because they are obviously super fucking important to the story.

Now the queen gave birth to their third daughter and they named her Psyche. And because she is named we can assume she is who this story is about (if the title didn’t give it away).

From the beginning, Psyche was the most beautiful person to ever be seen. She was so beautiful that people began saying that she was the embodiment of Venus (Aphrodite), the goddess of love, on earth. And if she wasn’t that same goddess born from the depths of the blue ocean, than she was the new Venus, born of the earth and, unlike that slutty goddess, was a VIRGIN. Because for some reason women’s virginity is a super important topic of discussion

Psyche would walk down the street and they would all be like, “PSYCHE you’re perfect, you’re beautiful, you look like Linda Evangalista, you’re a model.” and she’d be like… okay thanks can I buy my bread now.

Like she didn’t ask to be treated this way.  She didn’t come out of the womb like, “I HAVE ARRIVED THE EMBODIMENT OF VENUS.” She didn’t walk down the street like, “FALL DOWN AT MY FEET AND WORSHIP ME, PEASANTS.” It was put upon her by the people in this unnamed region. They stopped worshipping Venus altogether and began worshipping this goddess on earth, Psyche.

Eventually, Venus began noticing that and she was… not happy.  She was actually fucking furious. She was appalled to have to share her beauty and worship with a mortal human wench and terrestrial trash and “I’ll make sure she pays for her insolence”… that literally other people did to her but it’s kind of a theme in mythology to blame the victim…

So she called her son, Cupid (Eros) and told him to avenge his mother and let that virgin fall in love with a monster.  Whether it was a literal monster or just some loathsome criminal, she didn’t care. She just wanted her to marry someone that would ostracize her from society by the mere thought that she could marry such an abomination. Then she open mouthed kissed him because apparently they are one of those kinds of families. Which shouldn’t be so surprising considering all the incest in mythology.  

Zeus and Hera: King and Queen of Olympus, husband and wife………. and brother and sister… Ah, the Greeks and their incest.

Meanwhile, Psyche is now an adult and was super getting depressed because, even though she was so hot and people literally fell down in worship at her feet, no one wanted to marry her and she would just DIE A VIRGIN. They were too intimidated by her.  They felt her beauty belonged depicted in a statue not in their beds.   Both of her significantly less attractive sister were already married off, in some sources I read they were even married off to kings but they were ugly or old and the sisters weren’t very happy about it.

So, her father, unnamed king of this unnamed town, went to the oracle, which if you take anything away from this effed up mythology series,







Don’t fucking do it!

Anyway, so the Oracle tells him that Psyche will marry. TODAY. Go home and dress her for her wedding…. *Cue suspenseful music* but also for her funeral because you will never see her again.  You see, your daughter is going to be taken by a winged, inhuman creature and she will become his wife and it will be as if she died.”

So Daddy-no-name goes home and recounts what the oracle told him and they begin preparations.  And apparently the whole city hears of it and laments and the entire town escorts the weeping living corpse of Psyche to her wedding funeral. 

The people of the town are absolutely beside themselves.  They tear at their clothing and claw at their eyes and beat their chests in grief.  But Psyche, in the first time we hear her speak, addresses the whole town and made me fucking love her and look past some of the questionable decisions that she makes later on. She tells the people to be quiet and stop this show that they’re putting on.

“Why are you grieving for me now? You should have cried when you were addressing me as the incarnation of Venus or the new-and-improved-Venus 2.0.  You should have cried for me when people were coming from miles away to worship at my feet. Because when you all were doing that, you were dooming me to this fate. Did you really think that Venus wouldn’t take notice and seek retaliation? Just finish leading me up to the crags and let me meet the husband I deserve.  Why should I put off meeting him even if he is such a terrible monster and a sight to behold when apparently I’m going to fall in love with him?”

And she marched on with the people quietly following behind her and they put her on the tallest cliff and left her there.  Once everyone left, she finally let the terror and sadness overwhelm her and she wept for herself and her terrible fate until the west wind, Favonius (Zephyrus), caressed her softly in comfort and carried her off to a flowery meadow and she fell asleep because finding out you’re going to get married to a monster and practically being left for dead before getting whisked away by the wind sounds FUCKING EXHAUSTING.

When she awoke, she took in the grove that she was in filled with beautiful trees and a large fountain. Just past this was a giant, glistening mansion that seemed fit for a god  complete with gold columns and silver murals and precious stones in the floor, etc. so… essentially Jeff Bezos’s new house.

Inside was everything that she could ever imagine and as she starred in astonishment, disembodied voices that told her Lumiere style that all this was for her and upstairs she would find a room exactly to her expectation and to relax and have a bath and they would tend to her every need.

Later that night, in the dead of darkness, she feels a presence enter the room.  He introduced himself as her husband and they spoke for a while.  He mentioned that he already loved her dearly and he hoped she loved her new home because she could never leave and if they were to have a happy marriage, she was to trust him and never attempt to gaze upon him. And then Psyche, New-and-Improved-Virgin Venus 2.0 was a virgin no more.  Before dawn, her husband snuck out and they repeated this pattern every night. 

Back home, news reached the unnamed sisters that Psyche was sacrificed to a terrible monster. Rumors began saying that he was winged horrible grotesque serpent and they rushed back to the unnamed town to confront mommy- and daddy-no-name and the next day planned on making their way to the mountain where she was left for her funeral wedding.

That night when Psyche’s unseen husband came to her and told her that Psyche is in danger because “SHE” threatens you so you need to be on guard.  Not telling her who this unnamed person is because, god damn it, everyone is so fucking cryptic in this story. He then tells her that her sisters have heard of her fate and are making their way to the mountain and even if she hears their crying and grief, not to respond or even look towards the sound of the noise or else he and Psyche will be met with terrible sorrow and an irrevocable end. And she agrees with “wifely obedience” because clearly this story was originally told by a man.

But she spent the entire next day in anguish and grief for herself since she was as good as dead confined forever to loneliness in her pristine prison. She couldn’t even comfort and be comforted by her sisters that she loved so much and she literally just cried herself to sleep.  

Her wonderful (can you feel the sarcasm in that word?) unseen and unknown husband came to her that night for a little action as he does every night because this is LITERALLY WHAT THEIR RELATIONSHIP CONSISTS OF, was like,

“Seriously Psyche? Is this literally all you’re going to do all day? Just lay around and cry and feel sorry for yourself.  Like, bitch, you live in a fucking palace who gives a flying fuck if you’re lonely. Have you seen the jewels in the fucking floor? But no, you just lay in our marital bed and cry all day even when I’m trying to fuck you.  I can’t fuck a weeping girl. It takes all the fun out of it, who do you think I am, Jupiter? You know what? Fine.  Go ahead.  Go see your sisters.  Just remember what I fucking told you when this all goes up in flames.”

