So to conclude Women’s History Month I will do a recap of the documentaries about historical women that were featured in March as well as previous documentaries I have done over the past few years about women in history.
France's Greatest Royal Painter: The Rise of Madam LeBrun - YouTube (51:20)
Elisabeth Vigee LeBrun was France’s last great portrait painter. She was a child prodigy and was taught by her father. Elisabeth started painting professionally at fourteen years old. She soon became part of the court of Marie Antoinette. She painted over 660 portraits. However, due to her ties to the French court, she is forced to flee into exile. For thirteen years, she traveled around a variety of European courts. She will be met with a great deal of acclaim in the European Courts. *Highly recommended for an art class as well as a history class. Recommended for independent study students.*
Women Who Made History: Queen Luise - YouTube (50:57)
She was the most dangerous woman in all of Europe. Princess Luise was a queen from a humble background. She and her sister married Prussian princes. Princess Luise would eventually become Queen Luise. Queen Luise of Prussia encouraged the Prussians to go to war with Napoleon. This is a German documentary with English subtitles. *Highly recommend for independent study students learning about a person in history. Would show to a high school history class.*
Germans: Frederick and the Empress: YouTube
This is a German-produced English-language documentary about Frederick the Great and Empress Maria Theresa. They were the rulers of two German empires. When Maria Theresa became Empress, Frederick the Great invaded parts of her domain. She fought back against the Prussians. This documentary tells the story of the rulers who fought for supremacy. *Highly recommended for a high school history classroom. Highly recommended for research purposes.*
Women Who Made History - Catherine the Great - YouTube (48:32)
Catherine was born Princess Sophie Auguste Friederike von Anhalt-Zerbst. She was chosen to become the bride of the next heir to the Russian Throne: Peter. It was a journey of several months thousands of miles. It was the chance of a lifetime for Sophie and her family. She had to prove herself worthy to be Peter’s bride. When she arrived in Russia, she made a clean break from her past and became fully Russian. How would Catherine adjust to life in Russia? *Recommended for a college history class and college independent study students.*
Women Who Made History - Joan of Arc - YouTube (50:27)
Joan of Arc liberated France. She challenged soldiers, generals, and the church. It was May of 1429 and Joan was leading her soldiers against the English holding a fortress. If the French took control of the fort, the Orleans would be free. The English had been on French soil for decades and now the French were rising against them to take control of France again. Joan of Arc was leading those French soldiers to victory. *Highly recommended for a history classroom and for independent study students.*
The Only Empress of China - YouTube
Wu Zetian is one of the most controversial rulers of China. She was a concubine who rose to become Empress of China. She was the only woman who ruled China. She led China for 50 years. The Chinese officials under her were scathing in their criticism. However, historians and archeologists are uncovering evidence that challenges that assertion. *Recommend for middle school and high school classrooms. Highly recommend for independent study students or use for clips.*
Diva Mummy - YouTube
While ordinary people fought in battles, the aristocrats celebrated and grew wealthy. There was a Han aristocrat named Lady Dai. Lady Dai would not ordinarily make history. However, when her tomb was opened the discovery sent shockwaves through the archeological community. Her mummy was the best-preserved mummy in the world. She was known as the perfect mummy. Her lifelike mummy leaves the Egyptian efforts in the dust. *Recommend for teacher and student research purposes. Highly recommended for a history and science classroom.*
Queen Victoria: A Monarch Unveiled: Episode 1 (58:51) Episode 2 (58:52)
A.N. Wilson explores the life of Queen Victoria through the letters that survived over two episodes. The first episode shows what her childhood and married life were like. The second episode shows her as a widow. He paints a portrait of a monarch who laughed frequently, engaged in politics, and enjoyed life. Wilson’s portrayal of Queen Victoria shatters the myth of the widow in black. It is a fascinating look at the life of Queen Victoria through her surviving journals. *Highly recommended for a high school history class and independent study students.*
Mata Hari: The Beautiful Spy - YouTube (52:15)
She is charged with high treason. She was a female pay. Her name was Mata Hari. She was an exotic dancer who moved around high society. Then World War I happened and she was charged with treason because of her contacts with the upper echelons of society. What is the truth about Mata Hari? Who was she really? Will she finally reveal her secrets after one hundred years? *Recommended for research purposes and not for a classroom setting.*
Florence Foster Jenkins - YouTube (1:27:40)
Florence Foster Jenkins was known as the world’s worse opera singer and this is her story. This story is narrated from the perspective of a journalist who interviewed her. Florence Foster Jenkins was a flamboyant woman who loved to sing. She planned on performing at Carnegie Hall so the journalist wanted to interview her. Historians and music lovers talk about Florence Foster Jenkins’ life and singing career. *Recommended for research.*
*Egypt's Lost Queens: YouTube (58:52)
