Chalke Talk

The podcast from the Chalke Valley History Festival


Latest releases

  • 13. THE CRUSADES AND MEDIEVAL WARFARE
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    In this talk for senior schools, Professor Jeremy Black gives an insight into the motivations of the Crusaders. In addition to the notion that Jerusalem should be ‘freed’, this period saw the expansionism of European feudal society, a new role for the papacy, and developing commercial opportunities, as well as a desire to protect Constantinople. […]

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  • 12. THE PATIENT ASSASSIN: A TRUE TALE OF MASSACRE, REVENGE AND THE RAJ
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    On April 13th 1919, the British Indian Army opened fire on a crowd attending an unauthorised public meeting in Amritsar. Over 1,000 unarmed Indians were killed. Among the survivors was a young man who made a vow of vengeance that would ultimately prove successful. Prompted by her own family connections to the Amritsar massacre, Anita […]

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  • 11. THE NOBLE REVOLT: THE ENGLISH CIVIL WAR
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    John Adamson is one of the country’s most brilliant historians and a leading authority on the Civil War. In this talk, he discusses what he calls ‘the noble revolt,’ challenging some of our perceptions of that conflict between Parliament and King while casting new and relevant light onto one of the most tumultuous and significant […]

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  • 10. FIGHTING WITH THE FRENCH RESISTANCE
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    Jean Jammes was a schoolboy in 1944 when, that summer, he joined the Resistance group led by his father in the countryside around Épernon. Involved in numerous actions of sabotage, he also helped capture three German officers and was awarded the Croix de Guerre. In this very special event he talks to Peter Caddick-Adams about […]

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  • 09. ISTANBUL: A TALE OF THREE CITIES
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    Award-winning historian, author and broadcaster Bettany Hughes gives a captivating portrait of the momentous life of Istanbul based on meticulous research gathered over a decade and brand new archaeological evidence. A ground-breaking history of this world-class city from its very beginnings in Neolithic times through 8,000 years of human habitation to the present.

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  • 08. IMMIGRATION IN ANTIQUITY
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    Immigration is one of the most hotly debated matters of our current age, but it’s far from being a recent phenomenon. Rather, the mass movement of peoples was as relevant to those living in ancient times as it is now. In this timely talk, Tom Holland questions how people in antiquity felt about immigration and […]

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  • 07. THOMAS JEFFERSON AND THE EMPIRE OF THE IMAGINATION
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    Worshipped, pilloried, and forever debated. Such is the fate of Thomas Jefferson, whose actions and ideas — more than those of any of the other Founding Fathers —still divide Americans two centuries later. Pulitzer Prize-winning author and Harvard Professor Annette Gordon-Reed extends the analysis of Jefferson in light of prevailing attitudes towards politics, slavery, genetics, […]

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  • 06. THE SILK ROADS: A NEW HISTORY OF THE WORLD
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    In this brilliant major reassessment of world history, Peter Frankopan gives a compelling account of the forces that have shaped the global economy and the political renaissance in the re-emerging east. He explores the forces that have driven the rise and fall of empires, determined the flow of ideas and goods and are now heralding […]

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  • 05. HERODOTUS: THE FATHER OF HISTORY
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    The ‘Father of History’ was a Greek living in Persia in the 5th century BC but was the first person to write down the stories from the past. Herodotus’ Histories remains one of the richest and most read books of all time, and in this talk renowned classicist Professor Paul Cartledge discusses the life of […]

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  • 04. THE PARIS PEACE TREATIES
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    This talk by Dr Peter Caddick-Adams for senior pupils at the Chalke Valley History Festival for Schools, challenges some assumptions about the aftermath of the First World War. The armistice in 1918 was a truce but fighting continued in Eastern Europe and the Middle East for several years. He explains that the Treaty of Versailles […]

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  • 03. AROUND THE WORLD IN 1847
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    Turtle Bunbury takes a fast-paced look at the world as it was 170 years ago. Featuring an exceptional cast of characters from those who explored the world’s oceans to show stopping entertainers, his talk also encompasses the intrepid pioneers who crossed the prairies of the Americas, the genius of Liszt and Mendelssohn, the Irish soldiers […]

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  • 02. THE KING’S WITCH: JAMES I AND THE GUNPOWDER PLOT
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    In this talk, inspired by her debut novel partially set at nearby Longford Castle, Festival favourite Tracy Borman takes us into the turbulent world of the early Stuart court, where King James I waged a war on witches and Catholics alike. It was not long before a dark campaign to destroy both King and Parliament […]

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  • 01. NO TURNING BACK: LIFE, LOSS AND HOPE IN WARTIME SYRIA
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    Award-winning journalist Rania Abouzeid presents reportage of unprecedented scope. From the first rumblings of dissent in 2011, she shows the unravelling of a nation: peaceful protests collapsing into violence, families shattered, and religious conviction sharpened by rage to a radical point. She reveals how Syrians found new ways to resist as the cruelty of the […]

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