~Oh, be still my heart he is so romantic. Why doesn’t my husband talk to me like this when I’m having a depressive episode?~

Psyche, not at all exhibiting signs of being emotionally abused and having a serious mental illness that she should seek help for IMMEDIATELY, pleaded with him and threatened to kill herself because she was so unhappy. He finally conceded and told her she could see her sisters “but I warn you, do not let them ask about my appearance or you will be flung into a bottomless pit of despair and never again be BLESSED with my embrace.”  Because he’s one of those guys with a magic penis apparently….

To this she perked right up and thanked her husband for his immense kindness and said that she would rather die a hundred deaths than be without him and that “I love you wholeheartedly whoever you are.” And that Cupid could not do better in finding her such a wonderful husband. To thank him, she began making moves on him and he resisted at first because he was still so angry at her still for, you know, being lonely and depressed and emotionally abused but eventually could not resist her and gave in to her “Venus-like” charms.

The next day, the sisters make their way to the mountain and begin mourning for their sister. Suddenly they are whisked away by the west wind, Favonius and plopped into a meadow full of trees and a fountain and right beyond that is a glistening mansion and… Psyche.  The three embrace each other with happy tears and kisses and Psyche gave them a tour and showered them with gifts.  And the happy joy at seeing their sister alive soon was replaced with that green eyed monster of envy. 

Image result for green eyed monster

And one of the sisters asked her who her husband was and if they were to meet this wonderful master of the house who drenches his newlywed wife with gold and jewels and “oh are those rubies in the floor?”  Psyche laughed it off and says that he is a handsome young man who is currently out hunting and “oh would you look at the time, you need to get back home okay love you byeeeee” and Favonius whisked them away and plopped them back on the cliffs where they started.

And her sisters were pissed.  They were like, “Oh it fucking figures that the most beautiful person in the world would get a god for a fucking husband and get showered in riches for the rest of her life when we were married off to these ugly old guys and live like maids and slaves in our own homes and this bitch thinks she a fucking goddess in her mansion of gold and she’s going to look down on us? Like did you see how arrogant she was? How she just couldn’t wait to rub in our faces how well off she is and threw some of her unwanted treasures at us before banishing us so now we can go and tell the town how happy she is. Oh no.  nay nay. We aren’t going to tell anyone that we saw. And we are not going to give her the fucking satisfaction of having everyone continue thinking that she’s better than us.” So they just went home and started devising this wicked plot of how they were going to take down their sister and rob her of happiness and joy for the rest of her life.

You know, typical sibling rivalry.

That night, Psyche was so happy. When her husband came to her she told him all about her visit and her husband was like, “Great. Did you have an awesome time? And drink awesome shooters? And listen to awesome music and just soak up each others awesomeness? Do you fucking know how much danger you’re in still? She,” the still unnamed foe, “is going to come for you if you don’t get your shit together. And those lying whores that are your sisters are plotting a way to get you to betray me. And if those dumb bitches ever come back, which they will, don’t talk to them. And if you absolutely have to because you’re a weak woman don’t answer any questions about me if you still want me around to help raise our child because oh, yeah, you’re pregnant.”

And she’s like *gasp* “A baby?!” and just fucking ignores everything else that he said because, you know, toxic relationships are all the rage. And he’s like, “yeah, so now it’s up to you what the outcome of our child’s life will be.  If you keep your mouth shut, it’ll be a GOD but if you snitch on me, it’ll be mortal and one day fucking die.”

But psyche didn’t care.  She was like “I’m gonna be a mommy. I’m so happy.” 

And then, this is a direct quote from Sarah Ruden’s translation of the Golden Ass because I literally could not say it better myself: “But those bitches, those hideous demons breathing serpentine poison, went rushing out with unholy speed for another voyage.” *chef’s kiss* Then she refers to Psyche’s husband as a “drop-in husband” which is just another chef’s kiss. Drop-in husband warns Psyche about her sisters’ arrival. He reminds her to take caution and to just ignore them and “don’t let those bitches who don’t even deserve to be called your sisters because they’re terrible convince you to do anything.” 

And Psyche’s like, “Dude. You already told me multiple times what you think of them. Like I can’t see you, let me see my sisters.  Why do you keep treating me like a dumb ass? I’ll fucking show you.” 

And then… Psyche acts like a dumb ass….

Her sisters march up to the mountain and don’t even wait for the wind to come to them, they just fucking jump off the cliff. The wind catches them and carries them off to Psyche. They see that she’s pregnant and they’re… less than enthusiastic. “Oh good for you. This is going to be such a blessing. We’re so happy for you. And he is going to be a real little Cupid if he’s anything like his parents, right? I mean he’s just going to be gorgeous. Right? I mean your husband is gorgeous, right? I mean, he has to be to deserve such a beauty like you… Right?”

And Psyche apparently has terrible pregnancy brain and tells them, “Yeah? Oh yeah! He’s so handsome.  He’s an older merchant with salt and pepper hair but still wonderful.  I really wish you could meet him. Too bad he’s away on a business trip right now.”

“A middle aged merchant?” One of the sisters asks. “I thought you said he was a young, beautiful hunter? What’s going on Psyche? Why’d your story change?” And she clearly forgot everything her husband told her and she just spills the entire story to her sisters. And they were like, “We thought as much.  There have been terrible stories coming from the town that a terrible monster– a winged serpent with venom dripping from his fangs lives in this castle and you are in grave danger. He’s not going to keep you around much longer.  He is almost done fattening you up and before you give birth he will surely devour you and your unborn baby whole.  And we care about you so much and we only want what’s best for you.  So, dear sister, you need to murder your husband.”

And Psyche is like, “Oh my gods, you’re right. You have to be.  I mean, I’ve never seen his face so the only logical answer is that he is this terrible monster you speak of.  But however am I going to defeat this monster. I am but a lowly woman.”

And her sisters sympathize… sort of. “Oh, sweet baby angel, we’re here for you. Don’t worry, we will figure this out together. So here take this dagger and hide it on your side of the bed. Then get a lamp and fill it with oil.  He’s going to come to you like he always does and afterwards when he falls in to a deep slumber, light the lamp and plunge this dagger in to his neck.  We’ll be waiting to help you.  And after he is dead we will come and gather all your beautiful belonging– do those rubies come out of the floor or– and oh yeah you can come, too, and we’ll take you back home with us and marry you off to a human.”

