Thursday, September 4, 2008

The battle of Blenheim - historyzine

Historyzine is one of the great amateur podcasts about history. Host Jim Mowatt is no historian, has no radio station, university or newspaper to back him up; it is just him and his passion for the subjects he tells about. And that is, first and foremost, the war of the Spanish Succession (1701 - 1714)

His latest episode went back to the original format of the show in which Jim not only pays attention to his main topic, but also delivers a podcast review and the history behind a word or a phrase. The reviewed podcast is Stanford's lecture series about Hannibal by Patrick Hunt, which has been reviewed on this blog as well. The linguistic section explains everything you need to know about the Jacobites.

Unfortunately the main chapter was a bit less strong this time around. The recounting of the Battle of Blenheim was a bit tough to follow on account of the vast amount of data. I felt he tackled the geography and chronology rather well, which I guess is the hardest to get clear in the retelling. But I lost track with the names of the players and their connection with the various sorts of troops around; cavalry, infantry, English, Dutch, Austrians, Bavarians, French and on and on. It is a stumbling block many history podcasters struggle with: to balance the amount of data and the clarity of the story, or their own level of knowledge and that of the listener.

More Historyzine:
Reliving the War of Spanish Succession,
The year 1703,
On admirals and more,
18th Century Warfare,
Spanish Succession and History Podcasts.

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