I’ve loved and lived with the story of the history of the English for as long as I can remember. This is my retelling of that story, in a regular, chronological podcast; we go from the cataclysmic end of Roman Britain, and at some point will get all the way through to the present day.

shed-2I am a history graduate, but I am not a professional academic historian; I am essentially a bloke in a shed. Here you can see a picture of the shed, which is not pretty, but at least I have left out the sound of the rats in the rafters. And one of the daughters did paint the end pretty colours, so it’s looked worse. Anyway, enough of the shed. It is a silly place.

I’ve done everything I can to make this good, rigorous history – but it’s not a dry retelling of events. You’ll find my love of and enthusiasm for our history, and some of the things that make me laugh.  You’ll find the great events and people for sure – but also some of the byways as well as the highways, of how people lived, their language, and the forces that shaped their lives and destinies.

To get the best out the podcast it’s best to follow it through chronologically to some degree at least. Ideally that means from episode 1 and onwards, but to be honest don’t think you’ll struggle too much if you start in the middle. A bit like a soap opera – you’ll pick up who’s who.

Members, and who or what is Swyncombe Limited? 

You can now also Become a Member of the History of England – it’s a nice way to support the podcast, and you get 90 minutes of special ‘Shedcasts’ each month – plus access to the complete back catalogue of Shedcasts.

Now that I am turned professional podcaster. Well, now that I have a paid-for service, I have set up a company. It’s called Swyncombe Ltd – it’s possible you’ll come across it. There is one Director – me! It makes me feel very important. It has a trading name – The History of England, and a registered office which is 30 Nelson Street, Leicester LE1 7BA. It’s registered in the UK, Company Number 10376438. 

Our Patronsladybird

As you’ll soon find out, we have two patrons of the Podcast, who stay with us throughout, and gives us a lodestone so
that we can always find our way home. Neither of them have any idea. In fact neither of them are actually animate, which is an issue. One of my abiding memories of childhood, before everything got complicated, is of devouring the stories of English history – especially the Ladybird books of course. So there’s one the old version of the Ladybird Kings and Queens of England. Here’s a nice picture – and it’s the pictures that have stayed with me for ever.

sellar-and-yeatmanAnd the other is the immortal, the irrepressible Sellar and Yeatman, and their memorable history of England. Actually as a kid I never liked it – I took England’s story far too seriously. But it’s grown on me – it reminds us that Academics might tear trips off each other to get at the latest version of the truth; but it takes a long time to change the history that most of us recognise. I sometimes think there are two histories – the one spoken of in the ivory towers, and the other the one the rest of us recognise. King John, hate it or loathe it, will always be Bad king John.

And now we have been joined by a mascot. After a bit of a vote-ette, listeners decided Woolliam Marshalthat the person they wanted to represent them was William Marshal. And so Felecia created our very own, and here he is, Wooliam Marshal, Knit of the Garter. There are two Woolia here, because one lucky listener will have possession of Wooliam II after the Members’ survey  2017.

Nor will it hurt, by the way, to like Douglas Adams and Monty P. And I’m thinking of making Dylan the Dog a patron too, but since he can’t eat it, he probably won’t be interested.

Who is the podcast for? 

This is a podcast for people who love history, but also want something to keep them entertained and sometimes amused while they cycle, run, do the ironing, swim, walk, commute – or even try to get to sleep. I hope you’ll find it to be the smooth end of a pineapple.

This Website

There’s this handy website to help you along with things like maps, biographies, background information, original sources, places to go for more information. Maps are essential aren’t they? And try out the Regnal Lists – pretty (ish) looking lists of monarchs in different places at the same time. They are a triumph, if I do say so myself.

It is also where you can become a member, support me in my endeavours, and get extra podcasts for a small and very reasonable fee.

Privacy Policy

You can read it by clicking on this link to the Privacy Policy


104 thoughts on “About the History of England

  1. Sent a small donation yesterday and have just realised our Paypal account is in my wife’s name. Wanted to mention it because I offered to buy you a pint and didn’t want you to think you were being chatted up by some creepy woman.

  2. Wonderful Shedcaster ~ Really, a profile page needs to have a picture of you. Or, at least, a picture of your shed. And your dog. Your shed and your dog and you, ideally.

        1. Oh that’s you.
          Very good.
          Very informative, even all the way over here in Australia. Also – just- a graduate of history.

  3. I’ve been re-listening to the series recently and today I got to the revised version of episode 97 (now with the new music), but unfortunately, unlike all the others that I’ve reheard so far; while the new music plays in both speakers, the vocal track only plays in the left speaker.

  4. Hi David, just wanted to say how much I’m enjoying your podcast. I started a few weeks ago and I’m up to !066 and thereabouts. I sent a donation which is in no way adequate to the hours of entertainment you’re providing me but there you go! I really hope you manage to keep it up and make it all the way to the 20th century (19th century?). Phil

  5. Hi Phil! And donation received, most generous, I now love you forever, just like giving a dog a sandwich! Really glad you are enjoying it. Have you tried the Anglo Saxon England version? Only goes up to Offa as yet, but more professional…

  6. Good luck on the new site. I have two problems with it. It does not render well in Firefox on Linux. At least for me, and if I knew how to send you a screenshot showing the problem, I would.
    Second, it is harder to download episodes now. I don’t see any direct link to download episodes. There is some javascript nonsense to play an episode, but I want to download to a media player. I mean no insult to your coder, as I think all javascript on the web is nonsense. The idea of visiting a web site and running unvetted code is something any person who cares about security would reject.

    1. Hi Ralph. if you can email a screenshot to david54031@gmail.com that’d be grand. The downloading direct link, if I understand correctly, this been raised by someone else and we will fix – I think you want to download direct from the web page? The last comment…my degree is history with a focus on the medieval…but I will pass it on!

  7. David! I love the new site! All your labor neatly organized into easily accessible chunks and bits for us all to totally geek out on. Congratulations, sir. Well done indeed.

  8. Hi David, I’ve just started listening to these podcasts and they’re great. I studied Medieval History so it’s a topic close to my heart but I’m still learning new things every day by listening to you. They’re a great way to pass the time at work! I know a lot more now, especially about the earlier bits e.g. the Anglo-Saxons (I specialised in later Medieval history).

    As I’m a bit behind, what’s the most up to date email we can use if we have any questions?

    1. Hi Christine…and thanks! I also specialised in later Medieval History – the Conqueror in particular; but remember one very interesting essay I had to do on the migration, which seemed to focus mainly on interpreting shards of pottery! Email me whenever you like on david54031@gmail.com

  9. I have resubscribed after being auto-unsubscribed after a month. The auto-email that goes out when you’re unsubscribed is heartrending. Have no fear David, I love the podcast and Shedcasts (LOL at the Shed-ule) and have no intention of unsubscribing!

  10. Oh Happy Day! I received some money with instructions to spend it just on myself this Christmas. So I bought a year subscription to my favorite podcast! yay!

  11. Discovered your podcasts a week or so before Christmas and have been listening to them every spare moment since – as well as recommending them to others. Great work.

    1. Thank you for the support, thoroughly lovely of you! Long may it last…you’ve a few days worth of content to catch up on…

  12. Hello David,
    I discovered your podcast a couple weeks ago in frozen Minnesota. I listen to you everyday. Great information that has provided me a different view of English history.

  13. Hi David,
    I discovered your podcast a few weeks ago, and have been listening every day. It’s a great show, and I love the humor and sense of perspective you bring. That and the accents. As I can’t get enough, and am quickly closing in on getting up to date, I was wondering where to find the rebroadcasts of the early Anglo-Saxon period. Thanks for a great show!

  14. David-

    Been listening for two years whilst walking the dog, building tables in my workshop, driving out and about. Your shedcast brings me a lot of joy–you talk about history the way I think about it; in detail but with an eye to the odd bit here and there but mostly in an integrated whole, and with humor. Billy the conq is my fave.

    But now to matters more serious, to wit: I want to become a paid subscriber but your website steadfastly refuses to accept my entreaties. Or my credit card. It is time to for payback, sir. Please help me succeed.

