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Society & Culture
History

Histories of the Unexpected

Updated 1 day ago

Society & Culture
History
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Histories of the Unexpected explores the past in ways that you never dreamt possible. Surely there’s nothing unexpected about the past? About History? Aha, well Histories of the Unexpected adopts a new approach to exploring our past. Gone is the traditional linear plotting of battles, monarchs and political movements. Histories of the Unexpected argues that everything has a history. Presented by Dr Sam Willis and Professor James Daybell.

Read more

Histories of the Unexpected explores the past in ways that you never dreamt possible. Surely there’s nothing unexpected about the past? About History? Aha, well Histories of the Unexpected adopts a new approach to exploring our past. Gone is the traditional linear plotting of battles, monarchs and political movements. Histories of the Unexpected argues that everything has a history. Presented by Dr Sam Willis and Professor James Daybell.

iTunes Ratings

65 Ratings
Average Ratings
43
10
5
4
3

Fascinating, but

By TStewart - Jul 12 2018
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...But the gentlemen seem to constantly forget they're working with an aural medium. "As you can see here" - well, no, alas I cannot. "Look at the color of that!" Well, no, sorry, can't. They do describe the pictures they're looking at, and there are show notes out there - but, really. However: still a very enjoyable stream-of-consciousness exploration of history - reminds me of James Burke's Connections.

Unconventional, engaging history.

By Mishmom - Feb 25 2018
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My favorite history podcast. Daybell and Willis examine history linkages of everyday objects such as chairs, windows, and boxes, in fresh, unusual ways. Fascinating approach to history which the two carry out with enthusiasm and fine scholarship. Not surprisingly, podcast really shines when they talk about their own specialities: for Willis, military, particularly sea-faring, history and early modern England and letters for Daybell.

iTunes Ratings

65 Ratings
Average Ratings
43
10
5
4
3

Fascinating, but

By TStewart - Jul 12 2018
Read more
...But the gentlemen seem to constantly forget they're working with an aural medium. "As you can see here" - well, no, alas I cannot. "Look at the color of that!" Well, no, sorry, can't. They do describe the pictures they're looking at, and there are show notes out there - but, really. However: still a very enjoyable stream-of-consciousness exploration of history - reminds me of James Burke's Connections.

Unconventional, engaging history.

By Mishmom - Feb 25 2018
Read more
My favorite history podcast. Daybell and Willis examine history linkages of everyday objects such as chairs, windows, and boxes, in fresh, unusual ways. Fascinating approach to history which the two carry out with enthusiasm and fine scholarship. Not surprisingly, podcast really shines when they talk about their own specialities: for Willis, military, particularly sea-faring, history and early modern England and letters for Daybell.
Cover image of Histories of the Unexpected

Histories of the Unexpected

Updated 1 day ago

Read more

Histories of the Unexpected explores the past in ways that you never dreamt possible. Surely there’s nothing unexpected about the past? About History? Aha, well Histories of the Unexpected adopts a new approach to exploring our past. Gone is the traditional linear plotting of battles, monarchs and political movements. Histories of the Unexpected argues that everything has a history. Presented by Dr Sam Willis and Professor James Daybell.

Rank #1: The Letter

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Doubt thou the stars are fire, Doubt that the sun doth move, Doubt truth to be a liar, ~Shakespeare, Hamlet’s letter to Ophelia

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
Nov 11 2016
34 mins
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Rank #2: Christmas

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Sam & James dig deep into the Unexpected History of Christmas. For more exclusive interviews and documentaries, signup to HistoryHit,TV, click here to subscribe.


Producer: Natt Tapley

Audio: Pete Dennis

Theme tune: Dan Morelle

For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
Dec 21 2017
33 mins
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Rank #3: Graffiti

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Dr Sam Willis - @DrSamWillis Professor James Daybell - @JamesDaybell Follow the show's new Twitter: @UnexpectedPod HistoryHit Network - Twitter Facebook Producer - Dan Morelle For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
Jan 24 2017
30 mins
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Rank #4: Vikings

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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
May 06 2019
37 mins
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Rank #5: World War 2

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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
May 13 2019
34 mins
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Rank #6: Pirates

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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
Jun 27 2019
38 mins
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Rank #7: Oranges

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Find out about the unexpected history of the orange, how it's linked to the the Gunpowder Plot, and other extraordinary historical connections.


