Ray’s History Radio & TV Picks. No.17. 28 May 2015.

Castles: Britain’s Fortified History
BBC Four: Thu 28 May 2015, 20.00 -21.00. 1/3: Instruments of Invasion.
Sam Willis looks at the history of the castle from its first appearance with the Normans in 1066 to the longest siege on English soil at Kenilworth Castle 200 years later. Tingtagel Castle is on the itinerary in this episode..

Art of China.
BBC Four: Fri 29 May 2015, 00.45 – 01.45. Repeat of 2014 series. 2/3.
Andrew Graham-Dixon looks at the period from the 10th to the 15th century – the golden age of art in China: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04cryjg

Britain’s Greatest Generation.
BBC 2: Fri 29 May 2015, 21.30 – 22.30. 4/4: A Better World.
This final episode follows the lives of some of the servicemen and women of the Second World War across seventy years of British history, from 1945 up to the present day: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05xbv48
Episodes: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05v3q9l/episodes/guide

Anzac Girls
More 4, Fri 29 May 2015, 21.00 – 22.00. 5/6
This Australian World War I period drama is based on real letters and diaries of five young women from Australia and New Zealand in the First World War. http://www.channel4.com/programmes/anzac-girls

BBC Four: Sat 30 May 2015, 21.00 – 23.00. Episodes 5 & 6. Danish with English subtitles.
Danish drama which weaves personal stories with the wider political rumblings of a conflict fought over the Schleswig-Holstein question, a diplomatic dispute between Denmark and Prussia. Following the shaming evacuation of Danevirke, Danish troops retreat:. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05xgj03
The Danish forces are bogged down in the town of Dybbol: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05xgj05

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell.
BBC 1: Sun 31 May 2015, 21.00 – 22.00. 3/7: The Education of a Magician
Jonathan Strange accesses ancient and troubling magic as he fights the Napoleonic armies, while Mr Norrell battles to keep his secrets hidden: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05xzwg6

Armada: 12 Days to Save England.
BBC 2: Sun 31 May 2015, 21.00 – 22.00. Repeated Mon 23.30 – 00.30. 2/3: The Battle for England
In the second part of a major three-part drama-documentary series, Anita Dobson stars as Elizabeth I, and Dan Snow takes to the sea to tell the story of how England came within a whisker of disaster in summer 1588. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05xj5t4

Flashman at the Charge
BBC Radio 4 Extra: Mon 1 & Tue 2 June 2015, 10.00 – 11.00, repeated 15.00 – 16.00.
A dramatisation of George Macdonald Frazer’s novel; Joss Ackland plays the renowned cad Sir Harry Flashman who must face the might of Imperial Russia in the Crimea. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00lh5th

Incarnations: India in 50 Lives.
BBC Radio 4: Mon 1 – Fri 5 June 2015, 13.45 – 14.00. Episodes 16-20 of new daily series.
Professor Sunil Khilnani profiles Akbar, Malik Ambar, Dara Shikoh, Shivaji and Nainsukh:
Series details: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05rptbv

Inside the Medieval Mind
BBC Four: Mon 1 June 2015, 20.00 – 21.00. Repeat of 2008 series. 3/4: Belief.
Robert Bartlett examines thought during medieval times. As the church’s grip on our beliefs increased, men and women were dragged before religious courts and multitudes were killed in the name of God. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00b413s

Rome’s Invisible City.
BBC 1: Mon 1 June 2015, 21.00 – 22.00.
With the help of a team of experts using the latest in 3D scanning technology, Alexander Armstrong explores the hidden underground treasures that made Rome the powerhouse of the ancient world. With Dr Michael Scott:

The Last Explorers: Thomas Blake Glover
BBC 4: Mon 1 June 2015, 22.00 – 23.00. 4/4: Thomas Blake Glover
Neil Oliver tells the story of a rogue trader who helped rebel samurai clans overthrow the Japanese shogun and lay the foundations for one of the powerful economies in the world. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b017zqnn

Music of the American Civil War
BBC Radio 2, Tue 2 June 2015, 22.00-23.00. 1/2:
To mark the 150th anniversary of the end of the American Civil War, Kris Kristofferson looks back over the music and musical legacy of the Civil War era. In episode one and in the company of historians, music experts, songwriters and musicians, Kris explores the history of the conflict through its music and discovers how and why the Civil War generated so many of the songs and musical styles found in American music today.

Shadow of the Sun King
BBC Radio 4, Wed 3 June 2015: 11.00-11.30
As we approach the 300th anniversary of the death of Louis XIV, Professor Julian Swann assesses the Sun King’s life and achievements – and also examines his key role in unwittingly spurring Britain to become a global super-power. In the first of two programmes, Swann travels to Paris to visit many of the sites that can claim to be haunted by Louis XIV’s legacy – from Versailles and the Louvre to the Palais Royal and Les Invalides.


Eddie Redmayne looks at war from the point of view of the war artists; eyewitnesses to war affected by issues of subject matter. Broadcast Sun 24 May 2015. Catch-up on ITV Player: