Rank #1: The Letter
But never doubt the unexpected historical links as the lieutenant of lifetimes, Professor James Daybell, and the investigator of intrigue, Dr Sam Willis, take the old post road from London to Dover. With a stop-off on Dartmoor, it’s then across the sea to Jamaica as they chart the material history of the letter. From statecraft to warfare, from love to diplomacy, join James and Sam as they uncover the unexpected history of letters. Need tips on how to hit just the right note with a letter to the mother-in- law? Listen out for how the Elizabethan gentlewoman Maria Thynne wrote to hers. You may well be inspired.
History, of course, can only be written if there is evidence on which to base it, and letters provide such rich testimony of the past in so many ways. What would history be, and what tales would remain untold if such vast hoards of letters had not... For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
Rank #2: Christmas
Rank #4: Vikings
James and Sam explore the UNEXPECTED history of the Vikings. Who knew that the Vikings are all about graffiti, break-ins, criminal profiling, colour, teeth, keys, birds, nicknames, saunas, silk, mischief, staffs and goading!For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
Rank #5: World War 2
Sam and James discuss all of the unexpected aspects of WWII, which is all about rubble, carrots, blood, pockets, suicide, gates, Zen Buddhism, furniture, cancer, Mozart, King Arthur, cows, mothers, puppets, handkerchiefs, and much, much more! It's not just all about the Nazis, Churchill and the Battle of Britain...For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
Rank #6: Pirates
In this episode Dr Sam Willis and Professor James Daybell talk about the unexpected history pirates, which is all about authors, cross-dressing, ferocious women, childhood memory, beards and empire.For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
Rank #7: Oranges
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Professor James Daybell - @JamesDaybell
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Producer - Dan Morelle For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
Rank #8: Bubble
How did the need to halt deforestation in the early seventeenth-century spur new technological developments which allowed the British to enjoy their cider fizzy? What does the price of tulip bulbs, which in the mid-1600s reached the equivalent of a modest house, and England’s war debt in the 1700s, have to do with the bubble?
If you have a sore throat listen carefully – for we may have a cure for that! ‘Fire burn and cauldron bubble…’
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Rank #9: Hair
But worry not for this is no Comedy of Errors and there’s certainly more to this unexpected history. Let us join our host with the Cranium full of Chronicles, Professor James Daybell, and the Authority of the Archives, Dr Sam Willis as they bob and weave their way through the unexpected history of hair. From the Duke of Wellington and theories of Great Men in history, tonsures and ritual practices, to the political implications of French provocation at sea.
“Like quills upon the fretful porpentine”, they make the hair-raising links via the Bodleian Library, Romsey Abbey, and French ballrooms. It’s enough to turn one’s hair grey; for which P.G. Wodehouse suggests there is only one cure, the guillotine. Too drastic, how about this:
Roman ladies were supposed to use pigeon poo to lighten their hair, or there’s always the sixteenth century cure for baldness to consider … boiled slugs and honey anyone?
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Rank #10: Nazis
Sam and James discuss the unexpected history of the Nazis. They're all about, motherhood, shame, medals, public speaking, architecture and cars....who knew?For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
Rank #11: Accidents
Rank #12: Fear: A Hallowe'en Special
Rank #15: Weapons
Rank #16: Hats
Producer: Nathaniel Tapley for Hit Network
Audio: Pete Dennis
Theme: Dan MorelleFor information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
Rank #18: Pockets
Dr Sam Willis and Professor James Daybell whisk you through the mysterious crannies in the unexpected history of pockets! For more exclusive interviews and documentaries, subscribe to HistoryHit.TV - a new kind of history channel.
Producer: Natt Tapley
Audio: Pete Dennis
Theme tune: Dan MorelleFor information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
Rank #19: Chairs
Rank #20: Christmas
It can only be the Unexpected History of Christmas!
Let us once again join the Santa of Historical Skepticism, Professor James Daybell and the Charles Dickens of Christmas Past, Dr Sam Willis as they untangle the tinsel and unravel the lights to reveal the unexpected history of Christmas. Upon Santa’s sleigh, they will dash from medieval carousing to a Dickensian Christmas, and from racing crabs on Christmas Island in the 1950s to the Puritans and Christmas riots in Canterbury, 1647.
Like Christmas Elves they’ll assemble the links between rituals and traditions, Minst pies (not a typo) and celebrations, international date lines and land shy ravens. Listen out as James plays ‘guess the day an island was discovered,’ and Sam suggests one way to get two Christmases in one day. Oh, and whoever... For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy