Saturday, January 13, 2024

Noteworthy News #2: My Favorite History Podcasts


This has been a very busy week and I haven't had a lot of time to read. I returned to school and teaching after two relaxing weeks off and it's been a whirlwind of activity. So needless to say my posts this week have been lacking. But that doesn't mean I'm not still going through searches for new books and new content. I'm currently reading about four different books and really need to narrow my focus for my next review. 

In thinking about adding to this idea of "noteworthy news" in the book/history world, I want to post about things I enjoy that might be of value to others who share my same interests. This week I kept coming back to podcasts. When I'm short on time and energy podcasts are my go to thing that keep me informed while not requiring too much of my time. I wrote a post on audiobooks and how they aren't my favorite way to read but sometimes I do cave and listen to them. But podcasts are short and very focused in content and if you listen to one episode it doesn't commit you to hours and hours of time like a book would. Also, I just love to read rather than listen to a book.

While I do listen to a lot of political podcasts, that isn't what my blog is ever going to be geared toward....but I wanted to list my favorite history podcasts and promote them because I would be lost without them and they are a huge guilty pleasure! I have so much admiration for the people who host them and all the work they put into informing me. 

So in no particular order here are my absolute favorite history podcasts and I hope you find something useful if you try one of them out. I have linked the host website with the pictures of the podcast. These are also ones that have lots of content and seem to be solid with factual information. 

1.THE HISTORY OF ENGLAND hosted by David Crowther

This was the first podcast I ever listened to and I learned so much in chronological order about England. Running from Ancient Roman times to present day, Crowther is still going strong and is currently in the 1600's time period. His website is fantastic with so many resources. Also, he is really funny, sometimes adding his adult children to the mix and having them act out certain moments in Shakespeare or reading historical documents. He can be sarcastic and keeps me laughing.

2.GONE MEDIEVAL hosted by Matt Lewis, Cat Jarman, and Eleanor Janega

This podcast is not chronological but rather topical. It is fun to scroll through the offerings and just pick a moment in history or a person I want to hear about. Each episode runs about 45 minutes on average and they pack a lot into that time. Each host has their own unique style and I have found some are more to my liking than others but all have spoken about some very interesting topics. For those of us that love history of the Medieval period, this show is amazing!

3.HISTORY OF THE CRUSADES  hosted by Sharyn Eastbaugh

I started listening to this podcast because I wanted to try a topic I knew absolutely nothing about. Eastbaugh does a fabulous job of starting with that idea in mind. She gives you a backstory and slowly fills in the relevant details so you understand how the Crusades began and why. I have listened to many episodes twice now and after finishing the whole show's content I have a wonderful grasp of the timeline of it all. It led me to so many great books and historical fiction about topics within the Crusader period. It is a fantastic show. 

4. REVOLUTIONS  hosted by Mike Duncan

This podcast is a little more serious and requires some concentration. Some background knowledge going in helps too. Duncan does assume you know nothing and fills in the gaps, but his style is more detailed and involves some deep thinking. So if you are looking to just zone out this isn't the one for you. However, if you really want to get to the root causes of how revolutions begin and develop you can't find a better place. Each episode is related to an overall country's revolution so it's like a mini-series on one particular area of the world before ending and moving on to another topic. I haven't listened to them all but picked the ones that I thought would be to my interest. They are arranged by seasons and topics too which helps to narrow things down and find what you want. Sadly, he posted his last episode on December 25, 2022. After nine years he is signing off to do new things. I'm glad we can still access them. He also hosted another podcast first,
The History of Rome which I haven't tried yet. 

5. HISTORY HIT hosted by Dan Snow

Unfortunately, this podcast is not entirely free so I haven't been able to listen to everything I would like to. It is similar to Gone Medieval, which is connected with them.  But History Hit charges for some of their episodes. They have really great content though and I listen to the free stuff and the option is always there to pay for the things you'd really be interested in. It's a great show. There's also a free trial you can take advantage of and their website is chock full of great things to experience as well. 

6. THE CIVIL WAR  hosted by Rich and Tracy Youngdahl

This podcast is run by husband and wife team Rich and Tracy who live in Colorado. They are adorable and you can tell they love sharing their knowledge with the world together. I haven't listened in a long time but when I did I learned so much and really need to check back in and see if they've added anything recently. Tracy is from Arkansas and Rich is from Pennsylvania so they each bring their unique perspectives about the North and the South into the show. They also try to give the facts fairly and neutrally. Of course the topic of slavery is not glossed over, but they do a good job of trying to explain the thinking of the time and the causes of the war in detail so you come away with a solid understanding of the era. Highly recommended if you need to start from scratch learning about the Civil War. It covers the many years leading up to the war and each battle and all the political and social ramifications through Reconstruction. 


  1. Hi Shellie! Thank you so much for sharing your favorite history podcasts! I plan to add History Hit and and Gone Medieval to my podcast library for starters. Have you ever listened to The Stuff You Missed in History Class podcast? There's no digging deep into a time period or topic on that one, but they have such an interesting variety of topics! My son and I listen to The Past and the Curious, which is made for kids but is so fun to listen to if you have any young history buffs in your life.
    I always look forward to visiting your blog, as you so often feature books (and now some podcasts) from time periods that I'm just not familiar with. So thank you for sharing your love of historical fiction books that I would say are lesser known and not very often featured!

    1. Thank you so much Becky! I really appreciate your kind words. I struggle sometimes with thinking I should review newer books but often just don't like what is out there at the moment. I have heard of the podcast you mentioned but have not tried it. I will be sure to check it out! It is so wonderful you are listening with your son and exposing him to history. It is sorely neglected in our schools these days. Have a great week!