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In Our Time: History

BBC

Historical themes, events and key individuals from Akhenaten to Xenophon.

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United Kingdom

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BBC

Description:

Historical themes, events and key individuals from Akhenaten to Xenophon.

Language:

English


Episodes
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Empress Dowager Cixi

6/20/2024
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the woman who, for almost fifty years, was the most powerful figure in the Chinese court. Cixi (1835-1908) started out at court as one of the Emperor's many concubines, yet was the only one who gave him a son to succeed him and who also possessed great political skill and ambition. When their son became emperor he was still a young child and Cixi ruled first through him and then, following his death, through another child emperor. This was a time of rapid change in China, when western powers and Japan humiliated the forces of the Qing empire time after time, and Cixi had the chance to push forward the modernising reforms the country needed to thrive. However, when she found those reforms conflicted with her own interests or those of the Qing dynasty, she was arguably obstructive or too slow to act and she has been personally blamed for some of those many humiliations even when the fault lay elsewhere. With Yangwen Zheng Professor of Chinese History at the University of Manchester Rana Mitter The S.T. Lee Professor of US-Asia Relations at the Harvard Kennedy School And Ronald Po Associate Professor in the Department of International History at London School of Economics and Visiting Professor at Leiden University Producer: Simon Tillotson In Our Time is a BBC Studios Audio Production Reading list: Pearl S. Buck, Imperial Woman: The Story of the Last Empress of China (first published 1956; Open Road Media, 2013) Katharine A. Carl, With the Empress Dowager (first published 1906; General Books LLC, 2009) Jung Chang, Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China (Jonathan Cape, 2013) Princess Der Ling, Old Buddha (first published 1929; Kessinger Publishing, 2007) Joseph W. Esherick, The Origins of the Boxer Uprising (University of California Press, 1987) John K. Fairbank and Merle Goldman, China: A New History (Harvard University Press, 2006) Peter Gue Zarrow and Rebecca Karl (eds.), Rethinking the 1898 Reform Period: Political and Cultural Change in Late Qing China (Harvard University Press, 2002) Grant Hayter-Menzies, Imperial Masquerade: The Legend of Princess Der Ling (Hong Kong University Press, 2008) Keith Laidler, The Last Empress: The She-Dragon of China (Wiley, 2003) Keith McMahon, Celestial Women: Imperial Wives and Concubines in China from Song to Qing (Rowman & Littlefield, 2020) Anchee Min, The Last Empress (Bloomsbury, 2011) Ying-Chen Peng, Artful Subversion: Empress Dowager Cixi’s Image Making (Yale University Press, 2023). Sarah Pike Conger, Letters from China: with Particular Reference to the Empress Dowager and the Women of China (first published 1910; Forgotten Books, 2024) Stephen Platt, Imperial Twilight: The Opium War and the End of China's Last Golden Age (Atlantic Books, 2019) Liang Qichao (trans. Peter Zarrow), Thoughts From the Ice-Drinker's Studio: Essays on China and the World (Penguin Classics, 2023) Sterling Seagrave, Dragon Lady: The Life and Legend of the Last Empress of China (Vintage, 1993) Jonathan D. Spence, The Search for Modern China (first published 1991; W. W. Norton & Company, 2001) X. L. Woo, Empress Dowager Cixi: China's Last Dynasty and the Long Reign of a Formidable Concubine (Algora Publishing, 2003) Zheng Yangwen, Ten Lessons in Modern Chinese History (Manchester University Press, 2018)

Duration:00:50:02

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Napoleon's Hundred Days

5/16/2024
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Napoleon Bonaparte's temporary return to power in France in 1815, following his escape from exile on Elba . He arrived with fewer than a thousand men, yet three weeks later he had displaced Louis XVIII and taken charge of an army as large as any that the Allied Powers could muster individually. He saw that his best chance was to pick the Allies off one by one, starting with the Prussian and then the British/Allied armies in what is now Belgium. He appeared to be on the point of victory at Waterloo yet somehow it eluded him, and his plans were soon in tatters. His escape to America thwarted, he surrendered on 15th July and was exiled again but this time to Saint Helena. There he wrote his memoirs to help shape his legacy, while back in Europe there were still fears of his return. With Michael Rowe Reader in European History at Kings College London Katherine Astbury Professor of French Studies at the University of Warwick And Zack White Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow at the University of Portsmouth Producer: Simon Tillotson In Our Time is a BBC Studios Audio production. Reading list: Katherine Astbury and Mark Philp (ed.), Napoleon's Hundred Days and the Politics of Legitimacy (Palgrave, 2018) Jeremy Black, The Battle of Waterloo: A New History (Icon Books, 2010) Michael Broers, Napoleon: The Decline and Fall of an Empire: 1811-1821 (Pegasus Books, 2022) Philip Dwyer, Citizen Emperor: Napoleon in power 1799-1815 (Bloomsbury, 2014) Charles J. Esdaile, Napoleon, France and Waterloo: The Eagle Rejected (Pen & Sword Military, 2016) Gareth Glover, Waterloo: Myth and Reality (Pen & Sword Military, 2014) Sudhir Hazareesingh, The Legend of Napoleon (Granta, 2014) John Hussey, Waterloo: The Campaign of 1815, Volume 1, From Elba to Ligny and Quatre Bras (Greenhill Books, 2017) Andrew Roberts, Napoleon the Great (Penguin Books, 2015) Brian Vick, The Congress of Vienna: Power and Politics after Napoleon (Harvard University Press, 2014) Zack White (ed.), The Sword and the Spirit: Proceedings of the first ‘War & Peace in the Age of Napoleon’ Conference (Helion and Company, 2021)

