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Ray’s History Radio & TV Picks / Links.      No.21.      25 June 2015.

Tales of Irish Castles.

Yesterday: Thu 25 & Fri 26 June 2015, 21.00-22.00. New Series, Episode 4.

Simon Delaney examines the role of Irish castles during the 17th century:



Conspiracy: The Cold War Files

Channel 5: Fri 26 June 2015, 20.00-21.00. New series 3/6:

This new series examines historical events through the perspective of conspiracy theory;: http://www.channel5.com/shows/conspiracy/episodes/cold-war

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell.

BBC 1: Sun 28 June 2015, 21.00 – 22.00. 6/7: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell.

With England in chaos as magic returns, Strange comes back home to claim Mr Norrell and rescue Arabella. But can his plan possibly work? Or will the dark prophecy of the Raven King finally be fulfilled?: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0611zjr

Scotland’s War at Sea. 1 / 2: The Dreadnoughts of Scapa Flow

BBC 4: Mon 29 June 2015, 21.00 – 22.00.

As the Great War began, the Royal Navy rushed to Orkney’s great natural harbour, Scapa Flow. David Hayman uncovers the compelling characters of the little-known naval war – the cautious Admiral Jellicoe and the playboy Admiral Beatty. The story of great technologies and epic battles for control of the North Sea.


The Stuarts: 1 /4. William III and Mary II: To Have and To Hold

BBC Radio 4: Sun 28 June 2015, 15.00 – 16.00. New drama series. Rpt Sat 4 July 21.00 – 22.00.

Mike Walker’s epic chronicle considers the early years of William of Orange and his marriage to James II’s daughter, Mary Stuart. By marrying his English cousin, Dutch William looks to cement an alliance between the two countries and halt Louis XIV’s land-grabbing march across Europe. Neither partnership gets off to an auspicious start: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0606vv7

Book of the Week: Queen of the Desert.

BBC Radio 4: Mon 29 – Fri 3 July 2015, 09.45 – 10.00.

The story of Gertrude Bell and her crucial role in the foundation of the state of Iraq:


The Essay, World War One Round the World, Series 2

BBC Radio 3: Mon 29 – Fri 3 July 2015, 22.45 – 23.00. Five parts:

Episode 1 of 5: Sydney – Stories that Bind

Wesley Enoch explores the powerful legend of Anzac in Australia and how that can leave out an important part of the story. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b060bs5q

Episode 2 of 5: Washington – Safe for Democracy

How World War One came to shape US Foreign Policy through the twentieth century and still has a strong effect on how American engages with the world today. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b060bw56

Episode 3 of 5: Amman – Jordan, a Country of Nationalists

Lina Attel explains how Jordan’s strong cultural identity has sustained it through the turbulent century since the First World War. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b060bw5q

Episode 4 of 5: Delhi – Parting Words

Shashi Tharoor explores the troubled associations of the war and its aftermath, and explains that India is finally honouring its heroes of World War One. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b060bw5v

Episode 5 of 5: Dar es Salaam – Ubhuche, Invisible Histories of the First World War.

Noting that as many as a million Tanzanians died during the First World War, Oswald Masebo uncovers some of the hidden stores of the past.

Dan Cruickshank’s Civilisation under Attack.

BBC 4: Tues 30 June 2015, 21.00 – 22.00. New.

Islamic State has declared war on the most important and romantic ancient architectural sites in the world. Jihadi fighters seek the total destruction of the wonders of the ancient world that gave us writing, the wheel and the first cities. Dan Cruickshank charts the likely course of Islamic State’s destructive advance and asks how this can be happening and what we can do to stop them. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0615mxc

The Lady Who Flew Africa: the Aviatrix

BBC 4: Tues 30 June 2015, 22.00 – 23.00. Repeat of March 2015 broadcast.

In 1928, Lady Heath became the first person to fly solo from Cape Town to London. Eighty-five years later, Tracey Curtis-Taylor sets out in a vintage biplane to retrace her flight.


Timewatch: WW1 Aces Falling.

BBC 4: Tues 30 June 2015, 23.00 – 00.00. From 2008-2009 Timewatch.

Edward Mannock VC and James McCudden VC rose from modest backgrounds to become two of Britain’s greatest fighter aces in World War One. As the number of their victories grew, so did their chances of dying in flames. Timewatch tells the story of their battle to survive against the odds, and of the 90-year-old mystery surrounding the death of one of them. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00jj523


In Our Time: Frederick the Great

BBC Radio 4: Thu 2 July 2015, 09.00 – 09.45

Frederick the Great was King of Prussia from 1740 until his death in 1786. He was much admired by Napoleon and was often romanticised by German historians, becoming a hero for many in united Germany in the 19th and 20th centuries. Others, however, vilified him for aspects such as his militarism and the partition of Poland.


Tales of Irish Castles.

Yesterday: Thu 2 & Fri 3 July 2015, 21.00-22.00. New Series, Episode 5.

Simon Delaney presents a profile of gothic Irish castles:


Excellent BBC links to explore: