In addition to all our free content, we’re now producing special episodes that go into more detail on a specific subject outside of our usual structure. If you’re a Privy Councillor at the $5 a month or more reward level then you get all our special episodes for free. If not, at just $2 an episode, it’s pretty good value for a bumper edition (over 2 hours) episode and all the money we receive helps us to keep improving the podcast.
The Battle of Waterloo
Ali and Graham look at the epic 1815 battle and in particular the three commanders: Napoleon (France), Wellington (Anglo-Allies) and Blucher (Prussia).
William the Marshal
In our second premium episode, we review the medieval knight and courtier William the Marshal, who served the first four Plantagenet monarchs and was famed as a great and loyal knight as well as being involved in the creation of Magna Carta and seeing off a French invasion.
For the first time, Ali is in control! He takes the role of expert for the day by explaining his dissertation about Edward I, the Eighth/Ninth Crusade and the influence this had on his Welsh campaigns and magnificent Welsh castles (as well as how he managed to justify studying Edward I for his Middle Eastern Studies degree!)
We investigate one of the most notorious incidents in English history – the murder of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Becket. We look at who Thomas was before he became Archbishop, his relationship with Henry II and the dispute which had such tragic and infamous consequences.
Isambard Kingdom Brunel
We look at the great Victorian engineer, Brunel, his life, character and some of his most famous projects including the Thames Tunnel, the Clifton Suspension Bridge, the Great Western Railway and his huge steamships.
Boudica’s revolt against the Romans in 60AD nearly freed Britain from Roman occupation and made Boudica a legend in British history. We get to grips with the sources and find out what really happened and how to spell her name!
Tea and Empire
Behind the humble cup of tea lies a dark and ancient history that helped to shape the British Empire and the course of world history.
Vikings in Ireland
We look in-depth at the Viking presence in Ireland, from their early raids and settlements to the Kingdom of Dublin and the epic Battle of Clontarf with Irish High King Brian Boru.
Bess of Hardwick
Although not one of the most famous names from Tudor England, Bess was one of the most impressive. Numerous marriages, legal disputes & high drama (including Mary Queen of Scots, Arbella Stuart and dastardly in-laws) could not ruffle the feathers of this remarkable woman, who would found great dynasties and build magnificent palaces like Chatsworth House and Hardwick Hall.
Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire
Georgiana was the most fashionable woman in late eighteenth century and a leader of fashionable society (not least when it came to hats). However, her fascinating life saw her become one of the most significant and able political campaigners of the age while her unhappy marriage led to some rather unusual domestic arrangements. Writer, scientist, politician, fashionista and even a confidante to the Prince Regent!
The Death of Amy Robsart
Amy Robsart was the wife of Robert Dudley, the roguishly handsome favourite of Queen Elizabeth I whom many people thought Dudley was intending to marry. When Amy was found dead with a broken neck at the bottom of a short staircase, many suspected foul play. It’s up to Inspector Rexford to investigate – did she fall, or was she pushed?
Maori Visit to Queen Victoria
In 1863, a former Wesleyan preacher, William Jenkins, led a group of prominent Maoris from New Zealand to England for a tour of the country and a visit to Queen Victoria. In this special episode, we take a look at the history of Maori and British relations, the highs and lows of the 1863 tour and aftermath as well as the visit itself.
The Empress Matilda should have been England’s first Queen regnant, only to see the throne stolen by her cousin, Stephen, in 1135, leading to a civil war popularly known as the Anarchy. She didn’t get an episode in our first series but now she receives the special treatment in a bonus episode. How did Matilda come so close to ruling England? Why was she never crowned? And, most importantly of all, does she have the Rex Factor?
John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough
John Churchill is arguably Britain’s greatest ever general but he was also a notable figure at court and in government, making his way through Charles II and the Glorious Revolution before becoming both commander of Queen Anne’s army and one of the key figures in her government for most of the reign. We look at his life as a whole as well as famous victories such as the Battle of Blenheim.
Chateau Gaillard was the most advanced castle in Europe when it was built by Richard the Lionheart as part of a campaign to retake lost ground in Normandy. We look at what made the castle so impressive, recount a dramatic siege and learn about some surprising appearances made by the castle in later medieval Europe.
We review the Roman general and statesman, Sulla – something of a paradox mixing military brilliance and hard partying with brutal murder and accused of being a tyrant who destroyed the Republic. A fascinating character with plenty to talk about in every factor!