12 podcasts about medieval history to listen to right now

What have you always wanted to know about medieval history? The chances are that your questions about life in the Middle Ages will be covered by these episodes of HistoryExtra podcast. From Katherine Harvey on cleanliness to Dan Jones on the crusades, HistoryExtra's content director David Musgrove rounds up 12 episodes you won't want to miss…

Fresco by Memmo di Filippuccio, Palazzo Comunale, San Gimignano/Tuscany (Photo by Alamy)
1

Back to the Black Death

I enjoyed recording this conversation recently, with Professor Jane Whittle from Exeter University, about the government’s response to Black Death in the mid-14th century. You don’t get more topical than that.

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2

Medieval news

Podcast Helen Birkett Web large

How did people actually get the medieval news? I had a fascinating chat with Dr Helen Birkett about her research into the way news travelled around medieval Europe, particularly focussing on the way that (bad) news was brought back from the Crusades to the west.


3

Medicine in the Middle Ages

One of our most popular podcasts of recent times because who doesn’t love medieval medicine? Elma Brenner goes into detail about how medicine was practiced, does some medieval first aid on me, and explains how mental health was important.


4

Simon de Montfort

Simon de Montfort is one of the big figures of medieval English history. SophieThérèse Ambler talks through this dramatic life, explains why he matters, and considers his legacy.


5

Medieval myths busted

Hannah Skoda teases fact from fiction as she busts some of the most common myths of medieval history covering everything from women, height, children, and torture, through to hygiene and humour.


6

Eleanor of Aquitaine

Eleanor of Aquitaine is one of the most popular figures in medieval history, if listener numbers for this podcast on her are anything to go by. Historian Dan Jones does the interviewing on this for one for us, talking to Eleanor biographer Sara Cockerill.


7

Dan Jones on the Crusades

Podcast-Website-large-Dan-Jones-Crusades-0494ac2

Another one for Dan Jones fans. Here, he is being interviewed, this time by another historian Helen Castor, about his book on the Crusades.


8

King John: medieval monster

Nicholas Vincent takes on the story of King John, and considers the life and legacy of the man who made a career out of military mishaps and ending up sealing Magna Carta.


9

Medieval bodies

Medieval bodies podcast

Jack Hartnell on medieval bodies. How did people in the Middle Ages see their physical selves?


10

Mysticism in the Middle Ages

An in-depth look at medieval mysticism with Hetta Howes, and how women went to extreme lengths to get closer to God.


11

Castles, with Marc Morris

Marc Morris at BBC History Magazine's 2017 History Weekend (Photo by Steve Sayers)

If there’s one man who knows castles, it’s Marc Morris. So here he is, giving chapter and verse on the fortifications that are the starting point for so many people’s enthusiasm for medieval history.

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David Musgrove is content director at HistoryExtra. He tweets @DJMusgrove