283 Little Commonwealth

    The patriarchy, love and marriage, gender roles and huswifery, the daily grind and a bit about food and clothing. It’s a smorgasbord.   Transcript We have a few times talkedRead More

    282 Parish and Protest

    The parish was the essential and ever present canvas on which most lives were painted in early modern England. We discuss how it changes, it’s harmonies and the context of protestRead More

    281 Winners and Losers

      The population growth and inflation of the 16th century had different impacts depending on your situation. And the difference was land. Plus we talk about the regions and landscapes ofRead More

    280 The Land was Never So Full

    The start of a suite of 7 episodes about social and economic issues charts the changes in population and how the society it affected described itself. Transcript Now then, as promised,Read More

    HiT Bajirao Mastani

    An Indian epic of epic proportions – colour, drama,. music, dancing, big stars, big budget – on the story of Maratha Peshwa Bajirao I (1700–1740 AD) and his second wife,Read More

    278 The King’s Honour

    The return of the King meant demands for the English to enter a war they did not want, and in which none of their interests were really at stake. Transcript The DukeRead More

    HiT The Fall of the Roman Empire

    Samuel Bronston’s whopping epic, directed by Anthony Mann, failed to win audiences and was a financial disaster for Bronston. But it presents a well worked view of why Rome fell,Read More

    277 A Firm Hand

      The story of the Marian persecution. And of a Queen’s need to have her Prince at her side to help with the alarms and excursions of protestant rebels. TranscriptRead More

    HiT Immortal Beloved

    The story of Beethoven’s life and music, through the lens of the mystery he left behind – who was the ‘Immortal Beloved?’ The Music is great, by the way.  

    276 The Reformation of England

    The plan was that 1555 saw the transformation of England – the birth of an heir for Mary and Philip, the launch of a new Reformation Anglicae to re-invigorate Roman CatholicismRead More

    HiT Paths of Glory

    Paths of Glory is an anti war movie released in 1957, directed by Stanley Kubrick and starring Kirk Douglas. Who does take his shirt off. It’s based a novel butRead More

    275 The Time of Trial

    Once Pole had returned and parliament had re-enacted the heresy legislation after the brief Edwardian holiday, the Marian church could at last exercise the full force of the law against protestants. JohnRead More

    HiT A Knights Tale

    A romp, ladies and gentlemen. Chaucer walking naked after betting his shirt, peasants jousting as knights, rock music at medieval jousts. A bit of fun or hideous tosh?

    273 Pope II – The Return

    In 1554, 300 schoolboys of London played out the divisions of their parents on the fields of Finsbury. It was an instructive backdrop to the return of Papal authority inRead More

    HiT Made in Dagenham

    The 2010 movie depicts the fight for women’s rights at the Ford Dagenham site in 1968. Loads of fun and laughter all mixed up with serious issues produces a really goodRead More

    272 The Spanish Marriage

    In July 1554 Philip finally landed in England, and all went very well; Mary and Philip were married, and were kind to each other, there was a great pageant ofRead More

    HiT Selma

    The historical drama directed by Ava DuVernay is about personal bravery, about moving, dramatic – and controversial events. Did it tell the story fairly? And did it convey the drama and engageRead More

    271 Most Faithful Subject

    Once Wyatt had been dealt with, Gardiner, Renard,Mary – all could see a greater target in their sights. The surely the Lady Elizabeth had been involved, and here was the chanceRead More

    HiT Henry V

    In celebration of St George’s Day, we watched Kenneth Branagh’s Henry V. Was it a triumph of the order of Agincourt’s, or worse than the Duke of Bedford’s haircut?  

    270 Wyatt’s Doom

    Mary faced the biggest challenge to her reign in 1554 as the London Trained Bands, the White Coats, joined Wyatt’s army of Kent. She responded like a Tudor appealing toRead More

    269 Scorn and Ill Will

    In 1553, Mary’s real religious policy become clear. More worrying for many was the announcement of her choice of husband Philip of Spain. Some blokes met in a pub to figureRead More

    HiT Das Boot

    Not quite sure how many times I have watched Das Boot, but it is legion. A story of the war in one campaign, of the comradeship on board, and the terrorsRead More

    HiT The Lost City of Z

      It’s an adventure, exploration yarn! Good solid honest stuff – British explorer Percy Fawcett journeys into the Amazon, where he discovers evidence of a previously unknown, advanced civilization. ButRead More

    268 This Hand Offendeth

    After Mary rode into London in August 1553, Thomas Cranmer must have known he would be in the firing line – and yet at first nothing happened. And it wasRead More

    267 Girt with a Sword

      Mary was well aware that it was critical for her to establish her right and authority as equal to that of any king; and she consciously pursued that aim. WhichRead More

    266 Mary – Bloody or Otherwise

      After her brave and audacious rebellion, Mary became Queen in 1553. Historians have not been kind to Mary for many centuries. What have they been saying? What are they sayingRead More

    HiT Papillon

    When I was at school we constantly discussed the book; we were fascinated by it, including where they kept their money (really? Ewe).  So what about the film? How did theRead More

    Gold, Praise and Glory

    Same Hume introduces English trade and exploration in the Tudor era  – the trade companies that spring up after 1550 and the discovery ventures that follow. With a bit ofRead More

    Joseph Lancaster

    Joseph Lancaster is little known today, but in the first half of the 19th century his name was everywhere. He was described as ‘the poor child’s friend’ as he made educationRead More

    HiT Mary Queen of Scots

      We discuss the intricate and fascinating  story of Mary Queen of Scots and the new 2018 movie – along with the 1971 movie too. A chance to see how the ourRead More

    Elizabeth Chadwick and Eleanor of Aquitaine

      Author Elizabeth Chadwick gives her insights into the life and times of Eleanor of Aquitaine. To find out more about Elizabeth’s three Eleanor novels, visit her website https://elizabethchadwick.com/eleanor-of-aquitaine/  

    HiT The Witch

    The first of an occasional series where we look at the representation of folk tales and beliefs of the past, and how accurately film has presented them. We are joined inRead More

    HiT The Lion in Winter

    Such a classic – Katherine Hepburn and Peter O’Toole giving it large, plus the world’s most appalling article of clothing (see if you can spot which). Was it accurate? WasRead More

    HiT The Battle of Algiers

    Made in 1966 by Italian neo-realist director Gillo Pontecorvo, the film is based the actions of rebels and French government during the Algerian War of 1954–62. So realistic was it,Read More

    265 Live Still to Die

      After Mary’s victory, Jane Grey was imprisoned comfortably in the Tower, and spent her time studying – and had a reasonable expectation of long, if a little dull,  life. Until in 1554Read More

    264g Rebel Queen 8 The Duke

    The game played out, the Mary entered London and the Duke was to die. But Northumberland had one more surprise to spring To find out more about our programme, andRead More

    264f Rebel Queen 7 Regina

    Whether Jane and Guildford understood the commotion in the city outside the Tower we do not know, but it was the duty of her father, the Duke of Suffolk, to breakRead More

    HiT Lady Jane

    Lady Jane was the first leading role for a very young Helena Bonham Carter, and a film debut for the renowned theatre director Trevor Nunn. Plus its an amazing story. So,Read More

    264e Rebel Queen 6 The Fleet

    Around the 14th July a ship called the Greyhound sailed into Orwell Haven. Its captain was in gaol in Lowestoft, its crew had smashed open the cash box. Meeting withRead More

    264d Rebel Queen 5 Resistance

    Northumberland made good speed towards East Anglia and Mary, and his army swelled with troops and artillery. But in London, the mood was ugly, and Mary was having some success too.Read More

    264c Rebel Queen 4 War

    Mary’s letter of 10th July brought home an uncomfortable truth that Northumberland had expected to avoid – that Jane must fight for her crown. If an army could be found ToRead More

    264b Rebel Queen 3 Rivals

    Mary had a decision to make – submit, fight or flee. She took the decision with her household – and they raised the rafters with their cheers.   To findRead More

    264a Rebel Queen 2 Proclamation

    On the morning of 9th July 1553 the 16 year old Jane was walking in the Grey manor at Chelsea in blissful ignorance. Then the Duke of Northumberland’s daughter, Mary Sidney,Read More