Duration:00:58:56

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Julian the Apostate

4/18/2024
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the last pagan ruler of the Roman Empire. Fifty years after Constantine the Great converted to Christianity and introduced a policy of tolerating the faith across the empire, Julian (c.331 - 363 AD) aimed to promote paganism instead, branding Constantine the worst of all his predecessors. Julian was a philosopher-emperor in the mould of Marcus Aurelius and was noted in his lifetime for his letters and his satires, and it was his surprising success as a general in his youth in Gaul that had propelled him to power barely twenty years after a rival had slaughtered his family. Julian's pagan mission and his life were brought to a sudden end while on campaign against the Sasanian Empire in the east, but he left so much written evidence of his ideas that he remains one of the most intriguing of all the Roman emperors and a hero to the humanists of the Enlightenment. With James Corke-Webster Reader in Classics, History and Liberal Arts at King’s College, London Lea Niccolai Assistant Professor in Classics at the University of Cambridge and Fellow and Director of Studies in Classics, Trinity College And Shaun Tougher Professor of Late Roman and Byzantine History at Cardiff University Producer: Simon Tillotson Reading list: Polymnia Athanassiadi, Julian: An Intellectual Biography (first published 1981; Routledge, 2014) Nicholas Baker-Brian and Shaun Tougher (eds.), Emperor and Author: The Writings of Julian the Apostate (Classical Press of Wales, 2012) Nicholas Baker-Brian and Shaun Tougher (eds.), The Sons of Constantine, AD 337-361: In the Shadows of Constantine and Julian, (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020) G.W. Bowersock, Julian the Apostate (first published 1978; Harvard University Press, 1997) Susanna Elm, Sons of Hellenism, Fathers of the Church: Emperor Julian, Gregory of Nazianzus, and the Vision of Rome (University of California Press, 2012) Ari Finkelstein, The Specter of the Jews: Emperor Julian and the Rhetoric of Ethnicity in Syrian Antioch (University of California Press, 2018) David Neal Greenwood, Julian and Christianity: Revisiting the Constantinian Revolution (Cornell University Press, 2021) Lea Niccolai, Christianity, Philosophy, and Roman Power: Constantine, Julian, and the Bishops on Exegesis and Empire (Cambridge University Press, 2023) Stefan Rebenich and Hans-Ulrich Wiemer (eds), A Companion to Julian the Apostate (Brill, 2020) Rowland Smith, Julian’s Gods: Religion and Philosophy in the Thought and Action of Julian the Apostate (Routledge, 1995) H.C. Teitler, The Last Pagan Emperor: Julian the Apostate and the War against Christianity (Oxford University Press, 2017) Shaun Tougher, Julian the Apostate (Edinburgh University Press, 2007) W. C. Wright, The Works of Emperor Julian of Rome (Loeb, 1913-23)

Duration:00:50:14

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The Mokrani Revolt

4/4/2024
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the revolt that broke out in 1871 in Algeria against French rule, spreading over hundreds of miles and countless towns and villages before being brutally suppressed. It began with the powerful Cheikh Mokrani and his family and was taken up by hundreds of thousands, becoming the last major revolt there before Algeria’s war of independence in 1954. In the wake of its swift suppression though came further waves of French migrants to settle on newly confiscated lands, themselves displaced by French defeat in Europe and the loss of Alsace-Lorraine, and their arrival only increased tensions. The Mokrani Revolt came to be seen as a watershed between earlier Ottoman rule and full national identity, an inspiration to nationalists in the 1950s. With Natalya Benkhaled-Vince Associate Professor of the History of Modern France and the Francophone World, Fellow of University College, University of Oxford Hannah-Louise Clark Senior Lecturer in Global Economic and Social History at the University of Glasgow And Jim House Senior Lecturer in French and Francophone History at the University of Leeds Producer: Simon Tillotson Reading list: Mahfoud Bennoune, The Making of Contemporary Algeria: 1830-1987 (Cambridge University Press, 1988) Julia Clancy-Smith, Rebel and Saint: Muslim Notables, Populist Protest, Colonial Encounters, Algeria and Tunisia 1800–1904 (University of California Press, 1994) Hannah-Louise Clark, ‘The Islamic Origins of the French Colonial Welfare State: Hospital Finance in Algeria’ (European Review of History, vol. 28, nos 5-6, 2021) Hannah-Louise Clark, ‘Of jinn theories and germ theories: translating microbes, bacteriological medicine, and Islamic law in Algeria’ (Osiris, vol. 36, 2021) Brock Cutler, Ecologies of Imperialism in Algeria (University of Nebraska Press, 2023) Didier Guignard, 1871: L’Algérie sous Séquestre (CNRS Éditions, 2023) Idir Hachi, ‘Histoire social de l’insurrection de 1871 et du procès de ses chefs (PhD diss., University of Aix-Marseille, 2017) Abdelhak Lahlou, Idir Hachi, Isabelle Guillaume, Amélie Gregório and Peter Dunwoodie, ‘L'insurrection kabyle de 1871’ (Etudes françaises volume 57, no 1, 2021) James McDougall, A History of Algeria (Cambridge University Press (2017) John Ruedy, Modern Algeria: The Origins and Development of a Nation (Indiana University Press, 2005, 2nd edition) Jennifer E Sessions, By Sword and Plow: France and the Conquest of Algeria (Cornell University Press, 2011) Samia Touati, ‘Lalla Fatma N’Soumer, 1830–1863: Spirituality, Resistance and Womanly Leadership in Colonial Algeria (Societies vol. 8, no. 4, 2018) Natalya Vince, Our Fighting Sisters: Nation, Memory and Gender in Algeria, 1954-2012 (Manchester University Press, 2015)

