Wednesday, 29 January 2014

WDF 25.5 In Two Parts

Hello history friends! It's been a busy past few weeks what with college and such starting up again. Not only that, but this recent release covering the end of the 1620's within the 30 Years War is one of the most action packed and in my opinion strongest content I have yet released.
It took a whole lot of work, but as usual it was a labour of love. The idea to do the two episodes on the one period is probably obvious unless you have yet to listen to the episodes; there is just so much going on during the period, and so much as it was that I had to leave out, that I felt I had to split it into two. This decision emerged only about a week ago. I was virtually all set to record the podcast, when I figured that, instead of releasing an hour and a half episode, which I hate doing anyway, and only covering items in a little bit of detail, I should instead make the decision to split the content in two.
So I did, the first part covers Fredrick's attempts to construct the Hague Alliance between the Dutch, English and Danes, as well as the Swedes who pop into our narrative from time to time. Then we look at what eventually convinced the King of Denmark, Christian IV, to enter the war after years of saying no. Wallenstein is introduced, as something of a genius but with clear ulterior motives. That episode concludes while looking ominously at the HRE's future under a triumphant Ferdinand.
The next episode looks at Ferdinand's actions for the majority of the time. First we look at the revolt in 1626 in Upper Austria that was something of a preview of what was to come in the wider empire, should Ferdinand make the decision to actually try to implement his planned reforms. His reforms, the Edict of Restitution, are explained in hopefully terms that make it easy enough to understand, and we then look at the international scene, and how the Dutch and French fortunes intertwine, not for the first time, and culminate in their requests for aid from a certain Swede in particular.

So yes, a lot happens, and though it took a lot of work, I'm glad I did it because I really feel an era like this one deserves such coverage, especially when one might not know that much going into it beforehand. Thanks for listening and reading this, and here's a few maps that may prove useful to ya!


A Map of the HRE showing the location of Brandenburg
This is what the Edict of Restitution looked like on paper, quite innocent looking don't you think?

The siege of s-Hertogenbosch in mapped form, showing Fredrick Henry's forces as the star in the top left corner.

Another show of what the Palatine of the Rhine, or the Palatinate looked like in respect to Europe.

And another repeat of a map, this one of the detailed representations of who and what and where in Europe's most complex geographical creation: the Holy Roman Empire and its tributaries.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

WDF 25.4 At Last!

Ah yes it really has been a while, life does tend to ruin my plans at the best of times. I'm not going to roll out all the reasons for why it took so long this time around, you're probably aware of them already if you follow us on Facebook. The most important thing is, we're back, hopefully with a bang, but definitely to deliver you the continuation of the story you now know so well. If you don't know it so well, check out the back catalogue on the 30 Years War.

Yes sir, this special really has dragged on, I thought WW1 was bad! I am not going to set a date for when this'll be done and dusted, but rest assured it's at the top of my priorities list for the foreseeable future. When have you ever heard that before?

So 1620-1623, what's the story with that then? This is really the episode that will introduce you to everyone else's problems, and lead you comfortably towards the widening of the conflict in th next few episodes. It's quite a story to see it all unfold, so I hope you'll enjoy this episode.

Without a doubt, Brennan Purcell's book The Winter King was invaluable for this episode, as you may have noticed. The insight one gets into the period when reading a focused history like this is far more impressive than the kind you get from a general history like those of Geoffrey Parker etc. That's not to say the latter is no use or less valuable, I would in truth be lost without them, I just love at the same time the angled historical books, the ones that try to make us think, rather than just telling us the story that has been handed down over the generations without any real attempts to engage with it. Expect another focused history book along the same lines as Purcell's to cover an important, but controversial figure on the other side of the fence. You'll be introduced to him properly in the next episode. Here's the 411 with Purcell's book anyways;

 Brennan Purcell, The Winter King (Ashgate Publishing Company, 2003).

Now then, a photo for your convenience. Here's the Palatine, shaded in grey in comparison to the rest of Europe. Now you can see why it's hard to describe it geographically in your head, the whole set up of the Palatine is a flaming mess!

This map also gives you a pretty good view of the HRE as a whole, so take a good gander at it! Maybe try and keep it memorized a tad for your future convenience.

Right, now I'm off to plan WDF 25.5, so thankssss for listening! (and reading!)