Avsnitt

  • What happened between the moment that George A. Custer dispatched a trumpeter with his famous final plea for back-up, and the gruesome discovery of his forces at the Little Bighorn? Certainly, the morning of the 26th of June 1876 found the overwhelmed Major Reno and what remained of his men, along with Captain Benteen, gathered atop a hill, bloody, dehydrated, surrounding by putrefying corpses, and mystified as to the whereabouts of Custer. And the nightmarish ordeal of Reno's clash with the Lakota and their allies was not yet over. Gunfire, carbines and the whiz of arrows echoed in the distance, while below them fearsome Lakota warriors were unnervingly draped in the bloodied jackets and hats of Custer’s 7th Cavalry. Finally, at 3pm, the vast encampment of Lakota began moving off, and at dawn the next day they glimpsed a dust cloud in the distance: reinforcements at last. What they saw upon finally descending the hill, was a scene of such horror, that it would resound through the ages…

    Join Dominic and Tom as they describe, moment by moment, the events of George Custer’s electrifying last stand at the Battle of the Little Bighorn, and its aftermath. What really happened, and what became of Custer, Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull? Above all, who was to blame for the events of that shocking day?



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    Producer: Theo Young-Smith
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    Executive Producers: Jack Davenport + Tony Pastor
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  • “You and I are going home today, and by a trail that is strange to us both…”
    The Battle of The Little Bighorn is one of the totemic moments of American frontier history. However, it is also mysterious, with the exact events of that blood-soaked day difficult to trace. On the 22nd of June, George Custer marched out with vague orders to drive the vast gathering of the Lakota and their allies, under the leadership of Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull, towards General Terry’s force, advancing from the South. Custer, keen as ever for a charge, was hoping to score a considerable defeat over the Native Americans in time for the 4th of July centenary. Then, on the evening of the 24th of June, Crow scouts reported that the Lakota’s trail had been found, and Custer launched into action. Marching his men through the night, they arrived at the encampment the following morning, shocked to discover a camp of thousands. At 3pm, the first force attacked, and the Battle of the Little Bighorn, in all its horror and gore, had begun…

    Join Dominic and Tom they explore one of America’s most mythologised battles, separating fact from fiction, as they build up to George Custer’s last stand.



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  • The U.S. was cast into a spiralling panic following the economic depression of 1873, and waves of paramilitary violence swept through the south as the debates surrounding Reconstruction swirled on. Amidst this uncertainty, the government, under the leadership of Ulysses S. Grant and his chief advisors, began drawing up a cold blooded plan to strike into the heart of Montana and settle the issue of the Plains Indians once and for all. Meanwhile, the drumbeats of war were sounding amongst the newly united Lakota and Cheyenne themselves, spearheaded by their war chiefs Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull, as the pressures of white settlers and the railroads increased. Their numbers swelled in the wake of a failed winter campaign lead by General Crook, as swarms of refugees accumulated into Sitting Bull's village - the largest assembly of Lakota ever seen on the Plains. The stage seemed set for a mighty reckoning in the summer of 1876, as the Federal government geared up for another assault. Much to his delight George Custer, spared from the brink of disaster by his reckless impetuosity, was recruited to the 7th Cavalry marching on one of the armies closing in on the Lakota encampment near the Little Bighorn River…the Battle of the Rosebud that followed would see a six hour struggle of monumental violence.

