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History Extra podcast

The History Extra podcast brings you gripping stories from the past and fascinating historical conversations with the world's leading historical experts.   Produced by the team behind BBC History Magazine, History Extra is a free history podcast, with episodes released six times a week. Subscribe now for the real stories behind your favourite films, TV shows and period dramas, as well as compelling insights into lesser-known aspects of the past.  We delve into global history stories spanning the ancient world right up to the modern day. You’ll hear deep dives into the lives of famous historical figures like Cleopatra, Anne Boleyn...

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Recent Episodes of History Extra podcast


Servants: everything you wanted to know

Servants: everything you wanted to know

What was it like to be a servant in one of Britain's grand stately homes? How much were domestic staff paid? And what made maids revolt against wearing mopcaps? From daily drudgery to stories of scandal, in our latest Everything you wanted to know episode, historian Lucy Lethbridge speaks to Lauren Good about the reality of domestic service in the era of Downton Abbey and beyond.



The HistoryExtra podcast is produced by the team behind BBC History Magazine.

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Episode 2033 13 July 2024 38m and 4s


Anxieties of the Edwardian age

Anxieties of the Edwardian age

The Edwardian era is sometimes regarded as an uneventful stopgap between the cultural and technological innovations of the Victorian period and the seismic shifts brought about by the First World War. But is this a fair assessment? Alwyn Turner talks to Jon Bauckham about what life was really like during the reign of Edward VII, and how anxieties about Britain's place in the world were beginning to take centre stage.

(Ad) Alwyn Turner is the author of Little Englanders: Britain in the Edwardian Era (Profile, 2024). Buy it now from Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Little-Englanders-Britain-Edwardian-Era/dp/1800815301...

Episode 2032 11 July 2024 38m and 3s


Deeds not words | 5. Burning down the house

Deeds not words | 5. Burning down the house

Smashing windows, burning down politicians’ homes and planting bombs in public places. As the suffragette movement progressed, it turned to increasingly extreme methods to further its cause. In episode five of our new series on the suffragettes, Ellie Cawthorne speaks to expert historians to reveal how the campaign became ever more militant and asks: is it fair to call the suffragettes terrorists?

The HistoryExtra podcast is produced by the team behind BBC History Magazine.

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Episode 2031 10 July 2024 42m and 19s


How the Plantagenets forged the English state

How the Plantagenets forged the English state

Between 1199 and 1399, English politics was packed full of high drama, as the Plantagenet monarchs reacted - and adapted - to plague, warfare, uprisings and economic crises. But, according to medieval historians Caroline Burt and Richard Partington in their new book //Arise, England//, the Plantagenet age is also one that shines a light on England's emerging statehood. Speaking to Emily Briffett, and drawing on some listener questions, Caroline and Richard consider how the reigns of six Plantagenet kings altered the face of English governance.


(Ad) Caroline Burt and Richard Partington is the author of Arise...

Episode 2030 9 July 2024 48m and 38s


Justinian: life of the week

Justinian: life of the week

Justinian stands tall among the Byzantine rulers, as the 'sleepless emperor' whose religious fervour and legislative zeal saw him rebuild the eastern Roman empire from the ground up... until the 'four horsemen of the apocalypse' arrived and threatened it all. Peter Sarris talks to Kev Lochun about how the conniving and ruthless Justinian claimed power, how an angry sports fans nearly brought him down, and why he's best-known for having a plague named after him.


The HistoryExtra podcast is produced by the team behind BBC History Magazine.

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Episode 2029 8 July 2024 57m and 38s


The woman who saved the children

The woman who saved the children

Eglantyne Jebb was a woman who had no real love of children – but nevertheless worked tirelessly to campaign for their rights. Clare Mulley joins us to discuss the life and work of a pioneering fundraiser and the founder of the international Save the Children fund, whose unconventional personal life defied the strictures of her class.



(Ad) Clare Mulley is the author of The Woman Who Saved the Children: A Biography of Eglantyne Jebb: Founder of Save the Children. Buy it now from Waterstones: https://go.skimresources.com?id=71026X1535947&xcust=historyextra-social-HistoryiPad&xs...

Episode 2028 7 July 2024 37m and 5s


Victorian crime and punishment: everything you wanted to know

Victorian crime and punishment: everything you wanted to know

Could children be hanged in Victorian Britain? Were the streets of Dickensian London haunted by organised gangs, or opportunistic pickpockets? What tricks and tools did Victorian police have at their disposal? And was it possible to get a fair trial in the 19th century? In our latest Everything You Wanted to Know episode, historian Dr Drew Gray answers listener questions on crime and punishment in Victorian Britain.


The HistoryExtra podcast is produced by the team behind BBC History Magazine.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Episode 2027 6 July 2024 51m and 4s


How the Dreyfus Affair tore France apart

How the Dreyfus Affair tore France apart

In 1894, French artillery officer Alfred Dreyfus was falsely accused of passing military secrets to Germany. These swirling accusations and the subsequent degradation and humiliation suffered by Dreyfus constitutes one of history's most notorious incidents of antisemitism. Maurice Samuels speaks to Danny Bird about why the military top brass were so determined to persecute the Jewish officer, and how the Dreyfus affair polarised France.



(Ad) Maurice Daniels is the author of Alfred Dreyfus: The Man at the Center of the Affair (Yale University Press, 2024). Buy it now from Amazon: https://www.amazon...

Episode 2026 4 July 2024 45m and 9s


Deeds not words | 4. Cat and mouse

Deeds not words | 4. Cat and mouse

The suffragettes’ relationship with the British establishment was fractious to say the least. As well as experiencing police brutality on the streets, the activists were subjected to violent force-feeding in response to hunger strikes in prison. But, as we reveal in the fourth episode of our new series Deeds not words, when faced with this opposition, the suffragettes found ingenious ways of fighting back.

The HistoryExtra podcast is produced by the team behind BBC History Magazine.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Episode 2025 3 July 2024 37m and 9s


The surprising lives of ancient women

The surprising lives of ancient women

Did you know that while Mark Antony was having an affair with Cleopatra, his wife, Fulvia, was fighting a battle on his behalf in Rome? Or that the first named author was a woman? What about the fact that the first female victor of the Olympic Games competed in her fifties? Speaking to Lauren Good, Daisy Dunn shines a light on these women in antiquity, whose lives stretch far beyond what we might expect.


(Ad) Daisy Dunn is the author of The Missing Thread: A New History of the Ancient World Through the Women...

Episode 2024 2 July 2024 43m and 39s

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