And Psyche is blown away by how great of a plan they have come up with so quickly with no ulterior motives and only the best intentions. And then the sisters left.

Psyche wrestled with herself the rest of the day. “I love him… but he’s a monster. He’s never done anything wrong to me… but he’s going to eat me. He’s so sweet… but my sisters would never steer me wrong.” And before she knew it it was night and her husband was coming to her bed. They fucked, unbeknownst to him for the last time and she carried out the rest of her sisters’ plan.  She grabbed the dagger, lit the lamp and illuminated the beast that lay beside and saw…

A man.  A beautiful man.  With glorious wings and the face of a God.  It was fucking Cupid.  She was fucking Cupid.

Now this is where I interject to inform that Cupid is not the tiny little cherub that is depicted in paintings for some reason, he’s a full grown man. I mean, he’s a God but he’s a full sized dude.  Psyche wasn’t fucking a cherub baby and just didn’t realize it. 

Not Cupid IRL
This is more what it was actually like

Okay back to the story.

Psyche couldn’t believe her eyes, she dropped the knife and the sound startled her and she jumped. Simultaneously, two things happened.  As she startled, she pricked herself on one of Cupid’s golden arrows and fell even more deeply in love with the God of love.

But as she sound started her and she jumped, a drop of hot oil flew out of the lamp and landed on Cupid’s shoulder. He jumped out of bed, betrayed and angry and tried to fly away. Psyche grabbed him by the leg but couldn’t hold on for long and she fell. And instead of seeing if his very pregnant wife was okay after falling a considerable distance to the ground, he perched in a tree and recounted the whole story of how he became her husband

SO, how was it that Cupid was set out by his mother to punish Psyche for her daring to be called Venus by other people and ended up marrying her? Well. Cupid went out with all intentions to do exactly as his mother asked.  But when he saw Psyche for the first time, he was enamored by her. And as he was staring at her he lost grip of one of his arrows and pricks himself and immediately falls madly in love and could not hit her with one of his arrows to make her love someone else. So he made her his bride. But his mother, the sometimes jealous and vengeful Venus, could never know of his indiscretion and therefore he hid his face and true identity from Psyche and hid his love from the rest of the world.

But now, she has betrayed him by listening to her wicked sisters whose jealousy and hatred of Psyche’s happiness was the sole influence of their evilness, and they, he could see, would surely be punished.  But Psyche would be punished, too, she would never see Cupid again.

And with that, he flew off. And Psyche, emotionally distraught in losing the love of her life (and extra crazy from the extra love juice in her system from that arrow) throws herself in to the river in an attempt to end her life (Suicide lifeline: 800 273 8255). But the River refuses to accept her and plops her back on to the shore Moana style right in front of the God Pan. 

Pan tells her that he can tell she has an oversupply of love because of how she was acting and that she should just pray to the God Cupid because, although he acts like a spoiled and entitled child, he is the best God there is.  “Devote yourself to him and he will fix all your problems” and Psyche, I like to think, just laughs at the irony and screams in Alanis Morrissette (which is a reference to probably like 3 of you because I’m getting old) and begins making her way to her eldest sister’s house.

Psyche went to her eldest sister and told her that she did exactly as she was told but when it was revealed it was Cupid, she couldn’t kill him.  He awoke and told her that he obviously picked the wrong sister and that Psyche should consider herself divorced and that he was going to marry the more worthy sister with all the necessary marriage ceremonies and gave the eldest sister’s name, which we’ve never gotten but apparently she has one. The sister immediately made up a lie to her husband, she’s like BRB my parents died went to the mountain top, screamed for the west wind Favonius to take her to her proper husband and leaped off the mountain side. But, Favonius was like, nah bitch and pieces of her scattered everywhere.

But Psyche was not done and did the same thing to her other sister who met the same fate.

Psyche didn’t even take a break and began traveling the world looking for her husband that she would never find because he was whining in his mother’s room over his burn, between life and death because apparently even though he is an immortal fucking God apparently a little hot oil is enough to kill him.

Now rumors start spreading and people start talking shit, as they are wont to do, that while Venus is dancing around in the sea, Cupid is living it up with his terrestrial trash in the mountains and all the passion has left the world.  News gets back to Venus and she’s furious.  She’s like “MY BABY who the— what’s the name of this pedophile who wants to sleep with my baby.”

But like… Girl… don’t be that kind of mom, he’s a grown ass man god thing.

So she starts naming off different nymphs and being all accusatory and they’re like, “we don’t know, man, but we heard it’s Psyche or something like that”.  And Venus fucking loses it. She’s like, “what am I a fucking madam pointing him in the direction of his next sexual conquest? You know what, I’m going to fucking disown him and adopt a fucking slave in his place and bless them with all his gifts because at least I know that they will fucking listen and obey me. And since I can’t rely on him to carry out my wishes, I’ll fucking destroy that wench myself.” 

As she stormed off she ran in to Ceres (Demeter) and Juno (Hera) and in her fury asked them to help her punish this slave of hers named Psyche that is totally her slave and not at all her daughter-in-law. And they were not buying it, “Girl.  Why are you trying to ruin his life and his love? He’s a man. Like I know he’s your son and he’ll always be your baby, but he’s a full grown man.  Are you just going to let him never love anyone? He’s the god of love who can’t love?”

Finally someone who fucking makes sense even though Venus didn’t listen at all.

So Psyche is still running around the world looking for her husband and winds up in a temple of Ceres. And level headed Ceres having just left Venus and trying to defend her tells Psyche everything that has happened and Psyche realizes that the “she” that Cupid was warning her about is Venus and Psyche begs Ceres for sanctuary.  And Ceres is sympathetic but also not “Girl, I feel for you, I really do but like Venus is family and she’s not that bad of a person just a little over protective of her son.  So like. My heart goes out to you but no… get out of my house?”

So Psyche leaves and finds herself in a temple of Juno, what are the fucking odds.  And she begs Juno to help her because Juno is especially helpful to pregnant women and Juno pretty much gives her the same answer as Ceres.  “Love to help but Venus is my daughter in law (which is the simplest explanation of their relationship, honestly) and oh gee I can’t sorryyyyyyyyyyyyyy”

Meanwhile Venus is still hunting Psyche down and fucking handing out flyers looking for her like a lost dog. “Have you seen this slave? Have you seen this slave? Lost slave! Reward 7 kisses and one frencher,” when Psyche just walks in to her house like nothing is going on. “Oh hey mom in law wassup.”

