32 minutes | May 29, 2023
Episode 165: Siege of Paris 1870 with David Lawday
A Time in Paris is the new book by historical novelist David Lawday, the author of the critically-acclaimed book 'Danton'.As a correspondent for the Economist and U.S. News and World Report, David Lawday lived in France for many years, marrying a French woman and raising his two children there. His long experience of France, in the eyes of an Economist reviewer, made him "an ideal biographer" of Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord, a highly influential French statesman who held positions close to the top of a number of French regimes, notably that of Napoleon Bonaparte. Lawday's biography of the controversial Talleyrand, Napoleon's Master: A Life of Prince Talleyrand, was published in 2006.David's new book is a powerful historical novel which explores unlikely ties and how war changes hearts, set during one of the turning points in world history. The Siege of Paris – the impact of which is still felt today - has hitherto been under-explored by historians. David certainly helps to bring the subject to life in this fascinating novel. Check out David's Amazon book page here.
23 minutes | May 21, 2023
Episode 164: Bombing of Hiroshima & Nagasaki. 'Road to Surrender' with Evan Thomas.
In this episode, we interview Historian, Journalist & New York Times bestselling Author Evan Thomas about his brand new book, Road to Surrender: Three Men and the Countdown to the End of World War.Road to Surrender is a riveting, immersive account of the agonizing decision to use nuclear weapons against Japan. To bring these critical events to vivid life Evan Thomas draws on the diaries and correspondence of three key players - Stimson (American Secretary of War), Togo (Japanese Foreign Minister) and Spaatz (head of strategic bombing in the Pacific). He lays out the behind-the-scenes thoughts, feelings, motivations, and decision-making of three people who changed history. Through rare access to diaries and personal discussions we have insight into the moral dilemmas faced on both sides and how the key political decision makers grappled with these impossibly difficult decisions and contemplated the immense weight of their historic decision. “In this meticulously crafted and vivid account, Evan Thomas tells the gripping and terrifying story of the last days of the Second World War in the Pacific” - Margaret MacMillan, author of War: How Conflict Shaped Us.Check out the book here on Amazon.
16 minutes | Apr 17, 2023
Episode 163: Biden in Ireland 2023. Reflections & Review.
7 minutes | Apr 13, 2023
Episode 162: Versus History Essay Prize 2023 #VHEssayPrize
We are delighted to announce the launch of the Versus History Essay Prize 2023 (#VHEssayPrize). Full details can found via the links below. Please spread the word to anyone and everyone who may (or may not!) be interested! The webpage link for the #VHEssayPrize is here.The questions for the #VHEssayPrize are here. To contact Versus History via Twitter about the #VHEssayPrize, that link is here.
40 minutes | Mar 30, 2023
Episode 161: 'Kisses on a Postcard' with Dominic Frisby
In this episode, we interview actor, historian, podcaster and playwright Dominic Frisby about evacuation from London during WW2. Dominic is responsible for 'Kisses on a Postcard.' To set the scene, it is 1940. Two boys from London, Terry and Jack, aged seven and eleven, are being evacuated to escape German bombing. They end up in Cornwall, where they spend the next four years. The intensely moving musical by Terence Frisby tells the unforgettable story of those boys and their "second childhood". Full of surprising humour and memorable songs, this is a unique portrait of an extraordinary time in British history. "Enchanting, profoundly moving and delightful," Charles Spencer, the Telegraph. Starring John Owen-Jones, Katie Secombe, Rosie Cavaliero, Marcia Warren, Evie Hoskins, Ian Virgo, James Clyde, Peter Temple and others.Check out Kisses on a PostcardFollow Dominic Frisby on Twitter
69 minutes | Mar 13, 2023
Episode 160: Britpop & Jungle. The sound of 90s Britain.
18 minutes | Mar 5, 2023
Episode 159: The Dress Diary of Mrs Anne Sykes: Secrets from a Victorian Woman’s Wardrobe with Kate Strasdin
13 minutes | Feb 25, 2023
Episode 158: The long view - the news today with hindsight ...
13 minutes | Feb 24, 2023
Episode 157: The Long View - This week's news in History ...
18 minutes | Feb 18, 2023
Episode 156: The War Pianist with Mandy Robotham
42 minutes | Jan 30, 2023
Episode 155: Oh to be a Jungle MC! With the legendary MC Co-Gee from Kool LDN
31 minutes | Jan 18, 2023
Episode 154: Chat GPT & tech change in history!
22 minutes | Nov 11, 2022
Episode 153: 'SAS Brothers in Arms' with Damien Lewis
20 minutes | Sep 15, 2022
Episode 152: Medusa with Natalie Haynes
Natalie Haynes is a writer and broadcaster. She is the author of The Amber Fury, The Children of Jocasta, and A Thousand Ships, which was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction in 2020. Her non-fiction book about women in Greek Myth, Pandora’s Jar, was a New York Times Bestseller in 2022. She has written and performed eight series of her BBC Radio 4 show, Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics. In 2015 she was awarded the Classical Association Prize for her work in bringing Classics to a wider audience. Stone Blind is her fourth novel.So to mortal men, we are monsters. Because of our flight, our strength. They fear us, so they call us monsters.’Medusa is the sole mortal in a family of gods. Growing up with her Gorgon sisters, she begins to realize that she is the only one who experiences change, the only one who can be hurt. And her mortal lifespan gives her an urgency that her family will never know.When the sea god Poseidon commits an unforgivable act in the temple of Athene, the goddess takes her revenge where she can – and Medusa is changed forever. Writhing snakes replace her hair, and her gaze now turns any living creature to stone. The power cannot be controlled: Medusa can look at nothing without destroying it. She is condemned to a life of shadows and darkness.Until Perseus embarks upon a quest to fetch the head of a Gorgon . . .In Stone Blind, Natalie Haynes – the Women’s Prize-shortlisted author of A Thousand Ships – brings the infamous Medusa to life as you have never seen her before . . .
16 minutes | Aug 20, 2022
Episode 151: Versus History Editors Talk History!
In this episode, the editorial team got together to talk about a small slice of the history that they encountered during their summer travels and also to announce the winner of the amazing Wolfson History Prize 2022 book bonanza!
14 minutes | Jul 31, 2022
Episode 150: The resistance fighter who survived three concentration camps
27 minutes | Jul 3, 2022
Episode 149: Devil-Land: England Under Siege, 1588-1688 with Clare Jackson
An interview with Dr Clare Jackson, the winner of Wolfson History Prize 2022 about her book, ‘Devil-Land:England Under Siege, 1588-1688′. Clare is the Senior tutor of Trinity Hall, University of Cambridge. The description for the book:Among foreign observers, seventeenth-century England was known as ‘Devil-Land’: a diabolical country of fallen angels, torn apart by rebellion, religious extremism and royal collapse. Clare Jackson’s dazzling account of English history’s most radical era tells the story of a nation in a state of near continual crisis.As an unmarried, childless heretic, Elizabeth I was regarded with horror by Catholic Europe, while her Stuart successors, James I and Charles I, were seen as impecunious and incompetent, unable to manage their three kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland. The traumatic civil wars, regicide and a republican Commonwealth were followed by the floundering rule of Charles II and James II, before William of Orange invaded and a new order was imposed.Devil-Land reveals England as, in many ways, a ‘failed state’: endemically unstable and rocked by devastating events from the Gunpowder Plot to the Great Fire of London. Catastrophe nevertheless bred creativity, and Jackson makes brilliant use of eyewitness accounts – many penned by stupefied foreigners – to dramatize her great story. Starting on the eve of the Spanish Armada in 1588 and concluding with a not-so ‘Glorious Revolution’ a hundred years later, Devil-Land is a spectacular reinterpretation of England’s vexed and enthralling past.To check the book out, visit the link here.For more on the Wolfson History Prize, here is the link. For Clare's website, visit here.
15 minutes | Jun 23, 2022
Episode 148: ‘God: An Anatomy’ with Francesca Stavrakopoulou
28 minutes | Jun 15, 2022
Episode 147: Japanese Print Art - A Short History!
Mr. Barry Cooper’s educational career spans 20 years, 3 continents, and 4 prestigious schools in London, Edinburgh, Shanghai and Dubai. Most recently, he shaped the academic curriculum for the newly launched Brighton College Dubai, while also finding time to create and curate a new Arts festival. Previously he championed the IB Diploma programme for History at Wellington College Shanghai, after 8 years on the leadership team at leading Scottish boarding school Loretto just outside Edinburgh. He started his career at Epsom College, as teacher of History and a residential Assistant Housemaster.Barry read History at St Andrews and then took his master’s degree at Stirling with a focus on the historiography of The Crusades. He also has the UK National Professional Qualification for Headship.As well as being a keen student of history Barry also has an interest in Japanese Print Art, which he collects (a habit picked up from three years in Asia).
15 minutes | Jun 8, 2022
Episode 146: Alice's Book: How the Nazis Stole My Grandmother's Cookbook
In this episode, we interview Karina Urbach, a Senior Research Fellow at the University of London about her brand new book. So what happened to the books that were too valuable for the Nazis to burn?Alice Urbach had her own cooking school in Vienna, but in 1938 she was forced to flee to England, like so many others. Her younger son was imprisoned in Dachau, and her older son, having emigrated to the United States, became an intelligence officer in the struggle against the Nazis. Returning to the ruins of Vienna in the late 1940s, she discovers that her bestselling cookbook has been published under someone else's name. Now, eighty years later, the historian Karina Urbach - Alice's granddaughter - sets out to uncover the truth behind the stolen cookbook, and tells the story of a family torn apart by the Nazi regime, of a woman who, with her unwavering passion for cooking, survived the horror and losses of the Holocaust to begin a new life in America.Impeccably researched and incredibly moving, Alice's Book sheds light on an untold chapter in the history of Nazi crimes against Jewish authors.