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History

History Extra podcast

Immediate Media

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The latest news from the team behind BBC History Magazine - a popular History magazine. To find out more, visit www.historyextra.com
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23:16 | Jul 30th, 2018

Jonathan Ruffle, creator of the BBC Radio 4 historical drama Tommies, explores the situation on the front line in August 1918 as the First World War approached its end

46:38 | Jan 4th, 2018

We explore the amazing life story of Alexander Hamilton, with Ron Chernow, whose biography of the American Founding Father inspired the hip-hop musical sensation.
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39:34 | Aug 25th, 2016

As we approach the 350th anniversary of the 1666 blaze, historical author Alexander Larman describes how the inferno devastated London. Meanwhile, we speak to Nicholas Kenyon, director of the Barbican Centre, about the rebuilding of the city that too...Show More

23:58 | Mar 11th

Author and biographer Claire Harman talks to us about a 19th-century killing that drew in the literary world, including Dickens and Thackeray.

23:25 | Mar 7th

We speak to Dutch historian Rutger Bregman, who recently hit the headlines with his appearance at the World Economic Forum and an unaired interview on Fox News. He discusses some of the ideas that caused a global sensation and the role of a historian...Show More

31:45 | Oct 5th, 2018

The author and barrister Philippe Sands discusses the incredible story of Otto von Wächter, which forms the basis of his new BBC podcast and Radio 4 series, Intrigue: The Ratline

40:31 | May 31st, 2018

Professor Sarah Churchwell and fellow historian Adam IP Smith explore some of the ideas in her new book Behold, America, which traces the history of America First and the American Dream

28:21 | May 29th, 2018

Ahead of her new Channel 4 series, the author and broadcaster Afua Hirsch argues that we need to seriously revise our understanding of the likes of Nelson and Churchill

47:13 | Mar 26th, 2018

Robert Scott Kellner talks about the extraordinary diary of his German grandfather, Friedrich, who recorded his observations of many of the Third Reich’s crimes. He also tells us about his role in getting the diary published more than 70 years later

29:26 | Feb 26th, 2018

Historian of science Patricia Fara discusses her new book A Lab of One’s Own, which explores the challenges facing women scientists in the First World War era

45:07 | Dec 21st, 2017

Historian and author Max Adams discusses the famed Anglo-Saxon king and considers whether he deserves his stellar reputation. Meanwhile, we team up with our friends from the Science Focus podcast to explore the history of the Royal Institution Christ...Show More

36:53 | Dec 18th, 2017

Yale political scientist James C Scott talks to us about his new book, Against the Grain, which explores some of the key questions around early agriculture and state-building.

19:31 | Dec 14th, 2017

We are joined by the world-renowned historical novelist Bernard Cornwell who shares the story behind his latest book Fools and Mortals, which explores the world of Elizabethan theatre and the man at the centre of it

50:28 | Jul 18th, 2017

In a talk that he delivered at our recent World War Two event in Bristol, Professor Nicholas Stargardt reflects on how the Second World War was experienced by ordinary Germans, both on the front line and back home

43:08 | Jul 6th, 2017

Author and historian James Delbourgo discusses his new book Collecting the World, which explores the life of the 18th-century natural historian Hans Sloane whose collections went on to form the basis of the British Museum in London

59:30 | Jun 8th, 2017

Christopher de Hamel discusses his recent book Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts, which has just won the Wolfson History Prize. Meanwhile, we speak to Jonathan Ruffle, creator of the BBC Radio 4 drama series Tommies, about some of the fascinating ...Show More

23:58 | Dec 19th, 2013

Test your history knowledge with our annual Christmas podcast quiz

46:32 | Dec 12th, 2013

Following the death of Mandela, Saul Dubow and Aron Mazel consider his remarkable political career and his role in ending Apartheid

53:52 | Dec 5th, 2013

David Reynolds explains how the First World War shaped the 20th century, while Ramachandra Guha considers Mahatma Gandhi's formative years

53:52 | Nov 28th, 2013

Simon Heffer discusses the triumphs of Victorian Britain, while Adrian Tinniswood talks about the 17th-century Rainborowes who were involved in the Civil War

57:12 | Nov 21st, 2013

Mark White reappraises JFK on the 50th anniversary of his assassination, while Alison Weir describes the life of Elizabeth of York, mother of Henry VIII

38:56 | Nov 14th, 2013

Michael Scott chats about his new Radio 4 series Spin the Globe, while Simon Thurley guides us around an important site in Britain's Industrial Revolution

44:33 | Nov 7th, 2013

Dominic Sandbrook explores how the Cold War impacted on many aspects of British life, while Margaret MacMillan tells us why she believes the First World War broke out when it did

57:18 | Sep 16th

Suzannah Lipscomb talks to Dan Jones about the lives of women in 16th-century France. Historyextra.com/podcast For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

37:48 | Sep 12th

Historian and author Tom Holland discusses his new book Dominion, which explores the history of Christianity and argues that it has had a transformative and enduring impact on the western mindset. Historyextra.com/podcast For information regarding y...Show More

1:01:07 | Sep 9th

Bestselling medieval historian Dan Jones discusses his new book Crusaders, which tells the stories of these religious conflicts through the people who were involved in them. He is joined in conversation by his fellow historian Helen Castor. Historyex...Show More

