Archive Notes

  • 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 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 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 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 […]

  • Audio contentA podcast about medieval treason and magic

    Medieval treason and magic

    In this podcast, two of our records specialists tell us about treason and necromancy in The National Archives’ medieval records. The first part, narrated by Paul Dryburgh, tells the story of a band of men from Coventry who planned to kill King Edward II […]

  • Audio contentA podcast about Whitehall's official government cats

    Bureau-cats: A short history of Whitehall’s official felines

    Public interest in the cats of Whitehall began long before Larry, Palmerston and Gladstone graced our front pages and Twitter feeds. In this podcast, records specialist Christopher Day reveals his favourite anecdotes from the ‘Home Office Cat’ files, including the story behind the […]

  • Audio contentA podcast about the First World War's impact on the development of prosthetics

    Prosthetics and the First World War

    The first episode of a Q&A series in which we talk to researchers about the records and stories they’ve uncovered at The National Archives. In ‘Prosthetics and the First World War’, our First World War diverse histories researcher Louise Bell […]

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