History the way it is meant to be heard.

History is human. History is drama. History is our story, and it belongs to all of us.

The BHP is a chronological retelling of the history of Britain with a particular focus upon the lives of the people. You won't find a dry recounting of dates and battles here, but instead you'll learn about who these people were and how their desires, fears, and flaws shaped the scope of this island at the edge of the world.

If you are new, you can click here to learn more about what this show is all about. Or if you're eager to get started, you can begin your journey in British prehistory by clicking here.

Welcome, and thanks for listening!

offa

150 – King Offa: The Turnover

Today’s episode is going to go all over the kingdoms of the Heptarchy. We have the Kings of Kent, Wessex, East Anglia, Northumbria, and of course, Mercia all involved. It’s a busy one. But Offa will continue to be our main character. To start with, what’s going on in the world? Last week I mentioned in passing that King Cynewulf… Read more →

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149 – King Offa Ascends the Throne

Today we’re starting a series on one of the most influential Mercian kings in history. King Offa. But before we start this story, I need to fess up to a couple things. First, for the last several hundred years, this period has often been described in terms of Mercian Supremacy. And it’s easy to see why that is, AEthelbald was… Read more →

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148 – The Fall of King AEthelbald

Alright, as you already know, King AEthelbald of Mercia had a bit of a rough start… what with being exiled and living in a swamp. But once he was able to take the throne, he hit the ground running and it wasn’t long before he was the supreme power in the South with even Bede writing of how he dominated… Read more →

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147 – The Twelve Days of Christmas

This year for our Christmas special, I thought I would give you an idea of what Christmas was like for some of the people in Middle Ages Britain.  Now, Christmas in the middle ages was quite different from our modern experience in many ways.  And like with everything else, it would have varied from location to location.  However, in general… Read more →

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146 – King AEthelbald: A Whirlpool of Perdition

When we last left off, King AEthelbald of Mercia was supreme in the south. Most of the rival kingdoms of Mercia have been dealing with internal issues and civil war, and in the vacuum AEthelbald has lead Mercia into becoming the dominant force in the south… and possibly the most powerful Kingdom in Britain. And as further reinforcement of his… Read more →

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145 – The Rise of King AEthelbald of Mercia

Ok, so we ended our last episode with the death of King Ceolred at a banquet. And he went out swinging… or at least gibbering and cursing the heavens. Let’s face it, Ceolred was a colorful character and really brought his A game right until the end. I mean, you really have to work hard to completely destroy Penda’s dynasty.… Read more →

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144 – King Ceolred: A Lunatic Running the Asylum

Ok, so recently we’ve chatted about some cultural matters and I’ve also given you a broad overview of the failed dynastic politics of Northumbria and where this is all headed. But we really didn’t cover too much of what was going on elsewhere. We hinted at it, but I’m sure you’re curious about the other heavy hitter in England. Mercia.… Read more →

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143 – Man Up: Gender in the Middle Ages

Often times, the way the Middle Ages are presented, are as an era where everyone was lily white and a time when men were men and women were women. A time of hyper masculinity where all the guys were muscle bound warriors with big bushy beards and a bone structure that makes them look like extras from Clan of the… Read more →

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142 – The Failed Dynastic Politics of Mercia and Northumbria

As you might remember, Queen Osthryth has recently been murdered by the Mercian nobility and was buried at Bardney. And the murder might have happened because she was working to detach the Hwicce off from Mercian domination. And while we talked a little about that, I got a few questions about it so I thought we might talk a little… Read more →

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141 – King Aldfrith and St. Wilfrid

Ok, when we left off, Bishop Wilfrid was jilted out of the Archbishopric of Canterbury, and instead Abbot Beorhtwald became Archbishop Beorhtwald. So Wilfrid readjusted and made an attempt to reunify the Bishopric of York and then head it up. But King Aldfrith didn’t agree and, presumably because the Wilfrid wouldn’t let it drop, he banished Wilfrid out of Northumbria.… Read more →