4 episodes

This podcast investigates episodes in history that highlight the worst and best of the human condition. History can tell us about past ideas and events, and in doing so it tells us something about the universal. When we hear voices from the past, that say what they experienced and how they understood what was happening, we also often get a sense of their character and personality. In the last three thousand years or so human beings haven’t evolved one bit. This means that as true as the old refrain of Leslie Hartley, that ‘the past is a foreign country: they do things differently there’ may be, the people you meet there usually have the same recognizable personalities and foibles we see in our friends, family, neighbours and acquaintances. Listen, learn and enjoy telling episodes, both evil and good, drawn from the richness of human history. (This podcast's artwork is based on a photo by Syed Hasan Mehdi from Pexels.com)

History: darkness and light Matthew Frank Stevens

    • History
    • 3.0 • 2 Ratings

This podcast investigates episodes in history that highlight the worst and best of the human condition. History can tell us about past ideas and events, and in doing so it tells us something about the universal. When we hear voices from the past, that say what they experienced and how they understood what was happening, we also often get a sense of their character and personality. In the last three thousand years or so human beings haven’t evolved one bit. This means that as true as the old refrain of Leslie Hartley, that ‘the past is a foreign country: they do things differently there’ may be, the people you meet there usually have the same recognizable personalities and foibles we see in our friends, family, neighbours and acquaintances. Listen, learn and enjoy telling episodes, both evil and good, drawn from the richness of human history. (This podcast's artwork is based on a photo by Syed Hasan Mehdi from Pexels.com)

    Episode 4: History repeating tself - state intolerance, the English protestant Reformation and the COVID-19 response

    Episode 4: History repeating tself - state intolerance, the English protestant Reformation and the COVID-19 response

    This episode compares past and present, exploring state sponsored intolerance and persecution from English protestant Reformation of the 1530s to The Toleration Act of 1688–89,  and from the start of the the global COVID-19 pandemic to May 2022.

    It explores parallels between intolerance towards non-Anglicans in Early Modern England and intolerance towards ‘the unvaccinated’ during the COVID-19 pandemic.


    Music, in order of first play, is as follows:

    Katy Kirby, All of Everything
    Kai Engle, Somnolence
    Lex Villena, Dissonance
    Clot II, Rozkol
    Axletree, The silent Grove
    Serat, Dark Decision
    Howie Mitchell, Old Molly Hare
    PC-One, A Dark Blue Arc
    Schemawound, Sleep is the oldest form of Time-travel
    Monplaisir, Waves
    (All music is available from Freemusicarchive.org and copyright CC BY 4.0)

    A key source used in preparing this podcast has been John Coffey, Persecution and Toleration in Protestant England, 1558–1689  (Longman, 2000).
     
     This podcast is written, produced and copyright of Matthew Frank Stevens.

    • 56 min
    Episode 3: The power of pierniki (Toruń gingerbread)

    Episode 3: The power of pierniki (Toruń gingerbread)

    This episode tells the story of the city of Toruń, Poland, through the lense of its spicy gingerbread, or pierniki, from 1233 to 2021. Toruń gingerbread were at-first made with a top-secret recipe, and once prised by kings for their taste and by ordinary folk for their perceived medicinal powers. As time went on, they became a contested cultural treasure fought over by German and Polish governments through two world wars and beyond.  This is the story of a border town, through centuries of peace and conflict, and its identity as the home of Toruńskie pierniki.

    The main publication used in preparing this podcast has been Małgorzata Mikulski-Wernerowic and Krzystof Lewandowski’s excellent volume, Formy Piernikarskie (Toruń, 2020).

    Research presented here has been supported by the Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange (Narodowa Agencja Wymiany Akademickiej), fellowship no. PPN/ULM/2019/1/00033 . 
    The music, in order of play, has been:
    Bartok-The Waistband Dance by the Advent Chamber Orchestra; Peace landscape by Almusic34; Horses Trot by Samuel Corwin; Ode To by Kelly Latimore; Chopin, Etude Op. 10, No. 9, performed by Leo Sirota; The War Diary by Funked Up Beyond all Recognition; Birthday Cake by Jahzzar
     All are Attribution 4.0 International  (CC BY 4.0) and available from Freemusicarchive.org.  

    • 40 min
    Episode 2: What care we for these barefooted rascals? - medieval colonization and race law

    Episode 2: What care we for these barefooted rascals? - medieval colonization and race law

    This episode uses a 1327 petition to the English king from Welshman Adda ap Einion and his English wife Agnes as a jumping-off point to tell the story of the system of anti-Welsh race law that was created when England colonized Wales.  This system of legal discrimination would last 469 years, from 1067 until its abolition by Henry VIII in 1536.

    For more on this topic, see the recent article by Teresa Phipps and Matthew Stevens, ‘ Towards a characterization of Race law in Medieval Wales’, The Journal of Legal History, number 41 (2020). 

    Research presented here has been supported by the Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange (Narodowa Agencja Wymiany Akademickiej), fellowship no. PPN/ULM/2019/1/00033 .
    The music used in this episode is, in order of appearance:
    I know his blood, by Vienna Ditto; Global Warming, by Kai Engel; Abiding, by Kelly Latimore; Harbor, by Kai Engel; Miss very much, by Kosta T; and, Funeral Battle, by Damiano Baldoni.

    All are Attribution 4.0 International  (CC BY 4.0) and available from Freemusicarchive.org. 

    • 52 min
    Episode 1: The Mole-Catcher's Tale - black magic, conspiracy and justice in medieval England

    Episode 1: The Mole-Catcher's Tale - black magic, conspiracy and justice in medieval England

    History: Darkness and Light shares interesting stories from our past that tell us something about the best, and the worst, of the human condition. This episode reads and discusses the remarkable testimony given by mole catcher Robert Goodgroom in 1440, as he attempted to avoid hanging for theft by offering state's evidence against a group of men he accused of witchcraft, poisoning and treason against king Henry VI of England.  It is a personal account full of fascinating detail connecting one individual to local, national and international history of the day, with a creative dash of conspiracy. 

    This podcast samples the track 'side affects' by Fog Lake from freemusic.org (https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Fog_Lake/Dragonchaser/Fog_Lake_-_dragonchaser_-_08_side_effects), licensed under Attribution 4.0 International  (CC BY 4.0).

    This podcast's artwork is based on a photo by Syed Hasan Mehdi from Pexels.

    • 29 min

Customer Reviews

3.0 out of 5
2 Ratings

2 Ratings

5onalee ,

Revised review!

No.

Just, no.

Celebrating psychopathic selfishness… yeah, that’s a bad take. You’re a bad person. And you should feel bad.

CJB422 ,

Very good

I like it, I wish there were more episodes!

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