Dr Sam Willis - @DrSamWillis
Professor James Daybell - @JamesDaybell
Follow the show's new Twitter: @UnexpectedPdcst
HistoryHit Network - Twitter Facebook

Producer - Dan Morelle For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Sep 30 2016
19 mins
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Rank #8: Bubble

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Like a well-spring of historical facts, bubbling over with unexpected links, Dr Sam Willis, the maitre’d of museums, and Professor James Daybell, the inspector of eons, take you on another intoxicating ride through history. From Oliver Cromwell’s Navigation Act of 1651, the American Boys Handy Book and the culture of childhood, South American colonies, and early cancer cures, (and with a little help from Lady Luck) they’ll make the links for the history of the 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…’

Dr Sam Willis - acast.com/privacy
Nov 01 2016
22 mins
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Rank #9: Hair

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“There’s many a man hath more hair than wit”

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?

Dr Sam Willis - acast.com/privacy
Oct 28 2016
22 mins
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Rank #10: Nazis

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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
Jul 27 2019
33 mins
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Rank #11: Accidents

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Dr Sam Willis & Professor James Daybell explore the unexpected history of accidents. For more exclusive history interviews and documentaries, subscribe to HistoryHit.TV.


Producer: Natt Tapley

Audio: Pete Dennis

For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
Jul 16 2018
28 mins
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Rank #12: Fear: A Hallowe'en Special

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Dr Sam Willis & Professor James Daybell discuss the unexpected history of Hallowe'en.


For more exclusive history interviews and documentaries, subscribe to HistoryHit.TV.


Producer: Natt Tapley

Audio: Felix Maynard

For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
Nov 01 2018
32 mins
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Rank #13: Zombies

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Dr Sam Willis - @DrSamWillis Professor James Daybell - @JamesDaybell Follow the show's new Twitter: @UnexpectedPod HistoryHit Network - Twitter Facebook Producer - Dan Morelle For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
Jan 31 2017
28 mins
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Rank #14: Dreams

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Dr Sam Willis - @DrSamWillis Professor James Daybell - @JamesDaybell Follow the show's new Twitter: @UnexpectedPod HistoryHit Network - Twitter Facebook Producer - Dan Morelle For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
Jan 17 2017
25 mins
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Rank #15: Weapons

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This is a special episode to coincide with Sam's new 3-part TV series on BBC Four entitled Sword, Musket & Machine Gun - Britain's Armed History. If you're in the UK you can watch it on Thursday at 9pm or on iPlayer. Watch the trailer on YouTube. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
Jan 12 2017
40 mins
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Rank #16: Hats

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Dr Sam Willis & Professor James Daybell expore the unexpected history of hats, titfers, chapeaux, and other head-coverings. For more exclusive interviews and documentaries, subscribe to HistoryHit.TV


Producer: Nathaniel Tapley for Hit Network

Audio: Pete Dennis

Theme: Dan Morelle

For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
Mar 04 2018
32 mins
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Rank #17: Codes

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Dr Sam Willis - @DrSamWillis Professor James Daybell - @JamesDaybell Follow the show's new Twitter: @UnexpectedPod HistoryHit Network - Twitter Facebook

Producer - Dan Morelle For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Nov 07 2017
32 mins
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Rank #18: Pockets

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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 Morelle

For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
Apr 07 2018
28 mins
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Rank #19: Chairs

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Dr Sam Willis and Professor James Daybell explore the unexpected history of chairs. For more exclusive interviews and documentaries, subscribe to HistoryHit.TV.


Producer: Natt Tapley

Audio: Pete Dennis

Theme: Dan Morelle

For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
Feb 25 2018
42 mins
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Rank #20: Christmas

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“It came without ribbons! It came without tags! It came without packages, boxes or bags!... Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! ...” (Dr Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, 1956)


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

Dec 24 2016
35 mins
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