Peg Plunkett, part one (with Karyn Moynihan)

We’re headed to Ireland this week to talk about Peg Plunkett, a scandalous and influential figure in 18th-century Dublin. We’re joined this week by Karyn Moynihan: Irish person, co-host of Double Love: The Sweet Valley High Podcast, and designer of several Vulgar History merch items.

Pace yourselves, because this is part one a multi-week extravaganza! Herman, my pills!

Intro Ends/story begins: 05:59

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Story ends/Outro Starts 46:08

Follow Karyn on Instagram @karynmoy and follow her podcast Double Love @svhpodcast


Peg Plunkett: Memoirs of a Whore by Julie Peakman

Memoirs of Mrs. Margaret Leeson by Peg Plunkett aka Mrs. Leeson

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Vulgar History Podcast

Peg Plunkett, Park One (with Karyn Moynihan)

July 3, 2024

Hello, and welcome to Vulgar History, a feminist women’s history comedy podcast. My name is Ann Foster, and this is Season Seven. The overall topic for this season is “How Do You Solve A Problem Like Marie Antoinette?” And the way we’re doing that is through a really meandering route of just looking at what was going on in the world before Marie was born, after her life. It was such an international time where so many people were travelling from place to place both because of the slave trade and also trade of goods and also colonialism. And for lots of reasons, a lot of people from different countries were interacting with each other a lot. 

So, this first part of the season, you might have noticed, we’re focusing a lot on America and the American Revolution era. So, you might be like, “Right. But what does this have to do with today’s episode, which is about an Irish brothel owner?” Here’s the thing: she’s connected to Marie Antoinette in ways we’re going to get into, and she’s connected to the American Revolution in ways we’re going to get into because everyone in this world in this time, no one’s very far from a few steps of separation from one another.

I’m so delighted to be bringing you this episode today, firstly, because it’s the story of an Irish woman and listeners in Ireland have been, from day one… When I started this podcast in 2019, I was astonished that people are listening to it from different places, not just Canada and the United States, but especially Ireland has been there! I know there’s been listeners there from the very beginning. So, I’m happy to bring you this story of an Irish person. We have already talked about a person who was born in Ireland, which is Lola Montez, who, as I understand it… She can be claimed by anyone, I think Australia is really connected to Lola Montez, she was born in Ireland, though and I think she’s got an Irish sensibility about her as well.

Speaking of Lola Montez, so this podcast, we talk about all kinds of different people from different historical time periods and, you know, different vibes to all of them. When I was putting together this season, I posted, I believe it was in the Discord group that we have for people who are members of the Patreon. I listen to music while I’m doing my research and some of the episodes were really like Beyoncé’s Act II: Cowboy Carter, like Sally Hemmings, who we were just talking about, or Marie-Joseph Angélique, just looking at kind of the history or just thinking about these kind of heavier themes of like the history of Black people in America and just all the all the trials and tribulations in that history. And then there’s other episodes where I was listening to Sabrina Carpenter, and this is a “That’s that me espresso” story for all of you, because similar to Lola Montez (we also did an episode about a woman known just as Rachel) Peg Plunkett from today is one of my most favourite kinds of stories to share, which is the story of a chaos, like, very sexually liberated, just unhinged woman who was those things. There’s other people in history who’ve talked about on this podcast who, for various reasons, they were demonized or vilified and people said like, “Oh, this person was actually really trashy. She was really slutty. She was sleeping with everyone.” When in fact, a lot of these women weren’t that was just what their enemies were saying about them; think about people like Anne Boleyn. But people like Lola Montez, Rachel, and now Peg Plunkett, they were fucking all those people! They were having a great time, and these are the stories that I love to share on the show and to celebrate. 

I could not have asked for a better guest this week than Karyn Moynihan herself. Yes. One of the co-hosts of my most favourite podcast, Double Love: The Sweet Valley High Podcast, Karyn Moynihan is here with us to help share this Irish story. And honestly, thank goodness because Peg Plunkett goes to a lot of places and Karyn’s here to explain what those places are like, maybe she’s been to some of them. But Karyn Moynihan is not only one of my favourite podcasters, the other one being Anna Carey, her co-host from Double Love: The Sweet Valley High Podcast, Karyn is also one of the many artists that I’ve worked with to design merch for Vulgar History.

So, you may not know Karyn specifically, but you might be familiar with some of her designs like “Goth Queen Mom Friend,” the Mary Shelley shirt, or “Goth Queen Super Star,” the Claire Clairmont shirt. Or “Don’t Stop DeGuise’n,” the William Cecil motivational poster, the “Renaissance Reformation Girl Squad,” and our special holiday design, the holiday jumper that says, “Tits The Season.” That’s Karyn. 

So, this connection between Double Love: The Sweet Valley High Podcast and Vulgar History runs deep and I’m happy to make it so official here by having her on the show to talk about, honestly, a woman who she first brought to my attention. I had never heard of Peg Plunkett. Karyn is all about Peg Plunkett, and I’m just really psyched to share. We’ve had some heavy episodes this series so far, and I’m just glad to just bring you the story of just, like, a trashy, slutty woman who’s having the best time, although, you know, she has her struggles too. She has her struggles too. But this is a fun one.

I do want to also mention that this is Part One, how many parts? You’ll see. But in the finale of this Peg Plunkett miniseries, I am going to announce, (because how could we not?) Karyn and I have schemed together to make an iconic new piece of Vulgar History merchandise themed about Peg Plunkett, and that will be available for purchase, not at the end of this episode, but the end of the end of the Peg Plunkett series. How many episodes will there be? Wait and see [chuckles] because we get to talking. So anyway, please enjoy part one of Irish heroine Peg Plunkett.


Ann: So, I’m joined today by Karyn Moynihan, who is, I’m going to list three important things that listeners may already know about her. Firstly, she’s the designer of, I want to say four different pieces of Vulgar History merchandise.

Karyn: I think that’s right.

Ann: She’s also the co-host of Double Love: The Sweet Valley High Podcast, and she’s also an Irish person. [Karyn laughs] And we’re going to be talking about Ireland. Welcome, Karyn.

Karyn: Thank you!

Ann: Let me just go through the merch again in my head because I was trying to think of this because you did “Goth Queen Mom Friend,” Mary Shelley, Claire Claremont Remix, [both laugh] then you did the Christmas Special, the Holiday Jumper, it’s “Tits The Season,” I believe?

Karyn: Tits the Season, yeah.

Ann: Yeah, with a very subtle breast theme.

Karyn: [laughs] I had to get the tits in.

Ann: Exactly. And then the “Renaissance Reformation Girl Squad.” That was also you.

Karyn: Yes, that was. Oh, and “Don’t Stop DeGuise’n.”

Ann: Oh my gosh, that was you too!

Karyn: Yeah. And the one with the motivational poster was like…

Ann: Yeah, “You’re at least as capable as William Cecil,” the motivational poster.

Karyn: That was it, William Cecil.

Ann: You’re the most… I think I’ve commissioned the most merch from you, [both laugh] of any of the artists I’ve worked with. And you’re also the first Vulgar History merch designer I’ve had as a guest on the podcast. But most importantly to me, you’re the co-host of Double Love Podcast, which is where I stole one of your catchphrases, that is now one of my catchphrases. [Karyn laughs] “Herman, my pills!”

Karyn: A classic, a classic. Honestly, the fact that that has breached containment from the Sweet Valley sphere just brings me so much joy. I’m so happy. [laughs]

Ann: Well, and I feel like that’s what connected me first with you and Anna, as well as fellow podcasters. [both laugh] So, we’re going to record an After Show after this. I’m going to try to stay very on-topic for this for the listeners. We’re going to talk about Sweet Valley things later on, but I will just say that your podcast, it got me through early pandemic era, just listening to your back catalogue. So, I feel a strong parasocial friendship with you both.

Karyn: Love it. [laughs]

Ann: But that’s also why the way you talk started permeating my podcast because I was just listening to your three-hour episodes constantly.

Karyn: They’re so long! And it’s a lot to get through and people do listen to them in a huge chunk. And I’m just like, “Are you guys okay?” [laughs]

Ann: They do the same with my podcast as well. People are like, “I just caught up,” and I’m just like, you just caught up to five years’ worth of episodes in two weeks? [Karyn laughs] Okay, okay. And then they’re mentioning jokes I made, and I’m like, “Did I say that in 2021? I guess, I don’t know.” But yeah, with your podcast. So, I think the first time that it permeated through was, I said “lads” in one episode because I just started thinking like you. [Karyn laughs] I said it and immediately it felt uncomfortable. I’m like, “I shouldn’t have done that.”

Karyn: [laughs] Oh, I think that’s fine.

Ann: But then I started saying “Herman, my pills!” because I think [chuckles] when you started saying it and I was just like, it’s just the perfect way to exemplify when a woman is doing something shocking and all of society is just like “Herman, my pills!”

Karyn: Herman, my pills! [laughs

Ann: I’m like, I can’t think of any other way to express that. Oh, and you also have your own “Herman, my pills!” merch for Double Love.

Karyn: Yeah. 

Ann: So, I’ve shared that with my listeners because I would never dare to take your catchphrase and put it on my own merchandise, but you have it there as well.

Karyn: Well, it’s there now, so anyone can grab it.

Ann: And the third thing that I’ve said from your podcast on my podcast, and I pronounced it egregiously, is “Wrong’un.” He’s a wrong’un.

Karyn: Ohhh! A wrong’un. Yeah. 

Ann: Wrong’un, that wrong’un. And the story we’re telling today has numerous of those so…

Karyn: It is wall-to-wall wrong’uns.

Ann: Oh, my gosh. So, the other thing that is also important to mention, the third thing I said about you is that you’re an Irish person. Ireland has been there since I feel like day one. Vulgar History listeners, people have been wanting an Irish episode for such a long time. So, I know there’s listeners in Ireland. And so, I’m really happy that I tricked and manipulated you into coming.

Karyn: [laughs] Damn it! There was an ulterior motive here.

Ann: There were there are many motives, but the way that I tricked you into being on the podcast was ages ago, you posted on Instagram, you’re like, “Ask me anything!” And I was like, “Who’s your favourite famous Irish woman from history?”

Karyn: Loaded question, no reason. [laughs]

Ann: Well, and then you answered “Peg Plunkett.” And I was like, well, who’s that? And I looked her up and I was like, “Oh, no! Oh, I need to do this on the podcast, and I need Karyn.” How on earth had you heard of her?

Karyn: Oh, my God. So, it was so many years ago. There was a documentary on television one night, like really late. I was up on my own just watching TV. And it was actually on TG4, which is the Irish language station in Ireland. And it was this documentary called Striapacha, which is the Irish word for “sex workers,” and it was just about sex workers throughout Irish history. And one episode was about the Georgian era in Dublin and naturally, they talked about Peg Plunkett. And I was just like, “Who is this lady? I need to know everything!” because she just sounded so fun and so amazing. It’s just the kind of social history that you don’t often hear about, I feel like, or at the time I certainly didn’t. When it comes to Irish history, it’s the rising, it’s the Brits. It’s all of this, you know? But like, there was just this mad, decadent span of time in Georgian Dublin where people were having fun. And she was top of the pile there of people who were having a good time.

Ann: Absolutely. Oh, and that’s the other thing. I think I had emailed you about this, but I got a message from, I think it was an Irish American listener who was, again, just pleading for Irish content on this podcast. [Karyn laughs] But what she said, and I’m curious to know what you think about this, was she feels like the only Irish history that or women in Irish history that tend to pop up in costume dramas or documentaries or anything, is this kind of like poor, you know, laundry woman, mother of 25, just sort of like, maybe she has a job working as a domestic. Her name is Bridget. 

Karyn: Oh, yeah. [laughs]

Ann: And she was like, there’s other Irish women and she would love to know about who they were. And I think she requested Irish queens. But I was like, “What about Peg Plunkett?” 

Karyn: Oh, yeah. [laughs]

Ann: But like as an Irish person, like, do you feel like that’s a stereotype that comes up?

Karyn: Well, it definitely can be. Yeah, I feel like it’s getting better now and there’s definitely more of a spotlight being put on the interesting women in Irish history. And even when I say the rising and all that kind of stuff, I feel like it’s only in recent years that started to delve into the women’s stories because there were obviously women involved in the War of Independence and even when I was being taught about it in school, it’s all the men, it’s all the leaders or all the lads, all the lads. And it’s just like, where are the women? Because they were definitely there. There were gay women. There were women. There were more than just straight men involved in all these historical issues. And I do feel like over the last couple of years, I think it’s being improved that there’s more of a spotlight being put on the cool, interesting women from Irish history, for sure.