And Venus, like so many mother in laws, does not greet her kindly and subjects her to anxiety and depression.  But like, these are literally anxiety and depression. Like the embodiments of anxiety and depression that literally torture Psyche. And to torture her more, Venus starts threatening Psyche and Cupid’s child.

“You really think that that baby is going to have a good life? You, you dumb cheap human can’t marry a god, you can’t give birth to a god and besides your marriage isn’t even actually a marriage.  There were no witnesses and no familial consent so you’re going to give birth to a bastard child if I even allow this to progress that far.” Then she beats the shit out of Psyche and mixes together all the wheat, barley, seeds, lentils, beans that she has and tells her to prove that she would at least make a good slave and sort through and separate everything by nightfall Cinderella-style and left. And Psyche just stood there dumbfounded until the tiniest creature, an ant, came to her aid.  The ant called all its little ant friends to help this “adorable unhappy girl” and they sorted everything for her.

When Venus came back that night she chastised Psyche and said that it was actually Cupid who did it. “But not to worry, more was to come” and tossed her a piece of bread like a dog and went to her room.

But mind you, Cupid’s been locked in his room under guard since she found out so there’s literally no way that can be the case.

The next morning, Venus summoned Psyche and told her her next task. ” Go down by this special river and gather wool from the sheep that graze there but the sheep that graze are special sheep that have fleece made of gold” (not the same golden fleece as Jason and Medea, though, which we’ll talk about in a few segments).

Psyche happily goes out on her quest but she plans on throwing herself in to the river and committing suicide (Suicide lifeline: 800 273 8255).  But the reeds at the river ask her to “please carry on and try and carry out the task set before her.  But not to try and just go grab the fleece because the sheep are fiercely protective and will ram her with their hard horns and bite her with their poisonous teeth. So just chill here with us and relax on the bank AND DON’T kill yourself. Later on today the sheep will move back to their home and will brush against the branches and then you can just pick it off the trees like fucking berries.”

So that’s exactly what she did and Venus was like “What the damn fuck.  Cupid obviously did this for you, too because you’re too dumb to be able to figure this out”

“So now go trek up this fucking mountain to the River Styx (the river of the fucking underworld) and get some of the icy water and tut tut hurry back”

This mountain side is fucking crazy, though.  It is unclimbable because you aren’t supposed to be able to get to the River fucking Styx if you aren’t dead and even if she tried, the tumultuous river started screaming at her to”go away” and “back the fuck up” and she was just frozen

The eagle of Jupiter (Zeus) then came swooping down, “Listen you dumb bitch, what do you think you’re doing? Surely you know that you can’t trust this river? Like seriously, you mortals swear by the gods, the gods swear by the River Styx because they fear it so much and you think you can just steal some water from the summit? Dear gods girl, just give me the fucking jar” and he flew to the summit and took some water even though the water screamed in protest and Psyche brought it back to Venus who praised her and greeted her with loving open arms…..

NOT did you fucking forget what story we were telling?

“Well aren’t you the most wonderful fucking witch.  Well here’s a task that will just be fit for a sorceress such as you.  Take this box and go down to the underworld and go to the queen of the fucking queen herself Proserpina (Persephone) and tell her that I ask for just a little bit of her loveliness in this box because I have been wasting away caring for my suffering and dying son who is in such a state because of his stupid whore wife. And your little bit of beauty will be all I need to regain myself completely.  Make sure you tell her exactly that. Repeat it back to me.  Uh huh… mmhm… yep, stupid whore wife, okay great now go.”

So Psyche walks away like, “how the fuck do I get to the underworld.”  It isn’t some place you can just walk in to like, hey guys here weekly lunch date with grandpa. So she thought the best way to do that was to just throw herself off of the highest fucking tower and even if she didn’t accomplish her task at least she’d just be done because she is in pristine fucking mental health and doesn’t need to seek professional help at all.

Before she launches herself off the roof, the TOWER starts speaking to her and asks her to reconsider her plan because, although she will definitely get to the underworld that way, she will never be able to return because all the creatures and inanimate objects are fucking routing for her. 

The tower then tells her exactly how to get to the underworld while still, you know, fucking alive. The tower tells her to make her way to a certain town and gather some cakes and mead and put two coins in her mouth.  “On your way there will be multiple beings asking you for help but just ignore them because they are all lures set out by Venus.  Charon, the boatman to the underworld who never does anything for free will take one of your coins but make sure he retrieves it from your mouth himself. When you get to the underworld, give the 3 headed dog you find guarding the entrance some of your cake and then tell Proserpina about your task, she will help you and then do the same exact thing in reverse order to get home. But whatever you do, do not open the box”

Psyche does everything that she is told by this talking tower to get to the underworld and back but when she is outside of the palace of Venus, Psyche, as you know at this point is renowned for her great decision making, decides that she probably looks like a hot fucking mess what with trekking by foot to the underworld and back and all and could use a little refresher and if Venus said that this could redeem beauty than she needed it more than anyone to make herself presentable to her wonderful and not at all toxic husband. 

So she opened the box and immediately fell into a death-like sleep.

Cupid having finally healed from his wittle burn decided he couldn’t be away from Psyche any longer because, you know, it’s been a few days since he got his whistle wet. He found Psyche, laying in her death-like state and wiped the sleep from her eyes, placed it back into the box and woke her with true love’s kiss. Then he immediately flew away because he was so scared of his mother’s wrath he needed to get the big guns involved and go and tattle to Venus’s daddy. 

No wonder he’s depicted as a small child in paintings….

You deserve this…… tiny baby penis and all…

So he goes to Grandpa Jupiter and throws himself at his feet and pleads his case. And Jupiter confronts him, “You come to me, on this the day of… probably one of my children’s weddings because I have so many who could even keep track– after causing so much shit?  It’s your fault that I fall in love with so many mortal women and cheat on my wife all the time and have completely damaged by reputation making me no better than a fucking piece of cattle and you think that I’m going to help you?

Okay. Yeah I’ll help you no problem but if I help you you have to promise me that if I see a super hot mortal woman, you’ll help me get her into my bed.”

Then he calls all the gods and goddesses in to his presence and tells them “I have come up with a solution to tame the wild and irresponsible Cupid.  He’ll marry Psyche. Heehee I’m brilliant. No. This was definitely my idea.  They aren’t already married or anything…”

Too cool for you

They invite Psyche up to home of the gods and have her drink ambrosia, drink of the gods and she becomes an immortal goddess (with the most adorable butterfly wings) and they have a lavish wedding and Psyche comes into Cupid’s possession because let’s not forget that women are property.

