The History Today Podcast
Join us as we explore a fantastic range of historical subjects and eras with those who know it best.
In this new series, leading historians share insights and stories in conversation with Paul Lay, editor of History Today.
These discussions will be interspersed with long reads: articles specially selected from the magazine for an eclectic, fascinating and informative mix.
Episode Fifteen: The Power of the Royal Mistress
How the French tradition of the royal mistress gave new opportunities for women at the court of Charles II.
Join Annalisa Nicholson in conversation with History Today Editor, Paul Lay, as she discusses her article from the August issue.
Episode Fourteen: The Rise of the Valkyries
Life and death in a Viking battle depended not on military prowess, but on the favour of the valkyries. Why were these mythical figures, who decided a warrior’s fate, female?
Episode Thirteen: Henry VIII Meets his Match
Shortly after 5pm on 7 June 1520, Henry VIII of England and Francis I of France met for the first time. That first meeting, and their time together over the following fortnight, became known to history as the Field of Cloth of Gold.
Episode Twelve: A History of the Oceans
In this podcast, History Today Editor Paul Lay is joined by David Abulafia, who was the winner of the 2020 Wolfson History Prize for his book The Boundless Sea.
Episode Eleven: The Wrongful Death of Toussaint Louverture
The hero of the Haitian Revolution’s lonely death in a French prison cell was not an unfortunate tragedy but a cruel story of deliberate destruction. An audio long read from the June issue.
Episode Ten: Toussaint Louverture and the Haitian Revolution
Join Marlene Daut in conversation with History Today Editor, Paul Lay, as they discuss the background of the Haitian Revolution, Toussaint Louverture, and the revolution's legacies.
Episode Nine: Thebes, the Forgotten City
The city of Thebes was central to the ancient Greeks’ achievements in politics and culture. For many centuries it has been largely – and often deliberately – forgotten. Join Paul Cartledge in conversation with History Today Editor, Paul Lay, as they discuss Paul Cartledge's article on 'Thebes: The Forgotten City', which is in the June issue of History Today.
Episode Eight: The Great Migration Mystery
In the 17th century, fanciful solutions to the mystery of the swallow’s whereabouts were the result of an intense battle over the nature of scientific reasoning, which had been raging for centuries – and which is still raging today.
Episode Seven: The State of Myanmar
To understand why Rakhine State is in such turmoil we need to follow the threads of ethnic nationalism back to before Myanmar existed.
Episode Six: What can History tell us about Epidemics?
Four historians discuss what we learn from history about how diseases spread, and how we respond to them.
Episode Five: The Rights of France
Since the late 19th century, French politics has provided a testing ground for right-wing populism.
Episode Four: Soviet Super Sniper
How the ‘Guerrilla Queen’ of Soviet Russia became a role model for women in combat.
Episode Three: Sexual Eeling
How the slippery subject of eel reproduction evaded human understanding for millennia. A long read from the March issue.
Episode Two: Before the Mayflower
Paul Lay and Stephen Tomkins discuss the first expedition to North America by the Separatists. They had attempted to become the pilgrim fathers as early as 1597, trying to settle in Newfoundland.Read more in the February issue of History Today.
Episode One: The FGM Scandal that Shocked Victorian London
Our first episode is an audio long read on the female genital mutilation scandal that shocked Victorian London, as featured in the February issue.