Theme: Private Lives
You never know what goes on behind closed doors, most intriguingly behind those of people who live very public lives. We look through the keyhole at private lives - from high-profile figures such as Elizabeth I to hidden sections of society like the prostitutes of Victorian York.
In Bed with the Queen
Learn about the politics of intimacy, sexual slander, conspiracy and suspicion which centred on the Queen Elizabeth I’s body and her bedchamber.
In the Family Way
Learn about the experience of illegitimacy from the Great War to the Swinging Sixties, a story not only about shame and appalling prejudice, but about discoveries, triumphs, and the every-day strength of the human spirit.
Darwin: A life in poems
The poet Ruth Padel reads from her poetry collection Darwin: A Life in Poems, on the life, thought, and marriage of her great great grandfather Charles Darwin.
Mr and Mrs Disraeli: A strange romance
In an age where first ladies are under ever-increasing pressure to perform and conform, Mr and Mrs Disraeli: A Strange Romance offers a portrait of one who refused to do either, in a society which demanded she do both.
Prostitution in Victorian York
What do we know about nineteenth-century prostitution in York? Frances Finnegan discusses her research in this area, revealing what the records of the time can tell us, and examining the history of York’s attempt at reform.
The Life and Legacy of George Bradshaw
Dr David Turner explores the life and legacy of George Bradshaw, who wrote Bradshaw’s Railway Companion, and reveals that behind the ‘Bradshaw’ branding is a surprising story.
The Author’s Effects
Join Nicola Watson of the Open University as she explores the ways that celebrated authors’ lives have been imagined in the writer’s house museum, looking at a series of extraordinary literary objects – from Shakespeare’s quill to Burns’s bed.
The Mysteries of Mother Shipton
Who really was Mother Shipton? Did she really foretell Wolsey’s downfall and the siege of York, not to mention the internet, air travel and, famously, the end of the world? Find out more about this legendary wisewoman and what her foresight might mean for us today.
The Biography of a Biographer
Historian Ruth Scurr delves into the private life of the John Aubrey, one of the pioneers of modern writing, a journalist before the age of journalism, who witnessed the Civil War and the Great Fire of London in the company of some of the influential men and women, high and low, whose lives he would make his legacy.
Scandal, Sex, and Sedition
To his admirers Charles Pigott was a ‘bold and free-spoken man’; to those who knew him from Newmarket Whig gambling circles, he was someone rather less reputable...