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As an academic I really enjoyed this episode. It's so good to learn about the history of English institutions and traditions. Battles and taxes are all well and good, but they can get a bit 'samey' after a while, at least in the Middle Ages anyway! ;) e.g. "By this time, King [INSERT MONARCH NAME] was skint so went to Parliament to raise a tax to pay for war against [INSERT SOURCE OF PLUNDER]. After much kerfuffle, Parliament finally consented. And in so doing, another small royal concession took England towards parliamentary democracy. In the meantime, the Scots invaded and caused havoc in the North". etc etc It's an endless cycle of oppression, state-sponsored larceny and violence! So it's really interesting to intersperse this steady stream of carnage with something more positive that involves non-combatants, who after all are the vast majority of the population. I love learning about all those areas that weren't taught at school - e.g. the episodes about clothes and fashion; the development of towns and guilds; plague and medieval medicine; European politics, including history of the Papacy and HRE; Wales and Ireland; marriage conventions; the economics of the feudal system. All fascinating. Do please feel free to digress more on these social themes if this is something you like covering! Really looking forward to the Tudor period, the Reformation, and the age of discovery!
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Apr 7, 2014