Duration:00:57:32

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The Sack of Rome 1527

3/21/2024
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the infamous assault of an army of the Holy Roman Emperor on the city of Rome in 1527. The troops soon broke through the walls of this holy city and, with their leader shot dead early on, they brought death and destruction to the city on an epic scale. Later writers compared it to the fall of Carthage or Jerusalem and soon the mass murder, torture, rape and looting were followed by disease which was worsened by starvation and opened graves. It has been called the end of the High Renaissance, a conflict between north and south, between Lutherans and Catholics, and a fulfilment of prophecy of divine vengeance and, perhaps more persuasively, a consequence of military leaders not feeding or paying their soldiers other than by looting. With Stephen Bowd Professor of Early Modern History at the University of Edinburgh Jessica Goethals Associate Professor of Italian at the University of Alabama And Catherine Fletcher Professor of History at Manchester Metropolitan University Producer: Simon Tillotson Reading list: Stephen Bowd, Renaissance Mass Murder: Civilians and Soldiers during the Italian Wars (Oxford University Press, 2018) Benvenuto Cellini, Autobiography (Penguin Classics, 1999) Benvenuto Cellini (trans. Julia Conaway Bondanella and Peter Bondanella), My Life (Oxford University Press, 2009) André Chastel (trans. Beth Archer), The Sack of Rome 1527 (Princeton University Press, 1983 Catherine Fletcher, The Beauty and the Terror: An Alternative History of the Italian Renaissance (Bodley Head, 2020) Kenneth Gouwens and Sheryl E. Reiss (eds), The Pontificate of Clement VII: History, Politics, Culture (Routledge, 2005) Francesco Guicciardini (trans. Sidney Alexander), The History of Italy (first published 1561; Princeton University Press, 2020) Luigi Guicciardini (trans. James H. McGregor), The Sack of Rome (first published 1537; Italica Press, 2008) Judith Hook, The Sack of Rome (2nd edition, Palgrave Macmillan, 2004) Geoffrey Parker, Emperor: A New Life of Charles V (Yale University Press, 2019)

Duration:00:46:32

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The Hanseatic League

2/29/2024
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the Hanseatic League or Hansa which dominated North European trade in the medieval period. With a trading network that stretched from Iceland to Novgorod via London and Bruges, these German-speaking Hansa merchants benefitted from tax exemptions and monopolies. Over time, the Hansa became immensely influential as rulers felt the need to treat it well. Kings and princes sometimes relied on loans from the Hansa to finance their wars and an embargo by the Hansa could lead to famine. Eventually, though, the Hansa went into decline with the rise in the nation state’s power, greater competition from other merchants and the development of trade across the Atlantic. With Justyna Wubs-Mrozewicz Associate Professor of Medieval History at the University of Amsterdam Georg Christ Senior Lecturer in Medieval and Early Modern History at the University of Manchester And Sheilagh Ogilvie Chichele Professor of Economic History at All Souls College, University of Oxford Producer: Victoria Brignell Reading list: James S. Amelang and Siegfried Beer, Public Power in Europe: Studies in Historical Transformations (Plus-Pisa University Press, 2006), especially `Trade and Politics in the Medieval Baltic: English Merchants and England’s Relations to the Hanseatic League 1370–1437` Nicholas R. Amor, Late Medieval Ipswich: Trade and Industry (Boydell & Brewer, 2011) B. Ayers, The German Ocean: Medieval Europe around the North Sea (Equinox, 2016) H. Brand and P. Brood, The German Hanse in Past & Present Europe: A medieval league as a model for modern interregional cooperation? (Castel International Publishers, 2007) Wendy R. Childs, The Trade and Shipping of Hull, 1300-1500 (East Yorkshire Local History Society, 1990) Alexander Cowan, Hanseatic League: Oxford Bibliographies (Oxford University Press, 2010) Philippe Dollinger, The German Hansa (Macmillan, 1970) John D. Fudge, Cargoes, Embargoes and Emissaries: The Commercial and Political Interaction of England and the German Hanse, 1450-1510 (University of Toronto Press, 1995) Donald J. Harreld, A Companion to the Hanseatic League (Brill, 2015) T.H. Lloyd, England and the German Hanse, 1157 – 1611: A Study of their Trade and Commercial Diplomacy (first published 1991; Cambridge University Press, 2002) Giampiero Nigro (ed.), Maritime networks as a factor in European integration (Fondazione Istituto Internazionale Di Storia Economica “F. Datini” Prato, University of Firenze, 2019), especially ‘Maritime Networks and Premodern Conflict Management on Multiple Levels. The Example of Danzig and the Giese Family’ by Justyna Wubs-Mrozewicz Sheilagh Ogilvie, Institutions and European Trade: Merchant Guilds, 1000-1800 (Cambridge University Press, 2011) Paul Richards (ed.), Six Essays in Hanseatic History (Poppyland Publishing, 2017) Paul Richards, King’s Lynn and The German Hanse 1250-1550: A Study in Anglo-German Medieval Trade and Politics (Poppyland Publishing, 2022) Stephen H. Rigby, The Overseas Trade of Boston, 1279-1548 (Böhlau Verlag, 2023) Justyna Wubs-Mrozewicz and Stuart Jenks (eds.), The Hanse in Medieval & Early Modern Europe (Brill, 2012) Justyna Wubs-Mrozewicz, ‘The late medieval and early modern Hanse as an institution of conflict management’ (Continuity and Change 32/1, Cambridge University Press, 2017)