    Join Dominic and Tom as they discuss the events and battles that lead up to the Battle of the Little Bighorn; Grant’s eccentric generals, and Custer’s impulsive escapades in the build up to the final evening of his life…


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  • In the wake of the barbaric Washita River massacre, George Custer found himself drifting; addicted to gambling, at odds with his wife, and failing in his efforts to take advantage of the American gold rush in New York. Finally, Custer was sent to Kentucky to suppress the terrible post war fighting there, but again found himself alienated from many of his companions by his controversial views on Reconstruction. Restless and dissatisfied, the chance for danger and action finally came Custer’s way, thanks to the ambitions of the Northern Pacific Railway. With plans to build it right across Lakota territory, the venture was intended to and would fatally threaten their way of life, by spelling the death of the bison. With this threat on the horizon, the mighty Lakota war leaders, Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse lead violent raids against the survey party sent to prospect the land, hampering and halting their efforts. So it was that in 1873 another expedition was sent, and with it went George Custer, bringing him into contact for the first time with the two mighty warriors who would shape his destiny. A fearful, bloody game of cat and mouse would ensue, culminating in an epic confrontation…

    Join Dominic and Tom as they discuss the evolution of Custer’s career leading up to his first legendary encounter with Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, the incremental creep of the Northern Pacific Railway, and the U.S. Government’s secret plan to defeat the Lakota Sioux, once and for all.  




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  • "What would you do if your home was attacked? You would stand up like a brave man and defend it. That is our story." 
    Following the bloody Fetterman Fight, which saw the Lakota warlord Crazy Horse and his warriors ambush and massacre American troops, the American public was left stunned, its government and civilian population hungry for revenge. In the wake of this a new treaty was signed, further restricting the Lakota Sioux’s freedoms, but nevertheless signed by their political leader, Red Cloud. Still, many would not be constrained to reservations, and instead sought war. Chief amongst them was Sitting Bull, a legendary, mythologised figure of the Great American Plains and the Wild West - the embodiment of a vanished age. Born into the Lakota Sioux, and a world of shifting allegiances, violent initiation rituals, and intransigent spiritualities, as a young man Sitting Bull’s herculean destiny was sung to him by an eagle. The career that followed in his war against the U.S. government would exceed even the greatest of epics. By 1860 he was paramount leader of the Sioux Nation, when news reached him of the imminent arrival of a survey party, lead by none other than George Armstrong Custer…

    Join Dominic and Tom as they discuss Sitting Bull’s rise, his extraordinary upbringing, and his stand against the increasing encroachment of railroads into his homelands.



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  • Of all the great characters entangled in the story of George A. Custer and the American Indian Wars, few are as captivating as Crazy Horse. A mighty warrior of the Lakota Sioux, and a tremendous military tactician, he was a charismatic but enigmatic figure. The Sioux, of which the Lakota are a subculture, are groups of Native American tribes and First Nations people from the Great Plains. Their way of life was transformed by the introduction of horses to North America, but their nomadic lifestyle and dependence upon buffalo hunting was severely threatened by the imposition of telegraph lines, forts and then railroads upon their lands. So it was that, reluctant to be confined to the reservations outlined for them by the U.S. Government, they decided to fight back, under the joint leadership of the politically savvy Red Cloud, and the fated, fearless, tactically brilliant, Crazy Horse… 
    Join Dominic and Tom as they plunge into the world of the Lakota Sioux, looking at the history of their people in the American plains, their rich, complex culture and often gory rituals, and the fascinating characters who would challenge George Custer and the U.S. Government. 


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  • With the American Civil War coming to a close in April 1865, George Custer, cavalry commander in the Union army, and a man of dubious political leanings for a unionist officer, was sent to Texas. Reckless, daring and bloodthirsty, the conclusion of the war came as a disappointment to him. Then, having allied himself with the new, anti-Reconstruction American president, Andrew Johnson, Custer alienated himself from one of the most important men in the country: Ulysses S. Grant. As such he found himself exiled to the murderous but dull post of Kansas. There, he and the 7th Cavalry were charged with handling the looming conflict with the Cheyenne; an indigenous people of the Great Plains, whose lives and culture had been radically jeopardised by modernisation, and the encroachment of the railroads into their lands. While some Cheyenne were inclined to negotiate with Washington, their more zealous warriors, the ‘Dog Soldiers’, were determined to fight and destroy the settlers, sending bloodthirsty raids into federal forts. The campaigns that followed saw acts of terrific violence, culminating in a terrible, brutal massacre…

    Join Tom and Dominic as they discuss Custer’s first forays into the gruesome and tragic American Indian Wars: his political missteps, southern adventures, romantic rollercoasters, and battles with the remarkable horse-riding, buffalo hunting Cheyenne. 


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  • “Come on, you Wolverines!”
    The story of the American Indian Wars of 1862-68 is an enthralling tale of hubris, politics, recklessness, and the merciless assault of industrialisation and modernity on an old world, nearly extinguished. An immense tragedy, it is also a story of great adventure, with formidable heroes and villains on both sides. No two figures encapsulate this better than the enigmatic, strategically brilliant Lakota war leader, Crazy Horse, and his foil on the side of the Unites States government, cavalry commander George A. Custer, whose daring, panache and egotism has immortalised him in the annals of American history. From the bloody battles of the American Civil War and the snake-pit of Reconstruction politics, to his ruthless campaigns against the Native American and First Nation peoples of the Great Plains, and his ensuing, mysterious demise, Custer’s life is a thrilling mix of heroics, brutality, madness and gore. 

    Join Dominic and Tom as they delve into the thrilling American Indian Wars, and the life of George A. Custer. From his flamboyant and salacious youth, to his daredevil performance fighting for the Union army, and his entry into the fascinating world of nineteenth century American politics. 


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  • The Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, the Habsburg dynasty's mightiest ruler, was at once King of Spain, Archduke of Austria, Lord of the Netherlands and Duke of Burgundy. With a lineage supposedly stretching back to Noah’s Ark, and a name born in Ancient Rome, the Habsburgs are one of the most influential dynasties in all of European history, shaping and changing the course of nations and empires. The first great Habsburg, Rudolph, was made King of the Romans in 1273, though it was from 1500, through a series of tactical marriages, that their ascendancy truly began. Key among these was the marriage of Maximilian I, Charles V’s grandfather, to the powerful heiress Mary of Burgundy. The resulting gigantic Habsburg dominion would eventually split into two dynastic branches, located in Spain and Vienna, forging remarkable, multinational empires, that dominated central Europe until the twentieth century. But is there any truth to the claim that the Habsburg’s notorious proclivity for inbreeding resulted in genetic deformities that would see the downfall of the family?

    In this week’s episode, Dominic and Tom are joined by none other than Eduard Habsburg-Lothringen, to discuss his illustrious family’s tumultuous history, its most famous members, strange death rituals, romantic legends, and the seven rules he’s derived from the stories of the House of Habsburg.


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  • "The First Emperor will die and his land will be divided….”
    The First Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang, left behind him a monumental legacy: an Empire which would last millennia, the foundations of the Great Wall of China, and an eerie Terracotta Army - 8000 warriors who would protect the Emperor in the afterlife. His deeply autocratic reign, and the brutal tactics he used to conquer rival states and establish the Chinese Empire, have seen him cast as the archetype of the “bad emperor”. And when compared with Qin Shi Huang, Mao boasted that “when you berate us for imitating his despotism, we are happy to agree!”. But was Chinese unification under one empire inevitable, or did it need a ruthless figure to centralise power? And to what terrifying lengths did the first Emperor go to secure immortality…?

    Join Tom and Dominic as they discuss the fantastical First Emperor of China - one of the world’s most powerful and formidable rulers. From warring kingdoms and ruthless suppressions, to necromancy, mythical beasts, doom-ridden prophecies, and even 20th century Chinese Communism. 





