Histories of the Unexpected

Histories of the Unexpected explores the past in ways that you never dreamt possible. Surely there’s nothing unexpected about the past? About History? Aha, well Histories of the Unexpected adopts a new approach to exploring our past. Gone is the traditional linear plotting of battles, monarchs and political movements. Histories of the Unexpected argues that everything has a history. Presented by Dr Sam Willis and Professor James Daybell.


Eine durchschnittliche Folge dieses Podcasts dauert 30m. Bisher sind 120 Folge(n) erschienen. Jede Woche gibt es eine neue Folge dieses Podcasts


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Sam Willis and James Daybell tackle the UNEXPECTED history of FABRIC! It's all about museums, (especially the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Vasa Museum) LGBTQ+, flags, handkerchiefs in WW2, silk, the Vikings, trade, subversion, heirlooms, com...



Spies 2 - Interview with Dr Nadine Akkerman

In this episode, James interviews Miss Walsingham herself, Nadine Akkerman from Leiden University on her new book about seventeenth-century female spies, 'Invisible Agents'!




James and Sam explain how you can think about the history of spies...it's all about honey, codes, eggs and invisibility!



Humans Part 2 - with Dr Adam Rutherford

Sam spends a happy hour talking to the scientist Adam Rutherford about humans! The history of humans is all about - masks, ties, make-up, sea-otters, penguins, and whales playing the violin.




James and Sam explain how you can think about the history of humans...it's all about behaviour, art, hands, animals, hats...you'll never think about yourself in the same way ever again...GUARANTEED.


 03 September 2019  35m

Green Room Podcast! Ways with Words Festival, Dartington Hall, Devon,

James and Sam take time out before their show at Dartington Hall to explore its UNEXPECTED history: It's all about the history of wild swimming, accidents, hiding, subversion and the Knights Templar!


 25 August 2019  17m


Sam and James explore the extraordinary history of executions! It's all about judgement and seagulls - and obviously pirates and highwaymen, And cannibals. And fattening. And the law. And wheels and entrails. And encouragement. And speeches. And s...


 21 August 2019  35m

Green Room Podcast! The Beaminster Festival

Sam and James take time out from preparing their live show at Beaminster to visit the local museum and discuss their latest discoveries. Beaminster? Well it's all about pronunciation, community, witches, punishment and, of course...deer.


 11 August 2019  17m

The Cricket Interview: Vic Marks

Sam and James continue their Unexpected History of Cricket with an interview of Vic Marks, England and Somerset spin bowler, author, journalist and legend of the BBC Test Match Special commentary team. It's all about cowmen, photos, memory, langua...


 05 August 2019  36m


Sam and James discuss the unexpected history of the Nazis. They're all about, motherhood, shame, medals, public speaking, architecture and cars....who knew?


 27 July 2019  33m