Duration:00:49:01

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Nefertiti

2/15/2024
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the woman who inspired one of the best known artefacts from ancient Egypt. The Bust of Nefertiti is multicoloured and symmetrical, about 49cm/18" high and, despite the missing left eye, still holds the gaze of onlookers below its tall, blue, flat topped headdress. Its discovery in 1912 in Amarna was kept quiet at first but its display in Berlin in the 1920s caused a sensation, with replicas sent out across the world. Ever since, as with Tutankhamun perhaps, the concrete facts about Nefertiti herself have barely kept up with the theories, the legends and the speculation, reinvigorated with each new discovery. With Aidan Dodson Honorary Professor of Egyptology at the University of Bristol Joyce Tyldesley Professor of Egyptology at the University of Manchester And Kate Spence Senior Lecturer in Egyptian Archaeology at the University of Cambridge and Fellow of Emmanuel College Producer: Simon Tillotson Reading list: Dorothea Arnold (ed.), The Royal Women of Amarna: Images of Beauty from Ancient Egypt (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1996) Norman de Garis Davies, The Rock Tombs of el-Amarna (6 vols. Egypt Exploration Society, 1903-1908) Aidan Dodson, Amarna Sunset: Nefertiti, Tutankhamun, Ay, Horemheb and the Egyptian Counter-reformation. (American University in Cairo Press, 2009 Aidan Dodson, Nefertiti, Queen and Pharaoh of Egypt: her life and afterlife (American University in Cairo Press, 2020) Aidan Dodson, Tutankhamun: King of Egypt: his life and afterlife (American University in Cairo Press, 2022) Barry Kemp, The City of Akhenaten and Nefertiti: Amarna and Its People (Thames and Hudson, 2012) Dominic Montserrat, Akhenaten: History, Fantasy and Ancient Egypt (Routledge, 2002) Friederike Seyfried (ed.), In the Light of Amarna: 100 Years of the Nefertiti Discovery (Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussamlung Staatlich Museen zu Berlin/ Michael Imhof Verlag, 2013) Joyce Tyldesley, Tutankhamun: Pharaoh, Icon, Enigma (Headline, 2022) Joyce Tyldesley, Nefertiti’s Face: The Creation of an Icon (Profile Books, 2018) Joyce Tyldesley, Nefertiti: Egypt’s Sun Queen (Viking, 1998)

Duration:00:49:50

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Tiberius

1/11/2024
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the Roman emperor Tiberius. When he was born in 42BC, there was little prospect of him ever becoming Emperor of Rome. Firstly, Rome was still a Republic and there had not yet been any Emperor so that had to change and, secondly, when his stepfather Augustus became Emperor there was no precedent for who should succeed him, if anyone. It somehow fell to Tiberius to develop this Roman imperial project and by some accounts he did this well, while to others his reign was marked by cruelty and paranoia inviting comparison with Nero. With Matthew Nicholls Senior Tutor at St. John’s College, University of Oxford Shushma Malik Assistant Professor of Classics and Onassis Classics Fellow at Newnham College at the University of Cambridge And Catherine Steel Professor of Classics at the University of Glasgow Producer: Simon Tillotson Reading list: Edward Champlin, ‘Tiberius the Wise’ (Historia: Zeitschrift für Alte Geschichte, 57.4, 2008) Alison E. Cooley, ‘From the Augustan Principate to the invention of the Age of Augustus’ (Journal of Roman Studies 109, 2019) Alison E. Cooley, The Senatus Consultum de Cn. Pisone Patre: text, translation, and commentary (Cambridge University Press, 2023) Eleanor Cowan, ‘Tiberius and Augustus in Tiberian Sources’ (Historia: Zeitschrift für Alte Geschichte, 58.4, 2009) Cassius Dio (trans. C. T. Mallan), Roman History: Books 57 and 58: The Reign of Tiberius (Oxford University Press, 2020) Rebecca Edwards, ‘Tacitus, Tiberius and Capri’ (Latomus, 70.4, 2011) A. Gibson (ed.), The Julio-Claudian Succession: Reality and Perception of the Augustan Model (Brill, 2012), especially ‘Tiberius and the invention of succession’ by C. Vout Josephus (trans. E. Mary Smallwood and G. Williamson), The Jewish War (Penguin Classics, 1981) Barbara Levick, Tiberius the Politician (Routledge, 1999) E. O’Gorman, Tacitus’ History of Political Effective Speech: Truth to Power (Bloomsbury, 2019) Velleius Paterculus (trans. J. C. Yardley and Anthony A. Barrett), Roman History: From Romulus and the Foundation of Rome to the Reign of the Emperor Tiberius (Hackett Publishing, 2011) R. Seager, Tiberius (2nd ed., Wiley-Blackwell, 2005) David Shotter, Tiberius Caesar (Routledge, 2005) Suetonius (trans. Robert Graves), The Twelve Caesars (Penguin Classics, 2007) Tacitus (trans. Michael Grant), The Annals of Imperial Rome (Penguin Classics, 2003)

