For everyone My Favourite Things: Best history podcasts

A good podcast is perfect listening for any history wonk. We list a few of our faves.

 

 

Stuff the British Stole

Walkley-award winning journalist Marc Fennell hosts this half-hour podcast looking into the background of some of the stolen items in private collections, museums and galleries around the world. Find out the real back story of Pocahontas, dodos, illegal seeds, secret chalices, bizarre boxing matches, tattooed heads, toy tigers, Pekingese dogs, and much more. It’s time for a reckoning with these stolen artefacts.

The Rest is History

These are hour-long podcasts hosted by two British historians who know a great deal about a lot of different aspects of history. They cover things from the Colosseum, the Taj Mahal, and Pompeii, to fascism, Hitler, the 1973 Chilean coup, and Watergate – not to mention revolutions: the Russian revolution, the industrial revolution, and, most importantly, the teenage revolution.

The History Chicks

These are long podcasts about women from history, including Louisa May Alcott, Frankenstein author Mary Shelley, Lucille Ball, Frida Kahlo, Coco Chanel, Dorothy Parker, and the woman behind Veuve Clicquot champagne, the fascinating Barbe-Nicole Clicquot. In each episode, the two hosts examine the life of one woman and her legacy since, providing notes for further reading.

Archive Fever

Local historian–authors Clare Wright and Yves Rees host their “peak nerd” podcast in which they speak to fellow “archive addicts” about the addiction to research, and how and when they started delving into archives. Guests include Zoe Coombs Marr, Professor Judith Brett, broadcaster Tamara Oudyn, and authors Kate Grenville, Jess Hill and Helen Garner.

Australian Aboriginal history

La Trobe University’s Professor Richard Broome recorded this series a decade ago, but it is still relevant, and includes: the Frontier Wars, missionaries, racial ideas at Federation, the Stolen Generations, and protectionism. Broome steps out to the larger context, analysing the way settler Australians have imagined themselves in the world, and how this affected their relationship to the land.

Australian Histories Podcast

For lovers of recent Australian history, this covers so much of the past 200 years, from the Royal Flying Doctor Service to the Overland telegraph line, the Rum Rebellion, Australian Rules, Henry Lawson, convicts, the Snowy Mountains Scheme, Eureka Stockade, the the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and more.

Aussie History Podcast

James Dampier is the host, with episodes around the 20-minute mark, covering a range of post-colonial events, including the Australia First movement, Sydney’s 1930s razor gang wars, the Granville rail disaster, the Westgate Bridge tragedy, and the Battle of Broken Hill. We also hear about heroes and activists Reg Saunders, Vera Deakin, Oodgeroo Noonuccal, and more.

Speakola

Hosted by ex-footballer and author Tony Wilson, Speakola features famous speeches across time. Including speeches from the likes of Paul Keating, Julia Gillard’s famous misogyny speech, Adam Elliot’s Academy Award acceptance, Stan Grant on the Australian Dream, and many more. This is inspiring, big-hearted stuff.

In Our Time

In this long-running BBC podcast, host Melvyn Bragg brings guests in for vast-ranging discussions on Jupiter, mitochondria, the Dead Sea Scrolls, Virginia Woolf, Citizen Kane, the River Thames and the Great Stink in the hot summer of 1858, Bauhaus, the Sistine Chapel, the temperance movement, and anything else you can think of!

You’re Wrong About

American journalist Sarah Marshall applies her sharp and funny lens to moments both silly and serious, from pop culture headlines like Tom Cruise jumping on Oprah’s couch, the OJ Simpson trial, Harry and Meghan, and Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction, to contemporary issues such as political correctness and cancel culture.

You’re Dead to Me

For lovers of comedy, Greg Jenner hosts this hour-long podcast for the BBC with a range of special guests who talk about Atlantis, PT Barnum, Agatha Christie, Captain Cook’s First Voyage, the Bayeux Tapestry, Joan of Arc, the Tang Dynasty and some lighter issues such as the history of ice cream, and the history of high heels.

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