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Chalke Valley History Hit

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Last Hope Island - Lynne Olson

In the early days of World War II, London became the base of operations for the exiled leaders of occupied Europe. In their struggles against the mightiest military force in history, Britain become known as 'Last Hope Island’. In this episode, acclaimed historian Lynne Olson discusses her book and describes how the British and their European guests joined forces to restore order to a broken continent.

Duration: 00:56:10

They Called it Passchendaele - Lyn MacDonald

Lyn Macdonald remains revered as the great chronicler of the human experience of the Western Front and has recorded interviews with more veterans of the First World War than any other. In this talk she will return to the subject of her first book, the Battle of Passchendaele, fought a hundred years ago in 1917, bringing rare insights and perspectives to this bloody, muddy and brutal battle.

Duration: 01:03:50

Al Murray on Field Marshal Montegomery of Alamein

Al Murray brought his immense knowledge to bear in defence of Field Marshal Montgomery of Alamein, discussing the life, career, great victories and controversies of Britain’s most famous wartime general.

Duration: 00:56:45

Game of Queens: The Women Who Made Sixteenth Century Europe - Sarah Gristwood

Sarah Gristwood has written bestselling biographies of Arbella Stuart, and Elizabeth and Leicester. Blood Sisters was a dramatic portrait of the women whose dynastic ambitions and rivalries fuelled the Wars of the Roses and her latest book is Game of Queens: the Women Who Made Sixteenth-Century Europe.

Duration: 00:41:27

The Importance of History - Dan Snow

We live in troubling times and with people comparing the Age of Trump with some of the most disturbing periods in history, an understanding of the past has never been more relevant. In this closing festival talk, Dan Snow brought his deep passion for the subject and wide-ranging knowledge together in a polemic on the importance of history and why we should all study the extraordinary story of our past.

Duration: 01:01:55

Monty Don

Britain’s favourite gardener, renowned writer and television presenter, Monty Don talks about the evolving history of British gardens from 1600 to the present day and in particular how technology, sometimes of an unexpected kind, has influenced and shaped our landscapes and back gardens and how we use them.

Duration: 01:07:20

Andrew Marr

Andrew Marr is one of our most popular and respected political journalists.

Duration: 00:58:59

Dunkirk - James Holland

James looks at one of the most iconic moments in Britain’s history. He examines the background to the German attack on the West in May 1940, challenging many of our deeply held perceptions, and explains why the British evacuation of Dunkirk was, and remains, such a significant event.

Duration: 01:03:11

German WWII Veteran - Günter Halm

Günter Halm was an anti-tank gunner who served in North Africa under Rommel and later in Normandy, and received his Knight’s Cross for destroying nine British tanks at Alamein in July 1942. He was awarded his medal by Field Marshal Rommel in person.

Duration: 01:03:20

The Plantagenets: Britain's Bloodiest Dynasty - Dan Jones

The fifteenth century saw the crown change hands seven times as the great Plantagenet families fought to the death for power, majesty and the right to rule. Dan Jones breathes life into some of the greatest heroes and villains in English history, who tore themselves apart and enabled the Tudors to snatch the throne.

Duration: 01:01:28

Rani Lakshmibai Of Jhansi, India's Joan Of Arc - James Heneage

James Heneage is a founder of the Chalke Valley History Festival and was founder of the Ottakar’s chain of bookshops which was sold to Waterstones in 2006. He is a former Chairman of the Cheltenham Literary Festival and a Booker Prize judge.

Duration: 00:58:53

King Alfred - Michael Wood

Michael Woods speaks of the making of England under King Alfred.

Duration: 00:57:00

The Romanovs - Simon Sebag Montefiore

The House of Romanov was the second dynasty, after the Rurik dynasty, to rule over Russia, which reigned from 1613 until the abdication of Czar Nicholas II on March 15, 1917, as a result of the February Revolution.

Duration: 00:54:31

The Peasants’ Revolt - Melvyn Bragg

Melvyn Bragg paints a colourful portrait of the 1381 violent uprising, the biggest armed rebellion against Church and State in English history.

Duration: 01:01:58

The Dreyfus Affair - Robert Harris

In this talk, best-selling author Robert Harris turns to one of the key scandals in French history, the Dreyfus Affair. Discussing this infamous miscarriage of justice that rocked France in the years before the first world war, he brings new insights to this world of secret service dealings, cover-ups and betrayal…

Duration: 00:59:53

Jung Chang - Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China

In this talk, best-selling author of Wild Swans, Jung Chang gave a panoramic depiction of the birth of modern china and an intimate portrait of the most important woman in Chinese history. One of the emperor’s concubines, she launched a palace coup to become the Empress Dowager Cixi, the absolute ruler of a third of the world’s population who overcame huge obstacles to bring a medieval empire into the modern age.

Duration: 00:59:10

The Bomber Crew

We had the privilege of having a complete 7-man crew who made up the different roles on a Lancaster bomber during the Second World War at Chalke Valley History Festival in 2015. George ‘Johnnie’ Johnson, Jo Lancaster, Frank Tilley, Hal Gardner, John de Hoop, Dave Fellowes, Steve Bethell were in discussion with Paul Beaver. It was the chance to hear what it was like to fly over Nazi-occupied Europe, whether pilot, bomb- aimer, navigator, flight engineer, tail-gunner, radio operator or...

Duration: 00:44:44

Martin Brown - Drawing Horrible Histories

Martin Brown is a published author, illustrator, and a translator of children’s books. His illustrations for the wildly successful series of Horrible Histories has made him a household name.

Duration: 00:47:35

Anna Keay - The Duke of Monmouth

Dr. Anna Keay is the Director of the Landmark Trust. The Last Royal Rebel: The Life and Death of James, Duke of Monmouth is out now.

Duration: 01:01:58

Dr Sam Willis - Shipwreck: A History of Disasters at Sea

Sam Willis is a maritime historian, archaeologist, and broadcaster. He is the author of a number of books on maritime and naval history, including the Hearts of Oak trilogy and the Fighting Ships series. He has appeared in and presented numerous TV series, including Shipwrecks and Castles for BBC4 and Operation Grand Canyon for BBC2. He is a Visiting Fellow in Maritime and Naval History at the University of Plymouth, a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and a Fellow of the Society of...

Duration: 01:03:40

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