🎧 THE TEMPLARS: THE RISE AND FALL OF GOD’S HOLY WARRIORS

Audio from Chalke Valley History Festival 2018.
The Knights Templar were the wealthiest, most powerful – and most secretive – of the military orders that flourished in the crusading era. Best-selling author Dan Jones tells their compelling story, which is not just a blistering journey through bitter conflict in the Middle East, but also a study of unrestrained financial power and a shocking lesson in the dangers of propaganda and political envy.

🎧 THE BUTCHERING ART: A TURNING POINT IN THE HISTORY OF MEDICINE

Recorded at Chalke Valley History Festival 2018.
Surgeons are the miracle-workers of the 21st century – but it was not always so. In this talk, medical historian Lindsey Fitzharris recreates the grisly hell of 19th-century surgery to tell the story of the pioneering surgeon Joseph Lister, who transformed his brutal, harrowing practice into the safe, vaunted profession we know today, thereby saving hundreds of millions of lives in the generations to come.

🎧 GREAT VICTORIANS: QUEEN VICTORIA, CHARLES DICKENS, DAVID LIVINGSTONE

Recorded at Chalke Valley History Festival 2017.
Three distinguished authors of books for children, Kate Hubbard, Andrew Billen and Amanda Mitchison give an entertaining and informative introduction to historical figures. We hear about Victoria, just 11 when she realised her destiny was to become Queen; the gripping life of Charles Dickens which fed into his work; and the incredible story of David Livingstone who stopped at nothing to be the first white man to explore Africa.

🎧 SEPTIMIUS SEVERUS IN SCOTLAND

A recording from Chalke Valley History Festival 2018
Septimius Severus was one of the great Roman warrior emperors yet this fighting general and emperor, born in the heat of North Africa, died in the freezing cold of a Yorkshire winter in AD 211. In this talk, archaeologist and historian Simon Elliott explains how and why, despite a massive army, he failed to conquer Scotland.

🎧 WHITE KING: CHARLES I – TRAITOR, MURDERER, MARTYR

A recording from Chalke Valley History Festival 2018
Lauded by his friends, condemned by his enemies, remembered as a failed king, Charles I remains an elusive figure. Highly acclaimed author Leanda de Lisle uncovers a king who was radical, principled and brave, but also fatally blinkered, and who was loyally supported by his beloved wife, Henrietta Maria, a warrior queen and political player as impressive as any Tudor consort.

🎧 VICTORIA AND ABDUL


The relationship between Queen Victoria and her Indian attendant Abdul Karim was deemed so controversial by her family that his existence was scrubbed from royal history upon her death. Shrabani Basu, whose book is now a feature film, explores how a young Indian Muslim came to play a central role at the heart of Empire at a time when independence movements in the sub-continent were growing in force.

🎧 BURMA VETERAN: ARAKAN, KOHIMA AND BURMA

Recorded at Chalke Valley History Festival 2018
Robin Rowland was an officer in Slim’s Fourteenth Army, fighting at the Battle of the Admin Box – the first significant victory against the Japanese – and then at the hell of Kohima and on through the final battles at Meiktila in Burma in 1945. His is an absolutely extraordinary story in which he saw truly terrible things but also witnessed immense courage, tragedy and camaraderie. Here he is in conversation with James Holland.

🎧 CECIL BEATON – MALICE IN WONDERLAND

Audio from Chalke Valley History Festival 2018.
Sir Cecil Walter Hardy Beaton CBE was an English fashion, portrait and war photographer, diarist, painter, interior designer and an Oscar–winning stage and costume designer for films and the theatre. In this talk, his authorised biographer, Hugo Vickers, explores his legacy, a Renaissance man whose style and wit dominated so much of the 20th century.

🎧 ANTHONY EDEN AND THE SUEZ CRISIS

The Suez Crisis of 1956 led the world to the brink of a nuclear conflict and saw the effective end of Britain’s role as a global superpower. At the centre of this drama was one of the Chalke Valley’s most prominent residents, British Prime Minister Anthony Eden. In this talk, Alex von Tunzelmann provides a blistering account of the machinations behind Eden’s catastrophic handling of the Suez Crisis.

🎧 GALLIPOLI: CAUSES, CONSEQUENCES AND COMMEMORATION

Audio from Chalke Valley History Festival 2015 with Stephen Prince.
This lecture, recorded 100 years on, seeks to explain the Gallipoli campaign and place it in its wider context. It looks at the latest understanding of the evidence from both sides, particularly from the Ottoman/Turkish perspective. The example of Gallipoli remains compelling both for contemporary military operations and the nations involved, especially Turkey, New Zealand and Australia.