45:39 | Sep 5th

As we reach the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of World War Two, historian Roger Moorhouse tells the story of the 1939 battle for Poland that saw the country dismembered by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. Historyextra.com/podcast For informatio...Show More

37:16 | Sep 2nd

Professor Brendan Simms talks to us about his new biography of Adolf Hitler, which argues that the Nazi dictator’s main preoccupation was rivalry with Britain and America, rather than the Soviet Union. Historyextra.com/podcast For information regard...Show More

41:44 | Aug 29th

Dr Emma Butcher and Dr Hannah Partis-Jennings explore the history of war trauma, discussing how it has affected soldiers and civilians in conflicts such as the Napoleonic Wars, the two world wars, and more recent campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan. Hi...Show More

31:25 | Aug 26th

Historian Serhii Plokhy, author of an award-winning book on the 1986 Soviet nuclear disaster, explores the causes and consequences of the Chernobyl accident and offers his thoughts on the accuracy of the recent drama series. Historyextra.com/podcast ...Show More

45:58 | Aug 22nd

As the fifth series of the BBC historical drama is about to air, we talk to historian Andrew Davies about the real Birmingham gangsters who inspired the programme, and discover how late-Victorian society contributed to a rise in gang violence. Histor...Show More

24:20 | Aug 19th

Babita Sharma explores the history of the British corner shop, explaining how Asian immigrants transformed these local businesses. Historyextra.com/podcast For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

36:30 | Aug 15th

Ahead of the 200th anniversary of Peterloo, we speak to Robert Poole, author of a major new history of the massacre. He explores the history of 19th-century radicalism that fed into the Manchester demonstration and then reveals why a peaceful meeting...Show More

35:25 | Aug 12th

Archaeologist and writer Mike Pitts discusses some of the major archaeological finds that have shaped the way we understand the early history of the British Isles. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

12:31 | Aug 10th

Former prime minister Gordon Brown discusses the American businessman Andrew Carnegie, who gave away most of his fortune at the turn of the 20th century. Historyextra.com/podcast For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

32:02 | Aug 8th

Harry Potter explores the twists and turns in the history of the British penal system. Historyextra.com/podcast For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

33:22 | Aug 5th

Historian and broadcaster Emma Dabiri explains how the history of black hair reflects broad themes of capitalism, slavery, colonialism and more. Historyextra.com/podcast For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

31:30 | Aug 1st

Former Foreign Office historian Gill Bennett explores how a forged letter by a Soviet leader in 1924 shocked Britain and helped undermine the Labour Party. Historyextra.com/podcast For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

18:44 | Jul 29th

Greg Jenner, historical consultant for the BBC series Horrible Histories, talks about the series’ big screen outing, Rotten Romans. He also explores wider questions about history and comedy and the current state of popular history. Historyextra.com/p...Show More

21:49 | Jul 25th

Professor Dame Janet L Nelson discusses Charlemagne, the 8th-century king of the Franks who became one of medieval Europe’s most important rulers. Historyextra.com/podcast   For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

41:24 | Jul 22nd

Fifty years after the Stonewall riots in New York City, historian Chris Parkes explores the background to the events and shows how the episode became a pivotal moment in LGBTQ+ history. Historyextra.com/podcast For information regarding your data pr...Show More

43:32 | Jul 18th

As we approach the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, historian Kendrick Oliver explores the space race that led to it and considers the legacy of the momentous events of July 1969. Historyextra.com/podcasts For information regarding your data pr...Show More

34:21 | Jul 15th

Historian Prashant Kidambi revisits the first Indian cricket tour of Britain, which took place in the summer of 1911 when the British empire was still at its height. Historyextra.com/podcasts For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast....Show More

35:28 | Jul 11th

Historian Sam Willis describes the dramatic 1805 British victory against French and Spanish fleets, while challenging misconceptions about the role of Nelson and the importance of the battle in the war against Napoleon. Historyextra.com/podcasts For...Show More

34:06 | Jul 8th

Historian Matthew Jenkinson tells the stories of Edward Whalley and William Goffe who fled to New England in the 17th century following their involvement in the execution of King Charles I. Historyextra.com/podcasts For information regarding your da...Show More

36:14 | Jul 4th

AC Grayling ranges through 2,500 years of history to explore the impact of great thinkers like Aristotle, Immanuel Kant and Bertrand Russell. historyextra.com/podcasts For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

46:20 | Jul 1st

Susan Oosthuizen explains why we should be reassessing what we think about the Anglo-Saxons. historyextra.com/podcasts For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

29:59 | Jun 27th

Historian and author Dr John Woolf explores the extraordinary and complex stories of 19th-century performers such as General Tom Thumb, who became stars in the age of PT Barnum and other circus pioneers. historyextra.com/podcasts For information reg...Show More

29:32 | Jun 24th

Historian and journalist Tim Bouverie discusses his new book Appeasing Hitler, which explores the failed diplomacy that led to World War Two and the Nazi domination of Europe. Historyextra.com/podcasts For information regarding your data privacy, vi...Show More

28:06 | Jun 20th

Historian and broadcaster Tessa Dunlop shares the stories of women she interviewed who worked at Britain’s codebreaking centre during World War Two. Historyextra.com/podcasts For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

28:50 | Jun 17th

Adrian Tinniswood explores the fascinating history of Britain’s royal households, from the Tudor period until today. historyextra.com/podcasts

