Sword and helmet – William Morris Gallery

Find out more about the founder of the Arts and Crafts movement in England, William Morris, from the story of a sword and helmet he had made for one of his first artistic projects. On display at the William Morris Gallery, these items reveal lots about Morris’ early life, his influences and are even linked to his love story with his wife.

Read More

‘The Lost King’ – The Wallace Collection

I was very excited to interview again, for this episode, the guest from my very first podcast! I of course mean the lovely, font of knowledge on arms and armour that is  Dr Toby Capwell from the Wallace Collection. This time our object of discussion was a suit of armour from a small but captivating exhibition at the Wallace Collection called ‘The Lost King: Imagining Richard III’.

Read More

‘Without hands’ – Philip Mould & Company

This podcast is about celebrating the underrated, so in this episode, I talk to art historian and miniatures expert Emma Rutherford about an utterly remarkable artist whose work is being exhibited for the first time in 100 years at the Philip Mould & Company Gallery in London.

The artist in question is Sarah Biffin, who lived from 1784 – 1850, and created beautiful works of art, particularly miniatures, that would be considered wonderful even if you weren’t aware that she painted them without hands. Biffin was born with phocomelia, so without arms and legs, and overcame this enormous challenge to become a celebrated artist who painted for the royal family. In this episode, you will find out more about the extraordinary life she lived, her artwork, and how she was perceived during her life.

Read More

‘Tiny Traces’ – The Foundling Museum

In this first episode of season 3, I interview Hannah Dennett, Curator of the ‘Tiny Traces: African & Asian Children at London’s Foundling Hospital’ exhibition at the Foundling Museum, about the stories of these children, uncovered for the first time. Listen to learn more about the lives of foundlings and the complex views on race in 18th century Britain. 

Read More

Past Matters Christmas special – interview with Jennifer Saint

In one of three Christmas 2021 special episodes of my history podcast Past Matters, I talk to author Jennifer Saint about an ancient Minoan object that helped inspire her debut novel Ariadne, which retells the famous Ancient Greek myths of Theseus and the Minotaur and Phaedra and Hippolytus from female perspectives. 

Read More

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. 

Read More

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…

Read More

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. 

Read More