Chalke Talk

The podcast from the Chalke Valley History Festival
Released every Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings


Chalke Talks for CENTURY: C19th


  • 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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  • 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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  • 18. THE FRENCH REVOLUTIONS
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    In this talk for senior school pupils, Jonathan Fenby outlines the causes of the French Revolution which began in 1789. He explains that this was the beginning of a cycle of revolutions followed by counter-revolutions and discusses how the French liked to believe that their country was a beacon of humanity with progressive values of […]

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  • 25. THE DRAMA OF THE GREAT REFORM BILL 1832
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    In November 1930, the Duke of Wellington declared. ‘the beginning of reform is the beginning of revolution. Despite his fears, a bill to introduce greater democracy was duly presented to Parliament. Eminent historian, Antonia Fraser, discusses with William Waldegrave how this most divisive of bills led to a complete change in the way Britain was […]

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  • 34. THE DREYFUS AFFAIR
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    In this talk, best-selling author Robert Harris turns to one of the key scandals in French history, the Dreyfus Affair. Discussing this infamous miscarriage of justice that rocked France in the years before the First World War, he brings new insights to this world of secret service dealings, cover-ups and betrayal…

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  • CRIME AND PUNISHMENT IN THE VICTORIAN COUNTRYSIDE
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    In this talk for junior pupils at the Chalke Valley History Festival for Schools, Jamie Byrom tells of ‘Sarah’s Sad Story’. Using the local records in Devon from the Victorian era, he follows her from early childhood to her first job as a servant aged ten (although claiming to be thirteen) to her incarceration in […]

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