Chalke Talk

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


Latest releases

  • 161. A HERO FOR HIGH TIMES: A Guide to the Beats, Hippies, Freaks, Punks, Ravers, New-Age Travellers and Dog-on-a-rope Brew Crew Crusties of the British Isles 1956-1994
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    A free spirit who embraced the post-war counter-culture, Ian Marchant takes us on a splendid journey through some of his personal highs from the age of the Beats to the protests of Swampy.

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  • 160. A SPY AMONG FRIENDS: KIM PHILBY AND THE GREAT BETRAYAL
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    With access to newly released MI5 files, Ben Macintyre unlocks perhaps the last great secret of the Cold War. A story of intimate duplicity, loyalty, trust and treachery about the most notorious British defector and mole in history, Kim Philby is revealed as agent, double agent, traitor and enigma, and betrayer of secret Allied operations […]

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  • 159. THE FEAR AND THE FREEDOM: HOW THE SECOND WORLD WAR CHANGED US
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    Keith Lowe has undertaken a pioneering and vitally important exploration of the aftermath of the war, how it affected different peoples and countries, and the unprecedented geopolitical, social, psychological and economic imprint it caused. In this talk he discusses his findings and explains why the war is still both important and highly relevant to this […]

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  • 158. THE AVIATION HEROES OF THE FIRST WORLD WAR
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    The pioneering airmen of the First World War took incredible risks to perform their vital contribution to the war effort. Joshua Levine, official historian of the film Dunkirk, tells the story of the first heroes of the air, conveying the perils of early flight, the thrills of being airborne, and the horrors of war in […]

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  • 157. HORTICULTURAL HEAVEN: The Lives of Edith Wharton, Virginia Woolf, Willa Cather and Penelope Fitzgerald Through Their Gardens
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    Acclaimed writer, reviewer, broadcaster, and prize-winning biographer Professor Dame Hermione Lee, former President of Wolfson College, Oxford, talks about the gardens – real and imaginary – of the writers whose lives she has written including Edith Wharton, Virginia Woolf, Penelope Fitzgerald, and Willa Cather.

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  • 156. ROME: A HISTORY IN SEVEN SACKINGS
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    No city on earth has preserved its past as has Rome, despite being afflicted by earthquakes, floods, fires, plagues and repeated ravages by roving armies. From the Gauls to the Nazis, Matthew Kneale vividly recounts the most important of these attacks, while drawing an intense and vibrant portrait of the city and its inhabitants, both […]

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  • 155. The Raj at War: A People’s History of India’s Second World War
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    The Second World War was not fought by Britain alone. India produced the largest volunteer army in world history: over 2 million men. Yasmin Khan presents the overlooked history of India at war, and will show how mobilisation for the war unleashed seismic processes of economic, cultural and social change – decisively shaping the international […]

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  • 154. CLASH OF EMPIRES: ROME v GREECE
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    Rome. Greece. Two of the greatest civilisations ever to exist, yet the story of how the former came to conquer the latter just a few years after a brutal war with Carthage is little known today. The brilliant Ben Kane brings to life the characters, the political intrigue, the alliances made and broken, as well as the heroic […]

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  • 153. EPIC CONTINENT: ADVENTURES IN THE GREAT STORIES OF EUROPE
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    Award-winning travel writer Nicholas Jubber journeyed across Europe exploring it’s epic poems, from the Odyssey to Beowulf, the Song of Roland to the Nibelungenlied. In these tales soaked in blood and fire, Nicholas Jubber reveals how fantasy realms of gods and emperors, dragons and water-maidens, knights and princesses shaped our world: their deep impact on […]

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  • 152. THE BLACK PRINCE
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    In 1346, at the age of 16, he helped defeat the French at Crécy; ten years later he captured the King of France at Poitiers. Michael Jones illuminates the dramatic story of ‘the Black Prince’, the eldest son and heir of Edward III of England. Using the Prince’s own letters, he paints a memorable portrait […]

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