Richard III and dirty Tudors
Chris Skidmore, the author of a new biography of Richard III, talked to us in July about how his research is presenting a different picture of the controversial 15th-century king. Meanwhile, we spoke to Pamela Hartshorne about the challenges people faced in Tudor England when trying to keep their cities clean and hygienic.
The legacy of the First World War
In June we were joined in the studio by the acclaimed Yale historian Adam Tooze to talk about his new book The Deluge, which focuses on the climax of the First World War and the resultant rise of the United States. Plus, we kicked off our new Our First World War series with audio clips of interviews with veterans of the conflict.
Germany through the centuries and Hitler’s cocaine habit
British Museum director Neil MacGregor joined us in October to talk about his new BBC Radio 4 series Germany: Memories of a Nation, which illustrates the country’s history through a wealth of fascinating objects. Meanwhile, historical author Giles Milton discussed some surprising tales from the past, including the story of Adolf Hitler’s drug addictions.
Battle of Waterloo special
As we approach the bicentenary of Napoleon’s final defeat, this episode focuses on the 1815 Battle of Waterloo. Historical novelist Bernard Cornwell explores the events of the battle itself, while Paul O’Keeffe reveals how news of Wellington’s victory spread across Europe.
Thomas Cromwell’s fall from grace
In this September 2014 podcast Tudor historian Tracy Borman discusses the career of Thomas Cromwell, the henchman of Henry VIII who brought down Anne Boleyn only to eventually share the same fate.
The trials of Joan of Arc
Historian Helen Castor discusses her new biography of the tragic French heroine Joan of Arc in this October podcast, describing her famous victories and the dramatic trial that condemned her to death. Putting the questions is fellow historian Dan Jones.
Fresh views on the Wars of the Roses
Dan Jones is interviewed by Tudor expert Suzannah Lipscomb about his new book on the Wars of the Roses, in this podcast recorded in September. The two historians discuss the writing of popular history, the role of medieval kings and the controversial figure of Richard III, among other things.
The history of humanity
Dr Yuval Harari chats to us about his new book, Sapiens, which explores tens of thousands of years of history and offers fresh insights into subjects such as agriculture, war, empire, science and capitalism. Plus, he questions whether all our progress has made us happier.
Roman slavery and the man who started the First World War
Jerry Toner discusses the lives of slaves in Ancient Rome, while Tim Butcher explores the life of Gavrilo Princip, killer of Franz Ferdinand, in this podcast recorded in May.
The German view on the First World War
Historian Alexander Watson, author of Ring of Steel: Germany and Austria-Hungary at War, 1914-1918, offers a German and Austro-Hungarian perspective on the events of 1914–18 and explains how the Central Powers were overcome by the Allies.