Chalke Talk

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


Chalke Talks for CVHFYEAR: 2016


  • 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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  • 17. BRITAIN BEGINS
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    12,000 years ago, as the ice sheets retreated, bands of hunter- gatherers spread slowly northwards from mainland Europe, re- colonizing the islands we know as Britain and Ireland. Who were our early ancestors and how directly can we trace our modern population back to them? Sir Barry Cunliffe, Emeritus Professor of Archaeology at Oxford, explains […]

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  • 27. KING ALFRED AND THE BATTLE FOR WESSEX
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    Broadcaster and historian Professor Michael Wood tells the incredible story of King Alfred’s Battle for Wessex. After defeat at Chippenham, Alfred’s kingdom was reduced to a postage stamp of marshland in Somerset, yet he survived and built his army again, leading them to victory at Ethandun. It is unquestionably one of the great moments in […]

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  • 33. SOLDIER, SPY: A SURVIVOR’S TALE
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    Victor Gregg (born 1919) had an extraordinary war and his adventures did not end in 1945. In this very special event, he discusses with Rick Stroud what it was like fighting in North Africa, escaping the ruins of Dresden where he had been a prisoner of war on the night the city was bombed, and […]

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  • 43. BAITING THE RUSSIAN BEAR
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    With Mary Ann Sieghart in the chair, Peter Frankopan, Marina Litvinenko and Edward Lucas look at the historical background to the rapidly re-emerging cold war. From the Napoleonic Wars to the Second World War and beyond, through to the current escalating tensions, they explain why the West has traditionally had such a fraught relationship with […]

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  • HISTORY’S PEOPLE: PERSONALITIES AND THE PAST
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    What difference do individuals make to history? Scrutinising the lives and behaviour of great and lesser-known figures of the past, internationally-acclaimed historian Margaret MacMillan investigates the decisions they made that changed our lives irrevocably. What is the concept of leadership? And how, for better or worse, have personalities influenced the way we see our past […]

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  • 55. DEUTSCHES AFRIKASCORPS KNIGHTS CROSS WINNER
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    Günter Halm (1922-2017) discusses with James Holland and Rob Schäfer his fascinating wartime memories. He was a veteran of the Second World War who fought under Rommel in the Deutsches Afrikakorps, and who won the Knight’s Cross for his part in the First Battle of Alamein in July 1942, and later served in Normandy.  

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  • 64. JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS
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    In the great tradition of story-telling, Tom Holland turns to the Greek myth of Jason and the Argonauts, an epic story of honour, adventure, dangerous women and a golden fleece. Told with wit, verve and passion, this magical tale of the first group of super-heroes is a treat for all, whether young or old. 

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  • 65. THE PLANTAGENETS: BRITAIN’S BLOODIEST DYNASTY
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    The fifteenth century saw the crown change hands seven times as the great Plantagenet families fought to the death for power, majesty and the right to rule. Fresh from his brilliant TV series, Dan Jones breathes life into some of the greatest heroes and villains in English history, who tore themselves apart and enabled the […]

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  • 74. TO HELL AND BACK: EUROPE 1914-1949
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    One of our most eminent historians Professor Sir Ian Kershaw examines the effect two vast and catastrophic conflicts had on the lives of millions of Europeans. He wrestles with the most difficult issues that these events raise – what it meant for the Europeans who initiated and lived through such fearful times – and what […]

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  • 78. THE HEIRS OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD: THE ORIGINS OF THE SHIA-SUNNI SCHISM
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    Within a generation of the Prophet Muhammed’s death, his followers had established Islam and a new civilisation. However, as acclaimed author Barnaby Rogerson explains, the seeds of discord that destroyed its unity and the roots of the schism between Sunni and Shia Muslims were already present. This fascinating talk allows us to understand some of […]

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