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  • Rumours surrounding Lord Byron’s scandalous divorce rippled throughout the world. Finally, he had no choice but to abandon England in disgrace and flee to Italy, an exile but still the most famous man in Europe. Then, in the summer of 1816 in Geneva, he met a young poet named Percy Bysshe Shelley, and one of the most iconic literary friendships of all time was sparked. A handsome republican with an enthusiasm for free-love, Shelley immediately attracted Byron’s admiration. With him, however, was his sister-in-law Claire, a former lover of Byron’s, pregnant with his child whom he detested. Also, Shelley’s wife, Mary. So it was that on a stormy night of ghost stories, another great masterpiece was born…However, as time passed and in the wake of a series of tragedies, the aging Byron grew increasingly isolated and restive, his thoughts turning once more to Greece, that ancient land of myth and legend. Approached by the London Greek Committee to help support the cause of Greek independence, Byron set off once more for Kefalonia. Was it doom or destiny that beckoned?

    Join Tom and Dominic for the grand finale of their gripping journey through the life of one of history’s most darkly intriguing figures, Lord Byron. From his English exile, Italian sojourn and final love affair, to the greatest adventure of them all...




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  • Good God I am surely in hell!

    Upon Lord Byron’s return to England and the publication of Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, he became one of the most notorious men in Europe and the world's first celebrity. The next period of his life would be rocked by shocking scandal, moral depravity and sexual outrage. Pale and sickly but devastatingly romantic, he attracted a dedicated fan base, the likes of which had never been seen. Chief amongst these was the eccentric and androgynous Lady Caroline Lamb, whose affair with Byron would inflame London society and push both to the brink of insanity. So extreme was Caroline’s obsession that upon the advice of her mother-in-law, the cunning and cruel Lady Melbourne known as "the Spider", Byron set out to find himself a wife. The woman he chose was an unlikely candidate: a mathematician, Annabella Milbanke, who Byron hoped would redeem his devilish disposition. Their marriage would be blighted by cruelty, immorality and a particularly pernicious breed of infidelity. For, one other woman now played a central role in Byron’s life: Augusta Leigh, his lover, and sister…

    Join Tom and Dominic as they discuss Lord Byron’s tumultuous romantic love affairs and marriage; culminating in a scandal so shocking and sexually licentious that it would drive him from England. 



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  • By 1809, Lord Byron found himself untethered and debt-ridden. Disenchanted with politics, frustrated by his literary career and haunted by his illicit homosexuality, he abandoned an oppressive England and set out upon his legendary Eastern adventure. First plunging into a Europe torn asunder by the exploits of his hero, Napoleon Bonaparte, Byron decried the imperialist militarism of the raging Napoleonic Wars. Nevertheless, he delighted in the danger and excitement of his travels, absorbing and subsuming the cultures he encountered, and exploring a predilection for transvestism. From Portugal and the Peninsula War, Byron travelled to Albania where he fascinated the infamous Ali Pasha, and then later charmed the Sultan of Constantinople. In Greece, he found a land of exotic romanticism where his growing sense of destiny took root in the Greek’s fight for liberty. At last, in 1811 Byron returned to England and published his poem, Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage. Almost overnight he became the most famous man in London. Byromania had engulfed the nation…

    Join Tom and Dominic as they discuss Lord Byron’s remarkable travels abroad - his encounters with some of the most famous men of the age, his confrontations with danger and destiny, and his untethered eroticism…



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  • Few lives from history can have contained as many strange and exciting strands as that of Lord Byron's, whose story reflects the great dramas of the Napoleonic era. A vampiric hero of devilish charisma; a martyr for liberty, a licentious lothario; Byron’s cultural and literary impact cannot be underestimated. The remarkable course of his life, and his mercurial nature can in part be explained by the dark events of his childhood, and the outlandish history of his own family. Born with a club foot - his “satanic mark” - to “Mad Jack” Byron, a former gigolo dogged by incest and financial ruin, and an unpredictable mother, a strange curse seemed to lie over the family. Impoverished before the inheritance of his title and a romantic ruin in Nottinghamshire, the plump and provincial boy would finally find solace at school and university, where he transformed into the glamorous rake he would become. There too would he discover the dubious sexual passions that would haunt his life…

    Join Tom and Dominic as they discuss the diabolic history of the Byron family, and the young Byron’s birth, troubled upbringing, and controversial adolescence.