Ann: Yeah. And Ireland, I think, again, a place I dream of visiting, I have not been there myself. But I think also just, speaking as a Canadian who’s ingested mostly American media, it’s sort of like the downstairs people in Titanic, the movie, it’s kind of like that. [Karyn laughs] Like, Irish people, even when you watch more vaguely contemporary things like Murder, She Wrote, it’s always like, “Well, we live in these little thatched huts. And our job is we weave blankets.” And it’s kind of like, does Ireland have electricity?

Karyn: That is something that people are surprised by when they come here sometimes, that we have electricity and the internet. [laughs] Like, I recently met some American people in Kerry, and they were fascinated by the fact that Ireland had Mexican restaurants. They just completely were blown away by this and it was just like, “Oh, okay.” [laughs

Ann: Yeah! I don’t know. I think there’s something… There’s some– and I don’t know another country that’s like this, but Ireland, to me, in like pop culture here, it just seems it’s kind of like there’s like leprechauns and it’s like constantly like this Brigadoon-like place, which I know in Scotland, but it’s kind of like it’s always, like, 1700 there somehow. Like, an oldy-timey village, but the whole country.

Karyn: Exactly. There are no cities, it’s just green fields and tiny villages. [laughs]

Ann: Yeah. Oh, and so this is where I was reading, I presume you read the same book I did, Peg Plunkett: Memoirs of a Whore by Julie Peakman.

Karyn: So, what I was working off is, I think it’s out of print now, but it’s just a pretty much straight print of the memoirs themselves.

Ann: Oh, fantastic. 

Karyn: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I actually bought this after I saw that documentary, I tracked down this book. It was edited by a scholar called Mary Lyons. So, she had a little introduction on it, and I think she just tried to tidy up the memoirs themselves as much as she could but it’s pretty much just all Peg’s words in this, which is great. So, there might be there might be differences now between what I have and what you have in terms of dates and people and stuff. So, we can figure it out as we go.

Ann: So, the book that I read, Peg Plunkett: Memoirs of a Whore by Julie Peakman, who is a historian and then I was like, “Oh, I need to read every other book Julie Peakman wrote,” because she’s a historian of sexuality. So, she saw these books just about like, “What kind of sex are people having in Georgian England? Let’s talk about.” I’m like, oh, wait a minute, this is a whole new avenue for me. But what she does and maybe this is where, like, our two stories will complement each other well. She was just like Peg’s memory of dates and places is not consistent.

Karyn: [laughs] Probably not.

Ann: So, she did some like digging around to try and figure out, like, when was she actually probably born? If she was born when she says, then she would have been like 70 years old at this time these men are throwing themselves at her so she’s like, “So, probably, hmm.” [Karyn laughs] So, there’s some fact-checking here as well. But yeah, but just reading the story, I was just like, “Oh. My. Goodness.” So, I don’t like Dublin like you’re just saying Dublin in this Georgian period, it was just like it was hopping, it was trashy, it was… I mean, Herman, my pills! Is the only thing I can say. [laughs]

Karyn: Big-time “Herman, my pills” energy. It was a nonstop party. And obviously, it’s still the big divide between rich and poor was horrific, but the rich people were having the best time.

Ann: Oh, my gosh. And then there’s also so, just so you know, the context of this episode we’re recording, it’s going to be coming out as part of sort of a series I’m doing about revolutions of the 18th century, including the American Revolution. And there is so much connection in the story to the American Revolution because all those soldiers were hanging out in Ireland waiting to be deployed to America. 

Karyn: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. So many soldiers, a lot of garrisons, a lot of that going on in Peg’s story.

Ann: And I mean, unfortunately for her or fortunately for her, she had a real weakness for a man in uniform.

Karyn: [sighs] Oh god, she just… As I was making my own notes for this, I kept just thinking, “Peg, you are too horny for your own good. Get a grip, girl, please.” [laughs]

Ann: Well, that’s where I feel like… Please do, when you notice something that reminds you of Sweet Valley High in this story, like, please mention it, because it did remind me of Jessica Wakefield a lot, actually.

Karyn: Oh, now that’s the saga they couldn’t write because it would just, you know, “Herman, my pills!” all the readers. [laughs]

Ann: [laughs] But the way that every new man who Peg meets is, I would imagine her being like “And it was the most handsome man she’d ever seen.”

Karyn: Mm-hm. “This is real love this time. That last time, that didn’t mean anything. This is the one.”

Ann: What I’ve been trying to… I’m so excited to record this. Like, I’ve read the book and I’ve just been told this is why I started the podcast, so I don’t just like drive all my friends crazy, telling them these stories. But I was just like, “You don’t understand. You don’t understand! Do you know what she did next?” I was trying to describe who she is, Peg Plunkett, and I see her as kind of like Lola Montez, who I think Ireland has claimed.

Karyn: Oh, she’s born in Sligo. She’s ours, come on. [laughs]

Ann: Yeah. No, I think like, was she born to English parents? Yes. But she was in Ireland, and I think her vibe is Irish.

Karyn: She’s a big chancer and that’s very Irish of her. [laughs]

Ann: Yeah, I’m sure she had the big head.

Karyn: Big head, big hair, very Irish. [laughs]

Ann: Yeah, exactly, exactly. But yeah, so I was like, it’s like Lola Montez, but mixed with like Lydia Bennett from Pride and Prejudice but if Mr. Darcy hadn’t written that letter.

Karyn: Yes. Okay, yes, I like that.

Ann: Like if she ran off with Wickham and then just like, what would she do next? And that’s my favourite. Lydia Bennett is my favourite. Like, I mean, you know, if you know my podcast, anyone who knows, I love a scandalous, trashy, slutty woman and Peg Plunkett, I’m just like, Jesus Christ, this is like… [Karyn laughs] Nonstop, nonstop.

Karyn: She’s just constantly having fun. She’s just the best party girl. I love her. 

Ann: Oh, my goodness. Okay, okay. So, I have notes, but I’ll just kind of go through, basically… I could have written 25 pages of notes, but I just sort of was like… I tried to get, like, dates and places. And that’s like every time there’s a place name, I would love for you to explain to me what that place is like now and what you know about it, because I’m just like, “Never heard of this place but okay!”

Karyn: Sure.

Ann: So, Julie Peakman, who did some forensic work on Peg’s… Can we tell? I hope this won’t– No, I think people need to understand that the memoirs that you read and why she wrote them was… [laughs] And this is part of what I’ve been terrorizing my friends, telling them facts and information about [Karyn laughs] is that later in life, Peg Plunkett needed money so she was like, “I’ll write my memoirs because it’ll make me money, but it’ll extra make me money because I’m going to blackmail all the men who visited my brothel and I’ll say I’ll put them in the book unless they pay me money.” So, they’re like a blackmail/moneymaking strategy.

