15 episodes

Think you know your history? Think again.
From the former slave that taught Darwin to the first female playwright who was also a spy for the English King, historian, author and broadcaster Dr Fern Riddell is exploring some little-known characters from history to reveal not just their incredible stories, but also why they're so important for our view of what the past looked like.

See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Not What You Thought You Knew HISTORY

    • History
    • 4.5 • 127 Ratings

Think you know your history? Think again.
From the former slave that taught Darwin to the first female playwright who was also a spy for the English King, historian, author and broadcaster Dr Fern Riddell is exploring some little-known characters from history to reveal not just their incredible stories, but also why they're so important for our view of what the past looked like.

See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    The Sacred Band of Thebes

    The Sacred Band of Thebes

    An army of lovers seems like something from ancient myth but the story of the Sacred Band of Thebes is based on reality. This elite fighting force of the Theban army played a crucial role in ending Spartan hegemony in the 4th century BC.
    To find out more Dr Fern Riddell speaks to Professor of Ancient History at the University of Warwick James Davidson and Professor of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies at Bucknell University Stephanie Larson.
    Sky HISTORY's Not What You Thought You Knew is presented by Dr Fern Riddell, produced by Kim Sergeant, Peter Ross, research by Mary Nzeh, and series produced by Sam Pearson.

    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 56 min
    Olaudah Equiano and the British Abolitionist Movement

    Olaudah Equiano and the British Abolitionist Movement

    Olaudah Equiano's autobiography The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano was one of the very first slave narratives that spawned a popular literary genre. However, while relatively famous in the 18th century, his legacy was largely forgotten in the UK until the 1960s when there was a resurgence of interest in his life. How could such a prominent figure be all but forgotten while their contribution to the abolition movement be supplanted by his white contemporaries such as William Wilberforce and Granville Sharp?
    To find out more Dr Fern Riddell speaks to co-founder of The Windrush Foundation and The Equiano Society Arthur Torrington CBE and historian, author and broadcaster Professor Gretchen Gerzina.
    Sky HISTORY's Not What You Thought You Knew is presented by Dr Fern Riddell, produced by Kim Sergeant, Peter Ross, research by Mary Nzeh, and series produced by Sam Pearson.

    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 46 min
    A Tribute to Olaudah Equiano

    A Tribute to Olaudah Equiano

    While Dr Fern Riddell takes a week off before we bring the final two episodes of the series, we have a special teaser for our penultimate episode.
    The BBC's Calypsonian-in-Residence Alexander D Great regularly works with organisations such as the Windrush Foundation and the Equiano Society and has written an original song on Olaudah Equiano's life which he has kindly given us permission to bring to you.
    Sky HISTORY's Not What You Thought You Knew is presented by Dr Fern Riddell, produced by Kim Sergeant, Peter Ross, research by Mary Nzeh, and series produced by Sam Pearson.

    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 7 min
    Allan Noel Minns the WW1 Officer and Son of Britain's First Black Mayor

    Allan Noel Minns the WW1 Officer and Son of Britain's First Black Mayor

    Allan Noel Minns, son of Dr Allan Glaisyer Minns, Britain's first Black mayor when elected mayor of Thetford in 1904, served in the British Army as a medical officer during the First World War.
    To find out more Dr Fern Riddell speaks to former soldier and director of Recognize Black Heritage and Culture Garry Stewart and academic Dr Remi Adekoya, author of Biracial Britain: A Different Way of Looking at Race which is set for release in 2021.
    Sky HISTORY's Not What You Thought You Knew is presented by Dr Fern Riddell, produced by Kim Sergeant, Peter Ross, research by Mary Nzeh, and series produced by Sam Pearson.

    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 47 min
    The Ivory Bangle Lady and Roman Britain

    The Ivory Bangle Lady and Roman Britain

    What does the archaeological evidence tell us about the Ivory Bangle Lady, a wealthy woman who died in 4th Century York, and what do her grave goods tell us about material culture in the African diaspora throughout history?
    To find out more Dr Fern Riddell speaks to archaeologist Professor Hella Eckhardt and fashion historian Teleica Kirkland. For more information on the topics discussed in this episode visit The Yorkshire Museum and The Costume Institute of the African Diaspora.
    Sky HISTORY's Not What You Thought You Knew is presented by Dr Fern Riddell, produced by Kim Sergeant, Peter Ross, research by Mary Nzeh, and series produced by Sam Pearson.

    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 38 min
    The First Black British Football Heroes

    The First Black British Football Heroes

    Uncovering the story of our pioneering Black British footballers, finding out what we can learn from their experiences, and their long history in The Beautiful Game.
    Dr Fern Riddell speaks to The Voice and Football Black List's Rodney Hinds, and sports broadcaster Anne-Marie Batson, assistant producer on the documentary Coming in from the Cold, which looks at the history of black and mixed race footballers in England.
    Sky HISTORY's Not What You Thought You Knew is presented by Dr Fern Riddell, produced by Kim Sergeant, Peter Ross, research by Mary Nzeh, and series produced by Sam Pearson.

    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 47 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
127 Ratings

127 Ratings

@fatbloketalking ,

Interesting, engaging and sometimes surprising

This podcast hilights many figures from history that surprise and challenge the recieved wisdom of the broad brush , dates and battles view of history we are taught at school. I have learnt a lot from this. Dr Riddell also has a very engaging, personable presenting manner and the guests are lively and i8nteresting. Hope there are more coming. @nerdymarty

conchurd ,

Not what you thought you knew

Wonderful, more more more please! Especially extraordinary lives of ordinary people. Thank you!

kenners1965 ,

Leftist revisionism.

You would be forgiven for believing that this podcast was going to enlighten you with previous unknown facts about our past. You’d be wrong. It is little more than an attempt to revise history to make it more diverse and inclusive, irrespective of the true facts. For instance, we’re supposed to be shocked that people of colour served in Nelson’s navy, even though I was being taught this in the seventies. Or, because of the odd references to people of colour in some parish records, we’re told by this podcast that England was culturally diverse as long ago as the early fourteenth century. When you consider that people of colour only account for about fifteen or sixteen percent of the population today, you can understand why these claims are not historical fact, but rather historical, politically correct fiction. Indeed, in one episode where the expert debunked the idea of Viking warrior women marauding across Europe, the host was literally devastated and then began her own narrative to try and contradict the experts assertions. Unfortunately, every episode I could bear to listen to was nothing more than a leftist, political attempt to convince the audience that white, Anglo Saxon men had very little to do with our history and that in fact, everything was down to women and none indigenous people of colour.

Top Podcasts In History

You Might Also Like

More by HISTORY