December 15, 2020

Pen Vogler: A Christmas Feast

In this indulgent Christmas Special with the author Pen Vogler, we forego the tradition of our usual format and opt to roam freely across the centuries.

Instead of looking at one year in isolation, we examine one single day. That, of course, is the brightest, bonniest, most edacious date in all the Christian calendar: 25 December.

Pen Vogler is the author of the expertly researched, Scoff, A History of Food and Class in Britain, A multiple book of the year, Scoff has been described by Jay Rayner as 'A brilliant romp of a book that gets to the very heart of who we think we are, one delicious dish at a time.'

For much, much more (and the chance to win some books!), head to our website: tttpodcast.com

Show notes

Scene One: Christmas, 1524

Scene Two: Christmas, 1660s

Scene Three: Christmas, 1843

Memento: Samuel Pepys’s Venison Pasty

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People/Social

Presenter: Peter Moore

Interview: Violet Moller

Guest: Pen Vogler

Production: Maria Nolan

Podcast partner: Colorgraph

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Charles Spencer takes us back exactly nine centuries to one of the most shocking maritime disasters in English history: the sinking of the White Ship.

Down with the White Ship on 25 November went King Henry I's legitimate son, William Ætheling, and many leading nobles. The fallout was both immediate and long-lasting. For decades afterwards England would be lost to civil war.

The material covered in this episode of Travels Through Time comes from Charles Spencer's latest book, The White Ship, Conquest, Anarchy and The Wrecking of Henry I’s Dream.

For much, much more, head to our website: tttpodcast.com

Show notes

Scene One: 1120, Stoneleigh in Warwickshire. Henry I grants Geoffrey de Clinton land to build a castle

Scene Two: 25 November 1120. The White Ship sinks at Barfleur

Scene Three: Late November. The New Forest. King Henry learns of the disaster

Memento: The figurehead of the doomed White Ship

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People/Social

Presenter: Violet Moller

Guest: Charles Spencer

Production: Maria Nolan

Podcast partner: Colorgraph

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We meet the perfect guest for our format: the Sunday Times bestselling author of the Time Travellers Guide series, Ian Mortimer.

Ian guides us back to 1825 for a tour of the concert halls, stately homes and new industrial beginnings of one of the best-loved eras in British history: the Regency Period.

The material covered in this episode of Travels Through Time comes from Ian Mortimer’s latest book in his time traveller series, The Time Traveller’s Guide to Regency Britain.

For much, much more, head to our website: tttpodcast.com

Show Notes

Scene One: 21 December 1825, collapse of Fonthill Abbey, Wiltshire.

Scene Two:  7 September 1825 (Stockton to Darlington Railway)

Scene Three: 21 March 1825, The Argyll Rooms, Regent Street, London (first British performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony)

Memento: Byron's skull cap

People/Social

Presenter: Artemis Irvine

Interview: John Hillman

Guest: Ian Mortimer

Production: Maria Nolan

Podcast partner: Colorgraph

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Podcast Partner: ColorGraph

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Today the historian and literary scholar Dr Joseph Hone takes us back to the dangerous, scheming politics of the reign of Queen Anne.

We talk about the long legacy of the fraught seventeenth-century. We follow the twists and turns of a mystery about a scandalous pamphlet, and we meet the brilliant man who many consider Britain’s first prime minister: Robert Harley.

The material covered in this episode of Travels Through Time comes from Joseph Hone’s new book, The Paper Chase: The Printer, The Spymaster & the Hunt for the Rebel Pamphleteers, published by Chatto & Windus.

For much, much more, head to our website: tttpodcast.com

Show notes

Scene One: 7 February 1711, the Bell Tavern, Westminster. A club of disgruntled Tory backbenchers are plotting against Robert Harley.

Scene Two: 8 March 1711, the Cockpit in Whitehall. A suspected French spy is being interrogated by members of the cabinet when he attempts to assassinate Harley.

Scene Three: 26 April 1711, the floor of the House of Commons. Harley makes a grand reappearance in Parliament.

People/Social

Presenter: Artemis Irvine

Guest: Dr Joseph Hone

Producers: Maria Nolan

Titles: Jon O

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Podcast Partner: ColorGraph

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In this episode the distinguished historian Professor Judith Herrin takes us back to the year 500 AD. We visit Constantinople in the east, the old crumbliing capital at Rome and then we head to the enchanting city of Ravenna.

As Rome's importance waned, Ravenna's was set on a steep upward trajectory. By the year 500 the Ostrogoth King Theoderic had made it his capital and had employed hundreds of specialist craftsmen to build churches that glorified his Arian Christian faith.

The characters and scenes that feature in this episode are described in much more detail in Judith Herrin's acclaimed new book: Ravenna, Capital of Empire, Crucible of Europe

For much, much more, including a series of fabulous images of Ravenna, head to our website: tttpodcast.com

Show notes

Scene One: Constantinople. The Emperor Anastasius rules over a large and expanding capital city. 