Venus is all of a sudden totally fine with the match and no longer has any issues with Psyche… okay…

Psyche then gives birth to a totally healthy child even disregarding the multiple falls and beatings she experienced during the pregnancy and they name her… Pleasure.

And they all live happily ever after.


And that’s the story of Cupid and Psyche.  Happy Valentine’s Day, I guess.

Thanks so much for stopping by today and reading my feminist rants.  I love you all.

If you have something that you would like me to talk about, especially outside of the Greek and Roman pantheon because that’s what I’m most familiar with and there are other amazing Greek podcasts and the like (Like Let’s Talk About Myths, Baby).

And remember, history might be watching so don’t fuck it up.

Effed Up History: The Connecticut Witch Trials


Hello history nerds and historians!

Welcome to the first official segment of Effed Up History.  I’ve embedded the youtube and podcast link above, but for anyone who wants to read about this thrilling subject, you’ve come to the right place. So sit back, relax, and practice your “Oh, good gods what the fuck” faces. You can look at the youtube video above to see what mine looked like while researching this story.

Now, I bet you might be thinking, Krystina, did you say the CONNECTICUT witch trials? I never knew there was such a thing as the Connecticut Witch Trials. 

But that’s OKAY.  I didn’t either until about a year and a half ago and found that there are even people in Connecticut who didn’t know this was a thing… like Benjamin Trumbill, the author of the 1818 book, The Complete History of Connecticut who said that there was never a witch trial to happen in Connecticut ever. Which obviously isn’t the case because I’m sitting here writing about it and you’re sitting wherever you are reading about it. 

This dude clearly knows what he’s talking about….

But it isn’t completely his fault.  The documentation of the Connecticut Witch Trials is really sparse and, as we will see the people who were supposed to document all of this… weren’t very good at their job.  Not like Salem.

Those bitches had their shit together when it came to documenting what happened. I mean, everyone knows about Salem.  Happened in spring of 1692.  Lasted about 7 months.  And during that time over 200 people were accused of being a witch.  Of those people, 25 died in total: 19 were hanged, 5 died in jail, and one man was crushed to death when they were trying to press him for information and a confession.

Giles Corey’s last words are said to have been, “more stones.” Metal AF.

The Salem Witch Trials of 1692 has become iconic to not only American history but World history.  While witch trials have been happening for hundreds, if not thousands of years, Salem was so explosive that it was surprising.  And crazy. Wow, how could something like this happen and thank the Gods it was an isolated incident in American history,

Except for the fact that it wasn’t.

The Beginning of the Witch Trials and those lovely not at all extreme Puritans…

The first mass witch trials in America happened in Connecticut beginning in the mid 1600s.  During that time, 34 people were accused and 11 of them were executed.  Now, I know that that doesn’t seem like a lot in the grand historical context what with all the massacres and genocides. But, when compared to the iconic and crazy Salem, over half of the amount executed. And to further compare with Salem: in Salem, you had a 1 in 10 chance of being executed if you were accused.  In Connecticut, it was  1 in 3.

Honestly, I’d much rather take my chances in Salem.

To give a little bit of a background on the accusers and accused in both Connecticut and Massachusetts, we can look first to the Puritans who settled New England in 1620.  Puritans, a more extreme faction of Christianity, came to the American colonies to escape religious persecution only to then become the persecutors themselves.

In Puritanical New England, it was literally illegal to practice anything other than Puritanism.  Like Mary Wright, who in 1660 was accused of being a witch, which she was later acquitted of.  However, she was also accused of being a Quaker and was later convicted of this and banished from the colony completely.

Puritans followed the bible literally.  So in turn, many of the reasons that people were accused had to do with the bible.  This included reasonings like, if you had a proud look, a lying tongue, a heart that devised wicked deeds, and feet that ran swiftly towards mischief.  Other reasons that didn’t have to directly do with the bible included if two people accused you, if you got angry when people were questioning you, or if something weird happened that you may have been involved with or were in the general vicinity of possibly.

This was especially true if you were an outspoken, middle aged woman of low financial standing…. But those in higher social standings were also often accused.

So you pretty much just couldn’t win.

And this is not to say that there weren’t also men that were accused of being witches.  But it was mostly women.  Or husbands of women who were accused.

Testing for Witchcraft (read: how it was pretty much impossible to not be convicted)

Now, to test these accused witches, investigators used a variety of different methods.  Often the first one was just making the accused sit in a room for 24 hours without access to food, water, or toilet to see if a familiar would come and suckle from their witch teats.  If there were no witch teats visible for these familiars, investigators would strip down the accused and shave off all their hair to see if they could find the hidden ones.  If they were still invisible, the investigators would start poking them with knives, needles, and sharp pins to encourage them to appear.

Another method would to be to take a dull knife and run it along the arm of the accused.  If they didn’t bleed they were a witch.  Because, I don’t know about you but literally any time I use a butter knife, I need stitches.

The last method that I’m going to write about is probably one of the most popular and most well depicted in popular culture: the water test.  This is when they would strap the accused to a chair and throw them in a body of running water.  If they floated, the water was rejecting them and they were a WITCH. If they sank, then they were deemed innocent…. But probably also dead because of that pesky inability to breathe under water.

A water test… Because this is totally a fair way to convict someone.

The first person to be accused of witchcraft in the American colonies was a woman named Grace Dutch, in the early 1600s.  All of the sources I’ve found so far just say “16??” when it comes to the date so it was some time after 1620 but before 1647.  After Grace there were a few people who were accused but none went through the whole trial to be convicted and executed.

The First Executions with barely an explanation

Until May 26, 1647 when Alse Young was hanged for being a witch.

For those of you, like me, that are terrible at math: that’s FOURTY FIVE YEARS before Salem.  We know this from a note written by the first governor of Massachusetts, John Winthrop, who wrote, “One Alse Young of Windsor arraigned and executed for a witch.” This is later confirmed by a clerk, Matthew Grant who wrote, “Alse Young was hanged.”

The note from Matthew Grant’s journal. What a wonderful and captivating account of the execution of a woman.

And that’s it.

That’s all we know.