    Dan from Vashon Island WA

    1. Hi Dan

      Thank you for your kind comments! Billy the Conq does seem to be popular…my prof way back when was less keen…

      I am equally distressed that the website is refusing to accept payment – more than I can say! So distressed I went and signed up for monthly membership myself – it’d better be good!

      But I have to say I managed to sign up by a debit card fine; could you give me a bit more information about where you had the problem? With credit card, or did you go the PayPal route?

      I will try to help! I sent you an email also…may have gone into spam…can I check you are trying to log in at https://thehistoryofengland.co.uk/become-a-member/?

  15. Hi David,
    Through a search for podcasts on Tudor history, I have discovered your podcast and am thoroughly enchanted…to the point where I’ve started from the very beginning. Thank you for the education and entertainment!

    Jessica / New Glarus Wisconsin

    1. Superb. Pretty sure I’ve never been called enchanting, so that’s very nice of you! Hope you enjoy it – when you get up to date, let me know who your favourite character was, and we can through it open to debate…

  16. Don’t know if this is the right place–do you have discussion boards? Anyway, from the states comes this quote from Dave Brat (gotta love the name), a hard-right wing u.s congressman: “We all ran on exactly the themes the president ran on,” Brat added. “We’re with him, but somebody’s gotten into his ear.” That sounds an awful lot like magnates and peasants bringing concerns to the king that he is being led astray by the bad advice of his evil councilors. Nice to see the paradigm’s the same, no matter the century or the country.

    1. Discussion board would be a great idea wouldn’t it? Jesse and I have discussed it. And yes, your’re right. Which kinda makes Trump a king then…

  17. I started on The History of England only last year, and having blasted through many episodes (much to the detriment of my other podcast listening) I have finally caught up (after a side trip to the Anglo-Saxon ‘casts) … and learned about Shedcasts! I am now a proud and grateful subscriber. Thank you, David, for the many hours of enjoyment (and quiet/not so quiet laughter — I grew up in Surrey and dearly miss British humour here in Silicon Valley, saved only by quoting Python dialogue with like-minded geeks. BTW, are you planning on building another shed? ). Keep the podcasts coming!



    1. Thanks Karl, and welcome. And what a good point! How could I have missed two Sheds Jackson? Actually I do in fact have two sheds – just that one of them is uninhabitable. So I qualify!

  18. Hi David,

    I’m like Karl – started listening late last year (the day after the US election – I could no longer stomach current affairs), doubled back through the Anglo-Saxons, and now have (nearly) caught up. I wasn’t looking forward to making do with a mere episode a week, so the members’ podcasts will be most welcome. One suggestion: sometimes I find myself wondering how old your protagonists are at key moments of their lives, especially their deaths – I don’t recall you mentioning Richard the Lionheart’s age at death, for example, or Richard III’s. Other than that, I’m loving it. Picture me with the History of England podcast in my ears as I walk the beaches of Port Fairy, on the rugged south-west coast of Victoria, Australia, petrels wheeling overhead and gales blowing in across the Southern Ocean all the way from Antarctica.


    1. Hi Steven – and yes I agree, the age these folks did what they did is fascinating – because often they are barely knee height to a grasshopper. Actually, I thought I was doing this, so I shall re-double my efforts! And I shall try to image the Petrels. Are the screeching like Gulls, are they dive bombing you are you approach the cliffs, are they raiding the nests and young of the unwary? I can feel the wind in my whiskers as I write…

  19. I really look forward to your podcast – such a nice combo of information and humor. I have always downloaded them through iTunes, but if I become a member, would the extra podcasts be downloadable that way? If I don’t get some new podcasts I will never get my gardening done, plus we are going to a “destination wedding” in Scotland in June so I want to bone up on Scottish history.

    1. Hi Jenny…Yes! You can indeed download through iTunes. But to my delight I see that you have already signed up which is lovely, and so you should have instructions. Let me know if you have any problems. PLUS i am very excited for you that you are going to Scotland and are going to hit eh museums to see Pictish Stones. I was at university for 4 years, studying history – and didn’t even know Picts had stones. For shame. Now, I would love to be up there with my new found knowledge…

  20. Hi David. Not sure if this is the right place for this but I have forgotten my password (I am a member). Can’t see a way of getting it reset. Please help!
    Love the podcasts and don’t want to miss any, especially as you are now on my homeland.
    Thanks, Alison.

