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January 25 2015

12:00

January 23 2015

00:00

Writer of the month: The Spanish ambassador's suitcase

Matthew Parris and Andrew Bryson discuss their new book, The Spanish ambassador's suitcase.

Matthew Parris worked for the Foreign Office and the Conservative Research Department before serving as MP for West Derbyshire. He joined The Times as parliamentary sketchwriter in 1988, a post he held for 13 years, and he now writes as a columnist for the paper. He broadcasts for radio and television, and presents the biographical programme Great Lives on BBC Radio 4. He is also a regular columnist for The Spectator.

Andrew Bryson is a radio journalist working in the BBC's Business and Economics Unit. He frequently produces Radio 4′s Today programme and programmes for Radio 5 Live.

This podcast was recorded live as part of the Writer of the month series, which broadens awareness of historical records and their uses for writers. We apologise for any intermittent reduction in sound quality.

January 18 2015

12:00

January 11 2015

12:00

January 09 2015

00:00

Big Ideas: The shape of time

Visualisation is widely believed to bring many benefits, assisting us in making sense of all kinds of information. To try to make diagrams of history – using timelines or some other kind of chronographics – may seem a simple task. We might regard time as 'obviously' linear, as 'naturally' flowing from left to right. But what shape should history be?

Stephen's talk focuses primarily on the period in the mid-eighteenth century when the modern timeline was invented – tracing its typographic, pictorial and other roots and setting it in its intellectual context. He also gives some insights into the advances we can now achieve when chronographics are made digital and interactive. This will include asking: what are the requirements of such tools for serious historical work?

Stephen Boyd Davis is professor of Design Research at the Royal College of Art. His own work is concerned with visualisation, in which he is directing research students working with museums and archives.

January 04 2015

12:00

December 30 2014

00:00

Newly released files from 1985 and 1986

Contemporary records specialists Mark Dunton and Simon Demissie discuss the latest batch of government records to be released to The National Archives. The years were 1985 and 1986.

Introduced by Rebecca Simpson.

Reposted byquicquid quicquid

December 28 2014

12:00

December 22 2014

23:42

A game for Christmas: Football on the Western Front, December 1914?

Any mention of football and the First World War will evoke the Christmas Truce of 1914 and the football match played in No Man's Land. At the time many denied that a truce had occurred, let alone a football match between the combatants. This talk uses British Army War Diaries, individual soldier's diaries, letters and newspapers to examine how citizen diplomacy apparently subverted the wishes of higher command, at least temporarily, to possibly have allowed some soldiers to enjoy a game for Christmas.

Iain Adams is the Principal Lecturer at the International Football Institute, a research partnership between The University of Central Lancashire and The National Football Museum. He lectures in sports history and culture and has published papers on the Christmas Truce and the football charges of the Great War.

Reposted bymondkroete mondkroete

December 21 2014

12:00

December 19 2014

00:09

Writer of the month: Tracy Borman on Thomas Cromwell

Dr Tracy Borman, author, historian and broadcaster, discusses her biography of Thomas Cromwell.

The National Archives hosts a series of monthly talks to broaden awareness of historical records and their uses for writers. Each month, a high-profile author talks about using original records in their writing.

Dr Tracy Borman's previous books include: the highly acclaimed Elizabeth's Women: the Hidden Story of the Virgin Queen; Matilda: Queen of the Conqueror; and Witches: A Tale of Sorcery, Scandal and Seduction. Tracy has recently been appointed interim Chief Curator of Historic Royal Palaces and is also Chief Executive of the Heritage Education Trust.

December 14 2014

12:00

December 12 2014

00:09

Big Ideas: The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Cultural Value Project

The Arts and Humanities Research Council's Cultural Value Project was set up late in 2012 to address the dissatisfaction with the ways in which we understand and articulate the benefits of arts and culture. These tended to concentrate on the publicly-funded arts and, for that reason, were shaped by the demands of advocacy.

For the same reason they increasingly came to focus on the economic benefits because it was believed that that was what governments wished to hear. Professor Geoffrey Crossick presents an overview of the project. His talk indicates the range of research that it has funded and, in doing so, identifies the projects that have focused on archives, heritage and history.

Professor Geoffrey Crossick is Director of the AHRC's Cultural Value Project and Distinguished Professor of Humanities in the School of Advanced Study at the University of London. He is a historian and his main area of research has been the urban social history of 19th and 20th century Britain and continental Europe.

December 07 2014

12:00

December 05 2014

00:09

Writer of the month: Stories from behind the Berlin Wall

Hester Vaizey discusses her latest book, Born in the GDR: Living in the Shadow of the Wall, which reveals the everyday lives of citizens of the former German Democratic Republic.

The National Archives is again hosting a series of monthly talks to broaden awareness of historical records and their uses for writers. Each month, a high-profile author will talk about using original records in their writing.

Hester Vaizey is a University Lecturer in Modern German History and a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge. Her book Surviving Hitler's War: Family Life in Germany 1939-1948, was shortlisted for the Women's History Network Prize and won the Fraenkel Prize for Contemporary History.
Reposted byquicquid quicquid

November 30 2014

12:00

November 28 2014

00:09

Paddy Ashdown: The Cruel Victory

Paddy Ashdown discusses his new book, The Cruel Victory, which tells the long-neglected D-Day story of the Resistance uprising and subsequent massacre on the Vercors massif – the largest action by the French Resistance during the Second World War.

Overlooked by English language histories, Ashdown sets the story in the context of D-Day, the muddle of politics and the many misjudgements of D-Day planners in both London and Algiers. Most importantly it also gives voice to the many fighters who fought to gain a stake in their country’s future.

Lord Paddy Ashdown served as a Royal Marine and as an intelligence officer for the UK security services before becoming a Member of Parliament for Yeovil from 1983 to 2001, and leader of the Liberal Democrats from 1988 until 1999. He was the international High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina from 2002 to 2006 and was made a Knight Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George in 2006.

November 23 2014

12:00

November 21 2014

00:09

The Chevalier d'Eon: Transgender Diplomat at the Court of George III, 1763-1777

In 1763 peace broke out between France and Britain, ending the Seven Years War. The defeated superpower France was left nursing its wounds, as well as thoughts of revenge. While King Louis XV’s foreign minister sought to maintain the peace, the King’s spy network, ‘the King’s Secret’ (Secret du Roi) developed plans to invade England. These conflicting agendas were embodied in the Chevalier d’Eon, France’s minister in London. A Georgian Edward Snowden. Shortly after his arrival the Chevalier began publishing confidential diplomatic despatches and blackmailing his King. The Chevalier escaped assassination and imprisonment by becoming a woman in 1777.

Dr Jonathan Conlin teaches modern British history at the University of Southampton. Currently he is researching a biography of the Anglo-Armenian oil magnate Calouste Gulbenkian. His books include Tales of Two Cities: Paris, London and the Making of the Modern City.

November 18 2014

00:09

Putting it all together: using archives to discover your community’s involvement in the First World War

The names of the First World War dead are there for all to see, on war memorials all over the country. Many individuals and groups are researching the stories behind the names, but what about delving even deeper? There is even more to be learned about the men and women who also served, and survived the War, as well as the families and communities left behind.

Drawing on a wide variety of documents, in record offices, libraries and online, Audrey Collins shows how you can discover how a whole community was affected by the First World War. She uses as a case study the market town of Chesham in Buckinghamshire, but the techniques used are equally applicable to any locality.

Audrey Collins is family history specialist at The National Archives and she is a regular speaker at genealogical events and conferences in the UK and worldwide.

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