Duration:00:53:10

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Marguerite de Navarre

12/21/2023
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Marguerite, Queen of Navarre (1492 – 1549), author of the Heptaméron, a major literary landmark in the French Renaissance. Published after her death, The Heptaméron features 72 short stories, many of which explore relations between the sexes. However, Marguerite’s life was more eventful than that of many writers. Born into the French nobility, she found herself the sister of the French king when her brother Francis I came to the throne in 1515. At a time of growing religious change, Marguerite was a leading exponent of reform in the Catholic Church and translated an early work of Martin Luther into French. As the Reformation progressed, she was not afraid to take risks to protect other reformers. With Sara Barker Associate Professor of Early Modern History and Director of the Centre for the Comparative History of Print at the University of Leeds Emily Butterworth Professor of Early Modern French at King’s College London And Emma Herdman Lecturer in French at the University of St Andrews Producer: Simon Tillotson Reading list: Giovanni Boccaccio (trans. Wayne A. Rebhorn), The Decameron (Norton, 2013) Emily Butterworth, Marguerite de Navarre: A Critical Companion (Boydell &Brewer, 2022) Patricia Cholakian and Rouben Cholakian, Marguerite de Navarre: Mother of the Renaissance (Columbia University Press, 2006) Gary Ferguson, Mirroring Belief: Marguerite de Navarre’s Devotional Poetry (Edinburgh University Press, 1992) Gary Ferguson and Mary B. McKinley (eds.), A Companion to Marguerite de Navarre (Brill, 2013) Mark Greengrass, The French Reformation (John Wiley & Sons, 1987) R.J. Knecht, The Rise and Fall of Renaissance France (Fontana Press, 2008) R.J. Knecht, Renaissance Warrior and Patron: The Reign of Francis I (Cambridge University Press, 2008) John D. Lyons and Mary B. McKinley (eds.), Critical Tales: New Studies of the ‘Heptaméron’ and Early Modern Culture (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1993) Marguerite de Navarre (trans. Paul Chilton), The Heptameron (Penguin, 2004) Marguerite de Navarre (trans. Rouben Cholakian and Mary Skemp), Selected Writings: A Bilingual Edition (University of Chicago Press, 2008) Marguerite de Navarre (trans. Hilda Dale), The Coach and The Triumph of the Lamb (Elm Press, 1999) Marguerite de Navarre (trans. Hilda Dale), The Prisons (Whiteknights, 1989) Marguerite de Navarre (ed. Gisèle Mathieu-Castellani), L’Heptaméron (Libraririe générale française, 1999) Jonathan A. Reid, King’s Sister – Queen of Dissent: Marguerite of Navarre (1492-1549) and her Evangelical Network (Brill, 2009) Paula Sommers, ‘The Mirror and its Reflections: Marguerite de Navarre’s Biblical Feminism’ (Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature, 5, 1986) Kathleen Wellman, Queens and Mistresses of Renaissance France (Yale University Press, 2013)

Duration:00:46:12

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The Theory of the Leisure Class

12/14/2023
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the most influential work of Thorstein Veblen (1857-1929). In 1899, during America’s Gilded Age, Veblen wrote The Theory of the Leisure Class as a reminder that all that glisters is not gold. He picked on traits of the waning landed class of Americans and showed how the new moneyed class was adopting these in ways that led to greater waste throughout society. He called these conspicuous leisure and conspicuous consumption and he developed a critique of a system that favoured profits for owners without regard to social good. The Theory of the Leisure Class was a best seller and funded Veblen for the rest of his life, and his ideas influenced the New Deal of the 1930s. Since then, an item that becomes more desirable as it becomes more expensive is known as a Veblen good. With Matthew Watson Professor of Political Economy at the University of Warwick Bill Waller Professor of Economics at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, New York And Mary Wrenn Senior Lecturer in Economics at the University of the West of England Producer: Simon Tillotson Reading list: Charles Camic, Veblen: The Making of an Economist who Unmade Economics (Harvard University Press, 2021) John P. Diggins, Thorstein Veblen: Theorist of the Leisure Class (Princeton University Press, 1999) John P. Diggins, The Bard of Savagery: Thorstein Veblen and Modern Social Theory (Seabury Press, 1978) John Kenneth Galbraith, The Affluent Society (Penguin, 1999) Robert Heilbroner, The Worldly Philosophers: The Lives, Times and Ideas of the Great Economic Thinkers (Penguin, 2000), particularly the chapter ‘The Savage Society of Thorstein Veblen’ Ken McCormick, Veblen in Plain English: A Complete Introduction to Thorstein Veblen’s Economics (Cambria Press, 2006) Sidney Plotkin and Rick Tilman, The Political Ideas of Thorstein Veblen (Yale University Press, 2012) Juliet B. Schor, The Overspent American: Why We Want What We Don't Need (William Morrow & Company, 1999) Juliet B. Schor, Born to Buy: The Commercialized Child and the New Consumer Culture (Simon & Schuster Ltd, 2005) Thorstein Veblen, The Theory of the Leisure Class (first published 1899; Oxford University Press, 2009) Thorstein Veblen, The Theory of Business Enterprise (first published 1904; Legare Street Press, 2022) Thorstein Veblen, The Higher Learning in America (first published 2018; Johns Hopkins University Press, 2015) Thorstein Veblen, Absentee Ownership and Business Enterprise in Recent Times: The Case of America (first published 1923; Routledge, 2017) Thorstein Veblen, Conspicuous Consumption (Penguin, 2005) Thorstein Veblen, The Complete Works (Musaicum Books, 2017) Charles J. Whalen (ed.), Institutional Economics: Perspective and Methods in Pursuit of a Better World (Routledge, 2021)

