Stones & Bones

Stones & Bones

A thousand years ago Emma of Normandy was on trial for adultery, treason and murder. The Stones & Bones podcast tells the tale of the first woman styled Queen of England who stood at the center of a dark era of history. And changed it.


September 16, 2021 11 min

A scholar, a fighter, a passionate lover and a cunning political manipulator. The very model of a medieval ruler. But this medieval ruler was not a man. This power player was a woman. And England was her chessboard.

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They sought her blood. They readied the rope. They dug her grave. What would remain as cold death beckoned her to churchyards filled with stones and bones?

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September 29, 2021 11 min

For a half century she bent history to her will. Everything that turned touched her. And she turned everything she touched. But first, she had to put away her playthings.

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October 6, 2021 13 min

What was crazy bread and why was it eaten by peasants to stave off hunger and give them a summer of love? Welcome to Y1K and the world of young Emma of Normandy.

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October 13, 2021 14 min

Emma of Normandy prepares to sail across a narrow sea to wed a famous king. But is she ready to wed a king unready to fight, unready to rule, unready to save his kingdom?

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October 20, 2021 14 min

A figure arose from the shadows. A crafty survivor who became more powerful than kings for he was a maker of kings. No one stood in his way. Not even the Queen of England.

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October 27, 2021 14 min

Bonnie and Clyde, Jesse James, John Dillinger. They robbed banks. But it was the most accomplished robbers in history who showed them where the banks were.

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November 3, 2021 11 min

From the fury of the Northmen, oh Lord, deliver us! A prayer not for deliverance from a bunch of long-haired tourists who roughed up the neighbors. But a merciless scourge who executed the Blood Eagle.

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November 10, 2021 15 min

A 1000 years ago a treasure was buried. Not of gold. A chess set. A Viking chess set. How do we know? Berserkrs. Vikings who’d go berserk and kill and kill ‘til there was no one left to kill. Who said chess was just a game?

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November 17, 2021 15 min

Lord, what fools these mortals be! Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream transports us to the Otherworld. For Emma of Normandy fairies and elves were never far below the surface. There are countless stories of their origins. This is one. 

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November 24, 2021 15 min

One creature is instantly recognized the world over. Remarkably similar in all cultures. To Queen Emma, these creatures were not mythical. They were real. But they don’t exist, do they? So why are they everywhere?

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December 1, 2021 11 min

Oxford. Key hub at the crossroads of Roman roads. And the flashpoint of the Viking conquest of England. The Saxon king orders a massacre of all Danes, his queen’s kith and kin. As England sinks beneath the Viking yoke, she asks, is this why she came?

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Dr. Daniel Gerrard is a British historian of the High Middle Ages and the author of three books. Professor Gerrard teaches medieval history at Regents Park College, Oxford University and specializes in the biography of Emma of Normandy, the first biography of an English queen, the Encomium Emmae Reginae.

This interview focuses on the early days of Emma of Normandy in England and the trauma she experienced just months after her arri...

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December 22, 2021 13 min

Queen Emma wishes everyone NOEL! The holiday greeting she likely would've given. As a French import herself, NOEL originated in France but became a favored traditional greeting in the medieval era. Let's join Emma for Christmastide. A joyous time, a joyous greeting, a joyous wish to all!

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January 19, 2022 14 min

From her first days in England, young Emma of Normandy had a formidable adversary. She could not imagine then how formidable. Soon she would know. The proverbial Fox and Hedgehog are about to square off.

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January 26, 2022 16 min

As the Vikings carve a path of fire and blood through Saxon England, its weak king flees at the first shout of battle. Is this the work of history’s first recorded wicked stepmother?

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February 2, 2022 14 min

A woman desperate for her bloodline to continue fights at every turn for her sons to rise as kings. But first, she needs the oath.

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February 9, 2022 13 min

It’s been said that home is where the heart is. But for Emma, only one place will do.

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February 16, 2022 14 min

Even in the winter of life, love knows no yesterdays.

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February 23, 2022 17 min
This figure is indispensable to British history and to Emma's story. But he didn't last long on her chessboard.
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