Karyn: Yeah! [laughs]

Ann: And there are three volumes!

Karyn: There was meant to be a fourth. The fourth one was where she was actually just going to list the names of everyone who still owed her money and hadn’t paid her yet. And apparently, that was just going to be the most scandalous of all of them because it was literally just going to name the names and be like “This guy, and this guy, and this guy.” [laughs

Ann: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Well, and that’s part of what Julie Peakman did in her book, because some of them, she just kind of she’s like, “Oh, is Lord so and so?” So, Julie Peakman is like, “Hmm, I wonder who that was.” So, she sort of like, figured out she figured some of the names. That’s where I’m going to bring in some context for you.

Karyn: Nice! Oh, I love it. Okay, great.

Ann: But what Julie Peakman figured out is probably Peg was born around 1742. That’s what we’re looking at.

Karyn: Okay! See, I have 1727, but again, I’m working off what Peg is telling us. [laughs]

Ann: Exactly, exactly. And that’s like there’s a whole part in the book where Julie Peakman was like, “Okay, if that’s true, [both laugh] then her age in all of these situations is interesting but unexpected.” So, can you… I mean, we’re here to talk about Peg Plunkett. But as an Irish person, I assume you just know these things off the top of your head. So, Ireland at this point is the British are there. Ireland was the first British genocidal colonization project, yes? 

Karyn: Yeah. Fun! [laughs] Yeah, yeah. Ireland is very much under the rule of England at this point. There is a parliament in Ireland in Dublin. So, this is why Dublin is doing so well at the time because there are MPs around. I mean, all of the politicians are either English or they’re just, like, landed gentry so they’re the Protestant descendancy. So, they’re Anglo-Irish I would say. But yeah, there is a lot of prosperity in Dublin at this time because there’s all this activity, there’s all this trade. And the fact that it is like a political hub as well is just, like, Dublin’s doing great.

Ann: And it’s the English Protestants who are the minority, but they’re who is in charge of everything.

Karyn: Exactly. So, there’s penal laws here at this time as well. So, even though it’s majority Catholic country, the Catholics have very few rights. Like, obviously they can’t vote or anything like that. But they also they can’t own land. There’s also this kind of tricky land inheritance stuff as well where like they have to…

Ann: I think I have that written down here. It was something like… Doo-doo-doo. It was something about like you couldn’t Catholic people couldn’t then have their children inherit the land. Something like that.

Karyn: Or it was like if they were to inherit it, it has to be spread between everyone in the family rather than like, say, one son inheriting the farm. He’d have to, like, convert to Protestantism to be the one in charge of the farm. So, it’s all kind of set up to dilute any kind of power any Catholics would have, because over the generations, then the farm is just being lost to all these different people and probably, you know, packed up and sold off in little bits and pieces. So, in terms of land ownership, it was probably rare enough for a Catholic family to own their own land and to be in any kind of real position of power.

Ann: And her family was Catholic. So, this is all applying to them. So, her father, Matthew Plunkett, who, you know what? All due respect to people with major mental health issues, but he was useless.

Karyn: Oh my god. So useless. It’s like, yeah, come on, dude. Seriously, get it together.

Ann: He’s just slopping around doing nothing. So, Matthew Plunkett. So, her mother, who I only know as Mrs. A. O’Reilly, don’t know what A stands for. Wait, what’s an Irish name that starts with A? What’s that one that’s like A-O-I-F-E?

Karyn: Aoife. [pronounced Ee-fa]

Ann: Aoife, okay.

Karyn: Let’s call her Aoife! [laughs]

Ann: Of course. Her mother Aoife. So, her mother was a distant relation of the Earl of Cavan. So, there’s like some connection with aristocracy, like, they’re not dirt poor, this family.

Karyn: No, no, no. It’s probably a tenuous enough connection, but like they’re doing pretty well for a Catholic family, they’re in a nice position, for sure.

Ann: I do just want to, not shout out, but just like, I mentioned a minute ago that the British based the colonization of America– Oh no, I didn’t say that. So, Ireland was the first place that the British were like, “Oh my god, this place is full of savages! Let’s genocide them all and then like move our people in.” And then that worked so well for them, but they’re like, “Let’s do the same thing in America.” So, like the same people, sometimes. So, that’s… They’re in the process of that. Like, 1742, British people are colonizing America. American Revolution hasn’t happened. So, Ireland was kind of the first place that they mastered these techniques. Peg’s mother, Aoife. [laughs]

Karyn: [laughs] We’ve just decided.

Ann: Aoife Plunkett. She birthed 22 children.

Karyn: Yeah. Poor lady. Just, Matthew, get off that woman, seriously. [laughs]

Ann: Matthew could do one thing and that was impregnate his wife.

Karyn: Yeah, he’s good at one thing: putting babies in that lady.

Ann: Oh, my gosh. 22 children. But that’s also I feel like that’s the stereotype of like the… And this is like, so stereotypes often come from actual things.

Karyn: This is the thing. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It is just one of those things, unfortunately. Yeah, 22 is too many pregnancies. But yeah, I think only eight of the children were the ones that survived then. So, it’s a tough life for Aoife Plunkett.

Ann: Yeah. But that’s the stereotype of the like Irish ma’am who is just constantly pregnant too many– And it’s, like, a Catholic thing. There’s no birth control, but there’s also… You’re not supposed to want to have birth control or something like that, which we see with Peg later on. Yeah, I was talking to my friend about this story and she’s like, “What does she do for birth control?” I was like, “Well, she had a child every year during her years as a sex worker.”

Karyn: It’s pretty much constantly pregnant. 

Ann: Irish Catholic. Anyway, so what this is, so they were living in Killough. 

Karyn: Yeah, it’s called Killough now but the way it’s spelled there in like whatever that old spelling is, would be more like Cill Locha, just to keep it real confusing. We can call it Killough I think it’s probably the handiest thing.

Ann: Killough. And what do you know about that now? Is it, like, a lovely rural area? I don’t know.

Karyn: I’m sure it is. I have to say, I had never actually heard of a Killough or a Cill Locha in Westmeath. My Westmeath knowledge probably isn’t great. Like, Westmeath is in the Midlands. I do have an aunt who lives in Mullingar, which is the bigger kind of town in Westmeath, and it’s very nice there.

