Monday, 7 February 2011

Edmund Ironside - Rex Factor Podcast

Edmund Ironside became king under pretty poor circumstances but succeeded in if not making a silk purse out of a sow's ear, at least dealing with the mighty Canute in a way that earns respect.  And as the Rex Factor team point out, his name is nearly as good as some of the Viking ones too.

The guys behind Rex Factor describe it as a light hearted romp through the kings of England.  It is a pretty good description.  The format is two guys talking about kings, with one being knowledgeable and the other asking questions.  I personally found it a bit irritating and won't be listening to any more episodes.  I won't write it off though.  They have done what they set out to do pretty well and I can imagine that it would appeal to a lot of people.  If you want an introduction to English history and don't know very much about it yet, it could well be a good choice as a starting point.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

The Song Dynasty North and South, Episodes 27 and 28 - The China History Podcast

Song dynasty China was a huge state, and a very advanced one.  Many of the inventions that have gone on to create the modern world were first developed there.  The sheer scale of the Chinese economy astonished observers, and can still amaze us today looking back on it.  The Song themselves don't seem to have had a huge amount to do with the success of their empire.  They were to be totally annihilated by the Mongols under Kublai Khan with the last Song general and the 8 year old emperor in his charge throwing themselves from a cliff rather than suffer the humiliation of capture.  But Chinese culture seems to have continued perfectly smoothly without them.

As this is't a chronological history I thought it would be okay to jump straight in half way through, but I probably missed out by not being a bit more patient and trying out some of the earlier episodes.  There are references to earlier material.  This is a very solid and well researched podcast presented clearly.  You need to have a strong interest in China though because it goes into lots of detail, but you might very well acquire a strong interest in China from listening to it.

Discuss this and other history podcasts on the history podcast forum

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Death Throes of the Republic IV - Hardcore History Dan Carlin

When Dan Carlin calls his series hardcore, he isn't joking.  In this episode of the series examining the fall of the republic he goes into full and gory detail about the long stand off between Sulla and Senna. The length of the shows - this one weighs in at nearly an hour and a half - and the details he goes into of the political background and the characters really let you feel you can live and breath through the events.

Discuss this and other history podcasts on the history podcast forum

Friday, 4 February 2011

Pirates from the North- History of England by David Crowther

Dave Crowther is obviously enjoying this bit of his story, and it makes for an enjoyable listen as well.  England is attacked, along with a great many other places, by fast moving heathen thugs.  Its lock up your daughters, lock up your churches and bury your treasure time.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

The West Saxon Bretwalda - History of England by David Crowther

This is the second podcast in a new series being done by David Crowther following the royal family of England.  He starts with the Saxon invasion and the rise of the house of Wessex.  We are still back in the sixth century here so they haven't risen very far yet.  In this episode Caelwin is basically fighting a lot.