66 thoughts on “Contact Us

  1. Just wanted to say that I love this podcast so much and it’s been seriously saving my life in a new job with a lot of driving travel–I save up my episodes to be sure of entertainment on my trek to the next tiny town! Rex Factor is now my go-to podcast recommendation to anyone who’s looking for something new, I’ve got two converts already. Thanks so much for all the work and joy you put into RF, it’s fabulous!

    • Hi Chloe, thank you! Really glad that you’re enjoying the podcast and that we’ve been keeping you company on some long drives. And great work recruiting new listeners – Rex Factor points duly awarded!

  2. Hey all. American listener here, and I am loving this podcast. In a little bit over a week since having it recommended to me, I’m already up to the Tudors. I’m learning so many great facts about the English monarchy, English history as a whole, and various idioms and such that I had no idea where they came from. For instance, I mostly knew about the Hundred Years’ War from the French perspective, and being ethnically Irish and Scottish, didn’t have much respect for Edward I until that episode. Even one of my European history teachers glossed over the Wars of the Roses as “a bunch of cousins with the same names killing each other and we ended up with Henry VIII,” so these last few episodes have been fascinating. Y’all keep talking about how epic these various reigns would be in a movie, and I’m thinking that the Wars of the Roses would be so epic as a TV show a la The Tudors or The Borgias (and if this already exists in Britain please tell me so I can find it online) cause there’s so much backstory you’d have to cram in to get to why it was important that Richard III and Henry VII were fighting each other for it to make sense as a movie, at least for international audiences.

    Another thing, from an earlier episode that makes me really want to write an email to this same history teacher about him being wrong—I had two classes from him, world history and European history, and both times when we got to Elizabeth I being crowned, he said it the same way, “Now, we are in a position of having a reigning queen, that hadn’t happened in England since the Anglo-Saxon days of Matilda.” That same quote, both times. It always stuck in my head, cause I was thinking, “I’ve never heard of a Queen Matilda, and as a woman and a history dork I’m super interested in regnant queens.” So as I’m listening to the episodes and we’re getting closer to 1066 and the end of the Saxon dynasty, I’m like, “Okay, where’s Matilda? Where’s the Matilda episode??!” Then as I kept listening, I discovered that not only was she never properly queen, she was also a Norman, not a Saxon. The public school system failed me!

    Anyway, sorry for the ridiculously long comment, I just wanted to let y’all know how much I’ve been enjoying your show, both the learning and the funny. I know I have about a billion more episodes until I catch up, but I can’t wait to see what you do next! Keep it up!

    • Hi Caroline, thanks a lot for the email, great to hear you’re enjoying the podcast so much! Love that description of the Wars of the Roses – good to get into the nitty gritty of each reign and all that battles, but your European History teacher found a very effective way to summarise it in one line! There’s not been an all-encompassing series on the Wars of the Roses in a Game of Thrones sort of scale (other than how it influences GoT!) but there was a series base on a Philippa Gregory book The White Queen which focused on Elizabeth Woodville and tells a lot of that story.

      However, as you say, that same teacher was wrong on so many levels when it came to Matilda! I suppose if you want to be generous you could say that Matilda did have a Saxon parent (her mother) and did claim the throne (but was never crowned). We will be doing a special episode on her at some point in the future, though, so will look at her in some more detail.

      • Excellent! Thank you! Now that you mention that book, I remember seeing it at the library a while back, but at the time I thought, “I know nothing about this time period. Let me do some research and I’ll come back to it,” but then life happened and I never came back. Now that I know more thanks to you guys I’ll have to read it.

        Up to Victoria now, and I have to say your treatment of Cromwell and George III was very enlightening. Again, as an American and ethnically Irish (although I found out about ten years ago from a native Irishman that my clan has a reputation as a bunch of horse thieves, apparently) I had an extremely skewed view of both of them, and in fact they were about on the same level of evilness for me. So bravo, thanks again!