Ann: I imagine it’s very scenic, very lovely. And Peg, for the most part, because her family had some money, “She was protected from the harsh realities of life outside the country estate such as the widespread starvation caused by Britain that was happening at this time.”

Karyn: And that wasn’t even the Great Famine, that was just another famine that happened earlier in history.

Ann: No, I thought I was like, “Oh, I’ve heard of this, I know about the famine–Oh, oh, different famine.”

Karyn: Bonus famine. Yeah. [chuckles]

Ann: Yeah. So, this is part of why a lot of Irish people were heading to America already at this time, like pre-Titanic era. Just boats full of dancing people.

Karyn: Just dancing our way across the Atlantic. [laughs]

Ann: [laughs] My understanding of Irish immigration.

Karyn: Sure.

Ann: I do want to say, like you are an Irish person so, you know, I’m not I have nothing but love and adoration for Ireland and I do have a theory that I am at least part Irish, so I feel some connection with this as well. My connection, I’m mostly Scottish, I’m like, 97% Scottish. But one branch of my family were from, like, the Highlands in Scotland, which is an area where they spoke like Celtic, and they would go back and forth with Ireland a lot. They were like, “We don’t recognize land borders. We’re all Celtic-speaking people. Here’s Ireland. Here’s the Highlands. We just go back and forth.” And I’m like, something happened there because I’ve got a real big head. [Karyn laughs] Like, I need to buy men’s size XL hats. Like I have the head of Colm Meaney proportionate to the rest of me. So, when I heard you on your podcast talking about big Irish heads, I was like, “[gasps] That’s me. That explains it.”

Karyn: [laughs] Oh, yeah. Oh, we do love Scotland and yeah, there’s a lot of similarities between like, Scots Gaelic and Gaeilge, which we’d have here. There’s a lot of similarities between those two languages, for sure. So, that would make sense that there’d be a lot of crossing over and intermingling and whatnot.

Ann: I like to think so. So, I just wanted to say, like, we’re here talking about Ireland. So, when I say it, when I make a joke about Ireland, please know I am as Irish as Ayo Edebiri, at least.

Karyn: You know what? I’ll allow it. [laughs]

Ann: Okay, okay. But actually, that’s interesting you mentioned, like, the language of it all, because no one in this story has an Irish name. Everyone has an English British name. 

Karyn: Yeah. And again, that’s also to do with, I guess. Well, the people that we’re dealing with are a lot of the Protestant descendancy and the Irish language was being, you know, routinely stamped out at this point so that would go with the names, too, you know. And because of, you know, Catholicism being oppressed too, even like mass and being taught, all that kind of education was all being done in secret. So, like the hedge schools were all probably around that time as well. So, there was no formal, obvious kind of like, you know, “We’re being super Irish here.” It was just too Catholic, all of it, I think, having the Irish language. So, it was all just being kind of swept away as best they could.

Ann: Except for her mother, whose name was Aoife.

Karyn: Who we’ve just decided. She was probably Anne, let’s be honest. [laughs]

Ann: True, true.

Okay, so Peg, as a child, she was provided with a good education, because, again, she’s not a poor person.

Karyn: No. 

Ann: She learned music and dance, which would come up later in her later career. This is a quote from Peg’s book, as quoted from the book that I read. “Life guilded on in the paths of innocence and content.”

Karyn: Oh. [laughs] Good for her.

Ann: And then and then Aoife died of spotted fever.

Karyn: Oh, then it all went so horrifically wrong. Yeah.

Ann: She was the glue holding everything together, clearly.

Karyn: She truly was. Like without her, everything just goes tits up so quickly. Like, it’s a bad time immediately.

Ann: So, the kids are all shipped off elsewhere. Well, first, initially, just so that they wouldn’t catch her disease, except for one brother.

Karyn: Yes, one brother stayed behind. I think it was the eldest brother at the time had stayed back to look after the mother but then he also caught the disease and passed away too.

Ann: Unfortunately, the second oldest brother, Christopher.

Karyn: Hmm. 

Ann: All-time villain. All-time villain.

Karyn: Oh, my God. Right? What a piece of shit. I just… Oof, this fucking guy.

Ann: Christopher, would you say he’s a wrong’un or something worse than that?

Karyn: He’s even worse than a wrong’un, I feel like. There can be an element of mischief to a wrong’un whereas this guy, he’s just he’s a full-on piece of shit.

Ann: He’s just trash. He’s trash. In the context of Sweet Valley High, he’s like John Pfeifer.

Karyn: Exactly, he’s that level.

Ann: He’s just “Boooo!” Christopher.

Karyn: Big time boo. Immediate boo. Yeah.

Ann: So, what happened is the kids are shipped off to various places; the mother died, the oldest brother died, and the father was just like, “Peace out. I will not do anything for the rest of this story, even though I will live for several more decades.”

Karyn: He lives for so much longer and he’s just so pointless. Like, he basically just hands everything over to Christopher, who is now the eldest son. Christopher, absolute monster. So, the father just like takes a step back and is like, “Nope, sorry lads. Too depressed. I’m not dealing with any of this. You can all figure it out yourselves.” It’s terrible.

Ann: Matthew impregnated Eva 22 times.

Karyn: That he can do. [laughs]

Ann: But it’s like, “Take some responsibility for these children you fathered.”

Karyn: Mm-hm.

Ann: So, Christopher is put in charge, and he was shitty in every imaginable way. He squandered all the family’s money; he was miserly about spending money on his siblings; he physically and emotionally abused all of them.

Karyn: All of them. Like he starves them. It’s horrific. Like, yeah, he’s really, really the worst.

Ann: Christopher is just… I’ve been rewatching I, Claudius recently and Christopher is he’s like the worst of the Roman emperors.

Karyn: Yeah, it is the power. He has the power and now he’s just a complete tyrant, a hundred percent.

Ann: Yeah, yeah, yeah. And the fact that he squandered the money, and he wouldn’t spend money on anything where they did have money, but he was just like, “No, I’m not going to like feed you.”

Karyn: Yeah. Augh, it’s awful.

Ann: Christopher is terrible. So, understandably, the siblings all try to escape. Two of the older girls just went away and got married. One of them became Mrs. Brady, and the other one, I think, becomes Mrs. Smith, because that’s kind of the route out for a young woman.

Karyn: This is the escape, yeah.

