The Rest Is History

The Rest Is History

The world’s most popular history podcast, with Tom Holland and Dominic Sandbrook. Join The Rest Is History Club (www.restishistorypod.com) for ad-free listening to the full archive, weekly bonus episodes, live streamed shows and access to an exclusive chatroom community. Here are some of our favourite episodes to get you started: WATERGATE/NIXON apple.co/3JrVl5h ALEXANDER THE GREAT apple.co/3Q4FaNk HARDCORE HISTORY'S DAN CARLIN apple.co/3vqkGa3 PUTIN & RUSSIA apple.co/3zMtLfX

Episodes

April 17, 2024 60 mins
By 1809, Lord Byron found himself untethered and debt-ridden. Disenchanted with politics, frustrated by his literary career and haunted by his illicit homosexuality, he abandoned an oppressive England and set out upon his legendary Eastern adventure. First plunging into a Europe torn asunder by the exploits of his hero, Napoleon Bonaparte, Byron decried the imperialist militarism of the raging Napoleonic Wars. Nevertheless, he deli...
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Few lives from history can have contained as many strange and exciting strands as that of Lord Byron's, whose story reflects the great dramas of the Napoleonic era. A vampiric hero of devilish charisma; a martyr for liberty, a licentious lothario; Byron’s cultural and literary impact cannot be underestimated. The remarkable course of his life, and his mercurial nature can in part be explained by the dark events of his childhood, an...
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Music for sex, dancing, and watching the straight world go by… The explosion of Disco provides an extraordinary window into the tumultuous world of the 1970s, with its themes of sex, drugs, race and sexuality. By the start of the 1970s, America was a nation of dystopian gloom. The radical dream of the 1960’s had dissipated, with economic decline, Vietnam and Watergate polarising and disenchanting the public. Then, at a party in N...
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April 7, 2024 70 mins
“We choose to go to the Moon. We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard…” In his speech at Rice University, Texas, in September 1962, President John F. Kennedy reaffirmed America's commitment to an extraordinary, startling project: landing a man on the Moon by the end of the decade. Facing fierce competition from the U.S.S.R., it would take 11 missions o...
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“I think there is not a devil left in hell, they have all gone into the peasants… smite, stab and slay all”.  Following on from Martin Luther’s dramatic abduction by his powerful protector, Frederick III, he had been secretly kept safe at Wartburg. There, he abandoned his priestly garments for good, and violently wrestled against the devil, in unorthodox ways…Meanwhile, the religious revolution that he had ignited was sweeping thro...
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"I cannot and will not recant anything for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe.…Here I stand, I can do no other” The Diet of Worms in April 1521 was one of history’s most dramatic confrontations, a clash of the old world and the new. It saw the celebrity professor Martin Luther summoned to the imperial free city of Worms by the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V, to defend his radical beliefs. And though his life was guar...
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Three years on from Martin Luther’s publication of the Ninety-Five Theses - a shocking attack on the corruption of the Catholic Church and the selling of indulgences - his radical new ideas and brilliant use of the printing press had unleashed chaos in Christendom. Still in Wittenberg under the Protection of Frederick III, Luther’s increasingly radical beliefs founded in his readings of Christian scripture, now sought to undermine ...
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Martin Luther is one of the few people to have genuinely changed the world, igniting a religious revolution that tore Christendom in two, and undermined European tradition in ways that still reverberate today. But along with Luther’s uniquely tortured psyche, three events contributed to his extreme transformation from young lawyer to fervent monk: the loss of a dear friend, a near fatal accident, and a cataclysmic thunderstorm. It ...
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The Reformation, launched in 1517, stands as one of the most convulsive and transformative events of all time, shattering Christendom and dividing Europe for centuries. Its outcome determined the fates of Kings and Emperors, and saw the souls of millions consigned to the fiery pit of heresy. The man behind it all was Martin Luther, a humble monk of obscure origins. Bold, intellectually arrogant, and a master of spin, the assault he...
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March 21, 2024 56 mins
"Then it is I drown again, with all those dim lost faces I never understood… Include me in your lamentations.” The aftermath of the Titanic’s sinking saw different reactions erupt across the Atlantic, and the responses of both mourners and onlookers were visceral. Guilt-ridden survivors were both ostracised and lauded. Heroes became legends - the unsinkable Molly Brown and the band that played on till the frozen end - while villain...