  3. Hi Both,

    Just wanted to leave a little note to let you know how much I enjoyed this podcast. I stumbled upon it when I wanted to learn more about just how bad Henry VI was and was directed here to find out more. I have been obsessively listening ever since having got from Backgroundy Stuff to Elizabeth I in 5 weeks! The Anglo-Saxon stuff was particularly interesting and has led me to want to learn more about them, especially Athelstan!

    I can’t wait to listen more and as I travel a lot, this is the perfect in-car companion!

    Cheers,

    James

  4. Just listening to Mary Queen of Scots and Ali asked if there was ever a situation where a king died while the queen was pregnant and they had to wait until the baby was born. Apologies if someone has already mentioned this in the intervening episode, but Alfonso XII of Spain died while his wife was pregnant. Their eldest daughter, Mercedes, was heir for her entire life, but the nation had to wait to see if the new baby was a boy (who would leapfrog his sisters and become king) or a girl (who would take her place at the end of the line). Six months later, the child was born and immediately crowned Alfonso XIII. Upon being informed of this situation, my daughter declared “Spain: what a wazzock.”

    It also happened in France – John I (John the Posthumous) was the posthumous son of Louis the Quarreler, who died after a tennis match. Unfortunately, John only lived for five days and his status as king is disputed. Later on, Charles the Fair fatally banged his head on a door while his wife was pregnant with a potential heir. In this case, the baby was a girl, and females were not permitted to inherit the throne, so the throne passed to a distant cousin. This was the succession that sparked the Hundred Years’ War, as Edward III also had a claim through his mother, Isabella. And you know what happened there.

    And in Hungary – Ladislaus the Posthumous was born around four months after the death of his father, Albert the Magnanimous.

    • Hi Nick, we have had a few responses on this for the James VI episode (recorded but not yet released at this point!) but they hadn’t picked up on Alfonso XIII or Ladislaus the Posthumous, nor indeed provided the excellent insight of your daughter on the situation!

  5. Yes, yes, yes to the “video podcast” idea. Perhaps the finals could be done this way. As for time, whatever works for you — there’s no way you will be able to accommodate all of your fans, so as long as you record it and it’s available afterwards, it would work for me. As for the camera, I’d LOVE to have you tour a castle and tape it all for us.

  6. Hi! Just wanted to say that I started listening to you guys earlier this year and have been swiftly making my way through the English side of the monarchs so far. Thoroughly enjoying it and learning the pros and cons of each monarch, and their overall contributions (or lack thereof). Keep up the good work, looking forward to listening to you more in future! From a listener in Melbourne, Australia (and currently listening to the Victoria episodes… in the city of Melbourne, in the state of Victoria….!).

  7. Hi guys,

    Recently discovered the podcast via your radio interview. I’m currently listening to English and Scottish concurrently, so I’ve just heard back-to-back Edward III and Robert the Bruce and I feel this must be a high point in British history.

    Just wanted to praise you for your use of the Heritage playing cards. My four year old daughter Lilly has these (both decks, English and Scottish) and absolutely loves them. She plays with them as if they were dolls, and is particularly fond of the monarchs who ascended to the throne as children.

    She has given some of the kings and queens nicknames. Some are snappier than others.

    Edward V: Poor Little Edward
    Edward VI: also Poor Little Edward
    Margaret the Maid of Norway: Maidy Lady
    Edward the Elder: The Biggles-looking chap
    Henry III: That 1216 to 1272 Fellow
    Robert the Bruce: The Dancing Robot

    So if you ever get bored of mentioning Margaret the Maid of Norway (in the unlikely event that you’ll ever have to refer to her again), why not try “Maidy Lady” instead?

    cheers,
    Nick Lord Lancaster
    Maldon.

    • Hi Nick, good idea listening to both series concurrently – interesting to see how they fit together. That’s great that your daughter is enjoying the cards as well – Maidy Lady is a wonderful nickname! And we may well have cause to mention her again before the series is out. Dancing Robot is a great description of the Bruce card as well, she could give Ali a run for his money when it comes to the cards!

  8. Love the podcast!! A wee bit of pronounciation help. Alba is a Gaelic word and it’s pronounced “Ah-lap-ah”. Which let’s face it isn’t exactly intuitive.

