The Borgias: everything you wanted to know

The Borgias: everything you wanted to know

Transplant surgery: an eye-opening history

From transfusions of lambs’ blood to tooth replacements, Paul Craddock chronicles the strange history of transplant surgery From lambs’ blood transfused into human veins, to tooth replacements and new noses crafted from forearm skin, Paul Craddock – author of new book Spare Parts ...  Show more

The Paris Peace Conference: everything you wanted to know

Professor David Stevenson answers listener questions on the 1919-20 conference that sought to resolve the aftermath of the First World War In the latest episode in our series on history’s biggest topics, Professor David Stevenson explores the 1919–20 conference that sought to res ...  Show more

World history in 100 moments

Archaeologist and television presenter Neil Oliver discusses his new book, The Story of the World in 100 Moments, which explores the whole of human history through just 100 milestone events. (Ad) Neil Oliver is the author of The Story of the World in 100 Moments (Bantam Press, 20 ...  Show more

Extraordinary hoaxes of the 18th century

Ian Keable describes some of the most audacious, bizarre and inventive pranks that fooled Georgian Britain  From a woman who seemingly gave birth to rabbits to a man who claimed he could climb inside a wine bottle, Ian Keable – author of The Century of Deception – describes some ...  Show more

Maria Theresa: empress, warrior, matriarch

Nancy Goldstone discusses the 18th-century family saga of Habsburg empress Maria Theresa, and her equally formidable daughters  Nancy Goldstone discusses the 18th-century family saga of Habsburg Empress Maria Theresa and her equally formidable daughters (including Marie Antoinett ...  Show more

From Roman villas to Downton Abbey: Britain’s country houses

Clive Aslet, author of The Story of the Country House: A History of Places and People, reveals how Britain’s attitude to its stately piles has reflected the nation’s evolving political and economic landscape over the past 2,000 years. (Ad) Clive Aslet is the author of The Story o ...  Show more

Hitler’s war on “degenerate art”

Journalist and author Charlie English shares the story of a remarkable collection of artworks by psychiatric patients in Weimar Germany and also explores the devastating impact of Nazism on modernist art and people with mental illnesses. (Ad) Charlie English is the author of The ...  Show more

Why the Tudors fell for courtly love

Sarah Gristwood considers how the Tudor monarchs used medieval ideas about courtly love for their own ends  In medieval Europe, the nobility were entranced with courtly love, a genre of literature that saw chivalrous knights performing heroic deeds to protect and serve their love ...  Show more

Wedgwood: the radical potter

Tristram Hunt, author of The Radical Potter, discusses the life and work of Josiah Wedgwood (1730-1795), from his groundbreaking ceramic creations and enterprising business ventures to his political radicalism.  (Ad) Tristram Hunt is the author of The Radical Potter: Josiah Wedgw ...  Show more

Aboriginal Australians: a modern history

Historian Richard Broome, author of Aboriginal Australians, discusses the experiences of Australia’s indigenous peoples after the arrival of white settlers, uncovering stories of exploitation and oppression, but also of agency and cultural independence. (Ad) Richard Broome is the ...  Show more

Decolonisation to Covid-19: history education today

How does a history degree help you suss out fake news? How have history students been affected by covid-19? And are history degrees still valued as much as they once were? On today’s podcast, a panel of experts consider these questions and more, as they tackle the big issues faci ...  Show more

Seances, skis and secrets: an extraordinary WWI escape

Interned in a remote, forbidding prisoner of war camp at the height of the First World War, two British officers turned to an unlikely tool in their bid to escape – a ouija board. Margalit Fox, author of The Confidence Men: How Two Prisoners of War Engineered the Most Remarkable ...  Show more

The Spanish Armada: everything you wanted to know

Why did the Spanish Armada set sail? What ships were used by the fleets? And did Queen Elizabeth I really give a famous speech at Tilbury? In our latest ‘Everything you wanted to know’ episode, Robert Hutchinson answers your questions on the Tudor era’s most famous maritime face- ...  Show more

The Special Boat Service: WW2’s silent heroes

Historian Saul David discusses SBS – Silent Warriors, his new authorised history of the Special Boat Service in the Second World War. He explains how this daring maritime unit played a crucial role in Allied victory and highlights some of its most spectacular operations. (Ad) Sau ...  Show more

The surprisingly modern Middle Ages

Dan Jones explores the similarities and differences between the medieval experience and our lives today In what ways was the medieval era surprisingly modern? Dan Jones, whose latest book is Powers and Thrones: A New History of the Middle Ages, reveals the similarities and differ ...  Show more

Why do things change?

David Potter, author of Disruption: Why Things Change, analyses the causes of huge events that altered human history and guides us on a tour of radical transformation in western history, taking in the Black Death, Adolf Hitler, the printing press and the perils of complacency. (A ...  Show more

History in 2021, with Helen Carr and Suzannah Lipscomb

Sixty years ago EH Carr’s groundbreaking book, What is History?, explored how we should study the past. Now his great-granddaughter, Helen Carr, has teamed up with Suzannah Lipscomb to edit a new volume, What is History, Now?. Here, they discuss the importance and challenges of w ...  Show more

How Walter Scott’s stories shaped Scotland

An outpouring of bestselling novels and poems flowed from Walter Scott’s pen – from Waverley to Rob Roy. In fact, his writing was so influential that it helped overhaul the world’s view of Scotland, making it synonymous with the Highlands, romantic landscapes and clan honour. Ann ...  Show more

Food history: everything you wanted to know

In the latest episode in our series on history’s biggest topics, Annie Gray tackles listener questions on culinary history, from Tudor breakfast and the oldest recipe books to long-forgotten foods and the surprisingly long history of vegetarianism.  See for priv ...  Show more