543 episodes

Ten minute daily episodes bringing you curious moments from this day in history, with Olly Mann, Rebecca Messina and Arion McNicoll: The Retrospectors. It's history, but not as you know it.
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Today In History with The Retrospectors The Retrospectors

    • History
    • 3.0 • 2 Ratings

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Ten minute daily episodes bringing you curious moments from this day in history, with Olly Mann, Rebecca Messina and Arion McNicoll: The Retrospectors. It's history, but not as you know it.
Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    Bring Out Your Vanities!

    Bring Out Your Vanities!

    Controversial friar Girolamo Savonarola supervised the mass destruction of Renaissance art, literature and other priceless items he deemed as ‘fripperies’ on 7th February, 1497 - an event that became known as ‘The Bonfire of the Vanities’.
    The Dominican cleric - eventually ex-communicated by the Pope for calling the Catholic Church ‘a whore’ - commandeered a large following of adolescents, who went door-to-door in Florence demanding items to be chucked on to the pyre. Ironically, Savonarola was ultimately executed the following year… by being chucked into a fire.
    In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly ask whether Savonarola’s objections to Renaissance-era portraiture had any legitimacy; explain how he leveraged his ‘prophecies’ to give him greater control of the City; and consider why he selected Shrove Tuesday, of all days, to build his famous bonfire… 
    Further Reading:
    ‘A big day in history: Florence's bonfire of the vanities’ (HistoryExtra, 2012): https://www.historyextra.com/period/renaissance/a-big-day-in-history-florences-bonfire-of-the-vanities/• ‘The friar who ignited the first bonfire of vanities in Florence’ (The Washington Post, 2006): https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/entertainment/books/2006/04/02/the-friar-who-ignited-the-first-bonfire-of-vanities-in-florence-span-classbankheadthe-friar-who-ignited-the-first-bonfire-of-vanities-in-florence-span/f2de7781-44e6-4a86-a076-6d7f5b2e9854/
    • ‘Who was Savonarola?’ (Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, 2017): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMS_JEQgSrY
    #1400s #Arts #Religion #Italy
    Love the show? Join 🌴CLUB RETROSPECTORS 🌴 to DITCH THE ADS and get an additional full-length episode every SUNDAY!
    Plus, get weekly bonus bits, unlock over 70 bits of extra content and support our independent podcast.
    Join now via Apple Podcasts or Patreon. Thanks!
    We'll be back tomorrow! Follow us wherever you get your podcasts: podfollow.com/Retrospectors
    The Retrospectors are Olly Mann, Rebecca Messina & Arion McNicoll, with Matt Hill.
    Theme Music: Pass The Peas. Announcer: Bob Ravelli. Graphic Design: Terry Saunders. Edit Producer: Sophie King.
    Copyright: Rethink Audio / Olly Mann 2023.

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 9 min
    Here Come The Minstrels

    Here Come The Minstrels

    Blackface performers The Virginia Minstrels - replete with white clown mouths, oversized tailcoats, and bookended by tambourine and bones players - first appeared on 6th February, 1843, at the New York Bowery Amphitheatre. They were an instant hit, but it wasn’t the first time a blackface act had been making (white) crowds laugh.
    American minstrelsy originated some 12 years earlier, when white performer Thomas ‘Daddy’ Rice first appeared as ‘Jim Crow’ - a comic parody of an elderly, disabled, enslaved African-American. His act proved so wildly popular the Boston Post reported that only Queen Victoria was a more crowd-pleasing character.
    In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly reveal why it wasn’t only white performers who performed in blackface; examine how Hollywood kept this racist tradition alive long after it had fallen from favour in theatres; and discover that, over the decades, blackface became such an established and celebrated entertainment that it was performed at The White House…
    CONTENT WARNING: historical racist language, discussion of racially offensive tropes
    Further Reading:
    • ‘Blackface: The Birth of An American Stereotype’ (National Museum of African American History and Culture): https://nmaahc.si.edu/explore/stories/blackface-birth-american-stereotype
    • ‘Burnt Cork: Traditions and Legacies of Blackface Minstrelsy - Ed. Stephen Burge Johnson’ (University of Massachusetts Press, 2012): https://www.google.co.uk/books/edition/Burnt_Cork/yxupgt6nNFMC?hl=en&gbpv=0
    • ‘Blackface: A cultural history of a racist art form’ (CBS Sunday Morning, 2018): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqlD-eZm1ck
    #Racism #Theatre 
    Love the show? Join 🌴CLUB RETROSPECTORS 🌴 to DITCH THE ADS and get an additional full-length episode every SUNDAY!
    Plus, get weekly bonus bits, unlock over 70 bits of extra content and support our independent podcast.
    Join now via Apple Podcasts or Patreon. Thanks!
    We'll be back tomorrow! Follow us wherever you get your podcasts: podfollow.com/Retrospectors
    The Retrospectors are Olly Mann, Rebecca Messina & Arion McNicoll, with Matt Hill.
    Theme Music: Pass The Peas. Announcer: Bob Ravelli. Graphic Design: Terry Saunders. Edit Producer: Sophie King.
    Copyright: Rethink Audio / Olly Mann 2023.