Scene Two: Rome. Theoderic arrives in Rome, his first and only visit to the city. 

Scene Three: Ravenna: Theoderic returns to his capital city, now the most important centre of government in Italy from which he rules a much larger kingdom. 

Memento: A leaf of the Gothic Bible, written in silver and gold ink on special purple dyed parchment

People/Social

Presenter: Violet Moller

Guest: Professor Judith Herrin

Production: Maria Nolan

Podcast partner: Colorgraph

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On the eve of Remembrance Day the No. 1 Sunday Times bestselling author Damien Lewis takes us back to 1944 and to a series of audacious operations deep behind enemy lines in the aftermath of D-Day.

The characters and scenes that feature in this episode of Travels Through Time arise out of Damien Lewis's new book, SAS: Band of Brotherswhich in newly published in hardback.

For much, much more, head to our website: tttpodcast.com

Show notes

Scene One: June 1944, France, a drop-zone twenty miles to the south of Paris.

Scene Two: Paris, July 1944, France, La Ferte Alais drop zone, just east of Etampes Airbase, south of Paris.

Scene Three: August 1944: Noailles, a dark patch of remote woodland to the north of Paris.

Memento: Lt K. Weihe’s SAS beret

People/Social

Presenter: Peter Moore

Guest: Damien Lewis

Production: Maria Nolan

Podcast partner: Colorgraph

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In the 1930s, 35,000 men and women from 61 different countries travelled to Spain to defend democracy against General Franco’s army. Collectively, they are remembered as the International Brigades.

In this episode of Travels Through Time, the journalist and historian Giles Tremlett takes us back to the year 1936 to learn more about the International Brigades. How important were they? Who were the leaders? How do we remember them today?

For much, much more, head to our website: tttpodcast.com

Giles Tremlett’s The International Brigades: Fascism, Freedom and the Spanish Civil War is recently published in hrdback by Bloomsbury.

Show notes

Scene One: Barcelona on July 19, 1936 - The day that the (failed) coup launched by General Franco and others reaches Barcelona

Scene Two: Paris, Quai d'Orsay - October 10 1936 - Groups of young men hang around the platform for the night-train to Marseilles. They include Cambridge poet John Cornford, future Harvard Classics professor Bernard Knox, communist writer John Sommerfield and British-based German exile painter Jan Kurzke.

Scene Three: Madrid - November 8 1936 - The same people who arrived just four weeks earlier are now in uniform marching up the Gran Via in Madrid to the University City, which will soon become the front line.

Memento: A varsity-style team jacket worn by the USA team for the People's Olympiad

People/Social

Presenter: Peter Moore

Interview: John Hillman

Guest: Giles Tremlett

Production: Maria Nolan

Podcast partner: Colorgraph

Follow us on Twitter: @tttpodcast_

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Most people know the story of Appeasement: of Chamberlain and Churchill. But very few people know the history of the 'Glamour Boys.' 

In this episode of Travels Through Time, the MP Chris Bryant takes us back to 1939 and a time of huge tension in Europe. For years a group of MPs, derided by the establishment as the 'Glamour Boys', had been warning about the threat posed by Hitler and his expansionist policies. 

They faced a stubborn government and an often shockingly antisemitic press. But these politicians were used to being outsiders, Chris Bryant explains, because of their sexuality.

The scenes and characters discussed in this episode feature in Chris Bryant's new book, The Glamour Boys: The Story of the Rebels who Fought for Britain to Defeat Hitler which will be published by Bloomsbury on 12 November.

Much more at our website: tttpodcast.com

Show notes

Scene One: 19th July 1939, Ronnie Tree’s house in Queen Anne’s Gate, Westminster. The Glamour Boys gather at Ronnie’s house to plot their opposition to Chamberlain.

Scene Two: The evening of 2nd August 1939, Chamber of the House of Commons. A debate about whether parliament should break for summer recess becomes unexpectedly heated.

Scene Three: Any day in October 1939, Victor Cazalet’s Anti-Aircraft Battalion in Sevenoaks, known as ‘the monstrous regiment of gentlemen’ or ‘the buggers’ battalion’.

Memento: The shield commemorating the death of MP Jack Macnamara that currently resides in the House of Commons Chamber.

People/Social

Presenter: Artemis Irvine

Guest: Chris Bryant

Producers: Maria Nolan

Titles: Jon O

Follow us on Twitter: @tttpodcast_

Podcast Partner: ColorGraph

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In this episode of Travels Through Time, British ancient historian and academic Professor Paul Cartledge, takes us back to the 'Graeco-Persian Wars' to visit a major event in the history of western civilisation and culture. 

The mighty Persian empire - based in Iran, founded by Cyrus II in the mid-6th century BCE - launches a massive amphibious expedition in the spring of 480 led by Persian King-Emperor Xerxes. Their aim is to punish Persia's Greek subjects, who together with Eretria and Athens, have risen up in armed rebellion.   