There are no details about her trial.  There’s no background info about what led up to her accusation.  There’s not even a lot of information about her life.  She may have been married to a man named John Young because there are land records that kind of match up during that time.  Some historians think that they had a daughter also named Alice who, in one account that I read, said that she was later accused of being a witch in Massachusetts, but I couldn’t find anything about that.  Historians also think that there was an especially deadly flu season that year that the people in Connecticut blamed her for. Which is fine.  It’s all fine.  We don’t need to know why a woman was executed. It’s fine. I’m fine.

The next person to be executed for witchcraft, is the first that actually confessed to being a witch.  She gets a single sentence in the Connecticut records that states, “the jury finds the bill of indictment against Mary Johnson that by her owne confession shee is guilty of familiarity with the devil.” And that’s all.

But we can thank Cotton Mather of later Salem Witch Trial fame.  He wrote more about her and her trial.  Mary claimed that the devil did her many services like cleaning out ashes from the fire place and driving the hogs out to the field. Who knew the devil was so handy with household chores?

But her main confession was that she murdered a child and was “unclean with men and devils.” Now while this seems cryptic and supernatural, this most likely meant that she got pregnant out of wedlock and either had a miscarriage or terminated the pregnancy. But because of her extreme religious beliefs, she interpreted this to be the greatest of sins and was under the influence of the devil. She was executed in 1648.

Next up we have the first of seven couples to be accused and the first of two to be executed.  Their names are John and Joan Carrington. They were charged with “familiarity with Satan” and “works above the course of nature” whatever the fuck that means.  They were executed in 1651 but not much more is known about them.

Next up we have Goody Basset who we know even less about because, like Alse, there are no records other than that she was executed in 1651.  Although, apparently, she told investigators and magistrates that there was another witch in town.

This is what lead to Goody Knapp getting accused.  According to court records, she had witch teats and marks all over her body and was executed in 1653.

Next up we have Lydia Golbert who was probably executed as a witch? Literally the sources that I read says “probably witchcraft.”

Elizabeth Kelley: devils, autopsies, and super hot witch broth, OH MY! ~or~ Super wonderful examples of parenting that you should totally implement immediately

After these first seven deaths, it was pretty quiet for a few years until 1662 when an eight year old girl named, Elizabeth Kelly, died suddenly.  And the cause?


Which lead to what is known as the Hartford Witch Panic of 1662.

Unlike pretty much everything else that has to do with this story, her story is actually pretty well documented but it is all told by her father so… how reliable is that really?

But allegedly, a woman named Judith Ayers, also known as “Goodwife Ayers” or “Goody Ayers”–because “Goody” is the puritan version of “Mrs”– required Elizabeth to drink hot broth.  Later that night, Elizabeth started experiencing horrible stomach cramps so her parents gave her some angelica root for her gastrointestinal issues and went to bed.

Later that night, Elizabeth sat up and screamed, “Father! Father! Help me, help me! Goodwife Ayers is upon me. She chokes me. She kneels on my belly. She will break my bowels. She pinches me.  She will make me black and blue. Oh father, will you not help me?”

Her father, upon hearing her screams, told her to be quiet and go back to bed so that she did not disturb her mother. Great parenting.  Surprisingly this wonderful example of parenting only calmed her for a little while and she started again later screaming out, “She torments me. She pricks me with pins. She will kill me. Oh father, set on the great furnace and scald her.  Get the broad axe and cut off her head.  If you cannot give me the broad axe, get the narrow one and chop off her head.”

Because, while they may have not been flexible in their beliefs and religious toleration, puritans were flexible with how they committed their beheadings and decapitations.

Apparently, Judith came to visit Elizabeth the next day to see if she was alright and to ask her why she was pinning all of this on her.  She also told her that if she just shut the fuck up about it, she would buy her some beautiful lace and that was all that was needed to calm her down.

But later that night, Elizabeth began calling out again and asked for Goody Ayers to be punished then screamed loudly, “Goody Ayers, she chokes me.”

And died.

In addition to starting this panic, she was also the first autopsy performed in Connecticut and the first in the colonies to be performed in association with a witch trial.  This was mainly because her father refused to bury her until he knew for sure if it was due to witchcraft or not. So her autopsy was carried out five days after her death and there were significant supernatural findings…

That are super similar to things that happen naturally when a body is left decomposing and exposed to the elements for five days (there were no refrigerated morgues in 17th century Connecticut, you know.)

A month later, Judith Ayers was officially accused and exclaimed, “this will take away my life.”

During her trial, the main evidence was a story told by her neighbors.  They claimed that Judith had told them this story about how years before there was a man who courted her in London and they set up a date to meet in the park. But when she looked down, cloven hooves were where feet should be and she stood him up.  When he found out he was so angry that he tore up an iron fence.

This was enough to convict her.

However, she was not executed.  She fled to Rhode Island with her husband who was accused of stealing livestock, leaving their two children, aged five and eight, behind.

200 years later, chief medical examiner H. Wayner Carver II, which is a badass name, reviewed the case and came to the conclusion that Elizabeth’s affliction was not witchcraft but a mixture of pneumonia and sepsis which caused her delirium and later death.

But I still like to think it was the super hot witch broth.

Hartford Witch Panic, continued and the most petty revenge of this whole story

While Judith was not executed for her conviction, there were four other people who were.

The first is Mary Sanford who, surprise, we know very little about.

The next are the second couple to be executed in Connecticut for the conviction of witchcraft, Nathaniel and Rebecca Greensmith.  This is also the most incredibly petty revenge that I’ve ever read about.

Rebecca and Nathaniel were both accused but Nathaniel was acquitted and Rebecca was convicted.  While in jail, she decided instead of trying to fight it, knowing that her chances were slim, she embraced it and confessed.  She said that she was in fact guilty and often went off and danced and had sexual relations with the devil BUT she had not yet given the devil her soul because she was waiting until Christmas.  BUT she was not alone when she was doing all this with the devil.  Her husband was with her the whole time and did everything that she did, too.  She also stated that she constantly saw small unnatural creatures around him and he was able to cut wood that no man should be able to cut on his own.

When Nathaniel heard about this, he confronted her in prison and asked her to recant her statements.  He promised her that if she did, he would continue to take care of her two teenage children from her previous marriage and she could die with happy thoughts knowing that they would be taken care of.

Rebecca told the investigators just that but twisted his exact words in such a way that there was no other conclusion that they could come to other than that he was also a witch and they were executed together in 1662.

Next we have Mary Barnes who was a servant who may have been named by someone else trying to escape their own execution. She was executed in 1663 but was the last person to be executed during this panic and also the last to be executed in Connecticut period.

