15 episodes

From the former slave that taught Darwin to the first female playwright who was also a spy for the English King, historian 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.

Not What You Thought You Kne‪w‬ HISTORY

    • History
    • 4.1 • 105 Ratings

From the former slave that taught Darwin to the first female playwright who was also a spy for the English King, historian 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.

    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.

    Sponsored by Ancestry, 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.

    Sponsored by Ancestry, 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
    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 the next episode.

    The BBC's Calypsonian-in-Residence Alexander D Great regularly works with organisations like the Windrush Foundation and the Equiano Society and has written an original song about Olaudah Equiano which he has kindly allowed us to bring to you.

    Sponsored by Ancestry, 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.

    • 8 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.

    Sponsored by Ancestry, 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.

    • 48 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.

    Sponsored by Ancestry, 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.

    • 39 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.

    Sponsored by Ancestry, 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.

    • 48 min

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5
105 Ratings

105 Ratings

LG0425 ,

Women and war

Wonderful insights into an unknown topic for most of the western world. I ponder the question of why they were called the night witches, and I believe they were called this simply because they rode on a vehicle made of wooden sticks like a broom is made of wood and they wrote them at night and often which is bring spells or death. Just a thought that came to mind while listening. Strong women! Thank you for telling their story to us.

Not as happy as I could be ,

Very good podcast

My only disappointment with this podcast is that it is not already an ongoing affair. The subjects examined and the guests interviewed are all quite interesting. Keep up the fine work.

Russell gawat ,

No Aliens

The history channel who’s TV work seems to feature almost exclusively alien abductions and how they built the pyramids has rather surprisingly got involved in proper history with a top historian. What a surprise. Riddell is of course as excellent as you would expect.

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