Tom Holland is joined in the studio by leading historians and writers to discuss issues from our past that have been raised by new research carried out by listeners, heritage organisations and the academic community.
Among the highlights in this six week series, Tom and his co-presenter Helen Castor will be asking whether the Renaissance began on the 26th April 1336, probably about tea time ... and possibly over a game of cards, investigating how a London conference set up to limit naval fire power in 1930 had the opposite affect, and finding out why you can't necessarily see the wood through the trees in a Royal Forest.
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Producer: Nick Patrick
A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.
Listener Sarah Gall tells how her great grandfather brought a more liberal regime to a lunatic asylum on the Isle of Man in the final years of the nineteenth century. Dr Jonathan Andrews puts this experience into its wider context, revealing how our treatment of people with mental illnesses was changing before the end of the eighteenth century.
Jane Philips in south London wants to know about 'fever hospitals'. What they were and whether there is any truth that they were built near gas-works as the smell helped patients with infectious diseases. Helen Castor met up with Dr Deborah Brunton from the Open University close to St Thomas' Hospital in London to find out more.