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This my retelling of the story of England, which is a regular, chronological podcast, starting from from the end of Roman Britain. I’m a bloke in a shed, but I make sure this is good, properly prepared history, and then fill it with my enthusiasm. You’ll find the great events and people for sure – but also some of the byways, of how people lived, their language, and the forces that shaped their lives and destinies.(Note iTunes only displays a list of 300 episodes. There are rather more, whic ...
 
1956 - The Eventful Year is the latest history podcast project from Zack Twamley, the podder responsible for When Diplomacy Fails. 1956 is a series which examines the fascinating incidents, personalities and struggles that characterised this eventful year. It is my task and my pleasure to give you all several sample episodes from this exciting new series, where everything from the Hungarian uprising to the Suez Crisis, and many more incidents besides rocked the world and the year. For full a ...
 
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With Denmark exiting the war in Germany, everything seemed to be looking up Ferdinand in spring 1629, but there was a problem. While on the military front, the Emperor still held the edge, on the diplomatic front, forces were conspiring to turn the war on its head. Cardinal Richelieu recognised that if Sweden and Poland could be brought to the peac…
 
In 1906 Alberto Santos-Dumont performed a number of short flights in front of a large crowd in Paris. These were done in his newly constructed heavier-than-air flying machine, the No.14-Bis. After these successful hops newspapers roared that Santos had once again "conquered the air". Until at least 1908 he was widely recognized as the inventor of t…
 
In Episode 5 of the Trent Affair - our final episode, for now! - we ask the big questions, and finish our narrative which stretched across both sides of the Atlantic. At the last moment, it seemed, calmer heads had prevailed, and an Anglo-American War was not required as the price for stained British honour. But the two sides had come VERY close to…
 
Listen here to our penultimate episode on the Trent Affair, and the moment when peace or war hung in the balance! After a tense wait, Britain's ultimatum finally arrived in Washington. How would Lincoln and Seward respond to its terms? The Confederate commissioners would have to be returned, and a suitable apology offered, if the British were to be…
 
The late 19th century in France sometime gets called La Belle Époque or the "Beautiful Era". As the name suggests, this is a time that has been fondly remembered as an age of optimism marked by artistic and scientific triumphs. However, this era is also sometimes called the Fin De Siecle. When this nickname is evoked it's usually to cast this era a…
 
Welcome to our third episode of the Trent Affair, here we confront an important question! Would the Americans choose peace, or would they choose war? The ultimatum had been sent on 2 December. The restrictions of communication meant that the British would be waiting a while for the answer - as much as a fortnight. But, in the meantime, what did the…
 
Welcome to the second episode of this special miniseries! Happy christmas and thanksss for tuning in! When news of the Trent Affair reached Britain, the British cried foul. The Government made immediate preparations to wrest a satisfactory reply from the Americans. Only the return of the commissioners and an American apology would satisfy Palmersto…
 
Hello and merry christmas history friends and patrons! To say thanksss for your support and patience over the last year, I thought I'd give you a special miniseries, set in an unfamiliar but fascinating era. Allow me to introduce you to the Trent Affair, also known as the crisis which nearly sparked off a third Anglo-American War! In November 1861,…
 
By summer, 1630, the stage had been set for a Swedish intervention in the German War. But how did Sweden get to the point where this became feasible, or justifiable? What had caused diplomacy to fail between the Habsburgs and Stockholm? What gripes did King Gustavus Adolphus have with the Habsburgs? Would you believe me if a told you that a tangled…
 
In mythology from around the world the ability to fly was reserved strictly for the gods. Stories about human beings constructing flying machines were usually punctuated with a moral about hubris. Vain attempts at flight were an easy metaphor for the limits of human ingenuity. Even in the late 19th century, when technology was progressing quickly a…
 
By the dawn of 1630, the Emperor's triumph was secure in the Empire, but now he would have to reckon with the princes and electors of that Empire. They had some steep demands of their own - the dismissal of Wallenstein, and a lasting peace plan which would guarantee their security. The Emperor's wish for a declaration of war on the Dutch, and the c…
 
The legendary hybrid creature known as the gryphon was said to have the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle. Despite this fantastical descriptions the ancient Greeks and Romans truly seemed to have believed that gryphons were real animals. It was thought that gryphons lived in arid steppes and deserts of central Asia where they guarde…
 
By late 1628, the Habsburgs appeared supreme. The Danes were on the ropes, and all of the Empire was firmly in the grip of Wallenstein. But appearances were deceptive. The Emperor's triumph was assured, but his cousins were having less luck. Spanish problems in North Italy demanded a united Habsburg response. Spain needed all the help it could get …
 
Eleanor of Aquitaine has been called the "Queen of the Troubadours" by fawning biographers. She has been credited with transforming medieval European culture through her patronage of the arts. It's also been written that she presided over elaborate "Courts of Love" where she made rulings on matters of the heart. However, this image of Eleanor may j…
 
The 1628 portion of the siege of La Rochelle was an anxious time for Cardinal Richelieu, as much as it was for the inhabitants of Casale, the bastion of the Duchy of Montferrat. Because of extensive commitments to the French Protestant conflict, Richelieu could spare little for North Italy, where the Habsburgs had become deeply involved. Braving wi…
 
When the King and Queen of France went on crusade in 1147 it nearly destroyed their marriage. The campaign led by King Louis VII and Eleanor of Aquitaine was an unmitigated disaster. But despite (or perhaps because of) it's failure the Second Crusade would remain a potent part of Eleanor's legend. It was rumored that she dressed like an Amazonian Q…
 
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