  21. Hola David, from sunny California! Your brother Jonathan is a regular hiking companion and recommended your podcast/site, otherwise I would have never run into it. So far I have listened to the Henry VIII episodes and find them absolutely compelling. It takes a special touch to make history come alive. As I listened, I found myself laughing out loud at times with your editorial “warbling”! You really suck the listener in with not only your carefully presented research but humor and voice inflection. Jonathan said you “don’t bite,” so am interested in your opinion of history re-creators/presenters like Lucy Worsley. Is she too much of a lightweight? Should I be embarrassed at having such guilty pleasure at watching such things as “Tales from the Royal Wardrobe?” I enjoyed the points you made about the selling of the royal image (i.e. the Holbein portrait of Henry) and she made some similar observations in her episode. I can tell it’s an incredible effort putting together these podcasts, so rather than staying a lurker I just become a member. Thanks so much from a new California fan.

    1. Hi Leslie, and how delightful that my sibling is fulfilling his brotherly duty in spreading the word! I am impressed! I am also very glad you asked my opinion on Lucy Worsley…though it’s a bit difficult. *sigh* So, the less reputable part of my nature, the one I try to keep hidden from view, is essentially that of a green eyed monster. All that recognition, all those resources and support to make all those programmes! It’s unfair. But sadly, she’s also terribly good. After all, she’s earned her historical chops by being the Chief Curator at Historical Royal Palaces; and she does a very good job of making history engaging. No, I hate it, but she’s good!
      Thanks for the kind words, and hope you continue to enjoy it – and thanks for becoming a member.

  22. David, David, David. I have just finished a six month odyssey of listening to all of the podcasts from Number 1 to 212. Finished yesterday and gave myself permission to subscribe. Imagine my relief that there is more! Looking forward to future pods from faraway California. Ed

    1. Brilliant, thanks Ed, Welcome and I hope the Shedcasts do the job. I ought to offer some kind of prize to folks to have completed all the podcasts…humm..

    1. Sorry Gene, I have been away and, horror of horrors, without internet. Glad it’s all fixed.

  23. David, A quick query. I note that you have a Patreon account as well. I signed up/donated here, but as I also have a Patreon account I was curious if there is any overlap in terms of access as I use their app. Not critical, just wanted to ask. The podcast is a joy and I am almost all caught up. One of my all-time favorites, to be sure.
    Cheers, Jonathan

    1. Hi Jonathan – I try to remember to post the members only podcasts on Patreon, so that members can use the app there; and if I remember I put a link for the free history of England too, but don’t generally download the file…cheers, David

  24. Hello David! I found your podcast in an attempt to fill the month long gap between my beloved History of English podcast updates, and I’m happy to say I love your podcast just as much! I am still in the 40s episode-wise so I won’t be caught up for some time, but that suits me fine. For now, there is always new content! Thank you for the time and effort you put into educating us! History with a laugh. Fantastic.

  25. Hi David, I started listening to your podcast about a month ago from the beginning and wanted to drop a line saying how much I am enjoying it. I studied the Charles I / Civil War / Restoration era in college but my knowledge of England in the Dark Ages up to the Tudors was limited mostly to a bunch of names, regnal numbers, and battles — and now it is great to finally get to understand just what this Alfred guy so great, etc. Great work!

    1. Hi James, and thanks very much! i’m delighted you covered the civil war though; one of my very favourite periods, and I thirst to get there.

  26. Hi David,
    After been a listener to The History of the English Language for awhile now I have recently started listening to yours and am thoroughly enjoying it so far. Being an American your podcast helps make my commute a little more fun and informative. Thank you!

      1. Hi David and all. I too have taken advantage of your stories in my daily commute. Really entertaining and certainly informative. I can’t get enough of the Anglo-Saxon stories; and I have to admit The Last Kingdom got me wanting to look into what the real story was – and I was pleasantly surprised it follows very well. If I were to have found your podcasts when you were (re) doing the Anglo-Saxon stories, I would have asked to hear more of the women and wives. I am really intrigued with the story of the women, starting with the story of Alfred’s daughter Althelflaed. The Last Kingdom story gave hints of Ealhswith that I wanted to find out if she had the influence suggested. And other women that seem to have a great more impact than most histories (including yours) seem to slide past, like Elenor of Aquitaine and so on. There’s not much history I can find on the early women of Britain except a BBC documentary on She Wolves. Perhaps if you add any further on them on the Anglo-Saxon podcast?

