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Helen Castor discovers the role of Scots in creating Russia's navy, Fiona Watson remembers a forgotten engineering genius and was there sexual violence in witchcraft trials?

Helen Castor is in the chair for Radio 4's popular history magazine which takes listeners to the heart of the latest research.

In today's programme a listener wants to know whether the service his Scottish ancestors gave Nelson's navy was unusual? Helen Castor talks to the maritime historian Dr Eric Graham who explains that Scots seamen were integral to the British and Russian navies.

In Edinburgh Fiona Watson visits Leith Docks one of the many civil engineering features throughout the UK that were masterminded by John Rennie. Born 250 years ago we ask why so few know of his pioneering work today.

Is sexual violence towards women the key to understanding the brutality of witchcraft trials in the early modern period? Helen Castor talks to Dr Alison Rowlands at the University of Essex.

Producer: Nick Patrick
A Pier Production for BBC Radio 4.

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30 minutes

Last on

Tue 30 Aug 2011 15:00


  • Tue 30 Aug 2011 15:00