Ann: Yeah. But then, oh, no. So, the one sister who comes Mrs. Brady, Mr. Brady asked… I don’t know her name. What’s an Irish name?

Karyn: Yeah, the sisters… [laughs] Well, again, it’s Irish, but then you see none of these girls– Well, Margaret is very Irish, I suppose, actually. So there probably might have been a Bridget in the mix, in fairness.

Ann: That’s Bridget. Did you know there’s a podcast called Bad Bridgets? That’s just about…

Karyn: I have heard of that.

Ann: Yeah, there’s a book as well. Bridget is just like that’s just the name of all the Irish women who are all domestic servants in America.

Karyn: Yeah, it would have been a very popular name at the time.

Ann: Well, that’s perfect. So, Bridget Brady, her sister. So, she was like, “Hey, Mr. Brady wants to marry me.” And Christopher is like, “No, because I have to give a dowry and that’s money. And I’m Scrooge. I’m the Irish Scrooge!”

Karyn: Just awful. Like, if anything, you’d think he’ll just have to make this one-off payment and then he doesn’t have to deal with her or look after her or beat her or starve her. You know, it’s saving him energy, you’d think. [laughs] But no, he’s just he just doesn’t want anyone to be happy.

Ann: Yeah. But luckily, I mean, Bridget had she had some wits about her, so she went off to super-secret sexily get married to Mr. Brady, went off to Dublin and they’re like, “Peg, you want to come with?” And Peg is like, “God, yes, please.”

Karyn: “Yes. Get me out of here.”

Ann: Yes. So, she’s now 15 years old in the big city of Dublin.

Karyn: Yes. 

Ann: Which is still a big city. But then, like going from like Killough to Dublin, like I don’t think I don’t know if she’s ever left before. Like, I think it would be, you know, like, you know, like in the movies of like the young actress arriving in New York City, you know, she’s just like, “Oh wow!”

Karyn: Oh, big time. And Dublin was like for the time it was it was the second biggest city, I believe, in like the English, UK, Great Britain empire, whatever kind of thing they had going on. [laughs] It was like the second city, the next one down from London. It was big for the time, yeah. 

Ann: And is that because of like ships, like ports and trade? Things like that.

Karyn: It was like that. It was partly to do with trade, I would say. Yeah. And yeah, there was a lot of like, textile trade and all that kind of stuff, too.

Ann: So, Peg, she attracted the attention of many gentlemen but obviously, Christopher wouldn’t approve of any of these matches because boooo! 

Karyn: Because the worst! [laughs]

Ann: It’s not even like he has a plan. I guess his plan is just like, “If they all die, I’ll have more money. So, let’s just kill them all.”

Karyn: It’s really weird. Like, I don’t understand him, like, at all. Yeah, it’s very strange. 

Ann: Christopher. So, anyway, he summoned her home, he treated her horribly. I don’t know if this is– Oh, no, no. In a bit, he, he– No. [both laugh] There’s a detail, but that’s a later visit with Christopher.

Karyn: Okay. 

Ann: So, she leaves almost right away to go stay with her other sister Susan, Susan Smith in Tullamore.

Karyn: Tullamore, yes, in County Offaly.

Ann: Yeah. Tell me about Tullamore.

Karyn: Tullamore. Honestly, all I know about Tullamore is, well, Tullamore Dew is a whiskey that’s made there. So, there’s a big distillery and I think actually the sister was married to a guy who set up a brewery in Tullamore. So, there was probably a lot of, like, boozy brewery distillery stuff going on in Tullamore at the time. I can’t imagine it was that big of a town at the time, but Offaly is nice. A lot of bogs there. It’s very scenic.

Ann: There’s a garrison there, which was great for Peg because she loves men in uniform.

Karyn: She sure does. [laughs] Yeah, literally. There’s soldiers to flirt with. So, whatever kind of a terrible kind of spirits she was in, by the time she got to Tullamore, once she was there, she was like, “Oh, I’m back, baby. This is great.” [laughs]

Ann: [laughs] So, she’s great. Anyway, and so this just is a detail. The reason, like, she needed to find a husband because that was her way away from Christopher because she was too wealthy to become a domestic servant or to become a governess.

Karyn: Yeah. And she does say herself at one point, I think, in the memoirs that, like, people would have said to her at certain times in her life, “Why don’t you just go into service?” And she’s like, “With what skills? I haven’t I’ve never I don’t know how to do anything.”

Ann: Yeah. So, she really her only option at this point was to find a man to marry, but Christopher was not letting that happen. She was proposed to by an old grocer. I don’t know if you noted her description of him. 

Karyn: Mostly that he’s ugly and old. I feel like the thing that annoys her the most is that he wears a wig, which I just think is so funny. It’s like, that’s the worst thing of all is that he wears a wig. [laughs]

Ann: Yeah. She preferred the shorter hair of a soldier.

Karyn: Mm-hm. Imagine.

Ann: Well, I feel like this is in the time period where they wouldn’t have short hair necessarily, but like, you know, the little ponytail. I think that would be…

Karyn: Yeah. Yeah. And it is funny because when you see, like, period dramas and stuff set in this kind of era and you look at the guys and their big curly periwigs and you’re kind of like, “God, did anyone actually find that attractive?” And now we have evidence that no, they didn’t. Girls were not into that. [laughs]

Ann: No. She was not. Yeah, so this old grocer wanted to marry her. She turned him down and instead, she ran off with this other guy, some hot guy.

Karyn: Man of business. The unnamed man of business.

Ann: That’s what I’ve written down as well. “Man of business.”

Karyn: That’s how he’s described. He used to work for this woman’s husband. The husband died so he now lives with this widow, Mrs. Shannon, and conducts her business. But as Peg puts it in her memoirs, “The widow, Shannon had made him master of the business and of herself.” [chuckles]

Ann: Yeah, so she’s just… The, I’m going to describe as polyamory, of everybody [Karyn laughs] in this story. People are married but you have a lover, or you’re not married but you live with someone and then also you have a lover, and your lover has a lover, and it’s like, that lover is in love with that other lover. Everyone’s just fucking.

Karyn: It’s very chill. Yeah. [laughs]

Ann: That’s the vibe. That’s the vibe. She has some quotes that you might have saved as well later on where she’s just like, “Yeah, free love. It’s cool. Whatever.”

Karyn: Yeah. She’s very, yeah, it’s kind of sex-positive in that respect and good for her.

