History Today Podcast
The Rise of the Valkyries
Season 2, Ep. 14
Life and death in a Viking battle depended not on military prowess, but on the favour of the valkyries. Why were these mythical figures, who decided a warrior’s fate, female?
This article was part of our Miscellanies series. Sign up to receive this free weekly long read in your inbox, at https://www.historytoday.com/miscellanies.
Written by Jóhanna Katrín Friðriksdóttir. Read by Greig Johnson.
Music: Kai Engel.
22. Medicine Woman22:03'Doc' Susan Anderson set out to prove that 'a woman could be a good doctor'. She did so in the most difficult surroundings: America's Wild West.An audio long read of the article published in the December issue of History Today. You can read the article online here, or buy a copy of the issue from our website.Written by Susan Jonusas. Read by Greig Johnson.Music: Jan MorgensternImage: Susan Anderson, c.1900. Wikimedia/Creative Commons.
21. The Crown Lost at Sea31:13This year marks the 900th anniversary of the worst maritime disaster suffered by the English Crown and, arguably, by England. The sinking of the White Ship – a vessel carrying the English king Henry I’s sole heir – on 25 November 1120, was a disaster from which anarchy would follow. Join Charles Spencer, author of The White Ship: Conquest, Anarchy and the Wrecking of Henry I’s Dream (William Collins, 2020) in conversation with History Today Editor Paul Lay. Charles has also written an article on the White Ship for the December issue of the magazine, on sale at newsstands across the UK, on our website, and as a digital edition on the History Today app.
20. The Wars of the Roses: The Queen who Lost Everything24:28In the Wars of the Roses, Margaret is remembered as a warrior queen, the ‘she-wolf of France’. But the means by which she operated in the period of Lancastrian exile from 1461-71 – her unceasing diplomatic efforts in Europe and campaign of resistance in northern England – have tended to be sidelined in histories of this apparently national conflict. The story of Margaret’s campaign to regain the crown for the House of Lancaster is one of daring deeds, admirable courage and tragedy wrenched from the jaws of triumph.Despite her valiant efforts on their behalf, Margaret of Anjou would lose both her husband and her son in the dynastic tragedy of the Wars of the Roses. This article appeared in the November issue of History Today. Read the article online here, or buy a copy of the issue from our website.Written by Lauren Johnson. Read by Greig Johnson.Music: Kai EngelImage: Margaret of Anjou, seated with Henry VI, is presented with a book of romances by John Talbot, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury (detail). French, 15th century © British Library Board/Bridgeman Images.
19. Foreign Correspondents in the Soviet Union33:59Over the past hundred years, foreign correspondents have been central to the West’s understanding of Russia’s political and cultural turning points, the revolutions, wars and changes in political power.In this episode, History Today Editor Paul Lay is joined by James Rodgers, whose latest book, Assignment Moscow, focuses on the stories of those journalists who have forged this understanding.Assignment Moscow: Reporting on Russia from Lenin to Putin is published by I.B. Tauris. You can read the History Today review from the September 2020 issue on our website.James also took part in the 'Head to Head' series in the October 2020 issue, which asked four historians to consider the question: Could the Soviet Union Have Survived?
18. Nagorno-Karabakh’s Myth of Ancient Hatreds12:58During the last week of September an Azerbaijani offensive re-ignited a decades-old conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh (‘Mountainous Karabakh’) region. The Nagorno-Karabakh dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan is sometimes explained as a result of ‘ancient hatreds’. In reality, it is nothing of the sort, despite both sides using history to bolster their claims to the region. This article was part of our Miscellanies series. Sign up to receive this free weekly long read in your inbox, at https://www.historytoday.com/miscellanies.Written by Jo Laycock. Read by Paul Lay.Image: 'We Are Our Mountains' monument north of Stepanakert, 1978. Completed in 1967, it is a symbol of Armenian heritage in the region.
17. ‘The Terrible Lioness’21:27The Sikh queen Jind Kaur inherited an empire shaken by unexpected deaths and embroiled in civil war, but her biggest problem was the British. Who was Jind Kaur and how did she become such a formidable woman? This article is from the October issue of History Today: buy a copy of the issue from our website, from newsstands across the UK, or read it via the History Today app, available on Google Play and the App Store. Read by Greig Johnson. Written by Priya Atwal. Music: Kai Engel. Image: Maharani Jind Kaur, by George Richmond, 19th century © Christie’s/Bridgeman Images.
16. Terror on Wall Street20:45A terrorist attack on Wall Street on 16 September 1920 aroused suspicion of anarchists, socialists and foreigners, as America saw danger around every corner.This article is from the September issue of History Today: buy a copy of the issue from our website, from newsstands across the UK, or read it via the History Today app, available on Google Play and the App Store.Read by Greig Johnson. Written by James Crossland.Music: Kai Engel.Image: Aftermath, Wall Street bomb, 16 September 1920 © Bettmann/Getty Images.
15. The Power of the Royal Mistress30:06In 1660, the Royalist exiles were returning with European languages, manners and culture in tow. Yet, of all the European imports that Charles and his Royalist entourage ferried back to their homeland, it was the courtly position of the maîtresse-en-titre that would prove most significant. Despite the scandalous overtones of adultery inherent in the job title, it was a much sought-after role, offering financial and social opportunities not only to the mistress herself but also to her relatives, carving out a space for female agency in a patriarchal institution. Join Annalisa Nicholson in conversation with History Today Editor, Paul Lay, as she discusses her article from the August issue.Buy a copy of the August 2020 issue of History Today from our website, or read it via the History Today app, available on Google Play and the App Store.