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“A story of horror unparalleled in the annals of the Sea.” On the 14th of April 1912, Titanic, a floating palace sailing through the North Atlantic, found itself hurtling towards a formidable iceberg. Contrary to the panicked reactions of her crew who, fatefully, pulled the hulking vessel to starboard, the ship's passengers slept, laughed and played on, unaware of the danger ahead. Then came a terrible grinding sound, as the side o...
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It is Sunday the 14th of April 1912, and the passengers of the Titanic, from the tycoons in first class to the migrants in third class, have been enjoying a journey incomparable in its modernity. The weather, up until that point exceptionally clement, suddenly grew colder, stiller, calmer, and the ice warnings that had been coming through the ship’s sophisticated communications machine since Friday were growing evermore urgent. Omi...
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The drama and tragedy of the Titanic’s sinking has spawned all manner of myths about those who left Southampton on the 10th of April 1912, and for four days luxuriated in the ship’s modern facilities, extravagant interiors, and plush cabins. Among them were many magnates and tycoons, such as J.J. Astor, the richest man onboard, and the American businessman Ben Guggenheim. Conspicuously absent, however, was J. P. Morgan, who cancell...
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The Titanic was a product of the furious competition of the late Gilded Age, and no expenses were spared to make her the most extraordinary and luxurious ship ever built. The height of an eleven-story building, fully electric, and with first class suites designed for the world’s wealthiest, the Titanic embodied the Edwardian obsessions with grandeur and greatness. But the ship was also designed to accommodate immigrants, who made u...
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"There is no danger that Titanic will sink. The boat is unsinkable and nothing but inconvenience will be suffered by the passengers." The sinking of the Titanic, on a freezing Sunday night in April 1912, claimed more than 1500 lives. But how this state-of-the-art ocean liner came to be is also a story full of drama, encapsulating the turn of the century’s spirit of competition and drive for modernity. The booming financial world of...
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March 7, 2024 60 mins
Man in his arrogance thinks himself a great work, worthy the interposition of a deity. More humble, and I believe truer, to consider him created from animals. A military grave from the 5th century BC was found to contain something extraordinary; a macaque monkey dressed as a roman legionary. Did he fight alongside his human fellows, or merely serve as their mascot? Whatever the case, it demonstrates the role of monkeys and chimps t...
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March 4, 2024 49 mins
‘For if a person fatigued with long and hard labour, or with a violent agitation of the mind, takes a good dish of chocolate, he shall perceive almost instantly that his faintness shall cease, and his strength shall be recovered’ The Cacao tree was first domesticated by the Olmecs in Mesoamerica, possibly as early as 1500 BC, and was then first encountered by Europeans in the 16th century, when it is said that the Aztec Emperor Mon...
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February 29, 2024 55 mins
In the third century BC, a clash which had been brewing for centuries finally erupted: Rome, the ruthless imperialist upstart dominating Italy, against Carthage, the ancient but sinister apex predator of the Mediterranean. The conflict sparked in Messina in 263 BC, and went on for over two decades, as the fortunes of both powers rose and fell. Rome’s superior, land-based army proved the perfect match to the Carthaginians’ maritime ...
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“Every man is the architect of his own destiny” Long before Rome reigned over the Mediterranean, there was Carthage: the supreme predator of Antiquity. But how did Rome rise to become one of the most ruthless powers of all time, united in cold, disciplined violence? And what was it about the Roman people that made them the greatest threat Carthage would ever face? Whilst the Carthaginians depended upon foreign mercenaries, Rome’s l...
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“An aristocratic republic, secret and well-ordered, where individuals are subject to the harsh laws of the austere and disciplined rich…” The mysterious, wealthy and glamorous city of Carthage flourished between the ninth and second centuries BC, becoming one of the greatest naval and mercantile powers in the world. By the sixth century BC the Carthaginians were a force to be reckoned with, holding off assaults from various Greek r...
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