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Top 10 History Extra podcasts of 2014

From Hitler’s cocaine habit to Thomas Cromwell’s fall from grace, 2014 was packed with exciting podcasts. Here we round up 10 of the best…

Published: January 6, 2015 at 12:59 pm
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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.


To listen, click here.

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.

To listen, click here.

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.

To listen, click here.

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.

To listen to this November 2014 podcast, click here.

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.

To listen, click here.

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.

To listen, click here.

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.

To listen, click here.

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.

To listen to this podcast, which was recorded in September, click here.

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.

To listen, click here.

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.

To listen to this July podcast, click here.


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