Ann: I will say the biographer Julie Peakman is a bit judgmental at times with Peg’s poor judgment where it’s like she’s 15 and she’s horny.

Karyn: She’s so horny. [laughs] Oh god, Peg.

Ann: She is. But I mean, she’s been so like not necessarily sheltered, but just like living in this little country house and suddenly she’s surrounded by handsome men like…

Karyn: This is it. And like if she goes home, all she has there waiting for her is a fucking horrible time with Christopher, who’s just going to beat her up for no reason. So, it’s like, of course, she’s out here flirting and like, “Get me out of here, lads. Someone help me out.”

Ann: Yeah. So, she took off with this guy, the man of business. They went to Kilbeggan.

Karyn: Yes. 

Ann: Have you heard of that?

Karyn: I have not heard of Kilbeggan. I did. I looked it up and I just saw that it’s kind of close to the border between Offaly and Westmeath. So, I think they were heading for Mullingar was the plan, but they had to stop to rest the horses at one point.

Ann: Kilbeggan has a real hobbit, Lord of the Rings place name look to it.

Karyn: Yeah. [laughs] Well, “Kil” is a very common prefix for towns in Ireland, because the Irish for church at the time would have been cill so, it was all Anglicized. So, it’s just like the church of whatever is just, that’s the townland. But yeah, Kilbeggan. Yeah, I hadn’t actually heard of it, I have to say. But yeah. 

Ann: No. So, explain what happens. They had to stop there to rest the horses and then…

Karyn: Literally like 15 minutes after they get to the inn, I think it’s Mr. Smith, the brother-in-law, and two friends of his, like kick the door down and come in to, like, drag Peg home. They’ve got pistols, they’re threatening to shoot her if she doesn’t come with them. It sounds super dramatic. And Mr. Business just jumps out the fucking window as soon as they turn up so he’s absolutely no help whatsoever at the first sign of any kind of struggle, he’s like, “Nope. See ya, Peg!” Gone. [laughs]

Ann: Yeah. And then they take it back to Christopher!

Karyn: Oh, God.

Ann: And this is the point I was thinking about. This is where Christopher beats her up so badly, she vomited blood, and it took her three months of bed rest to recover.

Karyn: Yeah, it’s horrific.

Ann: Yeah. So, when we say that “Christopher boo,” it’s like “BOOOO!”

Karyn: Honestly, boo. Yuck. I hate that guy so much.

Ann: Oh, my God. Christopher, like, all-time villain on this podcast, for sure.

Karyn: Truly a completely irredeemable character, like… Just the worst.

Ann: Just for no reason. He’s like a cartoon villain; he just is evil.

Karyn: He truly is. Yeah, like literally got the bit of power and just went completely balls-out evil. He’s just… I hate him.

Ann: Yeah, he’s terrible. So, as it was described in this biography, “As soon as she could stand, she hired a carriage and left.”

Karyn: Yes. Good for you, Peg. Get the hell out of there.

Ann: Yeah. And she went back to Dublin to hang out with Bridget. And that’s where she met Mr. Dardis.

Karyn: Oh, Mr. Dardis. Oh, yes. Yeah, so he’s a friend of another brother-in-law. So, this is Brady, I think?

Ann: Yeah, this is the Bradys. Yeah.

Karyn: Yeah. So yeah, Dardis is a close friend of the brother-in-law. Yeah, of course, as soon as– She’s still not fully well because it was literally as soon as she could sit upright, she was gone. So, she still has a bit of recovery time ahead of her. So, he was really nice to her while she was getting better, and she was vulnerable, and he was lovely. But of course, as soon as she’s well enough to do more than sit up, they’re sneaking around. [chuckles]

Ann: Which is what I was describing. This one is like “He acted the role of the gentleman suitor by day.” [Karyn laughs] But by night, they were sneaking around.

Karyn: Definitely. 

Ann: And then but he’s the sort of guy who and this did happen in one of the Sweet Valley sagas. (the Fowler saga to one of Lila Fowler’s ancestors) where he claimed that he was going to marry her so they might as well have sex.

Karyn: Aha. That old trick.

Ann: And then he did not marry her.

Karyn: Yeah. God. There is a great line from Peg, though, where she says, I think at the point that they did start sleeping together, where she says, “How could I call them seducer when I met the seduction halfway?” Because, again, too horny for her own good. [laughs]

Ann: Yeah. Yeah. So, she became pregnant, like, you know, she’s from fertile stock.

Karyn: Get used to this Peg. [laughs]

Ann: So, Mr. Dardis, who like… he sucks. I don’t think… He’s not cool enough to be a wrong’un.

Karyn: He’s just no no he’s just lame. It’s just, get out of here, Dardis. Yeah, because she’s pregnant and he’s just like, “Yeah, actually, I can’t marry you because, you know, it’ll ruin my reputation and I can’t do that and lose my inheritance. No, absolutely not.”

Ann: Yeah. So, then what he does is he arranges for Peg to go live in lodgings until she had the baby. Now, there was some stuff. Because there was some context in the book I read, it was talking about, like, the Foundling Hospital and stuff. So, like, women having babies and then dropping them off was like a thing that happened all the time to the point that there was some sort of revolving door-type situation, where you could just put the baby in and they would just like, [fruuup] “Oh, a baby.”

Karyn: Yeah, yeah. There was a church where you could do that. St. Audeon’s Church, I think, you could. Yeah, there was like a little bit that you could put a baby in, and it would just spin around with the baby inside the church, and it’s like, “There you go. There’s a baby now!”

Ann: Like, this happened after they invented the turntable. 

Karyn: Yeah, exactly. It’s like a lazy Susan for babies.

Ann: Yeah. So, I presume that was kind of the plan. It’s like, “Okay, just go off there, have the baby, put it in the turntable and then we’ll resume.” But it turns out that the place where he set her up was owned… It was it wasn’t a brothel, but it was owned by, like, all the other tenants were also sex workers or something like that?

Karyn: Yeah, I guess it was a house where the lady that ran the house maybe didn’t have the best reputation or it was just that she was known for boarding sex workers. So, maybe it was just the fact that she didn’t have a problem with someone being a sex worker staying in her house, but it wasn’t a brothel necessarily. It was just, yeah, I guess of as houses go, it wouldn’t have had the, you know, most sparkly of reputations.

Ann: Well, and as evidenced by when her brother-in-law, Mr. Smith, tracked down the coachmen who brought her there. The detail was like, “Well, he knew that it was a left-handed coachman.”

