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Sunday, November 02, 2014


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Stuart Pimm

David: You are more than deserving of a sabbatical! 140 episodes is an extraordinary effort. For many of us, history will hibernate until you get back in the New Year.

e.f. bartlam

No..No. I do not support this decision. There's no need for a break...I'm not even winded yet. I could listen to another hundred episodes without breaking a sweat.


Have a great break, David. Probably my favourite podcast, so I'll miss the regular Sunday updates. I'll have to find something else to listen to while doing the ironing. Top effort to get to 140 episodes without much of a rest. Hope you do something nice in your break.

Alex Rowe


I found your podcast in December and have been listening almost daily since that time and this is where I am at current. I will not explain to you how happy I was to find a replacement for the History of Rome (which I finished) and something with a deeper available catalog than the Dan Carlin’s Hardcore history. I will not explain it because it makes me seem like rather uninteresting loner. But as a research scientist I spend much of my time performing very delicate and complex operations, which can also be very repetitive (repeating things is important in science). Your podcast gets me through some of the more robotic portions of my day.

As to the podcast itself, I appreciate and admire that you take what I believe to be such a balanced and academic approach to history. While you are storyteller and a damn clever narrator* I don’t feel you that ever ignore the uncertainty or bias inherit in the subject matter. While you may dismiss your own efforts as just being those of some guy in a shed I think your podcasts are a fantastic overview of English History with genuine educational merit. The historiographies are terrific. They have inspired me to do more reading on the subjects myself so that I can gain a fuller understanding of the topics you review. As for criticism, I feel that it would be wrong to offer any because I have not listened to your entire library yet and the podcast is constantly improving. However, thank you for referring to Henry the IV as Bolingbroke consistently.

I have one question. Who designed the Castles? There is constant talk about castle building but was there a standard playbook of castle design. Did they do much to adapt them to local terrain? Were their diva castle designers constantly going way over budget and demanding more artistic freedom? What of building codes? Edward the first (I think I remember) was injured when his Solar collapsed, was that the result of poor design or what?

Overall thank you so much for doing this. I am also a fan of Douglas Adams, and I feel like he would love your podcast also.


*Many of your jokes fall into a category of what I call “Dad jokes”, but I find that makes them amusing on levels. One because of the raw absurdity of the pun, or word play and two because it is entertaining to hear somebody risk their dignity by making such jokes. Keep it up sir!

The History of England

Thanks Alex! I am glad you are enjoying them; one of the reasons I started was that I also found some podcasts I really liked, and listened to them when doing things like commuting. There's a community out there of ironers, commuters, cyclists, runners...!
Um, great question on Castle designers, and I can't pretend to know the answer. I think often probably the Master Masons who designed the castle unfortunately just haven't come down to us; there is one I know about - Edward I's Master Mason, Jacques de Saint-Georges d'Espéranche. He was a Savoyard, so it hints at an international circuit of castle designers, but I can't go further than that I'm afraid.

On the jokes, sadly, I am a Dad. That is my level now!
Thanks again for taking the time to comment, and I hope you keep enjoying it!

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