        But I’m loving what you’re doing. Thanks!

        Jon Hillman

        1. Hi Jon – I think there are probably two things going on here sadly…one is the essential maleness of history. Really very little survives of a personal nature about any historical figure from the middle ages (biographies of secular leaders like Alfred and William Marshal are really quite exceptional). Then make that times 10 for women. The other reason is that I have been guilty of the same thing – I’ve tried to put it right more recently, but honestly it’s difficult to find the time to go backwards. I harbour the ambition to do so in the shedcasts, if I can carve out a few moment from Scotland and the Tudor stuff! I did also do something on Aethelflaed; there’s an article here https://thehistoryofengland.co.uk/resource/aethelflaed-lady-of-the-mercians/, and podcast 10 https://thehistoryofengland.co.uk/2011/01/21/10-english-reconquest/.

          Eahlswith is a case in point. Asser, Alfred’s contemporary biographer, never actually mentions her by name, she appears as witness to no charters. Wew know she founded a monastery, and that Alfred left her land in 3 very significant locations (Edington and Lambourn the sites of the battles of Edington and Ashdown; and Wantage, his birthplace. That’s pretty much it. So this is where a good novelist comes in – Cornwell gives her a character, and because he’s good, he accentuates the few things we do know – that she lives in troubled times, that she’s religious, that she has children.

          There is a book called ‘Queen Consorts’ by Lisa Hilton which is good, there are plenty of good general books now about women in history…hope that helps a little bit!

  27. Aha, a picture of the most famous shed since the manger in Bethlehem! Good on you, David. I confess I’ve been absent as a listener for the better part of a year. I do get Facebook notifications in my email though I don’t do Facebook anymore, really- it just never caught on with me. I still have not explored the Anglo-Saxon podcast yet or any of this shiny new stuff you have, but am proud to say, “I knew him when”.

  28. Hi Rob….and there’s a claim for me!Thanks for checking in, as the longest serving Patron of the Shed.

  29. Just wanted to say how delightful this podcast has been. I’m only on Ep 52, and am thrilled that I have so many more to listen to. Keep up the good work! Greetings from western Canada

  30. Hi David. I just wanted to say that I only recently discovered the podcast. I’m an expat who has been out of the UK for nigh on two decades and miss the history and archaeology (and smokey-bacon crisps). The length of the episodes is perfect for my 45 commute and I’m working my way up from ep1.
    One funny thing, twice this week “The Kingdom of Elmet, near York” has come out of my generic MP3 player just as I’ve been driving past the sign of a company called “Elmet Industries”. Well I thought it was funny. Keep up the good work. For it is good.

  31. These podcasts are amazing, they’re so engaging and positive and easy to listen to, and really funny, I have been recommending them to everyone- great podcasts thank you!!

  32. I found my way to your podcasts after hearing you as a guest on Kevin Stroud’s “History of English.” I must admit that it took time to attune my Texan ear, not so much to your accent, but to your English turns of phrase and the rapid way you rolled through them. No problem now, as I strangely find myself saying “everyone went potty” or “he didn’t give a tinker’s curse.” I guess I’ve been commuting and listening for about 6 months and have reached the happy convergence where Kevin is a regular guest on your podcast. Sir Winston impressions are my favorite.

  33. What a wonderful find! You have been making my almost 4 hour daily commute (yes, I did say 4 hours daily – the price for wanting to live in something larger than a shoebox in Washington DC) almost bearable. I am only up to Henry V but await the Wars of the Roses with barely concealed enthusiasm. What will David’s take on Richard III be I ask myself. I should know soon!

    Thanks and regards from the furthest Washington, DC bookdocks.

    1. I share your pain. I had got to 3 hours 10 minutes daily. Thanks so much for the comment and hope you keep enjoying it. I can recommend loads of other great podcasts too!

  34. David,
    I am a listener from the States and absolutely love your telling of the history of England. I have listened up through the early reign of Edward the first but then it seems a lot of the podcasts from that point until well into the war of the roses do not work as I keep getting an error saying that page cannot be found. Any idea on this? Thanks again for the great listen, I enjoy it on my hourly commute to and from work!

    Thank you,

    1. Hi Josh – I can’t recreate the problem; I’ve emailed you to ask for some specific pages and I’ll investigate further. There are some benefits to commuting!

  35. So, I am an American. Even worse, the reviled ‘Southerner’; but we in the south tend to relish our history. I have found that the podcast never fails.
    (1) You are indeed engaging. The fact that it is told by a human rather than a cold wet fish (with their toes showing) means I can identify.
    (2) You have allowed history to not be just boredom between events. It’s as if after Willie the Konk said “well I just won the Battle of Hastings so nothing to do till Agincourt.” The parts in between are there now.
    (3) I feel like many of the things an thoughts that I have found to be fundamental, even absolute have a backstory. ‘Where here it ’tis!’

    I am now on episode 160; even having listened to several episodes two or three times. I even felt a tinge of despair when you took time off; even though that would account for approximately 2:12 seconds in between podcasts. I have had time to want to say ‘hey, keep the word at the beginning’ knowing that unless I knew Mr. Peabody (and I am a wee bit older than Sherman) that my opinion was pointless.

    I ask for zero changes. You are a historian in the truest sense; but you are also an artist. So… if you could speak to Monet, would you say, ‘yeah… lillies. You know what about clowns?’ Well, not me. I say that the shed has proved its worth. I love the bird chirping in the background.

    Special thanks to the History of English podcast that mentioned you. I turned you on and a month and a half later I am listening to two or three episodes a day.

    One last thing. THANK YOU for using AD and BC. Our dating system is not an arbitrary system started on a Tuesday of January year zero. This is a brave thing; but the right thing.

    1. By ‘eck, thanks, that is all very lovely of you indeed. You can be my new best friend! Kevin and I need to get together again actually, I love his podcast and it was great to have him weekly wording for a while. Anyway, thanks a million – and enjoy the wars of the Roses.

      1. As many times is the case, I a thought occurred to me that I had omitted.
        I challenge the common declaration that you are not a historian. In my opinion, history is owned by the human itself. Families tell their stories to their kids to pass on, that is our very legacy. The ‘professional’ historian tends to have such a small audience that you wonder if it is nothing more than a small club. You have spread your legacy out to a much broader audience. This sharing of the story of England means more can know it and understand its relevance.
        You are able to remove the tediousness of many elements; thereby allowing greater understanding. So, while some may know the preferred breakfast of William Rufus, you have had a bigger impact telling of the love of hunting by the Normans and how that was a major plot device that even gives us understanding of the stories of Robin Hood. Meanwhile the ‘Professionals’ have deep books that delve into facets of history; the seven people who read that may have been enriched.
        They say that the Velvet Underground only sold a thousand albums; but those thousand albums formed a thousand bands. That is your legacy as well. I hear your style amongst others; and that is not a bad thing. A human telling human history. Or as you say… ‘context is everything in history’.
        Carry on my good man. Carry on.

        1. Well it’s very lovely of you Robert. I certainly get a kick out of telling the story that I’ve always loved, and trying to keep it as accurate as I can. Thank you for the encouragement, it makes a big difference to me – and for a comparison to the Velvet Underground! Too much though!

  36. Hi David,
    As a Scottish listener from Canberra in Australia I’ve learn’t a very great deal from you in a pleasurable and thought provoking manner. Listening to you (cycling mostly) from the very start I’ve been impressed at the way you lay out your sources, discuss their bias and then proceed to contextualise chronologically. You are very even handed, non gender biased and have a happy turn of phrase. All of which is admirable. Thank you for all your work to make our history come back to life. Bloody brilliant!
    Many thanks
    David Turnbull

  37. Hi David! I am so glad I found your podcast! I recently listened to your episode talking about Sheep and yarn making (#178?). I am a knitter and independent yarn dyer and really enjoyed the information. I may be the only one wanting to know more. If you are able to share your sources for that episode or can get in touch with me that would be great. Mainly because I am looking into becoming a part time spinster (literally) as well. Thanks so much and if you ever want something knitted, I’d be honored to make you something!

    1. It’s so long ago! I have the memory of a mouse Felecia. All I can remember from here is this famous article by Eileen Powers. Famous? An article on the Wool Trade? Can this be?! Al I can say is that I have shared this one document with more than any other! Not sure if this does it for you – its the economics really, not the manufacturing processes. Let me know if you are ever into the idea of knitting historical figures for the History of England listeners!

      1. Thank you for the article David! I really appreciate it! And yes I’d love to make some figures. If you’d like to contact me via email to discuss who you’d like to see knitted up and other details feel free. Thank you again!

  38. Hi David, just to say that my commute to work has improved immensely since finding your podcasts. I too am up to 1066 and have listened via your new podcasts featuring posh microphone! One query, I probably retain 5% of the information in your podcasts! Do you know of a good resource that summarises each King’s highlights (not hair)?, ie a paragraph on Edwards the Elder etc just to jog my memory? If not, I will create my own! Thanks again, Ian

      1. Thanks David, I had no idea about Luise’s work this looks ideal. This podcast has given me a new perspective on my home Chester too. Offa’s dyke, Watling Street, battle of Chester. And now I know why we have a restaurant on the Dee called Edgar House! Thanks again, membership is on my Christmas list!

  39. Hello David,
    As we all know by now everyone in medieval times had the same name (almost). (I tell my class that 80% of women at this time were named Elizabeth, Joan, Margaret, Anne, Alice, Agnes, Mary, Jane, Katherine)

    As we get into Tudor times, I see more and more last names, but do you know when women started to take the last name of their husbands?

    Love your podcast. You are a treasure.

    1. Cindy, honestly and sadly, I do not know the answer. It’s an interesting question but all I turned up was that in Sweden apparently it didn’t happen until the 1920s, which is interesting, since it means it’s certainly not a standard. I’ll keep looking. And thanks!

  40. I absolutely love the shedcast. I started a couple months ago at the beginning and am currently on Henry II and (and Eleanor of Aquitaine, my favorite queen!). I listen every weekday on my commute in the car. You are hilarious. Truly, I don’t literally LOL very often, but you have me laughing in my car all alone almost daily. Yet, at the same time, the cast is very informative and straightforward. I’m becoming a member soon (working it into the budget). Keep up the excellent work!

  41. Hi David…just discovered your work through my son who has downloaded you onto my Ipod. Love your work [and humour as I have a copy of ‘1066 and All That’] but I nearly fell off my chair while listening to Episode 77 ‘Reconstruction’ when you seemed to indicate that Eleanor of Castile was the daughter of Eleanor of Provence! I am assuming your righted this wrong at a latter point 😉

    1. I’m quite rubbish at family relationships actually – the thing I am pulled up for mostly. This one would have raised a few eyebrows I would have thought; it’s a long time since I did the episode, but that would have been a little incestuous wouldn’t it? I had a look at my script, and couldn’t see me having written that – maybe I said something off the cuff?

  42. Hadn’t noticed this before but I see that you say that it wouldn’t hurt to like ‘Monty P’. It took several minutes for me to figure out that you were not referencing Monty Panesar. In fact there have been disappointingly few references to cricket so far, other than William Marshal, ‘Malcolm’ to his friends…

    1. Hmm, it’s a good point. But it is a cultural problem; a reasonable proportion of loyal History of England listeners know nothing of Cricket. Actually I think I have mentioned cricket a few time – I’m sure I remember referring to the one that goes straight on haven’t I?

  43. Hi David,
    I have been falling in love with your podcast increasingly for some 6-8 months. I’m almost caught up with you now and, honestly, have loved every minute of it. It got into podcasting to help me through my daily commute where I live in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. You have completed a trifecta together with Mike Duncan’s “Revolutions” and Robin Pierson’s “History of Byzantium”.
    Anyway, thank you for your very excellent work. Over the last couple weeks, I decided to check out the website for the first time and become a supporting member. Which I have now done. As a brand new baby shedcast supporting member, I am really blown away by the quality of your site and the resources that you have marshaled.
    I took my degree in classical history and enjoyed every minute of. To make a living, I’ve had to sink to the pedestrian depths of software development (which I also love). Your podcast has been a great source of history nerdery and sustenance for me in the dank subways of Washington.

    1. Can I admit something? I saw you arrive as a member, and there was, as there is with every single new Shedcast member, there was a thrill of excitement, ad small and subtle fits pump…obviously, these are not the cool and controlled characteristics of a leading entrepreneur, but hey…

      Like you, I arrived at podcasts to deal with the daily commute, and Mike Duncan turned a potentially negative experience into something of a joy; sometimes I was genuinely irritated when the train arrived. So I have much to thank him for. I am slightly envious of software engineering. Sadly I have the logic capabilities of a bucket but you know, one day…

      And finally one day you will have to explain the genesis of your email address. But mainly, thank you for your kind words, and for joining.

  44. Hey David-

    I live this podcast and am happy to be a member. My question is how your rate the popular tv shows available now, such as “The Last Kingdom,” “Vikings,” “the White Queen,” The White Princess,” and “The Tudors” among the many others.

    I’m a huge fan of the Anglo Saxon podcast you did and thank you for that.

    Thanks for all you do. I am a mid 30 American and can’t get enough of your wit and the stories that couldn’t be made up….I often wonder if all this is true!

    Keep it up!

    1. Hi Mike

      I annoy myself with my lumpen inability to watch most of these programmees; I strongly suspect that I would love them, and yet never get round to watching them. I’m a bit the same with TV historians. So I can’t help sadly with the Vikings, White Queen and Princess sorry. The last Kingdom I think is pretty good; I am based because I love the books, and I think the lead character should be a bigger, more heavyset man, but the arrogance and obligation of the warrior and the relationship with a genius like Alfred is well done I think.

      The Tudors…well look, I managed half an episode, and a chapter about it generally by Susan Bordo. It looks like a fun, colour filled spectacle, but I literally felt a physical pain when I watched Jonny what’s his face, and heard that he refused to get old fat and ugly with Henry; and saw Margaret of Austria turned into a bit of eye candy. The puritan in me, usually VERY deeply hidden, rose to the fore! (Actually I think the physical pain was figurative).

      That’s all I can contribute sadly. I’d like to watch the White Queen, anything that promotes medieval history is good with me. Thanks you for listening to the podcast, it is a continuing wonder and thrill to me that people do so!

  45. Absolutely love the podcast. For many reasons ( like teenage children and health issues) life is extremely stressful at the moment. So at the end of the day, I reward myself with a few episodes and a cup of tea. Funny, fascinating and a balm to a frazzled lady. Thank you David

  46. How lovely, thank you Sarah, and I shall enjoy, spiritually at least, enjoying a cup of tea with you at the end of the day.

  47. Hi David. I am absolutely loving both your podcasts. Thank you so much for taking the time to do this for all of us. I hope to become a patron cause I want you to keep going.
    PS I bet you LOVE M.R. James.

  48. I was listen along to Food in the AS period. My wife is a member and I eavesdrop. I thought came to mind about the rise and fall of venison consumption in the post Roman period. Deer are not a deep forest animal but live on the verge between forest and feild. The Kalapooia of Oregon wood burn off forests to increase deer habitat. I imagine that reforestation of the post Roman would have dramatically increased deer habitat and the deer population. With the decrease in Roman cultivated crops this would lead to a boom in deer consumption. As reforestation continued the deer population in the mature forests would decrease which would lead the aristocracy to form deer parks formed by to conserve deer.

  49. Purchasing an annual subscription and going behind the paywall was perhaps the best decision I’ve made since I decided to stop shaving. Love the Shedcasts. Looking forward to The History of Wales…perhaps as a musical?
    Thank you for providing us hundreds of hours of intelligent entertainment. THIS is what I hope the Internet is evolving towards.

    1. I do like posts like these! The History of Wales – A Musical. I like it. By the way you do know that my one attempt to play a musical instrument was Mull of Kintyre on the guitar and after two months the family forced me to stop trying?

      Anyway, thank you, it’s lovely to have your support.

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