What Is This Podcast?
The British History Podcast is a chronological telling of the story of Britain. I started in the Ice Age, and I've been steadily moving forward ever since. The focus of this podcast is upon the human drama that is played out in history. Rather than providing a dry recount of dates and names, I am doing my best to provide a three dimensional image of what these people, places, and events were like. The people I'm speaking about were real flesh and blood individuals with dreams, fears, and flaws. And where the information is available, I intend to highlight those aspects for you. You can learn more about my perspective in my interview with Podster Magazine.
Recently the podcast has been featured on iTunes, was a Finalist for Best Educational Podcast by The Podcast Awards, was recommended by the Portland Mercury, Medievalists.net, and The National Trust for Scotland USA. It's also been recommended for fans of Serial and recommended and used as an example by a co-author of Playing With The Past. My Nanna also recommends the podcast, though she's not entirely sure what a podcast is.
Why Start This Project?
Well, a couple of reasons. The first is because far too many people think they hate history, and instead what they hate is the way it was taught to them when they were young. Almost everyone loves stories, and our earliest histories came in the form of stories retold in social settings. The Podcasting environment allows us to reconnect to that ancient tradition of oral histories.
Second, something I'm rather passionate about is the democratization of knowledge. There tend to be a great deal of barriers between information and the people who seek it, often those barriers are economic, social, or geographic. The internet allows us to break through some of those barriers. And since history belongs to all of us, I think it's important that we make this information available.
And finally, this is the best creative outlet I've ever had. I absolutely love doing it!
I also took part in two AMA's ("ask me anything") on Reddit where I answered questions about the show and addressed the challenges of communicating history. You can also listen to the interviews that I did with The History of Philosophy, Interesting Times, and The Life of Caesar, where I answered questions about the show, podcasting, and (of course) history.
About the Host
Well, in terms of degrees I have a Juris Doctorate and a BA in English. Actually, you could say that my entire educational career has been focused upon researching and developing compelling narratives, and I try to use that experience here.
With regard to my accent, because I often get questions on that, I'm an immigrant from the UK living in the US. I went through American schooling and over the course of the years have acquired a West Coast American accent.
As far as personal stuff stuff about me... I love to read, I've been known to engage in geeky past-times (other than podcasting), and I have quite a few little creative side projects. I once worked on, including a board game, but now pretty much all of my effort goes into creating the BHP.
Kerouac, my three-legged cross-eyed toothless cattle dog who you likely heard about in the show, died of cancer in October of 2012. I still miss the hell out of him and always will.
I live in Portland, Oregon. I love IPAs, Thai food, and coffee... so I'm pretty stereotypical in that regard. Though, I refuse to pretend that PBR is good beer, no matter how trendy it is.
About Co-Producer Zee
First off, yes co-producer Zee really does look like Violet from Rat Queens. She kind of acts like her, as well.
Most of the high level decisions made on the direction of the show are the result of discussions between myself and Zee. She also edits the scripts to ensure the narrative and delivery remain tight. Her editing doesn't extend to grammar, however, largely because co-producer Zee wouldn't know what to do with a comma if her life depended on it. Recently, she's been appearing in the Shop Talk series on the Member's Episodes and it's been a ton of fun.
Beyond looking kind of bad ass, and having a stink-eye that can shake you to your core, she also carries degrees in Physical Anthropology and Sociology, and is currently completing a PhD at the LSE. When she isn't editing episodes and deleting puns from the scripts, she works as a Research Analyst for the government. I'm not saying that she's a wiretapping spook working for MI5, but she does go by a single letter.
The theme music is Forward by Northbound, licensed under Creative Commons.