Friday, June 1, 2007

British History 101 - podcast

British History 101 is a podcast by Michael Anthony. It gives highlights from British history in podcasts lasting 10 to 25 minutes. The casts are adorned with music and Michael reads his lecture from a transcript that is also published in the accompanying blog. There are some twenty episodes and that is where the series stopped in the blog. The dating in iTunes seem to suggest more recent additions, so maybe still there is more to come.

The podcast delivers what it intends to deliver: short and easy to follow lectures on subjects through British history. For anyone with an interest in this matter, it is a fine podcast. I myself enjoyed it mildly and certainly got to learn some trivia that were new to me. There is something missing though, that would make me rank this cast with the best.

With the initial podcasts I was still more pleased and hopeful. Micheal took three episodes to give a very fine expose around the Battle of Hastings. Along he pointed out how pivotal this battle and the consequent rise to the English throne of William the Conqueror was. I think the cast would have gained in value, or at least maintained this good start, if following episodes would have taken the British History further chronologically and possibly even given some additional outlays of what went on before 1066 and how this led to the rise of William the Conqueror. It would have given the series some more structure. As it developed, however, it began jumping back and forth through history without making much general linking, thus thoroughly settling on the anecdotal level and not adding much insight. That is a pity.