Karyn: Left-handed! This guy is like, Sherlocking around the place.

Ann: How many left-handed coachmen are there in Dublin? And I’ll talk to all of them. So, he found it down.

Karyn: He did the legwork.

Ann: But then he was like, “Oh no, she’s living there? Eughhh! You’re left for dead.” Like she had fallen too far for him to save by living in this building.

Karyn: I know, yeah. Rude.

Ann: Like listeners, please know, this is this podcast is going on for quite a while and Peg thrives for almost all of it. This is just backstory.

Karyn: Oh yeah. We’re so early in her story. She’s still 15, 16? I don’t know.

Ann: Yeah. Like, there’s tragic things happening to her. But this is not, what’s the book? Tess of the D’Urbervilles. It’s not just like things are bad and then– No, things get great. So, just hold on.


So, we’re going to leave you there. Bit of a cliffhanger, because this is a long story and I want us to all be able to sit with and appreciate all of the bananas things that we’ve been hearing about. Next week: Peg Plunkett, Part Two. Is that going to be the last part? No, it’s not because the story is epic. It’s such a saga and I had so much fun talking with Karyn about it. 

If you want to hear me and Karyn talking some more about other things, talking about Sweet Valley High, talking about the strange connection that I’ve forged between her podcast and my podcast, or just getting some more information about Irish history, I did record an episode of The After Show, which is a Patreon-exclusive spin-off podcast to Vulgar History. So, if you join the Patreon for at least $5 or more a month, you can get access to bonus! Like, we have a lot to say, and I diverted a bunch of it to The After Show just so we could try and stay on topic as much as possible for two talkative people like her and me here in the main feed of Vulgar History.

Yeah. So, next week, more Peg. I can’t even… Like, prepare yourself. This is like it’s such a saga and I’m so delighted to be sharing this on the podcast because this is just the sort of story I love to find and it’s the sort of story I only find when somebody else mentions it to me because these people exist, they’re out there and the history of so many countries, these bananas people who led these, like, fantastically interesting lives. And, you know, more people need to know about them and now a bunch more people know about Peg Plunkett because of this episode. So yeah, stay tuned next week for that, and then stay tuned whenever the Peg Plunkett saga ends for the reveal of the new Karyn Moynihan Vulgar History merch design, inspired by Peg Plunkett.

And if you want to keep up with me in the podcast until then, I mentioned the Patreon. So, I’m posting more stuff there. You can join the Patreon as a paid member; if you pledge at least one dollar or more per month, you get early, ad-free access to all the episodes. So, if you’re just like, “I can’t wait to hear what happens with Peg,” like, the episodes, they drop there like four days early so, you know, a bit of a shorter wait for you. And then if you pledge at least $5 dollars or more a month on Patreon, you get access to the bonus episodes. So, that is The After Show, like the extra bonus thing I recorded with Karyn, as well as we do episodes of Vulgarpiece Theatre, where I talk about costume dramas. And also, there’s a series called So This Asshole where I talk about gross men from history. 

You can also join the Patreon for free, for zero dollars, and I post stuff there, like, a couple of times a week, is what I’m working on doing. Just kind of like, you know, historical stuff that’s in the news or just some value-added content about the various episodes. So, you can just join the Patreon for free just to keep up with me. One of the reasons I’m doing that, like I’m posting more free stuff on Patreon, too, is just because I tend to post a lot of my stuff on Instagram, which is a great way and that’s how I’ve connected with so many people. And just the algorithms are not loving me lately; a lot of the stuff I post there is not being seen by as many people as are following me there and who want to see this stuff. So, if you join the Patreon, you get alerted every time I post something. So, anyway,

We have a glorious brand partner, Common Era Jewellery, if Peg Plunkett was around now or if Common Era Jewellery was around then, I think she would have been all about these designs because they’re all about women from history, often scandalous women from history. So, Common Era Jewellery is a small business, it’s a woman-owned business, and they make beautiful jewelry designs that are inspired by women from history, as well as women from mythology. There’s not a Peg Plunkett design, I’m going to say she’s not famous enough for that yet. But there is an Anne Boleyn design and there’s other people who are seen as scandalous from history, like Cleopatra, Agrippina, Boudica, people who are seen as scandalous from mythology, like Clytemnestra, Aphrodite, Medusa. So, she has a whole collection called “Difficult Women,” which is just, kind of, women who had bad reputations from history and basically, it’s beautiful. I love these pieces. Vulgar History listeners can get 15% off your purchase at Common Era by going to or using code ‘VULGAR’ at checkout. 

I keep mentioning the merch. So, there is Peg Plunkett merch, not there yet. Other merch is there. So, if you want to just like represent your love of Vulgar History, go to to find our merchandise there. Or if you’re outside the US, you can use our Redbubble shop, which is where we have all the Karyn Moynihan designs thus far, as well as there’s a Lola Montez design there, all designed by fabulous artists who I’ve partnered with. So yeah, you can just support this podcast with like strange inside jokes that no one else seeing them would understand. Or if someone does see them and understand, then you made a new friend because that’s another member of the Tits Out Brigade, which is what listeners of the show are called.

You can get in touch with me, thoughts, comments, whatever, ideas of scandalous people to talk about on the show because I will drop everything when I find out about a trashy, slutty woman from history. It is my weakness. A couple of seasons ago, everything was upended, first when I heard about Hortense Mancini, then I heard about Lola Montez. Like, I was already working on this Marie Antoinette season. And then I was just like “Peg Plunkett is going to be in this season, goddamn it.” And it turns out that she connects with so many things so well. But like, that’s my weakness. So, let me know if you know about somebody like that from history. You can email me. There’s a form on my website, You can email me at as well, and I am on Instagram @VulgarHistoryPod.

So next week, Peg Plunkett, Part Two, like get your tits ready, it’s such a saga. And there’ll be more with Karyn next week as well. Listen to her podcast that she co-hosts with Anna Carey, Double Love: The Sweet Valley High Podcast. It’s incredibly fun, it’s my favourite thing. And until next time, keep your pants on and your tits out.

Vulgar History is researched, written and hosted by Anne Foster, that’s me! The editor is Cristina Lumague. Theme music is by the Severn Duo. The Vulgar History Show image is by Deborah Wong. Transcripts are written by Aveline Malek, find transcripts of recent episodes at


Peg Plunkett: Memoirs of a Whore by Julie Peakman

Memoirs of Mrs. Margaret Leeson by Peg Plunkett aka Mrs. Leeson

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