Duration:00:55:32

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The Barbary Corsairs

12/7/2023
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the North African privateers who, until their demise in the nineteenth century, were a source of great pride and wealth in their home ports, where they sold the people and goods they’d seized from Christian European ships and coastal towns. Nominally, these corsairs were from Algiers, Tunis or Tripoli, outreaches of the Ottoman empire, or Salé in neighbouring Morocco, but often their Turkish or Arabic names concealed their European birth. Murad Reis the Younger, for example, who sacked Baltimore in 1631, was the Dutchman Jan Janszoon who also had a base on Lundy in the Bristol Channel. While the European crowns negotiated treaties to try to manage relations with the corsairs, they commonly viewed these sailors as pirates who were barely tolerated and, as soon as France, Britain, Spain and later America developed enough sea power, their ships and bases were destroyed. With Joanna Nolan Research Associate at SOAS, University of London Claire Norton Former Associate Professor of History at St Mary’s University, Twickenham And Michael Talbot Associate Professor in the History of the Ottoman Empire and the Modern Middle East at the University of Greenwich Producer: Simon Tillotson Reading list: Robert C. Davis, Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters: White Slavery in the Mediterranean, the Barbary Coast and Italy, 1500-1800 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004) Peter Earle, Corsairs of Malta and Barbary (Sidgwick and Jackson, 1970) Des Ekin, The Stolen Village: Baltimore and the Barbary Pirates (O’Brien Press, 2008) Jacques Heers, The Barbary Corsairs: Warfare in the Mediterranean, 1450-1580 (Skyhorse Publishing, 2018) Colin Heywood, The Ottoman World: The Mediterranean and North Africa, 1660-1760 (Routledge, 2019) Alan Jamieson, Lords of the Sea: A History of the Barbary Corsairs (Reaktion Books, 2013) Julie Kalman, The Kings of Algiers: How Two Jewish Families Shaped the Mediterranean World during the Napoleonic Wars and Beyond (Princeton University Press, 2023) Stanley Lane-Poole, The Story of the Barbary Corsairs (T. Unwin, 1890) Sally Magnusson, The Sealwoman’s Gift (A novel - Two Roads, 2018) Philip Mansel, Levant: Splendour and Catastrophe on the Mediterranean (John Murray, 2010) Nabil Matar, Turks, Moors and Englishmen in the Age of Discovery (Columbia University Press, 1999) Nabil Matar, Britain and Barbary, 1589-1689 (University Press of Florida, 2005) Giles Milton, White Gold: The Extraordinary Story of Thomas Pellow and North Africa’s One Million European Slaves (Hodder and Stoughton, 2004) Claire Norton (ed.), Conversion and Islam in the Early Modern Mediterranean: The Lure of the Other (Routledge, 2017) Claire Norton, ‘Lust, Greed, Torture and Identity: Narrations of Conversion and the Creation of the Early Modern 'Renegade' (Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 29/2, 2009) Daniel Panzac, The Barbary Corsairs: The End of a Legend, 1800-1820 (Brill, 2005) Rafael Sabatini, The Sea Hawk (a novel - Vintage Books, 2011) Adrian Tinniswood, Pirates of Barbary: Corsairs, Conquests and Captivity in the 17th century (Vintage Books, 2010) D. Vitkus (ed.), Piracy, Slavery and Redemption: Barbary Captivity Narratives from Early Modern England (Columbia University Press, 2001) J. M. White, Piracy and Law in the Ottoman Mediterranean (Stanford University Press, 2018)

Duration:00:52:59

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The Federalist Papers

11/9/2023
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay's essays written in 1787/8 in support of the new US Constitution. They published these anonymously in New York as 'Publius' but, when it became known that Hamilton and Madison were the main authors, the essays took on a new significance for all states. As those two men played a major part in drafting the Constitution itself, their essays have since informed debate over what the authors of that Constitution truly intended. To some, the essays have proved to be America’s greatest contribution to political thought. With Frank Cogliano Professor of American History at the University of Edinburgh and Interim Saunders Director of the International Centre for Jefferson Studies at Monticello Kathleen Burk Professor Emerita of Modern and Contemporary History at University College London And Nicholas Guyatt Professor of North American History at the University of Cambridge Producer: Simon Tillotson Reading list: Bernard Bailyn, To Begin the World Anew: The Genius and Ambiguities of the American Founders (Knopf, 2003) Mary Sarah Bilder, Madison’s Hand: Revising the Constitutional Convention (Harvard University Press, 2015) Noah Feldman, The Three Lives of James Madison: Genius, Partisan, President (Random House, 2017) Jonathan Gienapp, The Second Creation: Fixing the American Constitution in the Founding Era (Harvard University Press, 2018) Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, James Madison (eds. George W. Carey and James McClellan), The Federalist: The Gideon Edition (Liberty Fund, 2001) Alison L. LaCroix, The Ideological Origins of American Federalism (Harvard University Press, 2010) James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay, The Federalist Papers (Penguin, 1987) Pauline Maier, Ratification: The People Debate the Constitution, 1787-1788 (Simon and Schuster, 2010) Michael I. Meyerson, Liberty's Blueprint: How Madison and Hamilton Wrote the Federalist Papers, Defined the Constitution, and Made Democracy Safe for the World (Basic Books, 2008) Jack Rakove, Original Meanings: Politics and Ideas in the Making of the Constitution (Knopf, 1996) Jack N. Rakove and Colleen A. Sheehan, The Cambridge Companion to The Federalist (Cambridge University Press, 2020)

Duration:00:50:41

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The Economic Consequences of the Peace

10/26/2023
In an extended version of the programme that was broadcast, Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the influential book John Maynard Keynes wrote in 1919 after he resigned in protest from his role at the Paris Peace Conference. There the victors of World War One were deciding the fate of the defeated, especially Germany and Austria-Hungary, and Keynes wanted the world to know his view that the economic consequences would be disastrous for all. Soon Germany used his book to support their claim that the Treaty was grossly unfair, a sentiment that fed into British appeasement in the 1930s and has since prompted debate over whether Keynes had only warned of disaster or somehow contributed to it. With Margaret MacMillan Emeritus Professor of International History at the University of Oxford Michael Cox Emeritus Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics and Founding Director of LSE IDEAS And Patricia Clavin Professor of Modern History at the University of Oxford Producer: Simon Tillotson Reading list: Manfred F. Boemeke, Gerald D. Feldman and Elisabeth Glaser (eds.), The Treaty of Versailles: A Reassessment after 75 Years (Cambridge University Press, 1998) Zachary D. Carter, The Price of Peace: Money, Democracy and the Life of John Maynard Keynes (Random House, 2020) Peter Clarke, Keynes: The Twentieth Century’s Most Influential Economist (Bloomsbury, 2009) Patricia Clavin et al (eds.), Keynes’s Economic Consequences of the Peace after 100 Years: Polemics and Policy (Cambridge University Press, 2023) Patricia Clavin, ‘Britain and the Making of Global Order after 1919: The Ben Pimlott Memorial Lecture’ (Twentieth Century British History, Vol. 31:3, 2020) Richard Davenport-Hines, Universal Man; The Seven Lives of John Maynard Keynes (William Collins, 2015) R. F. Harrod, John Maynard Keynes (first published 1951; Pelican, 1972) Jens Holscher and Matthias Klaes (eds), Keynes’s Economic Consequences of the Peace: A Reappraisal (Pickering & Chatto, 2014) John Maynard Keynes (with an introduction by Michael Cox), The Economic Consequences of the Peace (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019) Margaret MacMillan, Peacemakers: Six Months that Changed the World (John Murray Publishers, 2001) Etienne Mantoux, The Carthaginian Peace or the Economic Consequences of Mr. Keynes (Oxford University Press, 1946) D. E. Moggridge, Maynard Keynes: An Economist’s Biography (Routledge, 1992) Alan Sharp, Versailles 1919: A Centennial Perspective (Haus Publishing Ltd, 2018) Robert Skidelsky, John Maynard Keynes, 1883-1946 (Pan Macmillan, 2004) Jürgen Tampke, A Perfidious Distortion of History: The Versailles Peace Treaty and the Success of the Nazis (Scribe UK, 2017) Adam Tooze, The Deluge: The Great War, America and the Remaking of the Global Order, 1916-1931 (Penguin Books, 2015)

Duration:01:06:09

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Louis XIV: The Sun King

6/22/2023
In 1661 the 23 year-old French king Louis the XIV had been on the throne for 18 years when his chief minister, Cardinal Mazarin, died. Louis is reported to have said to his ministers, “It is now time that I govern my affairs myself. You will assist me with your counsels when I ask for them [but] I order you to seal no orders except by my command… I order you not to sign anything, not even a passport, without my command, and to render account to me personally each day” So began the personal rule of Louis XIV, which lasted a further 54 years until his death in 1715. From his newly-built palace at Versailles, Louis was able to project an image of himself as the centre of gravity around which all of France revolved: it’s no accident that he became known as the Sun King. He centralized power to the extent he was able to say ‘L’etat c’est moi’: I am the state. Under his rule France became the leading diplomatic, military and cultural power in Europe. With Catriona Seth Marshal Foch Professor of French Literature at the University of Oxford Guy Rowlands Professor of Early Modern History at the University of St Andrews and Penny Roberts Professor of Early Modern History at the University of Warwick Producer: Luke Mulhall

