Footnotes of History

Footnotes of History

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footnotesofhistory.com - the podcast that sails confidently into the uncharted waters of the past, bringing back incredible treasures for its listeners. You’ll wish you’d listened harder in school as we reveal the oft-forgotten history of the nineteenth century .


30 - Killing the Sick Man of Europe: The New Balkans Part I
Jun 26 • 48 min
In this episode, your daring hosts examine the tangled story of the Congress of Berlin. In 1877, having spent the entire preceding century at each other’s throats, arch-rivals Russia and the Ottoman Empire went to war again. Russia considered itself the…
29 - How “blood and iron” sent one man mad enough to build castles in the sky
Jun 9 • 61 min
Short story long: The one with the biggest army gets to make the rules regardless of whether they’re morally legitimate. This is essentially the story of German unification. Historians will argue that Bismarck was “clever” and that he “manoeuvred”…
28 - The dangerous “blind spot” in Britain’s nineteenth century success story
May 26 • 63 min
Britain had a good nineteenth century. To know this, you really only have to compare it to other nations of Europe (and actually the world). The “Concert of Europe” – a loosely coordinated regime of quite punishing military repression, censorship and…
27 - The First Russian Rockstar
Mar 24 • 77 min
He was a man who personified his country’s culture but also rose above it – fusing Russian influences with Western to create music pieces which remain some of the world’s favourites today. By the end of his life he was wildly rich, yet subject to such…
26 - In Ophelia’s Shadow: The Tragedy of Elizabeth Siddall
Mar 10 • 71 min
Back in 1848, a gang of rather pretentious young men with a sentimental disaffection for daily life started their own cultural revolution. They were artists, poets and intellectuals of independent means, intent on shaping a new, idealised world of their…
25 - The Original Sugar Daddy: How Sir Henry Tate made life sweeter for everyone
Feb 17 • 53 min
Having overcome our slight distraction by showbiz and movies in the last few episodes, Dan and I return to form in this episode, dabbling classic Victorian industrial revolution material with a bit of art. Henry Tate was a towering individual whose humble…
24 - Demagogues and demonstrators: Peterloo on screen
Nov 21, 2018 • 36 min
Would you believe, this week it’s our SECOND episode about the Peterloo Massacre of 1819. Some people would probably have stopped at one. To tell you the truth, most people would probably have stopped at zero. But not us. Your courageous podcasters are…
23 - Famine & Fury on Film
Oct 10, 2018 • 30 min
See the show page at Footnotesofhistory.com/23 This time round Dan and I are discussing a controversial flick with its roots in the struggles between Britain and Ireland. Or I ought to say England and Ireland (since Ireland was at the time a formal part…
22 - Peterloo: The hot take, 200 years on
Sep 6, 2018 • 32 min
Show notes: footnotesofhistory.com/22 The release of a new film this very year means one particular event is undoubtedly going to be crowding the headlines of any right-thinking tabloid and broadsheet this autumn. This is of course the Peterloo Massacre.…
21 - Your business is our business – The dark side of The Age of Peel
Jul 29, 2018 • 55 min
It’s a time when everyone alive remembered the French Revolution. To the British elites, it seemed conceivable that similar uprisings could still take place closer to home. Our second episode examines three flashpoints in this period. First, the…
20 - Truth, Freedom & Prosperity: Robert Peel Part 1
Jul 19, 2018 • 38 min
Want the story of 1860s Europe? Whet your appetite at footnotesofhistory.com/threenations Shownotes at footnotesofhistory.com/20 I don’t think there is a period of history that can’t be described as a period of change. But this one is significant. Change…
19 - The Greatest Showman: MacGregor’s South American Mania
Jun 30, 2018 • 45 min
Want more FOH? Visit footnotesofhistory.com/join Get the shownotes at footnotesofhistory.com/19 In the 1820s, the capital markets of Britain surged on the ramping price of South American bonds. As the Spanish Empire was beaten back, new countries were…
18 - How to Launch an Art Movement
Jun 17, 2018 • 54 min
Want more FOH? Visit footnotesofhistory.com/join Shownotes at footnotesofhistory.com/18 In July of 1870, France - onetime cultural capital of the world - rather ill-advisedly went to war with Prussia, Europe’s menacing new power. In the ensuing chaos,…
17 - Sunrise: The Dawn of the Empire of Japan
May 30, 2018 • 39 min
Want more FOH? Visit footnotesofhistory.com/join Shownotes at footnotesofhistory.com/17 In the exciting climax to our mini series looking at imperialism in Eastern Asia, Japan is torn apart by a vicious civil war that pits the Shogunate against the…
16 - He’s Not The Messiah: The Taipeng Rebellion
May 22, 2018 • 52 min
Want more FOH? Visit footnotesofhistory.com/join Shownotes at footnotesofhistory.com/16 All Python references aside, the Taipeng Rebellion is probably one of the bloodiest events in the history of the world and is almost certainly the bloodiest of the…
15 - The Empire Strikes Back: The Second Opium War
May 11, 2018 • 33 min
Want more FOH? Visit footnotesofhistory.com/join Subscribe and get shownotes at footnotesofhistory.com/15 We’re back in the East for China’s second run-in with the European powers. What with the humiliation experienced by China at the hands of Britain a…
14 - The Siren Call of the West: The Donner Party
May 4, 2018 • 53 min
Want more FOH? Visit footnotesofhistory.com/join Subscribe for updates and find shownotes at footnotesofhistory.com/14 Many factors drove families to emigrate in nineteenth century America. Be it escaping debts, chasing fame and fortune, dodging disease…
13 - Education is More Popular Than Ever
Apr 30, 2018 • 37 min
Want more FOH? Visit footnotesofhistory.com/join Shownotes at: footnotesofhistory.com/13 What is the state of education in Great Britain? Such was the question asked in 1859 by the Commission brought together by the Palmerston Government. Tasked with…
12 - The War on Drugs #1: Britain & China Clash over Opium
Apr 30, 2018 • 48 min
Want more FOH? Visit footnotesofhistory.com/join Shownotes at footnotesofhistory.com/12 Staying with the Eastern theme, this episode takes our listeners a few hundred miles west and a few decades earlier of Episode 11, presenting them with scenes that may…
11 - Making Sushi of the Shogunate - The Opening of Japan
Apr 29, 2018 • 54 min
Want more FOH? Visit footnotesofhistory.com/join Shownotes at footnotesofhistory.com/11 Today’s episode takes us eastwards during the turbulent 1850s as two nations - indeed civlisations - clash. During the mid Victorian period, newly industrialised…
10 - The Great Stink
Apr 29, 2018 • 38 min
Want more FOH? Visit footnotesofhistory.com/join Shownotes at footnotesofhistory.com/10 Here at Footnotes of History, we like to think we’re all about doing the dirty work of finding the historical details so that you don’t have to. At no point has that…
3 - The Creation of Frankenstein & The Vampyre_
Apr 28, 2018 • 39 min
Want more FOH? Visit footnotesofhistory.com/join Shownotes at footnotesofhistory.com/3 It was a dark and stormy night… ​​​​​​​Ok so you all saw that one coming as soon as you read the title, but how did five people swapping ghost stories in 1816 lead to…
4 - Nelson’s Shadow, Napoleon’s Mirror - The Life and Times of Sidney Smith
Apr 28, 2018 • 44 min
Want more FOH? Visit footnotesofhistory.com/join Remembered by Napoleon as the man who made him miss his destiny, sneered at by his fellow officers for being a Swedish knight and disliked by Nelson because…well, he was also hungry for glory Sidney Smith’s…
2 - The New York City Draft Riots
Apr 28, 2018 • 34 min
Want more FOH? Visit footnotesofhistory.com/join Shownotes at footnotesofhistory.com/2 You’ve just crossed the Atlantic on a rickety ship, escaping near-starvation existence in your home country to arrive in a city of wonder. New York has it all -…
1 - The British Legions: The Birth of South America
Apr 28, 2018 • 41 min
Want more FOH? Visit footnotesofhistory.com/join Shownotes can be found at http://www.footnotesofhistory.com/1 What do you do if you’re a veteran British soldier, just as your country emerges from nearly half a century of fighting? North America is lost,…
6 - The Great Trek
Apr 27, 2018 • 37 min
Want more FOH? Visit footnotesofhistory.com/join Shownotes for this episode are at: http://www.footnotesofhistory.com/6 It’s the journey that gave a country its foundational legend and shows just how tough life was in the 19th Century, but the Great Trek…
5 - The Mother of All Free Trade Deals
Apr 26, 2018 • 42 min
Want more FOH? Visit footnotesofhistory.com/join Show notes for this episode can be found at footnotesofhistory.com/5 How do you prevent a seemingly inevitable war? Well, peaceful cooperation is a start - free exchange of goods between nations is for the…
8 - The Road From Serfdom
Apr 26, 2018 • 48 min
Want more FOH? Visit footnotesofhistory.com/join The show notes for this episode are at: www.footnotesofhistory.com/8 If you think of people gaining their freedom in the 1860s your mind will probably go straight to the American Civil War and the end of…
9 - Russian America
Apr 13, 2018 • 44 min
Want more FOH? Visit footnotesofhistory.com/join Do you need a bit of extra cash? Do you need to pay off some of your nobles to compensate them for freeing their serfs? Why not sell a piece of territory to the United States? That was what Tsar Alexander…
7 - Smoke On The Water - The Industrial Revolution at Sea
Apr 8, 2018 • 42 min
Want more FOH? Visit footnotesofhistory.com/join Sail ruled the waves for well over a thousand years and its triumph in 1805 at Trafalgar has established its place forever in the public mind. But over the next three decades, the convergence of three…