This forces all the many Greek cities of the mainland to make a choice: cave in without a fight, try to stay neutral, or resist. The latter was the choice of some 30-plus cities, led by the legendary Sparta King, Leonidas. 

Show notes

Scene One: Sparta - King Leonidas chooses 'the 300' for Thermopylae

Scene Two:  Thermopylae - a 1-kilometre long E-W pass in northern Greece, where Thessaly (a region whose rulers were already on the Persian side) gives way to (resisting, loyalist) Phocis.

Scene Three: The morning of the final day of the Battle

Memento: A bronze Persian arrowhead

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People

Presenter: Artemis Irvine

Interview: Violet Moller

Guest: Paul Cartledge

Production: Maria Nolan

Podcast partner: Colorgraph

Follow us on Twitter: @tttpodcast_

In October 1957 the Soviets launched Sputnik 1 and the Space Age began. In this episode of Travels Through Time the astronomer and science writer Stuart Clark takes us back to the dramatic heart of this story.

We look at Sputnik’s brilliant engineer Sergei Korolev, witness the reaction to the launch in the United States, and then we head to the office of the American journalist Alexander Marshack, whose fascination with the night sky was about to propel him into the depths of time.

The scenes and characters mentioned in this episode feature in Stuart Clark’s new book, Beneath the Sky. To win a copy of this book as well as a striking colourised print from Jordan Lloyd of Colorgraph, sign up to our newsletter at tttpodcast.com

Stuart Clark's Beneath the Night: How the stars have shaped the history of humankind (Faber) is out now and available on Amazon.

Show notes

Scene One: 4 October, 1957, with Korolev for the launch of the first satellite Sputnik 1

Scene Two: October 1957, with future NASA engineer Homer Hickam in West Virginia as he looked up into the night sky, saw Sputnik and felt awe-struck inspiration

Scene Three: Late 1957, To be in the office of American journalist Alexander Marshack in the aftermath of the launch, as he tried to put things together and make sense of why humans wanted to ’touch’ the night sky

Memento: Korolev’s radio receiver

People

Presenter: Peter Moore

Guest: Dr Stuart Clark

Production: Maria Nolan

Podcast partner: Colorgraph

Follow us on Twitter: @tttpodcast_

See where 1957 fits on our Timeline

We have a very powerful image of Oscar Wilde today. He is remembered as a master of wit and style, and champion of the beautiful. But how was this identity constructed? How was he viewed by his contemporaries?

In this episode the author and academic Michèle Mendelssohn takes us back to 1882 and Wilde's lecture tour of the United States of America to find out. This year marked, she explains, ‘the beginning of Wilde’s ascent into the great character that we now know.’

The material covered in this episode of Travels Through Time comes from Michèle Mendelssohn’s latest book, Making Oscar Wilde, which was a book of the year in the Sunday Times and the Times Literary Supplement and a semi-finalist for the 2019 PEN America Biography Prize.

For much, much more, head to https://www.tttpodcast.com/

Show notes

Scene One: 9 January 1882, Wilde’s first lecture, The Chickering Hall, New York

Scene Two: 18 January 1882, Camden, New Jersey: Wilde visits the poet Walt Whitman

Scene Three: 27 June, Biloxi, Mississippi. Wilde visits the Confederate leader Jefferson Davis

Memento: Oscar Wilde’s fur coat

People

Presenter: Peter Moore

Guest: Michèle Mendelssohn

Production: Maria Nolan

Podcast partner: Colorgraph

Follow us on Twitter: @tttpodcast_

See where 1882 fits on our Timeline

In this episode Professor Catherine Fletcher takes us back to 1492 and the heart of the Renaissance. She takes us to the deathbed of one of the most powerful figures in Italy; to the Conclave of cardinals that was gathering to elect a new pope; and across the Atlantic to see Christopher Columbus approaching a New World.

Catherine Fletcher is Professor of History at Manchester Metropolitan University.

The discussion in this episode of Travels Through Time is drawn from the events described in Catherine's new book, The Beauty and the Terror recently published in hardback by the Bodley Head in the UK and by Oxford University Press in the USA.

For much, much more, head to https://www.tttpodcast.com/

Show notes

Scene One: In an ornate villa in Careggi on the outskirts of Florence Lorenzo ‘the Magnificent’ de’ Medici lies dying.

Scene Two: The Sistine Chapel in the Vatican. Pope Innocent VIII, whose territories spanned a swathe of the peninsula from Rome to Ravenna on the Adriatic coast, has died so the traditional process of conclave begins in the Sistine Chapel

Scene Three: Friday 12th October, the Bahamas in the West Indies. Christopher Columbus sights land and arrives on the coast of an island called Guanahaní with his crew of explorers.

Memento: A handful of Lorenzo’s extraordinary collection of antique jewellery.

People

Presenter: Peter Moore

Interview: Violet Moller

Guest: Professor Catherine Fletcher

Production: Maria Nolan

Podcast partner: Colorgraph

Follow us on Twitter: @tttpodcast_

See where 1492 fits on our Timeline

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