William Shakespeare as Historian

Shakespeare’s history plays are for many people the defining versions of England’s medieval monarchs, but can Shakespeare really be trusted? Is Richard III the greatest villain in history or Henry V the embodiment of the perfect, virtuous king? To find out, we are taking a closer look at Shakespeare’s sources, why he was writing history plays in the first place and check three of his most famous plays to see if they are more historical fact or historical fiction.

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Isambard Kingdom Brunel (Special Episode)

Isambard Kingdom Brunel was arguably Britain’s greatest engineer, certainly her most ambitious. Operating at the height of the birth of the Victorian age, Brunel’s remarkable career saw him transform tunnelling, bridges, railway lines and ships – impressive not just in the technological advances made but also in the look and size of his works. In this special episode, we go through some of his key projects and find out more about the life of the one of the most iconic figures of the Victorian age with his trademark stovepipe hat and cigar. You can listen to a free preview of our special episode below, purchase the episode for just $2 or read on to find out more.

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William Wallace (the real one)

While William Wallace wasn’t an Australian in blue face paint shouting “FREEDOM!” in an historically dubious surrounding, he was nevertheless a real warrior who fought for Scottish independence in the late thirteen century. But who exactly was the real William Wallace and does he deserve the Rex Factor? Listen to his episode in the player below or read on to find out more.

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Simplified Listener Access to Premium Podcast Episodes

Useful explainer from Podbean about how to access any special episodes you may have bought from Rex Factor (or other podcasts on Podbean, but we’re the example page they use!)

Podbean news

To make it easy to find premium podcast episodes you’ve purchased, we’ve added a “Premium Episodes” section to your Podbean account.

Simply login to your Podbean account and you’ll see a “Premium Episodes” tab in your left sidebar (if you’ve paid for any episodes). Click there and you will see a page where you can view and play all your premium episodes.

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*You can also play premium episodes in the Podbean app if you are logged in using the account you used to pay for the content.

**For patron-only content, please visit the patron page of the podcast. Click on “Episodes” for your patrons-only content (which can also be accessed in the Podbean app).

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Merchandise

The long wait is over – finally there is Rex Factor merchandise!

We’re really pleased with our new branding and designs and it’s definitely the kind of thing the more discerning podcast listener needs to have by their side! We’ll be doing some more designs/products next year but there’s already plenty to choose from with our new logo, four of the monarchs, the factors and some of our favourite catchphrases and characters from the first two series of the show.

See if there’s anything you like at our store by following the link below:

https://www.zazzle.co.uk/rexfactor

Or for the US:

https://www.zazzle.com/rexfactor

Thomas Becket (Special Episode)

Our latest special episode is on Thomas Becket, the boy from Cheapside who rose to the extraordinary heights of Archbishop of Canterbury and then to the (perhaps less desirable) status of martyr. We trace the whole of his life and look in depth at how his rapid rise ended with his tragic and brutal murder in 1170. You can listen a preview of the special episode below or read on to find out more about Thomas Becket and how to purchase the episode.

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John Balliol (1292-96)

After the dynastic crises of the past decade, John Balliol took on the leadership of a country in 1292 that was seriously divided and heavily indebted to Edward I, who was determined to make as much capital out of this debt as possible. Would Balliol be able to carve out his own path and make Scotland great again, or would the might of Edward I be too much for him to handle? To find out more, read on or listen to his episode here.

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Audible Offer

In our most recent podcast reviewing John Balliol, we let you know about an offer for Rex Factor listeners available with Audible (the leading provider of audiobooks). By following the link below, you can enjoy a free 30-day trial and a free audiobook from their huge range of titles:

http://www.audibletrial.com/rexfactorpodcast

By signing up using this link, we get a little bonus from Audible, so this is a free way for you to support the podcast and you get an audiobook of your choice completely free!

Ali is a keen audiobook user and is going to be reviewing his latest listens in the podcast and his first audiobook was “Three Sisters, Three Queens” by Philippa Gregory, focusing on the two sisters of Henry VIII and his first wife, Katherine of Aragon. If you’ve got any audiobook suggestions for Ali then let us know!

 

1016 And All That: The Battle of Assandun and the Road to Hastings

Today (18 October 2016) is the 1,000th anniversary of the oft-forgotten Battle of Assandun and a brief period of Viking dominion in England. We look at the events of 1016 and the battle itself as well as considering how this encounter helped set in motion the twists and turns that would culminate in the rather more famous Battle of Hastings 50 years later.

A medieval depiction of Edmund Ironside and Cnut in battle - in reality, they resolved the war through dialogue Continue reading