This elimination of executions was largely due to the efforts of John Winthrop, Jr.

John Winthrop, Jr.: Connecticut Governor, Philanthropist, and WITCH?!!!!!

John Winthrop, Jr., magical AF

John Winthrop, Jr. was the eldest son of the first governor of Massachusetts also named John Winthrop and mentioned above in association with Alse Young.  Perhaps seeing this made him the way he was.

He was the governor of Connecticut in 1657 and again in 1659-1676.  He was widely renowned for his “first hand knowledge of natural magical practices associated with alchemy” which is an early chemistry where alchemists attempted to transform organic compounds to precious stones and metals.

It was also said that he was an astronomer and was known for his uncanny healing abilities. It was said that he could cure someone of an illness that he had never seen before with remedies he had never used before.

He spoke out to his constituents that he believed that there WERE actually witches in Connecticut but that there was a distinction between natural magic and diabolical magic and Puritans were way too quick to jump to the Satan argument.

And that’s because HE WAS A FUCKING WITCH. Witchcraft is not about worshipping the devil and sacrificing babies and dancing naked under the full moon while giving your soul to Satan. I mean, there are people that do that but they are definitely in the minority.  Real witchcraft is working with herbs or the cosmos and healing and working with energy. So… pretty much everything that  Winthrop did.

He also argued that spectral evidence, like what we saw (or rather didn’t see) with Elizabeth Kelly, was no longer sufficient evidence and there needed to be concrete proof and multiple people stating that they personally witnessed the same thing.  This completely changed how witch trials were won and led to significantly less convictions and no more executions in association with witchcraft.

In fact, during the whole Hartford Witch Trial panic of 1662 and 1663, Winthrop was in England fighting for a charter to separate Connecticut from Massachusetts as its own separate colony.

The hysteria died down a lot until 1692 (which is just a terrible years for witches in general).

The OTHER Witch Trials of 1692: Seizures, Dancing Cats, and Floating like a Fucking Cork

In 1692, a 17-year-old French servant named Catherine Branch was picking herbs in the field when she started feeling a prickling in her chest which were followed by convulsions and swallowing her tongue. Which I know sounds a lot like epilepsy but it is NOT, it was definitely witchcraft.

Then she began having visions.  First she saw cats talking to her, inviting her to banquets where they would shower her with gifts and if she did not come, they would throw rats at her.

Then she started seeing a woman in a silk hood and blue ribbon standing outside which later became an old hag that wore a homespun wool cloak with two firebrands on her forehead. Then they started becoming women from the town. Which led to multiple women being accused.

Two of the main women that were accused were Mercy Disborough and Elizabeth Clawson.  The reason why they are so well accounted is because they were both subjected to the water test.

Mercy actually asked to do the water test because she was so sure that she would sink because she was innocent and, even if she drowned, she would be absolved of any sins.  But when they put her in the water, she floated like a fucking cork. Even when they tried to push her under the water she still popped right back up.

Elizabeth also floated and was found to have multiple witch teats and marks all over her body including a one inch growth by her “nether lips.”

However,  Elizabeth was so well loved that, even though there were many tell tale signs that pointed to her guilt, 76 people from the town came and spoke in her defense and she was acquitted.

But, there was no mercy for Mercy and she was convicted.  But she received a stay of execution and was later pardoned.

The Final Witch Trial of Connecticut: Winifred, Winifred, and a Shot to the Face

The final witch trial in Connecticut happened in August of 1697 when Winifred Benham and her daughter Winifred Benham were both accused.  This was the third time that the elder Winifred was accused and the family was so over it that Winifred’s husband threatened to shoot the accuser in the face with two bullets.

However, all evidence was deemed spectral and speculative and the case was dismissed.

Now this was not the last witch accusation to happen in Connecticut but it was the last that was brought to trial.

In 1750, witchcraft was removed from the laws as a capital offense entirely. The conversation that led to this decision was not well documented but, after Salem, witch trials in general put a really bad taste in everyone’s mouth. Salem was regarded as a “miserable toil” and a “great noise” and no one wanted to be associated with them.

That concludes the Connecticut Witch Trials.  Thanks so much for reading.

If you have any stories about history or mythology that you’d be interested in seeing me discuss, please reach out. On the “Contact” page there is a widget to make a recommendation.

And remember, friends, history may be watching. So don’t fuck it up.

Print Internship Week 4

This week really emphasized for me the importance of takin advantage of any help that is offered in a class.  Last week, I talked about how I helped conduct a workshop for Dr. Beiler’s students, assisting them in transcription of handwritten letters over 300 years old in a script that is sometimes confusing to read (why did you need to write your “e”s backwards, Quakers?)

At the workshop that I helped run, we split in to two groups to assist with the two different letters assigned to the classes.  The letter that I assisted with was the one that I later provided feedback for.  While the workshop was open to everyone and a survey was sent out with different times so it could ensure that the most amount of people would be able to attend, only two people showed up, with one leaving half way through.  Not surprisingly, the one person who stayed until the end of the workshop did the best when I was providing feedback.

Feedback for these assignments is done by opening up the submitted word document and making in line corrections with “track changes” turned on so it is quite clear what has been changed.  I think that this is an effective tool because it is essentially the red pen of the digital world, showing corrections and offering guidance directly in line with what was submitted.

Once these corrections were made, I met with Dr. Beiler and explained how the students did based on a rubric and, with her guidance, sent an email to every student offering some further explanation, pointing them to the transcription manual again, and offering further guidance if needed through email communication.  Once again, I really enjoyed this whole process because I do have a goal to be in academics in the future and this is a great example of the whole process from start to finish when it comes to assignments, although I do not provide the grades to the students.

I had eight students that I had to do feedback for this week so that took up most of my time.  Other than that, I did finish my updates to the transcription manual and uploaded the PDF document in to the PRINT shared drive which was then shared with all the students by Dr. Beiler.  I also met with the PRINT team to discuss our weekly progress as we do every week. This is always an important time of the week and helps us all see what everyone is working on and if there is any guidance or ways we can help each other achieve our goals.

For now, transcriptions are finished for the class and I will go back to working on my research to fill the Linked Open Data, which is the part of the internship that I am really excited about.  I am really interested in seeing where this all takes me.  Pouring through these historical documents looking for little mentions and blurbs about a list of people is going to be a challenge but I am enthusiastic to see what will come up.

PRINT Internship Week 3

This week was all about transcriptions and assisting students.