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  • Music for sex, dancing, and watching the straight world go by…

    The explosion of Disco provides an extraordinary window into the tumultuous world of the 1970s, with its themes of sex, drugs, race and sexuality. By the start of the 1970s, America was a nation of dystopian gloom. The radical dream of the 1960’s had dissipated, with economic decline, Vietnam and Watergate polarising and disenchanting the public. Then, at a party in New York held by the DJ David Mancuso, something new was born: Disco. An intoxicating kaleidoscope of dancing and colour with an orgasmic new sound, it united disparate groups under the banner of music. An escape from the concerns of the day, it captivated the mainstream imagination with its idealism, open drug use, self-consciously flamboyant clothes, and acceptance of race and homosexuality at a time when the Civil Rights Movement was raging and gay rights still contentious. But, with its rising orthodoxy, Disco was also attracting a dedicated base of critics and detractors. They decried its hedonism, its debasement of traditional masculinity, and, with the Aids crisis swirling, its immorality.

    Join Dominic and Tom as they discuss the rise and fall of Disco, culminating in the shocking night of Disco Demolition at a White Sox game on the 12th of July 1979. Could it survive this ultimate reckoning?


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  • “We choose to go to the Moon. We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard…”
    In his speech at Rice University, Texas, in September 1962, President John F. Kennedy reaffirmed America's commitment to an extraordinary, startling project: landing a man on the Moon by the end of the decade. Facing fierce competition from the U.S.S.R., it would take 11 missions of unimaginable danger to reach this goal, with Neil Armstrong first setting foot on the Moon’s rocky surface on July 21st, 1969. 
    "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."
    650 million people watched in awe that day, as Apollo 11 unfolded on live TV. In today’s episode, Tom and Dominic are joined by one of those people, very special guest TOM HANKS, actor, filmmaker and expert on all things Apollo-related, to discuss the epic saga of how humankind made it to the Moon and back. From the tragedy of Apollo 1 and the disaster of Apollo 13, to Buzz Aldrin's "religious moment" after the Eagle had landed, driving foldable cars on the Moon, and the arguments over who would get to take the first lunar steps, Tom Hanks, Dominic Sandbrook and Tom Holland look at the dangerous, daring, and incredible stories of the Apollo missions.

    The Moonwalkers: A Journey with Tom Hanks is on at Lightroom, in King’s Cross, London, until the 13th of October 2024. 
    Find out more here: https://lightroom.uk/whats-on/the-moonwalkers/ 


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  • “I think there is not a devil left in hell, they have all gone into the peasants… smite, stab and slay all”. 
    Following on from Martin Luther’s dramatic abduction by his powerful protector, Frederick III, he had been secretly kept safe at Wartburg. There, he abandoned his priestly garments for good, and violently wrestled against the devil, in unorthodox ways…Meanwhile, the religious revolution that he had ignited was sweeping through Europe, and setting everything aflame. A sense of apocalyptic flux saw waves of destructive violence unleashed upon all the old customs and idols, as rebellions erupted throughout Christendom. Luther’s reformation had taken on a terrifying new form of zealotry, which saw him transformed from radical to reactionary. His determination to destroy the new reformers enraged and infuriated many of his old followers. None more so than Andreas Karlstadt - the former chancellor of Wittenberg university against whom Luther unleashed a savage smear campaign - and Thomas Müntzer; an apocalyptic prophet who sought to discredit Luther’s reputation. Then, in May 1524, there exploded an uprising in Germany that would change everything, as militant evangelical peasants came up against their Catholic overlords. A religious war had broken out at last…
    Join Tom and Dominic as they discuss the radical turn of Luther’s religious revolution and his efforts to quash it, the groundbreaking Peasants’ War, his unexpected marriage, and the colossal legacy of Luther's ideas, and the Reformation.


