Noble Blood

Noble Blood

iHeartRadio and Grim & Mild


55 episodes

Author Dana Schwartz explores the stories of some of history’s most fascinating royals: the tyrants and the tragic, the murderers and the murdered, and everyone in between. Because when you’re wearing a crown, mistakes often mean blood. New episodes every two weeks, on Tuesdays.

  • 20 JUL 2021
    Lovers and La Maupin
    23m 59s

    A bisexual, sword-fighting, opera-singing, 17th century arsonist... no wonder there are so many stories about her. [Side note: I wrote a book! It's a gothic love story about 19th century Edinburgh, and you can pre-order here: https://read.m...

  • 06 JUL 2021
    The Later Life of Bloody Mary
    35m 10s

    When Mary rode into London to claim her crown, she was met with celebration the likes of which had never been seen before in the city streets. Five years later, at the end of her reign, she was a hated figure. Today, she's known as Bloody M...

  • 22 JUN 2021
    The Early Life of Bloody Mary
    37m 58s

    The oldest daughter of Henry VIII, Mary Tudor, is commonly known today as "Bloody Mary" for her persecution of Protestants in England during her reign as queen. But as a young woman, she was a girl whose life was ripped out from under her w...

  • 08 JUN 2021
    Queen Christina Removed Her Own Crown
    33m 31s

    Christina of Sweden is one of the most compelling figures of the 17th century, a queer Catholic convert who rejected social norms and stepped down as a monarch to live a life completely on her own terms. [Side note: my novel, ANATOMY: A LOV...

  • 25 MAY 2021
    Historical Mythbusting Spectacular!
    37m 58s

    For our 50th (!) episode, Noble Blood is tackling historical rumors: "Let them eat cake," Elizabeth I being a man, the lost dauphin of France, and....... *that* rumor about Catherine the Great. [Side note: I wrote a book!!!! It's a novel ab...

  • 11 MAY 2021
    The Mad Tyrant, Hey Hey!
    38m 6s

    In American history books, King George III is painted as the despotic villain keeping us from our independence. That he was "mad," then, makes perfect sense. But in reality, his madness was a sad coda to a long reign, a tragic untreated ill...

  • 27 APR 2021
    The Double Agent
    28m 30s

    The Chevalier d'Éon was a diplomat, spy, traitor, and international celebrity. She's also sometimes regarded as one of the most prominent transgender figures in European history. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcas...

  • 13 APR 2021
    In the Shadow of the Great
    24m 40s

    Catherine the Great's son, Paul I, idolized his deceased father Peter III and resented his powerful mother. Unfortunately for him, when he finally became Tsar, he would learn that wielding power isn't as easy as it looks. Learn more about...

  • 30 MAR 2021
    The First and Last Emperor of America
    32m 6s

    At the end of the 19th century, a man in San Francisco declared himself the Emperor of the United States. Was he mad? Possibly. But he also became a beloved fixture of a city, a unifying symbol, and a monarchical mascot. This is the story o...

  • 16 MAR 2021
    From Poland with Love
    33m 11s

    The daughter of a Jewish heiress and Polish count went on to become one of the most infamous secret agents in British history. The story of Krystyna Skarbek reads like part-spy novel and part-political thriller. Learn more about your ad-ch...

  • 02 MAR 2021
    The People's Princess (with Michael Hobbes and Sarah Marshall)
    1h 20m 41s

    Thanks to the popularity of the television series The Crown, a new generation has become captivated by Princess Diana—her life and her tragedy. She remains an enigmatic figure, undeniably captivating, for both her vulnerability and her powe...

  • 16 FAB 2021
    The Three Husbands of Lucrezia Borgia
    32m 59s

    Her first lover was found dead in a river. Her second husband was strangled in his bed. Perhaps it's no surprise that in popular culture, Lucrezia Borgia has become a femme fatale, a black widow murderess who stepped over husbands in order...

  • 02 FAB 2021
    Queen Njinga's Cleverness
    31m 15s

    Queen Njinga ruled the united kingdoms of Ndongo and Matamba while facing off against the constant threat of Portuguese colonization. All it took was the cunning to know who to trust and when. [Support Noble Blood on Patreon here: https://w...

  • 19 JAN 2021
    All Germany Talking of It
    30m 57s

    In the winter of 1891, a group of 15 Prussian visited a hunting lodge in the woods for what was supposed to be an ice-skating party. Instead, it became an orgy. And then the anonymous letters began arriving. [Support Noble Blood on Patreon...

  • 05 JAN 2021
    Juana La Loca
    29m 22s

    Depending on which stories you read, Juana of Castile is either a woman who went mad after the death of her husband, or a maligned figure who was manipulated by the men in her life so they could rule Spain in her place. Her life is a perfec...

  • 22 DEC 2020
    The Devil and the Duchess de Praslin
    26m 46s

    The Duke and Duchess de Praslin were originally a love match. But two decades—and a beautiful, young governess—led to growing tensions and resentment. When the Duchess was found murdered in her bedchamber, the police had no choice but to ar...

  • 08 DEC 2020
    Piers Gaveston, the King's Favorite
    31m 58s

    The great love of King Edward II's life was a man named Piers Gaveston. As one contemporary wrote, “I do not remember to have heard that one man so loved another... and our king was incapable of moderate favor." But favoritism has its price...

  • 24 NOV 2020
    King George Washington I
    37m 43s

    One of the most enduring stories about the founding of the United States of America is that before George Washington accepted the position as President, he declined the position as King. But "enduring" doesn't necessarily mean true. Learn...

  • 10 NOV 2020
    Charles the Beloved, the Mad, the Fool
    30m 6s

    While feverish and riding on a hot day, King Charles VI had a fit of madness, and murdered one of his own men. For the rest of his reign, he would be plagued by periods of insanity during which he often couldn't remember his own name. And w...

  • 27 OCT 2020
    The Beggar Princess of Bristol
    29m 41s

    On April 3, 1817, a strange woman in a turban and ruffled black dress appeared in a small village to the north of Bristol. She would claim to be a Princess from a distant island, and for a summer, she would dazzle and charm an entire town o...

  • 13 OCT 2020
    What Crown Prince Wilhelm Left Behind
    30m 47s

    Georg Friedrich, the great-great-grandson of Kaiser Wilhelm II is embroiled in a legal battle with Germany, attempting to reclaim millions of euros worth of property that was taken from his family during the Soviet occupation of Germany. Bu...

  • 29 SEP 2020
    The Blood Sacrifice of the Tang Emperor
    30m 10s

    Yang Guifei is considered one of the four great beauties of China. But her role as imperial consort would have deadly consequences and spell the end of the Tang Dynasty. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork....

  • 15 SEP 2020
    Grand Princess Olga of Kiev Takes Her Revenge
    26m 27s

    In 945, Olga's husband, Igor I, was murdered by a subjugated tribe. Olga then became the de-facto ruler of Kievan-Rus, and she would let the Drevlians who killed her husband know that mercy was not one of her strong suits. Learn more about...

  • 01 SEP 2020
    How Tycho Brahe Saw the Stars
    37m 57s

    Tycho Brahe was the heir to several lines of Danish nobility. Rather than spend his life as a bureaucrat, he devoted himself to astronomy and collected the data that would lead to a new era of discovery. He also had no nose, a pet elk, a dw...

  • 18 AUG 2020
    The Távora Executions
    26m 9s

    In the words of Omar Little, "When you come at the king, you best not miss." A possible bungled assassination attempt on the King of Portugal in 1758 gave his prime minister the excuse he needed to unleash a bloody reign of terror on the na...

  • 04 AUG 2020
    The Red Paint on Leopold II
    45m 53s

    Leopold II, King of the Belgians, was a man obsessed with the profits that came with colonization. Using smokescreens of charities and shell corporations, he claimed a private landholding 76x larger than his own nation, and unleashed decade...

  • 21 JUL 2020
    Queen Caroline Matilda's Personal Doctor
    35m 24s

    King George III's "criminal sister" was sent to marry the King of Denmark when she was a teenager. Her husband wanted very little to do with her, and so her attention wandered over to a charismatic doctor. That doctor slowly gathered power...

  • 07 JUL 2020
    1h 14m 14s

    In 2001, a woman named Ghislaine de Védrines befriended a charming man named Thierry Tilly. The rest of her close-knit aristocratic family soon became close with him as well. For Noble Blood's one year anniversary, Dana is joined by her res...

  • 23 JUN 2020
    The Bloody Queen of Madagascar
    30m 3s

    Stories from history are not kind to Queen Ranavalona of the Kingdom of Imerina. They call her bloodthirsty, mad, a "female Caligula." People were killed under her rule—lots of them, and cruelly. But "madness" doesn't tell the whole story....

  • 09 JUN 2020
    The Crown Prince and His Lover Dead
    42m 23s

    The Archduke Rudolf, heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, retreated to his hunting lodge in Mayerling with his teenage lover in 1889 to enact a gristly suicide pact in an event both stranger and more tragic than it appears at first blush....

  • 26 MAY 2020
    36m 3s

    Katherine Parr was Henry VIII's sixth wife. Learn more about your ad-choices at

  • 12 MAY 2020
    Beheaded II
    35m 2s

    Catherine Howard was Henry VIII's fifth wife. Learn more about your ad-choices at

  • 28 APR 2020
    Divorced II
    34m 33s

    Anne of Cleves was Henry VIII's fourth wife. Learn more about your ad-choices at

  • 14 APR 2020
    28m 1s

    Jane Seymour was Henry VIII's third wife. Learn more about your ad-choices at

  • 31 MAR 2020
    30m 47s

    Anne of Boleyn was Henry VIII's second wife. Learn more about your ad-choices at

  • 17 MAR 2020
    28m 10s

    Catherine of Aragon was Henry VIII's first wife. Learn more about your ad-choices at

  • 03 MAR 2020
    The Witch-Hunter King
    25m 9s

    During a post-wedding detour in Denmark, James VI of Scotland learned of the evils of witches, and he brought his anti-witch fervor with him when he returned to Scotland. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork...

  • 18 FAB 2020
    The Ghosts that Haunted the Female Emperor
    24m 32s

    In 7th-century China, Wu Zetian went from low-tiered concubine to Empress and then, finally, to Emperor in her own right. Her legacy is murky and strange, and her rise to power is trickled with blood.  Learn more about your ad-choices at h...

  • 04 FAB 2020
    Catherine the Great and her Husband the Mediocre
    29m 41s

    Catherine the Great, Russia's most famous Empress, wasn't born in Russia—she was a minor German princess engaged to the future Emperor. But less than a year after her husband ascended to the Russian throne, Catherine overthrew him in a coup...

  • 21 JAN 2020
    Today We Leave for Mexico
    23m 28s

    She was born Charlotte of Belgium, before fate re-named her Carlota of Mexico. She and her husband were high-minded, idealistic imperialists, ready to forge their destiny on a new continent. But they were woefully unprepared for the reality...

  • 07 JAN 2020
    The Swan King Went Mad
    27m 9s

    Only days after he was deposed, King Ludwig II of Bavaria died in an apparent suicide. But was it murder? Or was it just the final act of a king who had gone mad with love and with passion, born into the wrong century? Learn more about you...

  • 24 DEC 2019
    The Neck and the Necklace
    28m 25s

    "The Queen's death must be dated from the Diamond Necklace Trial." The nation turned against Queen Marie Antoinette when she became an unwitting pawn in the most ambitious catfish in history. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www...

  • 10 DEC 2019
    The Ice Queen
    25m 36s

    Bitterly lonely and abandoned by her family, Anna Ivanovna grew to hate love. And when she became the unlikely Empress of Russia she used her power to build an ice palace that was both a spectacle and a torture chamber.  Learn more about y...

  • 26 NOV 2019
    The Wedding Ended in Blood
    27m 44s

    The wedding between Margot of Valois and Henry of Navarre was meant to end religious fighting in France. It didn't. Learn more about your ad-choices at

  • 12 NOV 2019
    Let Him Be Hanged There for a Lamb
    37m 14s

    Lord Byron has become synonymous with the romantic, creative hero. But it may have been Lady Caroline Lamb, his most famous lover, who truly embodied the spirit of the age. Their romance led to blood, tears, fire, and pubic hair. Poets, am...

  • 29 OCT 2019
    The Marquise and Her Poisons
    34m 29s

    The Marquise de Brinvilliers is a subject of operas and stories, a larger-than-life villainess who murdered her family with poison and almost got away with it. Almost. Learn more about your ad-choices at

  • 15 OCT 2019
    The Butler, in the Bedroom, with a Sabre
    28m 56s

    In the middle of the night on an otherwise quiet spring evening, Ernest Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, was attacked in his bedchamber by an assailant wielding a sword. The Duke survived, and in the chaotic aftermath, the household discovered...

  • 01 OCT 2019
    The Maybe Queen Arbella
    21m 58s

    Arbella Stuart was a pawn her entire life—a possible successor to Queen Elizabeth I and a valuable marriage prospect to be dangled before foreign princes. But when Arbella finally decided to take her life into her own hands, she ignited a s...

  • 17 SEP 2019
    What Eye Has Wept for George IV?
    26m 36s

    When King George IV died, his obituary in The Times read: “There never was an individual less regretted by his fellow-creatures than this deceased king." But even George IV once fell in love.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://ww...

  • 03 SEP 2019
    Until We Meet Again
    24m 56s

    The same day Queen Liliuokalani proposed a new constitution for Hawaii that would restore power to the monarchy and grant native Hawaiians the right to vote in elections, a group of white businessmen met at a law office in Honolulu, and hat...

  • 20 AUG 2019
    Ever Dearest Cousin Nicky
    27m 44s

    King George V and Tsar Nicholas II were first cousins who looked so much alike that people often jokingly called them twins. When one cousin's crown came under threat, the other had a decision to make.  Learn more about your ad-choices at...