    • Hi Daniel, glad you’re enjoying the podcast. Thanks for the pronunciation tip – we did get told this at some point so hopefully you’ll find us get it right eventually!

  9. Hi chaps,

    Random question from a loyal Privy Council member. If you were King(s), joint and/or individually, which period would you want to reign over and what would be your Kingly actions?

    Not sure why but I can imagine Ali would want to be remembered for Scandal (Charles II?!) and Graham for Subjectivity.

    Cheers and look forward to the next episode!
    Henry

    • Hi Henry, good question! I think you might be right about Ali, though there are also those Welsh castles to think of… We’ll come back to you on that in the next Privy Chamber podcast we record (which won’t be Robert the Bruce as that’s already been done!)

  10. Have recently discovered your podcast and have binge listened to the English monarchs over the last couple of months. Loving the podcast, especially the English (language and culture) in-jokes, dry humour and occasional sarky comments – I am a Brit now living in the US and miss home (and real cadbury chocolate!). Like that you are doing the Scottish monarchs next and really pleased you will be doing consorts. I also thought it might be interesting to do one on ‘the man who would “never” be king’ – all the first born children who died before they could inherit. They are touched on but some of them lead fascinating lives (e.g. Matilda, Edward the Black Prince, Henry the Young King, Prince Eddie).

    • Hi Catherine, thanks a lot for the message. Not sure we could ever replace Cadbury but glad we’re able to remind you of home! Good idea on the “nearlies” of British history, there are quite a few notables like you say – Henry Stuart (Charles I’s elder and better brother) would be another one, and Prince Arthur (Henry VIII’s elder brother). There have been special episode requests for Matilda and for Edgar the Aetheling (1066) so we’re going to be covering some of them in the future at least but maybe the others will get a look in at some point as well.

  11. Hey guys, just wanted to say how great the podcast is, I am addicted. Bit behind but nearing the end of the English monarchs (Bertie!) and looking forward to the Scots. Also, enjoyed the Aragon special hah good work 🙂
    Have you considered Roman Emperors next? plenty of juicy scandal and battleyness to sink your teeth into

    Mari x

    • Hi Mari, thanks for getting in touch, really glad you’re enjoying the podcast. Roman Emperors is definitely on our potential list for the future but after the Scots we’re planning to do the English queen and prince consorts (Eleanor of Aquitaine, Anne Boleyn, Prince Albert, etc.) There’s a podcast called Totalus Rankium that you might want to check out for the Romans which was inspired by Rex Factor.

  12. I absolutely love your podcasts! A good friend of my fiance recently introduced me to them and I now look forward to my daily commute. I was especially impressed by your “What happened to Henry VIII?” episode. I fully agree with the physical injury argument. As a Sailor in the US Navy, I suffered a traumatic brain injury when I smacked my head on a bulkhead and then again on the deck as I passed out. Since then I’ve had trouble controlling my temper. Of course, I’m no king, so people put me in my place. But I can see how it’d make Henry go off the deep end. I’m looking forward to catching up with your episodes, particularly Oliver Cromwell. Being a descendant of Irish immigrants, I’ve always heard about him through Irish eyes. It’ll be very interesting to hear an English perspective. Keep up the good work.

    • Hi Jeremiah, thanks a lot for the comment, really glad you’re enjoying the podcast. Particularly glad that you enjoyed the Henry VIII extra episode given your own personal experience – we’ll never know exactly what happened to Henry and how much of it was through physical and emotional trauma but it definitely seemed to us like something did genuinely change. Will be interesting to hear what you think of Cromwell – we were very much aware of Irish sensitivities in respect of that episode!

      • The Cromwell episode was great! You two were very fair and I came away with a much more rounded understanding of his role in England and by extension his impact on the rest of the world. I completely agree, he shouldn’t have gotten the Rex Factor because it probably would have irked him. Just finished the George III review and my only comment would be that, despite Great Britain’s command of the seas, our Navy made a good show of itself in the Revolution under John Paul Jones (a Scott and father of the US Navy) and the USS Constitution racked up a few wins in 1812 as well. Even though, admittedly these were against lesser ships and she was unable to break the blockade. Looking forward to starting the Scottish kings soon. Take care!

  13. First off, love the show.

    Second off, there were some recent lamentations on the lack of colorful Scottish accents when Graham reads historical quotes. Your reluctance to try an impression is sad, but probably for the best. I don’t think you quite realize the resources you have at your disposal, though. Surely, if you posted some quotes you were planning on using in upcoming shows on the Blog with a description of their age, gender and nationality you could get some listeners to send you an audio file or two? There have got to be some Scottish rex-fans out there who want their 30-seconds of fame…

    LLETP,
    -Sam

    • Hi Samuel, good idea, we could have our own auditioning process with people sending in their best efforts and then Ali and I could judge them and put the best ones through to the next round. But what to call it…

  14. Rex Factor,

    Not sure it’s been mentioned since I’ve just started listening to you guys but in William Rufus’s podcast you mentioned Conan’s defenestration and that the word defenestration sounded familiar. The most notable defenestration happened in 1618 Prague which marks the starting phases of the Thirty Years War.

    Mary Kate
    United States
    Chicago

  15. Hey guys,

    I’ve just started listening to your podcast a week and a half ago, and as such, just finished Edgar the Peaceable (but moving quickly)! At this rate, I’ll catch up to you around the week of June 14, 2016. I’m not sure if you’re still in the habit of mentioning your comments, but I’ll hear about it some 4 weeks previously, anyway.

    Just wanted to let you know, I love the show — recommended by a couple of other Shakespeare nerds like myself in NYC, and Rex Factor is perfect to listen to at the gym (especially Battle-y-ness).

    Keep up the good work!

    Robin Rightmyer

  16. Dear Rex Factor,
    Earlier this summer I started listening to your show, I was going to catch up to the present before commenting, but I just listened to the semi finals results and I wish I had been able to vote for Edward I. I know it wouldn’t have changed the results, but I’m so appalled by the public making such a horrific mistake.
    Although Ali doesn’t always make the right decisions (Edgar the Peaceable), at least he voted properly (unlike some other unmentionable hosts).

    Ya’ll’s show is amazing. Thank you Graham and Ali for this amazing show. I can safely and enthusiastically recommend this to my friends that enjoy history or entertaining podcasts. Even if you run out of kings and queens, please consider doing a general biography show, because you’re so good at it. Figures I’d enjoy hearing you review – Eleanor of Aquitaine, Catherine of Valois, William Marshall and so many more! Frankly, with those three I’d love to hear if they could Rex Factor.

    Thank you!!!!!!!
    Elizabeth Emerson
    Birmingham, Alabama (not Warwickshire)

    • Hi Elizabeth, I’m sure Ali would be delighted to hear you sticking up for Edward I! Thanks a lot for recommending us to your friends. Special episodes on the likes of William Marshall is definitely something we’ll be looking at in the future.

  17. Hi guys, I just found your podcast and I love it! I don’t know why I am fixated on British history but I can’t get enough. This is such a fun idea and I appreciate all the time and research you invest in it. It is also highly entertaining, with your banter and all. I am only up to #7 Eadwig so far, but I’ve listened to most of them twice. I am wondering – you refer to the website where you hoped to post maps and pictures, but I can’t find it. Have I just not looked hard enough?

    • Hi Cheri, glad you’re enjoying the podcast thus far. I fear with the maps and pictures promise, you’ve encountered our good intentions on which we did not quite deliver! It took us a while to really get going on a website and so there aren’t currently any supportive blogs relating to the English monarchs until we get to the play-offs at the end. We’re now doing that for our second series (on the Scots) and at some point I will get round to filling the gap for the Saxons et al – but not quite yet! If you’ve got any questions about any of the things we talk about, though, we’d be happy to try to shed some light that the website isn’t providing as of yet!

  18. Great to have you back guys. Really enjoyed the Kenneth episode. Didn’t quite understand Ally’s frustration over the lack of pictures during big Ken’s reign as he, as is well, documented, de-Picted all of Scotland!