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 10 min
    The Plastic That Changed The World

    The Plastic That Changed The World

    In this week’s Sunday episode, exclusively for 🌴 CLUB RETROSPECTORS 🌴members, we recall February 5th, 1909, when Leo Baekeland announced his invention of Bakelite to the American Chemical Society.

    Having already earned a fortune selling his photographic patent to Kodak, the Belgian-born chemist had opened his own lab in Yonkers, experimenting with formaldehyde and phenol. The resulting material, which he called Bakelite, could be used in everything from toys to automobiles, and was marketed as ‘The Material of 1,000 Uses!’

    In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly uncover the explosive billiard balls of the post-ivory era; explain why plastic was a game-changer for the costume jewelry market; and reveal how the material played a surprising role in one of the great art crimes of the 20th century…

    Further Reading:
    • The Story of Bakelite, the First Synthetic Plastic (ThoughtCo, 2019): https://www.thoughtco.com/story-of-synthetic-plastic-1991672
    • ‘How plastic became a victim of its own success’ (BBC, 2017): https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-41188462
    • ‘How Bakelite Changed the World’ (How Stuff Works, 2013): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dnEtfdthmG0&t=13s

    Thanks so much for supporting the show! We massively appreciate it.
    The Retrospectors are Olly Mann, Rebecca Messina & Arion McNicoll, with Matt Hill. Edit producer: Sophie King
    Theme Music: Pass The Peas. Announcer: Bob Ravelli. Graphic Design: Terry Saunders.
    Copyright: Rethink Audio / Olly Mann 2023.

    RetroRecommends: History Daily

    RetroRecommends: History Daily

    On February 4, 1974, Patty Hearst was kidnapped by members of the Symbionese Liberation Army. In this episode from our friends at History Daily, host Lindsay Graham (American Scandal, American History Tellers) reveals what happened next.
    History Daily is a brilliant companion to our own show, taking you back in time to explore a momentous event that happened ‘on this day’ in history. Whether it’s to remember the tragedy of December 7th, 1941, the day “that will live in infamy,” or to celebrate that 20th day in July, 1969, when mankind reached the moon, History Daily is there to tell you the true stories of the people and events that shaped our world—one day at a time.
    Hear more episodes every weekday at podfollow.com/history-daily

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    • 20 min
    The £21,000 Masque

