Listen to and download recordings of talks, conferences and more, and view associated documents and website content.

  • Audio contentA podcast about the court case that banned Radclyffe Hall's book 'The Well of Loneliness', a 1920s lesbian novel.

    Unfolding the court case that banned a 1920s lesbian novel

    In 1928 Radclyffe Hall wrote ‘The Well of Loneliness’, a novel that featured female characters in same-sex relationships. Shortly after it was published, the Sunday Express called for the book to be suppressed and urged the Home Office to censor it. Despite […]

  • Audio contentBill to amend the law relating to homosexual offences 1961, Catalogue reference HO291 125 1.

    The Sexual Offences Act 1967. Part 2: Wolfenden’s silent women

    On 27 July 2017, The National Archives held a day of talks to mark the 50th anniversary of the royal assent of the Sexual Offences Act 1967, which partially decriminalised male homosexuality in England and Wales. In this recording, Caroline Derry […]

  • Audio contentMap noting the locations of urinals in London where arrests were made during 1953

    The Sexual Offences Act 1967. Part 1: The lives of men from 1953 to the 1967 Act

    On 27 July 2017, The National Archives held a day of talks to mark the 50th anniversary of the royal assent of the Sexual Offences Act 1967, which partially decriminalised male homosexuality in England and Wales. In this recording, Sammy Sturgess discusses […]

  • Audio contentA podcast about confessions from the Star Chamber, one of the highest Tudor law courts.

    Tudor trials: Confessions from the Star Chamber

    Medieval records specialist Euan Roger gives us a taste of the kinds of disputes dealt with by the Star Chamber, one of the highest Tudor courts. The tens of thousands of Star Chamber records kept at The National Archives reveal […]

  • Audio contentA photograph of Jane Austen from an old print, 1905. Catalogue reference: COPY1/487/457

    Jane Austen: from beginning to end

    To commemorate the bicentenary of Jane Austen’s death in 1817, Professor Fiona Stafford delivered a talk on Austen’s life and work at the The National Archives, where Austen’s original will is held. Fiona Stafford is a professor of English Language and […]

  • Audio contentA podcast about Catherine Howard's last letter to Thomas Culpeper

    A tormented Tudor queen’s treasonous ‘love letter’

    In this episode, Neil Johnston and Christopher Day discuss a letter written by Catherine Howard, the fifth wife of Henry VIII, to Thomas Culpeper, a groom of the King’s Privy chamber. The document was part of a body of evidence collected against Catherine […]

  • Audio contentA podcast about a letter seized from an LGBT-friendly club in 1930s Soho

    Sexuality under scrutiny in 1930s Soho

    In 1934, homosexual acts between men – in public and in private – were illegal in the UK. Police surveilled a number of social spaces across London suspected of permitting what the state then considered to be ‘immoral activity’ and in August conducted […]

  • Audio contentA photograph of a note addressed to Oscar Wilde. Catalogue reference: CRIM 1/41/6/1895

    Oscar Wilde’s trial and imprisonment – a short play

    This short play explores the trial and imprisonment of Oscar Wilde. In 1895 the celebrated author and playwright was found guilty of gross indecency and sentenced to two years imprisonment, with hard labour. The words are taken directly from records […]

  • Audio contentA podcast about civilian bravery during the First and Second World Wars

    Bombs, bulls and civilian bravery

    In this podcast The National Archives’ Principal Military Specialist reveals some of his favourite stories about civilian gallantry from the First and Second World Wars, from the bravery of the youngest recipient of the George medal to a bizarre tale involving a bomb and some table […]

Browse categories

Help

You can find help on how to download and listen to our podcasts in our quick guide to getting started. If you wish to re-use any part of a podcast, please note that copyright in the podcasts and transcripts in some cases belongs to the speakers, not to the Crown. Please contact the Copyright Officer with queries. If commenting, please be aware of our moderation policy.

Subscribe

Select an option to receive our free podcast series, using either RSS or iTunes. See our help guide for more information on podcast subscription.