Duration:00:47:25

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The Shimabara Rebellion

6/8/2023
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the Christian uprising in Japan and its profound and long-term consequences. In the 1630s, Japan was ruled by the Tokagawa Shoguns, a military dynasty who, 30 years earlier, had unified the country, ending around two centuries of civil war. In 1637 a rebellion broke out in the province of Shimabara, in the south of the country. It was a peasants’ revolt, following years of bad harvests in which the local lord had refused to lower taxes. Many of the rebels were Christians, and they fought under a Christian banner. The central government’s response was merciless. They met the rebels with an army of 150 000 men, possibly the largest force assembled anywhere in the world during the Early Modern period. Once the rebellion had been suppressed, the Shogun enforced a ban on Christianity and expelled nearly all foreigners from the country. Japan remained more or less completely sealed off from the rest of the world for the next 250 years. With Satona Suzuki Lecturer in Japanese and Modern Japanese History at SOAS, University of London Erica Baffelli Professor of Japanese Studies at the University of Manchester and Christopher Harding Senior Lecturer in Asian History at the University of Edinburgh Producer Luke Mulhall

Duration:00:48:03

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The Battle of Crécy

5/11/2023
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the brutal events of 26 August 1346, when the armies of France and England met in a funnel-shaped valley outside the town of Crécy in northern France. Although the French, led by Philip VI, massively outnumbered the English, under the command of Edward III, the English won the battle, and French casualties were huge. The English victory is often attributed to the success of their longbowmen against the heavy cavalry of the French. The Battle of Crécy was the result of years of simmering tension between Edward III and Philip VI, and it led to decades of further conflict between England and France, a conflict that came to be known as the Hundred Years War. With Anne Curry Emeritus Professor of Medieval History at the University of Southampton Andrew Ayton Senior Research Fellow in History at Keele University and Erika Graham-Goering Lecturer in Late Medieval History at Durham University Producer Luke Mulhall

Duration:00:50:49

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Cnut

5/4/2023
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the Danish prince who became a very effective King of England in 1016. Cnut inherited a kingdom in a sorry state. The north and east coast had been harried by Viking raiders, and his predecessor King Æthelred II had struggled to maintain order amongst the Anglo-Saxon nobility too. Cnut proved to be skilful ruler. Not only did he bring stability and order to the kingdom, he exported the Anglo-Saxon style of centralised government to Denmark. Under Cnut, England became the cosmopolitan centre of a multi-national North Atlantic Empire, and a major player in European politics. With Erin Goeres Associate Professor of Old Norse Language and Literature at University College London Pragya Vohra Lecturer in Medieval History at the University of York and Elizabeth Tyler Professor of Medieval Literature and Co-Director of the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of York Producer Luke Mulhall

Duration:00:51:10

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Solon the Lawgiver

4/20/2023
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Solon, who was elected archon or chief magistrate of Athens in 594 BC: some see him as the father of Athenian democracy. In the first years of the 6th century BC, the city state of Athens was in crisis. The lower orders of society were ravaged by debt, to the point where some were being forced into slavery. An oppressive law code mandated the death penalty for everything from murder to petty theft. There was a real danger that the city could fall into either tyranny or civil war. Solon instituted a programme of reforms that transformed Athens’ political and legal systems, its society and economy, so that later generations referred to him as Solon the Lawgiver. With Melissa Lane Class of 1943 Professor of Politics at Princeton University Hans van Wees Grote Professor of Ancient History at University College London and William Allan Professor of Greek and McConnell Laing Tutorial Fellow in Greek and Latin Languages and Literature at University College, University of Oxford Producer Luke Mulhall

Duration:00:51:20

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Mercantilism

4/13/2023
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss how, between the 16th and 18th centuries, Europe was dominated by an economic way of thinking called mercantilism. The key idea was that exports should be as high as possible and imports minimised. For more than 300 years, almost every ruler and political thinker was a mercantilist. Eventually, economists including Adam Smith, in his ground-breaking work of 1776 The Wealth of Nations, declared that mercantilism was a flawed concept and it became discredited. However, a mercantilist economic approach can still be found in modern times and today’s politicians sometimes still use rhetoric related to mercantilism. With D’Maris Coffman Professor in Economics and Finance of the Built Environment at University College London Craig Muldrew Professor of Social and Economic History at the University of Cambridge and a Member of Queens’ College and Helen Paul, Lecturer in Economics and Economic History at the University of Southampton. Producer Luke Mulhall

Duration:00:57:33

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Megaliths

3/30/2023
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss megaliths - huge stones placed in the landscape, often visually striking and highly prominent. Such stone monuments in Britain and Ireland mostly date from the Neolithic period, and the most ancient are up to 6,000 years old. In recent decades, scientific advances have enabled archaeologists to learn a large amount about megalithic structures and the people who built them, but much about these stones remains unknown and mysterious. With Vicki Cummings Professor of Neolithic Archaeology at the University of Central Lancashire Julian Thomas Professor of Archaeology at the University of Manchester and Susan Greaney Lecturer in Archaeology at the University of Exeter.

Duration:00:50:26