Lucy Jago, author of ‘A Net for Small Fishes’, explains how a painting of Frances Howard, Countess of Somerset, resonated particularly with her as she was writing her novel, which follows Frances’ involvement in the Overbury murder scandal that rocked the Stuart court.Read More
n one of three Christmas 2021 special episodes, I talk to author Annie Garthwaite, about an illustration in the Neville Book of Hours that helped her capture the personality of Cecily of York, the titular character in her debut novel ‘Cecily’, and an influential figure in the Wars of the Roses.Read More
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
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
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
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
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.Read More
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.Read More...
In this episode, I talk to Jo Hatton, Keeper of the Natural History Collection at the Horniman Museum & Gardens in South London. She picked a pair of taxidermied huia birds from the collection as her underrated objects.Read More...
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.Read More...