I started my week by making some edits to the transcription manual used by both students and members of the PRINT team while we are working through these historic letters.  We have strict guidelines so that regardless of who is working on a specific letter, no personal tone or style really has space to come through to ensure they are all uniform.  The edits that I made were based on the workshops we did last week and repeated corrections that we were finding in the assignments.

Part of my internship is assisting students in learning with their transcriptions.  Considering that I’ve been working with the PRINT project for about six months now, I am kind of a veteran with transcriptions and the whole process.  Many of these new students that are in these classes may be experienced in reading primary sources that have already been transcribed or perhaps even some primary sources that are handwritten like diaries or logs, but I don’t think I would be at all incorrect to say that many of them don’t have experience with 300+ year old Quaker letters and all their obscure “Quaker speak.”

The beginning of my week was spent giving feedback on the first round of transcriptions from one of Dr. Beiler’s classes and met with Dr. Beiler and the other research assistant to go over what we said and why we gave the feedback that we gave.  We don’t provide grades to the students, but we do help with corrections and providing feedback to help them excel the next round.

After this, we met for our weekly PRINT meeting where I presented my biographical template that I came up with last week as well as the edits that I made to the transcription manual to receive peer feedback on if they were sufficient and if not, what improvements needed to be made on them.  The feedback was very helpful and I began correcting them immediately.

After this, on Thursday I participated in another student workshop to assist with the transcriptions.  Students from both classes showed up and since both classes are working on different letters, Dr. Beiler and I split the group and I guided a few of the students on my own.  I actually really enjoyed this because I would love to one day be in academics and this was a great insight to instructing in a historical atmosphere.  I changed it up a little bit and made sure to reference the manual and really stress how important it was to read the whole thing, especially the first part (which I think I’m more invested in now because that was the part that I worked on this week).  This coming week I will be giving feedback on the next round of transcriptions and then I’ll have a break from them for a little while and will be working on my Linked Open Data that I am really excited to work on.  I had such a fun time researching Abigail last semester, I know I’ll enjoy learning about everyone else.

PRINT Internship Week 2

This week was full of enriching activities.

At the beginning of the week, on Tuesday, the entire team met for our weekly update.  At this meeting we talk about what we’ve accomplished the week prior and what we intend to do in the coming weeks.  My assignments for the week were to finish my work on two transcriptions that I was deciphering last semester for my assignment on Abigail Pemberton, attend a workshop for the students in Dr. Beiler’s classes to discuss the transcription assignment they had to turn in this week, and create a template for the brief biographies we will be putting together.

The last two transcriptions were from Phineas Pemberton to his daughter, Abigail.  While they were in colonial Pennsylvania where it would seem that women didn’t have much agency, Abigail helped her father immensely in running his business.  These two letters from the late 1690s were mostly business matters, but were also clearly from a father to his daughter.  It chastised her for not dating her letters but also praised her on her intelligence and drive.  It was actually quite touching to read some of it.

On Tuesday evening, I helped run a workshop for one of Dr. Beiler’s classes.  Transcriptions in 17th century Quaker speak can be difficult.  Common wording includes backwards “e”s that often look like “o”s, and words like “ye,” “wth,” and “wch” with some of the letters sometimes being in a subscript and, of course, are shorthand for “the,” “with,” and “which” repsectively.  People have a hard time with it, naturally.

I created the template for the biographies that we will be writing. While these biographies are going to be a project that I will be primarily working on throughout the semester, Dr. Beiler and I felt that it was important for me also to create a general template so that if others gathered enough information on someone, they could write it, but it wouldn’t be blatantly obvious it was written by someone else. I based the template of these biographies off the biographical dictionaries we often reference while researching.  While these entries are often pages long, at the beginning it gives brief information like their birth and death location and date and their spouse and children.  I added their parents information and quick pertinent information like a brief description of their occupation, immigration, connections, or other brief facts.

I intended on conducting some research to populate the Linked Open Data (LOD) and create some more biographies, but Thursday afternoon Dr. Beiler sent me and the GRA an email asking us to give feedback on a transcription assignment according to the rubric that had been turned in early and meet with her Friday afternoon to go over it.  While we don’t assign grades to them, we do go line by line assessing for errors and making corrections in the form of documents.  This was a great inside look at some of the tasks a professor would perform and I really enjoyed.

This coming week I will be giving feedback on the remaining transcriptions for the class, attending a transcription workshop for Dr. Beiler’s other class, and, if I have time, will be researching to populate the LOD and write my brief biographies.

Print Internship Week 1

Hi all, I’m very excited to finally get started working with the PRINT team as the intern for this semester.  I volunteered with the project last semester while taking a colonial American history class with Dr. Beiler. I enjoyed the transcriptions projects we were assigned and wanted to do more.  They were like a puzzle that just needed to be solved, but I had some of the pieces to start to make sense of it– even if I perhaps put some in the wrong place or upside down occasionally.

And then I met Abigail.  Well, I didn’t really meet her.  She’s been dead for about three hundred years now.  But I feel as though I met her through the letters of hers that I read.  I wanted to know more information about her so I began researching her more for my assignment, but also for personal enjoyment.  She was a fascinating woman from colonial America who shattered a lot of my preconceived notions of the life of women during that time.  She helped run her father’s business as a teenager and had three engagements, two of which were called off (one of those being because she decided that he didn’t love her enough and wasn’t serious enough about life).  I really enjoyed working on this project.  It gave me a first hand look about the lives of people during the beginning of America.

This is especially fascinating because it is the part of the history that I am most interested in. My main interest lies in witchcraft and the metaphysical phenomenons and hysterics that happened in both England and colonial America and how that influenced society.  I also enjoy learning about the role of women during this time and researching how they contributed to society, since so much is written about men or at least from a man’s perspective.

This first week was an interesting one.  Being that is is the beginning of the semester, I spent time trying to get a good footing on what my expectations are and getting a good lay of the land with the project requirements.  I also worked on a couple transcriptions.

So what will I be doing this semester?

Well, first off, I will be meeting with the PRINT team every week to discuss the group’s progress and make a plan for the coming week. I will be meeting with Dr. Beiler as needed for internship-specific questions and assignments.  I will also be assisting Dr. Beiler’s History and Historians and Atlantic History classes with their transcription projects, assisting in workshops and providing feedback and coaching on the transcription process.

But my main work is going to be working with the Linked Open Database, researching a lot of the people associated with the PRINT project and filling in gaps and information, fleshing out what we know of these people.  While doing this, I will be creating and following a template for short biographies with the eventual goal of being integrated in to the website when hovering over a person.

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