Invisible Lives

Invisible Lives
Who are history’s greatest nobodies? Here you’ll meet Britain’s most intriguing yet often unknown characters. Just like in the best detective stories, the past is packed with fascinating tales that are often stranger than fiction and twice as grippi

The remarkable story of the slave who became Britain’s wealthiest black man : Nathaniel Wells
Feb 15 • 11 min
At the turn of the 19th century one of Britain’s most admired estates welcomed a new owner. The beautiful Piercefield Park in Wales which had been built by the owner of a sugar plantation worked by slaves became home to a black owner who’d himself been…
Stop Press! The true story behind one of the greatest so called scoops in newspaper history.
Jan 31 • 10 min
Was this the greatest hoax in British newspaper history?
The English boy who became “Grey Owl.”
Jan 8 • 16 min
The secret life of “Grey Owl” who foxed his many followers in to believing his Native American roots.
The ghosts of 10 Downing Street. Could a disreputable Archbishop haunt the Prime Minister’s home?
Dec 22, 2019 • 11 min
A depraved Archbishop once lived in the home of Britain’s Prime Minister. The lascivious life of the Archbishop of York; Lancelot Blackburn
Was he Britain’s first investigative journalist? The man who inspired Charles Dickens; Henry Mayhew.
Dec 1, 2019 • 13 min
Who was the founding father of philanthropic journalism? Henry Mayhew revealed the grim realities of life to polite Victorian society.
How did a dusty coalman called Thomas Britton transform English cultural life?
Nov 17, 2019 • 9 min
How did a lowly coalman called Thomas Britton give musicians like Handel their first performance venue?
The living dead. Three chilling tales from beyond the grave.
Oct 29, 2019 • 12 min
A chilling compendium of true-life tales to mark Halloween; Hannah Beswick, James Lowther & Elizabeth Siddal
Murder Most Foul - The grim secret that haunted the original Miss Marple, Margaret Rutherford.
Oct 20, 2019 • 11 min
Why was one of Britain’s best loved actresses terrified of losing her mind? The tragic tale that troubled the original Miss Marple.
A scandal in England’s aristocracy : The lusty Lord and the Spanish dancer
Oct 4, 2019 • 15 min
The tragic tale of Henry Sackville West. Disinherited from one of Britain’s “noblest” of families.
The double life of Roberta Cowell; Britain’s first trans woman to undergo sex reassignment surgery.
Sep 8, 2019 • 12 min
From fighter pilot to designer of Hollywood ball gowns; the extraordinary life of Britain’s first sex reassignment pioneer; Roberta Cowell.
Did a man called David Blair hold the key to the Titanic’s demise?
Aug 30, 2019 • 9 min
The guilty secret of a missing key could unlock the mystery behind the tragic loss of life on board the Titanic.
The unsung pioneer of Penicillin: PC Albert Alexander
Jul 30, 2019 • 8 min
One of the greatest discoveries in medical history was all prompted with a small scratch to the skin of a British Policeman. We all owe him a debt of gratitude.
The miraculous moment that changed the life of Charles Jeffries
Jul 22, 2019 • 12 min
A life changing moment turns a man who attacks Christians in to a leading figure in a religious army.
Charles Waterton; pioneering Victorian eco-warrior.
Jul 5, 2019 • 17 min
Why are some of life’s greatest thinkers dismissed as dreamers. Charles Waterton was one we should have taken heed of.
Eagle House; Britain’s secret Suffragette refuge
Jun 21, 2019 • 13 min
Why was an important place in feminist history thoughtlessly swept away?
The remarkable life of Doris Hatt : Revolutionary Artist
Jun 4, 2019 • 13 min
A poignant last wish begs for recognition of an overlooked great artist. But what dark secrets in Cold War Britain was Doris Hatt hiding?
Bonus Episode: Doris Hatt Research Interview. (To follow story segment.)
Jun 4, 2019 • 13 min
Hear one of the research interviews behind the extraordinary story of Doris Hatt. Please listen after hearing the story episode first.
Ada Lovelace
May 22, 2019 • 11 min
Ada Lovelace was the prophet for the computer age, first spotting its potential in the 1840’s.
Dr James Barry
May 17, 2019 • 12 min
The true and tragic tale of one of the most pioneering yet largely unknown doctors in the world.
Mrs Humphrey Ward
May 17, 2019 • 15 min
Why did such a successful author end up being a figure of hatred?