Episodes

Conn Iggulden  

Conn Iggulden is a British author who has conquered the field of historical fiction. Iggulden’s books have taken readers from Ancient Rome (Empire) to Mongolia (Conqueror), and most recently, to early medieval England. They discuss the history and motivation behind his latest novel Dunstan, including how Charles Dickens helped inspire it. Dunstan is an often-overlooked, yet fascinating figure: a tenth-century monk whose story is woven among the reigns of seven English kings.

This is a chance to go behind-the-scenes of writing historical fiction and learn how Iggulden approaches his novels. He explains his research process and how he chooses his characters, including why he prefers flawed figures from distant pasts. Get an author’s insight into what you do when you run out of facts, and just how much fiction you can get away with in historical fiction.

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Producer: Dan Morelle

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Human Rights After Hitler: The Lost History of Prosecuting Axis War Crimes - Dan Plesch  
Dan Plesch is director of the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy at SOAS, University of London. He is the author of America, Hitler and the UN, co-editor of Wartime Origins and the Future United Nations, and has been a frequent contributor to the Guardian and other media. His new book is entitled Human Rights After Hitler: The Lost History of Prosecuting Axis War Crimes

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Producer: Dan Morelle

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Trump: Comparisons with History - Neil Gregor  
Neil Gregor is Professor of Modern European History at the University of Southampton. He has published widely on 20th century German history, including 'Daimler-Benz in the Third Reich' (1998) and 'Haunted City: Nuremberg and the Nazi Past' (2009), both of which won the Fraenkel Prize for Contemporary History.

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Producer: Dan Morelle

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Castillo de San Marcos, St. Augustine - Allen Arnold  
Allen Arnold is an Interpretive Ranger for the National Park Service.

The Castillo de San Marcos is the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States. Located on the western shore of Matanzas Bay in the city of St. Augustine, Florida, the fort was designed by the Spanish engineer Ignacio Daza. Construction began in 1672, 107 years after the city's founding by Spanish Admiral and conquistador Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, when Florida was part of the Spanish Empire. The fort's construction was ordered by Governor Francisco de la Guerra y de la Vega after the destructive raid of the English privateer Robert Searles in 1668. Work proceeded under the administration of Guerra's successor, Manuel de Cendoya in 1671, and the first coquina stones were laid in 1672. The construction of the core of the current fortress was completed in 1695, though it would undergo many alterations and renovations over the centuries.

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Producer: Dan Morelle

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HMS Warrior Tour - Patrick Lambert  
HMS Warrior was a 40-gun steam-powered armoured frigate built for the Royal Navy in 1859–61. She was the name ship of the Warrior-class ironclads. Warrior and her sister ship HMS Black Prince were the first armour-plated, iron-hulled warships, and were built in response to France's launching in 1859 of the first ocean-going ironclad warship, the wooden-hulled Gloire. Warrior conducted a publicity tour of Great Britain in 1863 and spent her active career with the Channel Squadron. Obsolescent following the 1871 launching of the mastless and more capable HMS Devastation, she was placed in reserve in 1875, and was decommissioned – in 1883.

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Producer: Dan Morelle

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North Korea: WTF!? - Andrea Berger  
This episode gives you the history behind the headlines. Andrea Berger @andrearberger is an Associate Fellow at RUSI and a Senior Research Associate and Senior Program Manager at the James Martin Centre for Nonproliferation Studies. Andrea's research focus is North Korea, Pacific, Proliferation and Nuclear Policy, UK Project on Nuclear Issues, Global Security Issues, Proliferation and Nuclear Policy Sanctions. Andrea tweets about nukes, sanctions, and Korean Peninsula. She is a contributor for the Arms Control Wonk podcast.

Producer: Dan Morelle

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M: Maxwell Knight, MI5's Greatest Spymaster - Henry Hemming  
Henry Hemming @henryhemming is a historian and author of five works of non-fiction including In Search of the English Eccentric, Misadventure in the Middle East, shortlisted for the Dolman Travel Book Award, and Churchill’s Iceman, published in the US as The Ingenious Mr Pyke, which became a New York Times bestseller. M: Maxwell Knight, MI5's Greatest Spymaster is out on 4th May.

Producer: Dan Morelle

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Eight Egyptian mummies discovered in tomb near Luxor - Chris Naunton  
Chris Naunton @chrisnaunton is an Egyptologist, writer, broadcaster and public speaker. Chris has a PhD in Egyptology and is currently writing a book with the provisional title Search for the Missing Tombs of Egypt for Thames & Hudson.

Producer: Dan Morelle

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Heligoland - Jan Rüger  
On 18 April 1947, British forces set off the largest non-nuclear explosion in history. The target was a small island in the North Sea, thirty miles off the German coast, which for generations had stood as a symbol of Anglo-German conflict: Heligoland.

Jan Rüger is Professor of History at Birkbeck University of London. His new book, Heligoland: Britain, Germany, and the Struggle for the North Sea, Britain and Germany, is a microhistory of the Anglo-German relationship as it unfolded from the Napoleonic Wars to the Cold War. It takes the North Sea island of Heligoland as a prism through which to view rivalry, conflict and, eventually, reconciliation between the two nations.

Producer: Dan Morelle

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The Truth About Easter - Francesca Stavrakopoulou  

Francesca Stavrakopoulou @ProfFrancesca is Professor of Hebrew Bible & Ancient Religion at Exeter University. Her research is primarily focused on ancient Israelite and Judahite religions, and portrayals of the religious past in the Hebrew Bible. She is interested in biblical traditions and religious practices most at odds with Western cultural preferences.


Producer: Dan Morelle

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28 Years on Death Row - Anthony Ray Hinton  
Anthony Ray Hinton is an Alabama was held on death row after being convicted of the murders of two restaurant managers, John Davidson and Thomas Wayne Vasona, in Birmingham, Alabama on February 25 and July 2, 1985. He was released in 2015 after winning a new trial.

Producer: Dan Morelle

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The Battle of Vimy Ridge - Paul Reed  
The Battle of Vimy Ridge was a military engagement fought primarily as part of the Battle of Arras, in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region of France, during the First World War.

Paul Reed is a Military Historian, battlefield photographer, and author. He's often on television talking about World War I and World War II.

Producer: Dan Morelle

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An American on the Western Front - Patrick Gregory  
Patrick wrote and edited An American on the Western Front together with Elizabeth Nurser, who is Arthur Clifford Kimber’s niece. As programme producer for the BBC, he covered world events such as the fall of the Berlin Wall and realigning of eastern Europe, the First Gulf War and the Balkans War. He then focused on UK politics as a news editor at Westminster, working his way up to becoming Managing Editor of the BBC’s Political Programmes department. He also produced a number of politics and history documentaries for BBC Radio 4 and BBC World Service.

An American on the Western Front: The First World War Letters of Arthur Clifford Kimber, 1917-18 is out now.

Producer: Dan Morelle

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Why Gibraltar Matters - Ben Wilson  
Ben Wilson @BenHeydayWilson is a Historian. He is author of Empire of the Deep: The Rise and Fall of the British Navy (2013) and Heyday (2016).

Producer: Dan Morelle

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America's Entry into the First World War - Michael Neiberg  

Michael Neiberg @MichaelNeiberg is an Historian of the transnational effects of war. Michael is the author of The Path to War: How the First World War Created Modern America

Chinese Philosophy - Michael Puett  
Michael Puett is Professor of Chinese History at Harvard and has lectured widely at the world's leading universities. His course in Chinese philosophy is among the most popular at Harvard and in 2013 he was awarded a Harvard College Professorship for excellence in undergraduate teaching.

The Path: A New Way to Think About Everything is out now.

Producer: Dan Morelle

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Islam and the Tudors - Jerry Brotton  
Jerry Brotton is Senior Lecturer in Renaissance Studies at Queen Mary, University of London and director of the college's MA in Renaissance Studies. This Orient Isle: Elizabethan England and the Islamic World is out now.

Producer: Dan Morelle

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The Real Great Escape - Commander Steve Foster  
Commander Steve Foster relates the extraordinary story of one of the most audacious escape attempts of the Second World War.

Producer: Dan Morelle

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The Lost City of Z - David Grann  
David Grann @davidgrann is an American journalist, a staff writer for The New Yorker magazine, and a best-selling author. His first book, The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon, was published in 2009.

Producer: Dan Morelle

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Grief Works: Stories of Life, Death and Surviving - Julia Samuel  

Julia Samuel is a psychotherapist and paediatric counsellor. Her new book,

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