    The £21,000 Masque

    With a cast of over 800, and a budget equivalent to £3 million, James Shirley’s extravagant masque ‘The Triumph of Peace’ was performed on 3rd February, 1634. Unusually, it was such a popular show that, despite the enormous cost of staging it, King Charles I and Queen Henrietta Maria requested that it be repeated.
    Though replete with all the arse-kissing allegorical tableaux that typified these celebrations of the monarchy - and requisite set designs by Inigo Jones - this spectacular was also markedly different from its predecessors in that it was especially designed to appease Henrietta, who had been slurred by polemicist William Prynne.   
    In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly come to terms with the ‘17th century immersive theatre’ experience; explain why legendary playwright Ben Jonson WASN’T involved in this one; and reveal how a masque was once responsible for the destruction of Shakespeare’s Globe… 
    Further Reading:
    • ‘Masque and music at the Stuart court’ (Royal Museums Greenwich): https://www.rmg.co.uk/stories/topics/masque-music-stuart-court
    • ‘Inigo Jones designs for masque costumes’ (The British Library): https://www.bl.uk/collection-items/inigo-jones-designs-for-masque-costumes
    •  ‘The History of the British Masque’ (Heidi Kobara, 2013):
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G22UED2yJ_Q
    #1600s #Theatre #Royals
    We'll be back on Monday - unless you join 🌴CLUB RETROSPECTORS🌴, where we give you ad-free listening AND a full-length Sunday episode every week!
    Plus, weekly bonus content, unlock over 70 bonus bits, and support our independent podcast.
    Join now via Apple Podcasts or Patreon. Thanks!
    The Retrospectors are Olly Mann, Rebecca Messina & Arion McNicoll, with Matt Hill.
    Theme Music: Pass The Peas. Announcer: Bob Ravelli. Graphic Design: Terry Saunders. Edit Producer: Sophie King.
    Copyright: Rethink Audio / Olly Mann 2023.

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 10 min
    Christian Bale's Terminator Freakout

    Christian Bale's Terminator Freakout

    Rerun. TMZ posted leaked footage of Christian Bale’s infamous meltdown on the set of ‘Terminator Salvation’ on 2nd February, 2009.
    Triggered by the film's Director Of Photography, Shane Hurlbut, repeatedly walking past his eyeline, Bale launched into an expletive-laden tirade that lasted more than three minutes, during which he threatened to smash up the lights, and have Hurlbut fired from the set.
    In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly dissect how Bale’s star power immunized him against reasonable pushback; compare his defense with Prince Andrew’s declarations of honour; and rank the rant against other notorious on-set ‘freakouts’ from the likes of Tom Cruise and David O. Russell…
    Further Reading:
    ‘Christian Bale apologises 'unreservedly' for Terminator set rant’ (The Guardian, 2009):https://www.theguardian.com/film/2009/feb/09/christian-bale-apologises-for-onset-rant‘Film stars' most shocking on-set meltdowns - from Tom Cruise's Covid rant to Christian Bale’s foul-mouthed outburst’ (The Sun, 2020): https://www.thesun.co.uk/tvandshowbiz/13492481/film-star-meltdown-tom-cruise-christian-bale/‘Christian Bale Freaks Out on Set w/ SUBTITLES OF CREW in background’ (jenndouglas1, 2009): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0auwpvAU2YA
    … AND there is over seven minutes of extra content from Arion, Rebecca and Olly on this subject available to our show supporters! In our bonus episode, ‘Loose Lips Sink Starships’ our trio investigate how Hollywood reacted to the leaking of the tape, and inspired smartphone restrictions on the 'Star Wars' set, embarrassing moments on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live', and even the #MeToo movement that killed so many careers. To hear it - and a bonus bit of content every single week - support our show on Patreon (patreon.com/Retrospectors) or click ‘Subscribe’ on Apple Podcasts.
    ‘Why am I hearing a rerun?’ Every Thursday is 'Throwback Thursday' on Today in History with the Retrospectors: running one repeat per week means we can keep up the quality of our independent podcast. Daily shows like this require a lot of work! But as ever we'll have something new for you tomorrow, so follow us wherever you get your podcasts: podfollow.com/Retrospectors
    Love the show? Join  🌴CLUB RETROSPECTORS🌴 to DITCH THE ADS and get an additional full-length episode every SUNDAY!
    Plus, get weekly bonus bits, unlock over 70 bits of extra content and support our independent podcast.
    Join now via Apple Podcasts or Patreon. Thanks!
    The Retrospectors are Olly Mann, Rebecca Messina & Arion McNicoll, with Matt Hill.
    Theme Music: Pass The Peas. Announcer: Bob Ravelli. Graphic Design: Terry Saunders. Edit Producer: Emma Corsham.
    Copyright: Rethink Audio / Olly Mann 2023.

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 10 min

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