  19. Hi guys,

    Really enjoyed the series though I still have a number of episodes to listen to but will hopefully get enough time to complete them soon. Originating from Scotland myself and having an interest in the Stuart kings, I am looking forward to hearing your series on Scottish monarchs. I was just wondering when you are looking to begin casting these?

    Great work guys – hope to hear more soon!

    Kind Regards,
    Mark Craig Robertson

    • Hi Mark, glad you enjoyed (or are enjoying) the English monarchs. We’ve a bit on hold at the moment as Ali’s been very busy at work so we need to have a chat about when we’ll be able to get started on the Scots, but looking forward to it!

  20. Hello,

    I’ve recently finished the Rex Factor podcasts and I loved them! Before you, all I new about English history was what I had learned in the TV shows ‘Tudors’ and ‘Blackadder’ but now I feel I probably know everything. Please do a special ‘Life of Manny’ podcast as I think that would be epic.

    As a Scot I am very excited for your Scottish Rex Factor Podcasts. I just wanted to let you know that you have been pronouncing the Stone of Scone incorrectly. When you’ve mentioned it in other podcasts you’ve said Scone (rhymes with one) when it should be pronounced like Scoon to rhyme with soon. I hope that’s helpful – Ali did say he wanted to work on his Scottish accent.

    Cheers,
    Hannah
    London

    • Hi Hannah, really glad you’ve enjoyed the podcast. No bad thing to have had the training in Blackadder (and Tudors is a guilty pleasure, despite its dubious accuracy!) but happy to fill in some of the gaps!

      Thanks for the Scone/Scoon assistance – I think it’s fair to assume that (certainly with the early Scottish kings) pronunciation is going to be quite a challenge at times!

      Graham.

      • Hi there,

        The links for the all the surveys have been on the “Voting” page throughout the play-offs. This page is located under the “Play-Offs” tab. I did do a link in my reply but for some reason this has not shown on WordPress. It should be below this one as well, otherwise the WordPress page links obviously don’t work! But the survey link is available on the Voting page on this site and we will be doing several blog entries on the main page which will also feature the survey link.

        The reason that we have set up this site is for doing blog entires, which is a bit more user-friendly than the Podbean site, though this is where the actual audio files of the podcast are stored. Long-term we’ll look to have a one-stop shop that has everything.

        https://rexfactor.wordpress.com/podcast-2/voting/

  21. Hey fellas. First and most importantly- holy cupcakes, I’m in love with this podcast. I binge listened the entire back catalogue in a little under two weeks. Pure perfection, almost… Which brings me to Victoria. Setting aside her yawn-inducing vanilla pudding personality, I really have to say I’m disappointed that you put such a high gloss on ‘her’ achievements. If you’re going to grant her the glory of victories she didn’t have much more than a nominal hand in, you really ought to have assigned her a fair portion of the blame for the atrocities suffered by the indigenous societies once they were colonized. The sending of a few paltry pounds to Ireland during the famine is really the least of her failings. Credit should’ve gone hand in hand with criticism in this case, I feel. Otherwise, wondrous work! xoxo

    • Hi Amy, glad you’re enjoying the podcast! For all the more modern monarchs we have to allow there glories of the reign or else they wouldn’t stand a chance and we’d have to mitts all that stuff out. The atrocities of empire are tricky – for one thing, they don’t really got into the factors but also (and this is a point of heated debate!) you could argue that as major empires go Victoria’s was comparatively benign (compared to European contemporaries and English predecessors – not much comfort if it is affecting you, of course). Plus, Victoria was quite ahead of the time with her progressive views on race so she could have been a lot worse!

  22. Hey, guys.

    So what are you guys going to do once you’ve finished with the Playoffs? Maybe you should take Rex Factor on the road, so to speak.

    Take whoever wins and put him or her up against some of the other greatest rulers in world history. Charlemagne. Peter the Great. Gustavus Adolphus. John III Sobieski. Suleiman the Magnificent. Frederick II (Holy Roman Emperor). Tokugawa Ieyasu.

