THE REASON WHY
Your host, casually dressed
History! The drama, the spectacle, the endless pottery.
It’s a subject full of extraordinary people who, through hard work, talent, bravery and altruism, rose above the limitations of their age to transform the world; leaving behind shinning legacies which the inexorable passage of time shall never tarnish.
This podcast is not about them.
Welcome to Rogues Gallery Uncovered – bad behaviour in period costume.
The Rogue’s Gallery is an unapologetic compendium of history’s greatest libertines’ lotharios and complete b******s.
A collection of historical men and women who, by the exacting standards of today, behaved quite appallingly.
Flagrantly ignoring the law, Christian values, societal norms, and basic table manners, they brawled, fornicated, and drank their way through the past.
Historical Rock stars if you will (The Rolling Stones not Coldplay)
Some, it must be said, were irredeemably evil scum bags for whom you should feel no appreciation, but most were talented, charming, eccentric and bursting with life, gleefully riding roughshod over landscapes that – while the technology and fashions may be have been different – were, in many respects, not that dissimilar to our own.
The one thing that all had in common was that they lived life on their own terms – for better or for worse.
In the 2020s when the waking hours of millions are dominated by what other people think of them on social media and the list of behaviour, opinions, art, comedy, food and hairstyles deemed “offensive” grows exponentially, their historical “lack of f***s” seems to me, particularly refreshing.
In society’s which demanded conformity they stood out as individuals and their stories are all the more interesting for it.
Despite or possibly because of their behaviour a couple did make a global impression, but most of the rogues featured in the coming months ended their days in a urine and gin covered stupor, riddled with syphilis, starving in poverty or on the end of a hangman’s rope.
So why dedicate a podcast to them?
Because it’s fun, damm your impudence!
You see, I’ve always found people who break the rules to be far more entertaining than those who make or follow them.
Late nineteenth century scientist Marie Curie’s pioneering work on radioactivity is part of an inspiring tale of a truly remarkable woman but it’s nowhere near as much fun as the story of exotic dancer Lola Montez who fifty years previously seduced a prince, horsewhipped a policeman, and started a revolution.
Or 18th and early 19th century English poet William Wordsworth, who wrote heartbreakingly of beauty and nature but whose biography is, frankly tedious compared with Russian poet Ivan Barkov who penned a scurrilous verse about a well-endowed corpse that was so graphic, it caused a nun to pass out through shock.
If you are interested in history, I hope you'll find this podcast entertaining and informative , If you couldn't care less about the subject then I hope it will make you laugh and pass an enjoyable half hour or so every week
If you're a bit of a rogue yourself it may inspire you to squeeze into a pair of eye wateringly tight moleskin breeches and get hammered on Absinthe.
Or is that just me?