18:33 | Jun 13th

Edward Carey discusses the life of Madame Tussaud, who created waxworks in the era of the French Revolution. historyextra.com/podcasts

56:40 | Jun 10th

Professor Jonathan Phillips is joined by medieval historian Dan Jones to discuss the life and legacy of the Muslim ruler Saladin, who famously captured Jerusalem and battled the crusaders during the 12th century. historyextra.com/podcasts

36:11 | Jun 6th

James Holland revisits the events of 6 June 1944 and challenges myths that have grown up around the Allied landings and the battle for Normandy. historyextra.com/podcasts

24:30 | Jun 3rd

Estelle Paranque and Emma J Wells reflect on the religious changes that took place during the reigns of Henry VIII and his children. historyextra.com/podcasts

27:02 | May 30th

Rachel Reeves talks about her new book, Women of Westminster, which explores the achievements of some of Britain’s foremost women politicians. Historyextra.com/podcasts

48:33 | May 27th

Jacob Rees-Mogg discusses his new book, which explores the lives of 19th-century figures who he believes were crucial in creating modern Britain. historyextra.com/podcasts 

35:24 | May 23rd

Virginia Nicholson talks about her new book How Was It For You?, which explores how some of the radical changes of the decade shaped the lives of women from different backgrounds. historyextra.com/podcasts

22:14 | May 20th

Biographer Angela Steidele explores the life of 19th-century gay pioneer Anne Lister, whose story is the inspiration behind the major BBC/HBO drama Gentleman Jack. historyextra.com/podcasts

47:58 | May 16th

Historian, author and geographer Jared Diamond discusses how ideas from psychology can help us understand how countries have coped with traumas through history. historyextra.com/podcasts

37:36 | May 13th

Medieval historian Marc Morris reveals the fascinating history of Britain’s castles, exploring why they were built, what they were used for, and the challenges of defending and attacking them.

25:06 | May 9th

Lauren Mackay, author of Among the Wolves of Court: The Untold Story of Thomas and George Boleyn, charts the tumultuous lives of the father and brother of one of the Tudor era’s most famous figures – Anne Boleyn.

28:38 | May 6th

Journalist and news presenter Cathy Newman discusses her new book Bloody Brilliant Women, which tells the stories of trailblazing women who changed the course of modern British history.

29:44 | May 2nd

Demography expert Dr Paul Morland discusses his new book The Human Tide, which explores how population has been a crucial factor in global events over the past two hundred years, and has shaped the world we live in today.

31:36 | Apr 29th

Professor Stephen Rippon of the University of Exeter explores the changing nature of England’s landscape, from the Iron Age until the Anglo-Saxon period.

35:23 | Apr 25th

Anita Anand tells the story of one man’s quest for revenge following the 1919 Amritsar massacre

40:35 | Apr 22nd

Professor David Reynolds discusses the relationship between World War Two leaders Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt, as revealed by the messages exchanged between them

24:41 | Apr 18th

Following Monday’s blaze that devastated Paris’s Notre-Dame cathedral, we speak to historian Emma J Wells about the medieval building’s remarkable history and what its future might hold

30:20 | Apr 15th

Renowned author and broadcaster Melvyn Bragg discusses the 12th-century French thinkers Peter Abelard and Heloise, and the enduring love story at the centre of his new novel

37:04 | Apr 11th

Travel writer Christopher Somerville discusses his experiences of visiting some of Britain’s historic cathedrals and explains what they can tell us about the country’s religious past

35:26 | Apr 8th

Professor Tom Devine explores one of the most traumatic moments in Scottish history and explains how a number of misconceptions still exist around the Clearances.

31:46 | Apr 4th

Professor Nicholas Vincent discusses the life and reign of the infamous 13th-century monarch, whose reign saw military disasters abroad and the sealing of Magna Carta in 1215.

46:20 | Apr 1st

Military historian Jonathan Fennell discusses his new book, which explores the experiences of citizen soldiers from Britain, its empire and commonwealth in the global battle against the Axis.

29:29 | Mar 28th

Historian Nicholas Paul explores some little known aspects of the crusades and also considers why this aspect of medieval history has inspired the far-right. Find out more about his research at: https://medievaldigital.ace.fordham.edu/mapping-project...Show More

27:04 | Mar 25th

Hallie Rubenhold discusses her new book The Five, which uses the untold stories of Jack the Ripper’s victims to reveal what life was like for working-class women in Victorian London.

46:33 | Mar 21st

Medieval historian Levi Roach describes how the Norse people travelled, raided and settled far beyond their Scandinavian homeland, even journeying across the Atlantic to America.

32:36 | Mar 18th

Historian and author Lauren Johnson discusses the life and reign of Henry VI, whose decades on the throne coincided with defeat in the Hundred Years’ War and the disaster of the Wars of the Roses.

46:20 | Mar 14th

Professor Matthew Seligmann describes the changes made by Winston Churchill to the Royal Navy in the years leading up to the First World War – ranging from pay and conditions to discipline and the treatment of homosexuals.

36:43 | Mar 4th

Alexandra Churchill considers the impact of the British monarch on the First World War, and explores the question of whether he could have done more to save his cousin Tsar Nicholas II.

20:52 | Feb 28th

Former education secretary Alan Johnson discusses the history of schooling since the Victorian era, which is the subject of his new series on BBC Radio 4

36:29 | Feb 25th

Professor Bart van Es talks to us about The Cut Out Girl, which was recently announced as the Costa Book of the Year. He explains how his family took in a young Jewish girl in the Netherlands during the Second World War, and the complex legacy of the...Show More

30:06 | Feb 21st

Historian Catherine Hanley tells the story of Empress Matilda, the daughter of Henry I whose battle with Stephen for the English throne in the 12th century became known as ‘the anarchy’.

35:03 | Feb 18th

Philosopher and author Julian Baggini speaks about his new book, How the World Thinks, in conversation with the historian Justin Champion.

31:42 | Feb 14th

For our Valentine’s Day episode, historian Sally Holloway explores the nature of courtship, love and marriage in 18th-century Britain, highlighting the similarities and differences to the modern day

45:55 | Feb 11th

Professor Richard J Evans discusses his new biography of Eric Hobsbawm, the influential 20th-century historian who was famously – and sometimes controversially – a committed Marxist throughout his career

37:26 | Feb 7th

Dr Christopher Harding explores Japan’s dramatic history over the past 150 years, considering its relationship with the west and the cultural impact of its rapid modernisation

24:10 | Feb 4th

BBC broadcaster John Simpson discusses the connections between classical music and some of the most notable events of the mid-20th century, from World War Two to the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

35:54 | Feb 2nd

In this special edition, produced by our friends from the Science Focus podcast, Jamie Susskind explains how the politics of the future will be shaped by the technology influencing our lives today.

42:09 | Jan 31st

Historian Emma Southon explores the extraordinary life of Agrippina the Younger, who was the wife of Claudius, the mother of Nero and the sister of Caligula, as well as being a remarkable woman in her own right.

33:14 | Jan 28th

Jenni Murray, longstanding presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, discusses her new book, which tells the stories of some of the most fascinating women in global history, from Joan of Arc to Marie Curie and Madonna.

47:38 | Jan 24th

Historians Mary Fulbrook and Richard J Evans explore the aftermath of the Nazi genocide, looking at how thousands of perpetrators escaped justice and considering how subsequent generations have sought to understand the greatest atrocity of the 20th c...Show More

27:46 | Jan 21st

Olivette Otele, who recently became Britain’s first black female professor of history, joins Dr Sadiah Qureshi of the University of Birmingham to discuss race and equality in the British historical profession

25:31 | Jan 17th

Joel Hammer, producer of the new BBC World Service podcast The Hurricane Tapes, revisits the life of Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter, the American boxer whose imprisonment for a 1966 triple murder inspired a Bob Dylan song and a Hollywood film.

33:28 | Jan 14th

Historian, author and broadcaster Kate Williams tells the dramatic story of the 16th-century Scottish queen and reflects on her doomed relationship with Elizabeth I of England. As part of the conversation, Williams also discusses the upcoming film of...Show More

53:36 | Jan 10th

Historians Amanda Vickery, Hallie Rubenhold and Hannah Greig discuss the acclaimed new historical drama The Favourite and consider how accurately it reflects the reality of Queen Anne’s court in the early 18th century

41:39 | Jan 7th

Max Adams, author of Unquiet Women, explores the lives of some remarkable women from history whose stories have been largely forgotten. He also overturns the idea that women of this period were either queens, nuns or invisible – and explains why wome...Show More

38:08 | Jan 3rd

Egyptologist, author and broadcaster Chris Naunton talks about the search for the resting places of famous Egyptians such as Nefertiti and Cleopatra

43:26 | Dec 31st, 2018

Historian, author and broadcaster Nick Barratt explores the dynastic clashes between Henry II and his ambitious sons for control of the Plantagenet crown in the 12th century

38:25 | Dec 27th, 2018

Professor Santanu Das explores the experiences of Indians who fought in and were affected by the First World War and explains how he has utilised a wide range of sources to uncover their forgotten stories

24:44 | Dec 24th, 2018

Join the BBC History Magazine team for the return of our annual Christmas history quiz with questions set by QI writer Justin Pollard. Read the text version at: www.historyextra.com/christmasquiz2018

32:32 | Dec 20th, 2018

Kate Hubbard, biographer of Bess of Hardwick, explores the fascinating life of a Tudor woman who rose from relative obscurity to become one of the richest and most influential people of her age

35:19 | Dec 17th, 2018

Kathleen Doyle and Tuija Ainonen discuss a major Anglo-French project that has made hundreds of medieval manuscripts available for the public to view online

28:36 | Dec 13th, 2018

Bestselling historian and author Simon Sebag Montefiore describes some of history’s most fascinating and important letters, from Mark Antony’s thoughts on Cleopatra to a message Gandhi sent to Hitler

48:44 | Dec 10th, 2018

Kehinde Andrews, professor of Black Studies at Birmingham City University, discusses his new book, Back to Black: Retelling Black Radicalism for the 21st Century, and offers his opinions on a range of issues including Black History Month, reparations...Show More

31:29 | Dec 6th, 2018

Historian Adam Zamoyski, author of a new biography of Napoleon, offers his views on the iconic French leader, exploring how his stellar career was driven by insecurities

29:26 | Dec 3rd, 2018

Popular historian Dan Jones and digital artist Marina Amaral discuss their groundbreaking book The Colour of Time, which uses colourised photographs to chart the history of the world from the mid-19th to mid 20th century.

39:23 | Nov 29th, 2018

Anna Beer, biographer of Walter Ralegh, explores the extraordinary life and incendiary legacy of the Tudor polymath. She reveals how he became a favourite of Elizabeth I, only to fall foul of her successor, James VI & I, with deadly consequences

43:50 | Nov 26th, 2018

Paddy Ashdown tells the stories of German opponents of Nazism who plotted to bring down Hitler’s regime.

24:31 | Nov 22nd, 2018

Journalist and author Robert Hutton talks about his new book Agent Jack, which describes the activities of Nazi sympathisers in Britain during World War Two and reveals the brilliant methods MI5 used to subvert them.

33:17 | Nov 19th, 2018

Author and historian Giles Milton describes some dramatic but lesser-known stories of soldiers and civilians who were involved in the Normandy landings of June 1944

34:02 | Nov 15th, 2018

As the third series of the Anglo-Saxon drama is about to air, we speak to the renowned historical novelist Bernard Cornwell about his books that inspired the programmes, and about his writing career more broadly.

45:28 | Nov 12th, 2018

The award-winning biographer Sue Prideaux discusses the life and work of the influential 19th-century philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche and explains how his ideas came to be associated with Nazi Germany

25:06 | Nov 8th, 2018

The popular historian discusses war trauma over the past century, the subject of his upcoming BBC Two documentary

43:19 | Nov 5th, 2018

As we approach the centenary of the Armistice, Gary Sheffield explores the final moments of the conflict that devastated the world for four and a half years

15:55 | Nov 1st, 2018

The acclaimed writer and director talks about the creation of his major new historical epic

35:24 | Oct 29th, 2018

Historian and author Jacqueline Riding discusses the tragic events of August 1819

35:00 | Oct 25th, 2018

Claire Breay, lead curator of a major new Anglo-Saxons exhibition at the British Library, explores the cultural highlights of 600 years of English history

49:57 | Oct 22nd, 2018

Diarmaid MacCulloch discusses his new book on the Tudor statesman

34:07 | Oct 18th, 2018

The historian and author Andrew Roberts discusses his new biography of Winston Churchill, revealing some of the insights arising from his research and tackling some of the biggest debates around Britain’s wartime prime minister.

45:02 | Oct 15th, 2018

We speak to the Lord of the Rings director about They Shall Not Grow Old, his ambitious new film that recreates the First World War in colour

33:08 | Oct 11th, 2018

With the aid of his recently discovered diaries, Katherine Findlay tells the unusual story of Pike Ward – a Devon fish merchant who became an Icelandic knight in the early 20th century.

28:08 | Oct 8th, 2018

Historian Tom Cutterham compares the ongoing negotiations to take Britain out of the EU with those of the 1780s when the United States departed from the British empire.

26:17 | Oct 7th, 2018

In this special edition, produced by our friends from the Science Focus podcast, criminologist David Wilson applies the latest scientific techniques in the case of the notorious Whitechapel murderer of 1888.

40:56 | Oct 1st, 2018

Bestselling historical author Ben Macintyre talks to us about his new book, The Spy and the Traitor, which tells the remarkable story of a KGB double agent who risked his life to help the west during the Cold War

44:19 | Sep 27th, 2018

We head to Kensington Palace, once home to the young Victoria, to discuss the queen’s life with the author, historian and broadcaster Lucy Worsley

51:31 | Sep 24th, 2018

The archaeologist and broadcaster Neil Oliver talks about some of the highlights of his new book, which charts the history of the British Isles through 100 key locations

30:52 | Sep 20th, 2018

Journalist and author Peter Hitchens discusses his new book, The Phoney Victory, which challenges a number of popular beliefs about the Second World War

31:57 | Sep 17th, 2018

Historians Sam Willis and James Daybell explore some of the fascinating stories that appear in their Histories of the Unexpected book and podcast, from signatures to lions

36:07 | Sep 13th, 2018

Author and journalist Simon Jenkins is joined by Professor Kathleen Burk to discuss his forthcoming Short History of Europe, which explores some of the key themes and milestones in the continent’s past

32:04 | Sep 10th, 2018

The Private Eye editor and broadcaster Ian Hislop is joined by curator Tom Hockhenhull to discuss some of the themes and objects that appear in their new British Museum exhibition, I Object

28:52 | Sep 6th, 2018

Professor Lawrence Goldman explores the issues surrounding monuments to controversial historical figures in light of the Rhodes Must Fall campaign and other recent debates

44:01 | Sep 3rd, 2018

Historian Sir John Elliott explores the long histories of Scottish and Catalan nationalism and considers some of the key similarities and differences between the two.

42:08 | Aug 30th, 2018

Historians Joanne Paul, Olivette Otele and June Purvis dissect the results of our recent poll into history’s most important women, which saw Marie Curie come top, followed by Rosa Parks and Emmeline Pankhurst

1:01:05 | Aug 28th, 2018

Historian Julian Jackson, author of a major new biography of Charles de Gaulle, offers a fresh take on the iconic French leader, exploring his role in World War Two and decolonisation, among other things.

26:37 | Aug 23rd, 2018

Historian Nadine Akkerman introduces a number of remarkable women who acted as secret agents in the 17th century

26:06 | Aug 20th, 2018

Journalist and author Peter Moore talks about HMS Endeavour, the ship that carried Cook on his landmark voyage to the Pacific 250 years ago

1:03:06 | Aug 17th, 2018

Historian, author and broadcaster Dan Jones talks to us about his career, his latest projects and how he combines swimming with his love of the past

45:17 | Aug 16th, 2018

We pay a visit to the renowned Cambridge classicist to discuss her career, her passion for the ancient world and her desire to share her expertise with the masses

29:16 | Aug 15th, 2018

Historian and author Tracy Borman describes the process of writing her first historical novel, set in the era of King James VI & I and the European witch craze

1:02:29 | Aug 14th, 2018

For the 500th episode of the History Extra podcast we are joined by Professor Sir Ian Kershaw, who appeared in our very first programme. This time the topic for discussion is his new history of modern Europe

36:59 | Aug 13th, 2018

In the first of five special programmes to mark our upcoming 500th episode, historian, author and broadcaster Helen Castor explores the psychology of the Virgin Queen and discusses the challenges of writing a new biography of one of England’s best-kn...Show More

49:38 | Aug 9th, 2018

Historical author Duncan Barrett tells the stories of Channel Islanders who spent several years living under German occupation during World War Two

44:46 | Aug 6th, 2018

Ed Husain, author of The House of Islam, meets with the historian Tom Holland to explore the roots of some of the challenges Muslims face in the 21st century

33:14 | Aug 2nd, 2018

Historian Rory Cormac discusses his new book Disrupt and Deny, which investigates Britain’s use of spies and special forces for covert operations in the postwar period.

31:20 | Jul 26th, 2018

Historian Jessie Childs tells the story of Thomas Tresham, a Tudor gentleman who built a remarkable monument to his Catholic faith and risked the anger of the Virgin Queen

30:48 | Jul 23rd, 2018

Professor David Edgerton explains why we need to revise our understanding of recent British history, from the world wars to the welfare state

57:23 | Jul 19th, 2018

On the centenary of Mandela’s birth, we speak to the politician and author Peter Hain about the South African leader’s remarkable achievements in the face of tremendous adversity

32:50 | Jul 16th, 2018

Historical author Helen Rappaport explains why the last Russian tsar and his family met a violent end in 1918 and considers whether Britain could have saved the Romanovs from their fate

29:22 | Jul 12th, 2018

Historian Jordanna Bailkin discusses her new book, Unsettled, which explores the experiences of people of several different nationalities who fled to Britain in the 20th century

33:33 | Jul 9th, 2018

Professor Christopher Andrew discusses his new book The Secret World, which explores the history of intelligence and espionage from ancient times until the present day

33:26 | Jul 5th, 2018

We are joined by bestselling historical author Simon Winchester, who reveals how some of history’s greatest engineers helped create the industrial age

34:48 | Jul 2nd, 2018

Professor Jane Ohlmeyer discusses a new multi-volume history of Ireland and explains how the past continues to affect Anglo-Irish relations today

31:26 | Jun 28th, 2018

Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough, presenter of a BBC Radio 3 series on forests, takes a trip to the home of Robin Hood to explore how forests have shaped our history and mythology

40:08 | Jun 25th, 2018

Economist Martin Slater charts 350 years of British government borrowing – from the Glorious Revolution to the 2008 financial crisis – and considers what lessons this history might have for policy makers today

29:47 | Jun 21st, 2018

Sarah Jackson, joint founder of East End Women’s Museum, explores how historical women are currently commemorated and how this might be done better in future

37:15 | Jun 18th, 2018

Distinguished historian Sir Keith Thomas reflects on how concepts of civility and civilisation shaped society in the early modern period

25:22 | Jun 14th, 2018

Professor Maggie Andrews, historical consultant on the BBC Radio 4 drama series Home Front, joins us to reveal how the First World War was affecting British civilian life as the conflict entered its closing stages

27:02 | Jun 11th, 2018

Ahead of the BBC Two documentary Before Grenfell: A Hidden History, architect Peter Deakins discusses his involvement in the creation of the tower block and considers its place in the history of social housing in Britain

32:38 | Jun 7th, 2018

Acclaimed historian and author Antonia Fraser joins us to discuss her new book The King and the Catholics: The Fight for Rights 1829

40:45 | Jun 4th, 2018

Author and editor Roland Philipps discusses A Spy Named Orphan, his new biography of the enigmatic Cambridge spy Donald Maclean

26:19 | May 24th, 2018

Bestselling author and historian Alison Weir discusses the life and tragic death of the Tudor king’s third wife, who bore him his long-awaited male heir. Alison also reveals the challenges of recreating Jane for her new historical novel

22:51 | May 21st, 2018

In advance of his new BBC Radio 4 series, the journalist and broadcaster Misha Glenny reflects on some of the key moments in the Netherlands’ story: from the Dutch Golden Age to World War Two

59:14 | May 17th, 2018

Bestselling military historian Antony Beevor discusses his new book, which outlines why 1944’s Operation Market Garden was one of the biggest disasters of the Allied war effort

31:13 | May 14th, 2018

Miranda Seymour discusses the extraordinary lives of Annabella Milbanke and Ada Lovelace, the wife and daughter of Lord Byron

44:50 | May 10th, 2018

As the film Entebbe is about to arrive in UK cinemas, historian and author Saul David reveals the extraordinary story of the Israeli operation to rescue dozens of hostages from an airport in Uganda in 1976