Professor Joanne Fletcher explores four of Egypt's forgotten queens. Their stories were hidden over the years and now Fletcher brings them into the light, including one Queen that you've never heard of: Arsinoe. She tells the story from the perspective of a mother, a consort, a diplomat, and a politician. Fletcher travels to the places where these women lived and shows what they did for Egypt. *Highly recommended for both a middle school and high school classroom.*
Cleopatra: Portrait of a Killer: YouTube (58:51)
Neil Oliver takes a different perspective on Cleopatra: the ruthless political leader. He takes the perspective that she was a killer and her victim was her family. Cleopatra wanted to be a friend of Rome while her family did not want to be a friend. Her decision to be a friend of Rome had serious consequences for her siblings. This is a combination of documentary and period drama. *Recommended for a teacher's or student's research purposes.*
Hatshepsut: Secrets of Egypt's Lost Pharaoh: YouTube (1:41:26)
While the archeologists look for Hatshepsut's mummy, other historians and archeologists explore the life of the Queen and why the Pharaoh was erased from history. She ruled Egypt during the Golden Age. She ruled as a king. Then she was erased from history. Why was Hatshepsut erased from history? Who erased her? Where did her mummy go? *Recommended to use clips in a middle school classroom and to show in a high school. Recommend for students to use for research purposes.*
Nefertari: The Life of an Egyptian Queen - YouTube (1:00:00)
Nefertari: The Life of an Egyptian Queen, she was known as one of the most beautiful queens in the world. Her name even means “Beauty of the Beauties.” She was the favorite wife of Ramses II. She came from a noble family. She was educated and a clever woman. Eventually, Ramses II would name her a goddess and had a temple built in her honor. So, who was this extraordinary woman? This is an independently produced documentary by an Egyptian enthusiast. *Not recommended for the classroom, use ONLY for research.*
Women Who Made History - Cleopatra YouTube (49:02)
Cleopatra was the Queen of Egypt. However, her brother disputed her claim to the throne. A fight broke out between the siblings. Rome invaded Egypt to settle the dispute between Cleopatra and her brother. Julius Caesar wanted influence in Egypt, so he would invade to get it. Cleopatra recognized he would be an ally to her in regaining her throne. Who would win in the fight for Egypt? Would Cleopatra’s brother rule or would Cleopatra? *Recommended to use for clips and not show the full documentary in class.*
*England's Forgotten Queen: Life and Death of Lady Jane Grey: Episode 1 (58:36) Episode 2 (58:49) Episode 3 (58:44)
Helen Castor explores the life and death of Lady Jane Grey, the nine-days queen of England. She was the first woman to be proclaimed Queen of England and one of the more controversial characters in Tudor History. She goes into each day of her reign and the activities that happened on that day. It is a fascinating look into the life and death of Jane Grey. It breathes new life into that story. *Recommend for research purposes for high school history.*
The Origins of Bloody Mary - YouTube (48:21)
David Starkey explores the story of Queen Mary I from her childhood, the struggles with her father, and how she survived to become Queen. She was the first woman who fought and won the throne in England. He goes into details on how she ruled England and concludes with her death. As the first woman crowned Queen, she faced questions over who she should marry and what rights she had to rule. *Recommend for research purposes for high school history.*
Elizabeth I - Episode 1 (49:28) Episode 2 (49:35) Episode 3 (Video Not Available) Episode 4 (49:23)
David Starkey narrates the story of Elizabeth, from her growing up years, her time under the reign of Mary I, the start of her reign as well as her avoiding the issue of marriage. After her father’s death, she grew up in the household of Catherine Parr. He covers the rebellions, the religious settlement, as well as the Spanish Armada. This is an excellent documentary on Elizabeth I. *Highly recommended for a high school history class and an independent study student.*
Elizabeth I - Episode 1 (44:39) Episode 2 (44:36) Episode 3 (44:20)
Suzannah Lipscomb and Dan Jones narrate this docu-drama on Elizabeth I from her growing up in Catherine Parr's household to her arrest to her become Queen. Then they cover the events of Queen Elizabeth's reign. Elizabeth was surrounded by enemies from the beginning of her birth. Her enemies tried to take her life and her throne. Elizabeth had to learn to play politics quickly. It is a new look at Queen Elizabeth. *Highly recommended for a high school history class and an independent study student.*
Jane Austen: Behind Closed Doors: YouTube (58:45)
Lucy explores the houses that inspired Jane Austen and her writing. She starts with Austen’s childhood home and concludes with the home she died in. Worsley goes to the places that had an impact on Austen’s writing and life. She even spends the night in a house that Austen lived in. It is a fascinating look at Jane Austen, her life, and the impact of her writing. *Highly recommended for both a history classroom and an English classroom.*
I'm a librarian with an active imagination who likes to create. Genealogist and Researcher.
My Teachers Pay Teachers Store! Worksheets available as a Word Document.
I am also on Lulu! If you're interested in genealogy I have several books available!
HistoryDocTube will not collect any personal information and will not sell any personal information to a third party. We will not request any personal information.
The purpose of this blog is to share information on what can be used in a classroom, private school, or home school setting as well as serve as a portfolio of my personal and professional work.
The reviews are my opinions and should be treated as such. I just want to provide a tool for teachers to select documentaries for their classrooms.