    If you want to go include ancient times, Alexander the Great. Ramesses II. Caesar Augustus.

    • Hi Brian, there definitely will be a follow-up series once we’ve finished the play-offs. Not quite ready to say what that is yet but stay tuned!

      • Just what I was thinking! An alternative would be a Scotland RexFactor. Whatever you choose, please don’t forget to give as much weight to social achievements as to ‘battliness’.

      • We will not forget our balance of factors! And I think the finalists suggest that battleyness hasn’t been everything – no place for the likes of Edward III or Henry V despite their military glories.

  23. Hello Rexfactorers,

    I love your podcast and have made several positive contributions to our pub trivia team as a result, so cheers for that. For me, Richard the Lionheart has been the biggest disappointment. I knew only a fictionalised version of him through the Robin Hood stories so I was not at all prepared for his disloyalty (to his Dad), his jealousy/greed (that his brothers would get a bigger slice of the pie than he) or either his warmongering glory hound ways or his religious mania (I couldn’t decide which of these motivated him to take on his crusade efforts but am leaning toward the glory hound) that resulted in what seems to be a total disregard for his subjects. I’m looking forward to the final results and seeing who ends up top dog. Thanks very much for the podcast.

    Kate
    Enmore, Australia

  24. Hi guys!
    I’ve been a longtime listener but have never commented. Just want to say thanks for the podcast! I love listening to it on my runs and when I’m on public transit. I can’t believe it’s coming to an end. What’s next?

    • Hi Celeste, thanks for the comment, really glad you’ve been enjoying the podcast – hope it’s helped keep your speed up! We have some thoughts for what well do next but all eyes on the play-offs for now – do you have a personal favourite?

  25. Hi Gents!
    Love the podcast. I’m only up to Richard II but you keep remarking longevity is consistently throwing a spanner in the works when it comes to the ratings.

    An alternative to your current approach would be to allocate the monarch with the longest reign a score of 20/20 (10 each from you both) and the monarch with the shortest scores 0/20. Apparently there are 52 kings and queens (the same number as a pack of cards!) and so you could divide 20 by 52 to find the increment between adjacent monarchs (when listed by longevity).

    E.g. Longest reign = Victoria scores 20/20

    2nd longest reign = Elizabeth II scores 20 – (1 x 20/52)
    = 19.6

    3rd longest reign = George III scores 20 – (2 x 20/52)
    = 19.2

    An obvious issue with my idea is that it does not actually reflect the amount of time of reign – only the rank of their longevity was in relation to others. But it would ensure longevity is not given undue weight against battliness, scandal and subjectivity. And if you did the same with Dynasty you would end up with a score out of 100.

    Anyway that’s definitely more than enough from me. Again I am really enjoying the podcast and look forward to the (rumoured) knock-out tournament.
    I’ll be cheering for Edward II 🙂

    Cheers,
    Mark
    Newcastle, Australia.

    • Hi Mark, thanks for the suggestion. Can’t remember when it came along but we did develop a formula for Longevity and Dynasty – took the biggest score of any monarch and turned this into a multiple of 20 and then applied it to each monarch’s actual number to get a score out of 20 to make it fairer.

      • Yes.. BUT… recently on the Scottish series somebody pointed out how the Pattiometer doesn’t take into account how much harder it was to rule for 10 years in say 9th century Scotland than say ruling the UK in the late 19th century… Mark’s scheme wouldn’t completely fix that, but then at least you wouldn’t have so many monarchs with such low scores. A less straightforward metric might be to divide each reign by the longest preceding reign and multiply by 20. That way, if you set a new record, you get 20 points. I mean, really, how can Constantine II not receive top marks? Staying alive as King dodging Vikings in 10th century Scotland for 40 years is worth at least 150 years holding tea parties and cutting ribbons in modern London.

        LLETP,
        -Sam

      • Ooh, interesting idea! We’ve had a number of suggestions for how to re-do longevity but this one is a bit different. Will be interesting to see what that looks like when I try it out with the data.

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