27:14 | May 7th, 2018

Stephen Clarke, author of a new history of the French Revolution, argues that we need to look afresh at the events of 1789 and beyond

21:05 | May 3rd, 2018

We speak to Simon Bowman of the Royal College of Physicians, which is celebrating its 500th anniversary, about how the work of doctors has changed since the time of Henry VIII

28:37 | Apr 30th, 2018

Historian Fern Riddell talks about her new biography of suffrage campaigner Kitty Marion, which explores some of the darker aspects of the campaign for votes for women

41:50 | Apr 26th, 2018

Historian and author Taylor Downing describes the events of the Able Archer scare, which nearly witnessed global Armageddon when the Soviets misread the intentions behind a NATO war exercise

28:28 | Apr 23rd, 2018

Author and economist Linda Yueh discusses the work and legacy of some of history’s greatest economic thinkers, revealing some of the lessons they might offer for us today

34:23 | Apr 19th, 2018

Art historian Jack Hartnell talks about his new book Medieval Bodies, which offers some fascinating perspectives on the ways people in the middle ages viewed their physical selves

40:30 | Apr 16th, 2018

Historians Tom Young and Emma Dabiri explore how Africa’s past has affected its present in a discussion prompted by the themes of Tom’s new book, Neither Devil Nor Child: How Western Attitudes Are Harming Africa

23:23 | Apr 12th, 2018

Ahead of his BBC Radio 3 documentary Exit Burbage, the journalist and author Andrew Dickson explores the remarkable career of Richard Burbage, a Jacobean actor who played many of Shakespeare’s best-known roles for the first time.

28:19 | Apr 9th, 2018

Acclaimed filmmaker Lynn Novick describes the making of an epic documentary series on the conflict in Vietnam, which she has co-directed with Ken Burns. She also reveals the secrets to making high quality history television programmes

27:10 | Apr 5th, 2018

Medieval historian Hetta Howes reveals the extreme lengths to which women in the Middle Ages went to get closer to God and discusses how mystics were perceived by their contemporaries

31:07 | Apr 3rd, 2018

Historian and author John Julius Norwich reflects on some of the key moments in France’s history and relates a few of the more unusual and scandalous stories he uncovered while researching his latest book.

47:53 | Mar 29th, 2018

We are joined by John Lewes, nephew and biographer of Jock Lewes, to talk about how his uncle helped found one of the world’s most famous special forces during World War Two

23:41 | Mar 22nd, 2018

Historical novelist and broadcaster Sarah Dunant expands on her new BBC Radio 4 series When Greeks Flew Kites, which uses the past to illuminate modern concerns around medicine, old age, debt and sexual harassment

23:50 | Mar 19th, 2018

Historian and author Keith Lowe joins us to talk about his book The Fear and the Freedom, which explores the legacy of the Second World War on the decades that followed

29:51 | Mar 15th, 2018

Economist and author Benn Steil explains the background to the 1947 US aid initiative to Europe and describes how it helped shape relations between the USA and USSR. He also considers what impact it had on European recovery after the Second World War

32:25 | Mar 12th, 2018

Ahead of her new BBC Four series The Ruth Ellis Files, Gillian Pachter explores the controversial case of a British woman who was hanged for murder in 1955

29:19 | Mar 8th, 2018

We speak to the acclaimed screenwriter and producer Michael Hirst about his work on the smash hit series Vikings and the secrets of creating blockbuster history dramas

28:27 | Mar 5th, 2018

Music expert Graham Griffiths discusses the 20th-century pianist and composer Leokadiya Kashperova, whose career was blighted by the events of the Russian revolution and whose work is now being celebrated with a special BBC Radio 3 concert

19:41 | Mar 1st, 2018

As the major new BBC arts history series Civilisations is due to air, we speak to Simon Schama, one of its three presenters, to discuss the making of the series and how he was inspired by Kenneth Clark’s original

40:07 | Feb 22nd, 2018

With a new exhibition open in Liverpool featuring a group of Terracotta Warriors, Edward Burman explores the fascinating history of these ancient Chinese sculptures

17:57 | Feb 19th, 2018

In the year that BBC Arabic celebrates its 80th anniversary, we speak to the network’s Communication Advisor, Wissam El Sayegh, about the BBC’s history of broadcasting to the Arab world

26:37 | Feb 15th, 2018

With this year’s tournament in Russia only a few months away, we speak to veteran football writer Brian Glanville about the 88-year history of this global sporting extravaganza

30:39 | Feb 12th, 2018

Catharine Arnold joins us to discuss her new book Pandemic: 1918, which explores the story of the influenza outbreak that caused devastation across the globe a century ago

33:02 | Feb 8th, 2018

In the second of our two episodes marking the centenary of (some) women being granted the vote in Britain, historian June Purvis considers the role of the Pankhurst family in the long battle for female suffrage

30:05 | Feb 5th, 2018

As we approach the centenary of (some) British women being granted the vote, historian and author Diane Atkinson explores the stories of the suffrage campaigners who believed in ‘deeds not words’

38:17 | Feb 1st, 2018

Historian and author Nicola Tallis explores the life of Lettice Knollys, who was a leading figure at the Tudor court until she enraged the Virgin Queen by marrying her favourite, Robert Dudley

26:29 | Jan 29th, 2018

Historian Helen Fry shares her discoveries about the Cage, a clandestine British interrogation centre, where extreme methods were used to extract information from enemy prisoners during the Second World War

44:47 | Jan 25th, 2018

Archaeologist Barry Cunliffe meets with historian David Abulafia to discuss humanity’s relationship with the Mediterranean and the Atlantic since ancient times

19:27 | Jan 22nd, 2018

Following the announcement that the Noman embroidery may soon be heading to Britain, historian Kathryn Hurlock tackles some of the big questions relating to the iconic medieval artefact

23:46 | Jan 18th, 2018

John Bennett delves into the dark history of disorder and lawlessness in London’s East End From Jack the Ripper to the Kray twins, historian and tour guide John Bennett explores four centuries of crime and disorder in the London neighbourhood.

34:10 | Jan 15th, 2018

Historian Clare Makepeace joins us to discuss her new book Captives of War, which draws on first-hand testimonies to examine the experiences of British soldiers who were confined in POW camps in World War Two

29:58 | Jan 11th, 2018

Fiona Sampson, author of a new biography of Mary Shelley, discusses the remarkable life of the Frankenstein author and considers what her story can tell us about Georgian society

43:36 | Jan 8th, 2018

Historian, author and broadcaster Helen Castor describes the short, but dramatic, life and reign of England’s ‘Nine Days Queen’, who is the subject of her new BBC Four series.

38:21 | Jan 2nd, 2018

Antony McCarten, writer of the new historical blockbuster Darkest Hour, considers whether the British leader came close to seeking peace with Hitler in 1940

34:55 | Dec 28th, 2017

Renowned First World War historian Professor David Stevenson explores the Russian Revolution, the Balfour Declaration, Passchendaele, and American entry into the First World War, as part of his survey of one of the 20th century’s most pivotal years

23:34 | Dec 25th, 2017

The History Extra team present our annual festive quiz, testing your history knowledge with a Christmas twist. The questions have been set, as always, by QI writer Justin Pollard

29:06 | Dec 11th, 2017

Food historian and author Pen Vogler explores the Victorian diet and recipes through the life and works of 19th-century Britain’s best-known writer

30:05 | Dec 7th, 2017

The academic, author and broadcaster Alice Roberts talks to us about her new book Tamed, which explores some of the most important relationships people have forged with different species over our history

44:21 | Dec 4th, 2017

The historian and journalist Simon Heffer ranges over class, empire, politics. scandals and suffrage in an exploration of Britain in the years leading up to the First World War

34:26 | Nov 30th, 2017

Historian Miranda Kaufmann, author of Black Tudors: The Unknown Story, explores the lives of several Africans who resided in 16th-century England

32:02 | Nov 27th, 2017

Dr Lindsey Fitzharris, author of The Butchering Art, delves into the terrifying world of 19th-century hospitals and shows how scientific advances eventually led to dramatic improvements

26:46 | Nov 23rd, 2017

Historian Sasha Handley explores the bedtime routines of the early modern period and considers what lessons today’s sleepers can draw from past centuries

56:28 | Nov 20th, 2017

We join historian and author Charles Spencer on location at Boscobel House to discuss Charles II’s desperate flight from parliamentarian forces at the end of the Civil War. Boscobel was famously a hiding place for the king as he sought to escape his ...Show More

44:33 | Nov 16th, 2017

To accompany their upcoming events in the UK-wide Being Human festival, Kasia Szpakowska discusses her research into Ancient Egyptian demonology, while Dan Pascoe reveals some of the insights that have been gained from excavating a sunken 17th-centur...Show More

25:21 | Nov 13th, 2017

Mark Forsyth, author of A Short History of Drunkenness, draws on fascinating examples from across the globe to explore humanity’s longstanding relationship with alcohol

44:16 | Nov 9th, 2017

Historians Frances Wood and Spencer Jones, who are both contributors to the upcoming Channel 4 documentary Britain’s Forgotten Army, reflect on the little-known contribution of more than 100,000 Chinese labourers to the Allied effort in the First Wor...Show More

31:58 | Nov 6th, 2017

BBC journalist Mariko Oi discusses her experiences of interviewing some of the last survivors of the notorious Japanese raids in World War Two, in advance of her new documentary on BBC World Service

38:53 | Nov 2nd, 2017

The renowned historian, author and broadcaster Niall Ferguson reveals the ways networks have transformed our world, from the medieval era to the social media age

37:53 | Oct 30th, 2017

Archaeologist Dr Miles Russell talks to us about his bold new theory on the legendary British ruler, which is based on a reinterpretation of Geoffrey of Monmounth’s History of the Kings of Britain

29:02 | Oct 26th, 2017

Historian and author Mary Hollingsworth reflects on the powerful dynasty who dominated the Italian Renaissance but whose tale also includes tyranny, crime and murder

32:47 | Oct 23rd, 2017

Historian Joshua Rubenstein discusses the dramatic events surrounding the death of Soviet leader Josef Stalin in 1953, now the subject of a major new historical comedy film.

38:19 | Oct 19th, 2017

Historians Hannah Greig and John Cooper, who are consultants on the new BBC drama Gunpowder, explore the story of the 1605 attempt to blow up the king and parliament. Plus they reveal the challenges involved in recreating the events for the small scr...Show More

37:17 | Oct 16th, 2017

Former British Museum director Neil MacGregor talks about his new BBC Radio 4 series Living with the Gods, and the accompanying exhibition, which together explore humanity’s longstanding relationship with faith