Past Matters bonus 2021 special episode – interview with dr valerie schutte

In this bonus special episode, I talk to Tudor queenship expert Dr Valerie Schutte about that most underrated of Henry VIII’s wives – Anne of Cleves and a book of hours she gifted Henry VIII in 1533 (now in the Folger Shakespeare Library). Listen in to hear more about how Anne actually had a quite powerful status in England post-divorce, her relationship with Henry and his children, and about monk who really wanted Henry to take her back. 

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Past Matters 2021 special episode – interview with dr ian mortimer

In one of three special episodes, host Ploy Radford talks to Dr Ian Mortimer, historian and author of the hugely popular ‘Time Traveller’s Guide…’ series about the rediscovery of the mirror in medieval Europe. This most basic of objects led to a revolution in the sense of self and can even be linked to a decrease in crime for a period…

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Past Matters 2021 special episode – interview with Dr Ellie Woodacre

In one of three special episodes, I talk to royal studies specialist Dr Ellie Woodacre about a collection of books that belonged to Joan of Navarre, wife of Henry IV and stepmother to Henry V, of Battle of Agincourt fame. The books provide a fantastic starting part for a wider discussion about this little known English queen who left her children from her first marriage to move to England, had French royal blood, and was imprisoned by her stepson for witchcraft. 

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Past Matters 2021 special episode – interview with Kelcey wilson-lee

In one of three special episodes of my podcast Past Matters, I talk to Kelcey Wilson-Lee, historian and author of ‘Daughters of Chivalry’, a biography of the five daughters of Edward I (aka the king in ‘Braveheart’). Kelcey picks the Alphonso Psalter as her underrated historic object and reveals what it tells us about life and death in medieval England as well as its owner, Edward I’s youngest daughter, Elizabeth. 

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An ode to London

What a decade it has been together. When the priest says ‘for richer and for poorer, in sickness and in health’ – well damn we nailed that. From that time my friend Rachel and I returned home late to our flat above a fried chicken shop to find the cockroach poison we’d laid had 80% done its job and there were cockroaches writhing in their backs in their death throes across our kitchen floor…

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The prisons – Colchester Castle

Season 2 of Past Matters ends on a gruesome note with Ben Paites, Collections and Learning Curator at Colchester & Ipswich Museums, discussing the history of the prisons at Colchester Castle. Not for the squeamish this episode covers prison conditions, witch burnings and the over zealous pursuit of justice.

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Two swords – Ipswich Museum

For this episode, I revisit a museum featured in season 1 – Ipswich Museum. This time, Tim Rousham from the visitor services team at the museum discusses two pattern-welded swords from the 9th century AD. Tune in to this episode to learn more about designing beautiful and effective swords and how their shape changed over time and why.

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‘Schooner approaching the harbour’ – Compton Verney

Compton Verney in Warwickshire has one of the finest collections of folk art in the UK. In this episode Director Julie Finch tells me why ‘Schooner approaching the harbour’ by Alfred Wallis, which is painted on a tea tray, is a piece of folk art that particularly resonates with her during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic lockdown.

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