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  • "I cannot and will not recant anything for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe.…Here I stand, I can do no other”
    The Diet of Worms in April 1521 was one of history’s most dramatic confrontations, a clash of the old world and the new. It saw the celebrity professor Martin Luther summoned to the imperial free city of Worms by the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V, to defend his radical beliefs. And though his life was guaranteed by the Emperor, Luther had never been in greater danger. He arrived in the city to huge, ecstatic crowds, like Jesus returning to Jerusalem from the desert. But would his rhetorical brilliance and passionate defence save him and the future of protestantism, or would he doom himself to a fiery fate?

    Join Tom and Dominic as they discuss one of the most groundbreaking moments of western history: Martin Luther at the Diet of Worms in 1521, and the extraordinary twist of fate which saw the most famous man in Europe inexplicably vanish from the face of the earth. Defenestrated dogs, malevolent poltergeists and scatological furores abound... 




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    @TheRestHistory
    @holland_tom
    @dcsandbrook


    Producer: Theo Young-Smith
    Assistant Producer: Tabby Syrett
    Executive Producers: Jack Davenport + Tony Pastor 
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

  • Three years on from Martin Luther’s publication of the Ninety-Five Theses - a shocking attack on the corruption of the Catholic Church and the selling of indulgences - his radical new ideas and brilliant use of the printing press had unleashed chaos in Christendom. Still in Wittenberg under the Protection of Frederick III, Luther’s increasingly radical beliefs founded in his readings of Christian scripture, now sought to undermine the entire fabric of the Catholic Church and the theology that has shaped the Latin West for centuries. This culminated in his famous Reformation Moment, which saw his love affair with God raised to new heights of exultation. All the while, support for his outrageous ideas was swelling and Luther’s own celebrity growing. With it, the very real danger in which he placed himself, and the looming threat of excommunication. At last, in August 1518 Luther was summoned to Augsburg to meet with Cardinal Thomas Cajetan and have his beliefs examined…would he survive the reckoning to come?
    Join Tom and Dominic as they discuss the raging fires of Luther’s radical revolution, his seminal Reformation Moment, and the great debate in Augsburg which would see his fervour put to the test. 



    *The Rest Is History LIVE in 2024*
    Tom and Dominic are back onstage this summer, at Hampton Court Palace in London
    Buy your tickets here: therestishistory.com


    Twitter:
    @TheRestHistory
    @holland_tom
    @dcsandbrook

    Producer: Theo Young-Smith
    Assistant Producer: Tabby Syrett
    Executive Producers: Jack Davenport + Tony Pastor
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

  • Martin Luther is one of the few people to have genuinely changed the world, igniting a religious revolution that tore Christendom in two, and undermined European tradition in ways that still reverberate today. But along with Luther’s uniquely tortured psyche, three events contributed to his extreme transformation from young lawyer to fervent monk: the loss of a dear friend, a near fatal accident, and a cataclysmic thunderstorm. It was at the University of Wittenberg that Luther’s truly revolutionary understanding of God, theology and scripture began to evolve. His scorn for the state of the Church bubbled underneath the surface, until one day, a friar called Johann Tetzel rolled into Saxony, claiming to sell awesome indulgences, which would allow sinful locals to shorten their stay in purgatory. Such staggering corruption drove Luther to take drastic action, and, marching to Wittenberg Castle’s Church, he legendarily nailed his Ninety-Five Theses to the door. Or did he?

    Join Tom and Dominic as they describe Luther’s tormented journey to priesthood, the events that lead up to the apocryphal nailing of the Ninety-Five Theses, and the truly radical nature of his newfound relationship with God and Christianity. 




    *The Rest Is History LIVE in 2024*
    Tom and Dominic are back onstage this summer, at Hampton Court Palace in London!
    Buy your tickets here: therestishistory.com



    Twitter:
    @TheRestHistory
    @holland_tom
    @dcsandbrook


    Producer: Theo Young-Smith
    Assistant Producer: Tabby Syrett
    Executive Producers: Jack Davenport + Tony Pastor
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices