95. Privacy

Thursday, February 7th, 2019

‘In the olden times, privacy was good. Today people want to share, people are more open’ (Mark Zuckerberg) 


Welcome to Histories of the Unexpected where we demonstrate how everything has a history and how those histories link together in unexpected ways! 

For this episode let us join our two nosey historical snoops, Dr Sam Willis and Professor James Daybell as they take a peek at the unexpected history of privacy. 

Anonymity is almost guaranteed as Sam and James lead us from the divorce petition and private chronicles of Elizabeth Bourne in 1582 and her accusations against her husband, Anthony and his threats to blow up her and her house with gunpowder to the SS Great Britain and the different experiences and expectations of first class passenger, J. M. Hardwick and steerage passenger, Allan Gilmour in 1852, from the prices of cabins on board the Titanic and what privacy money could buy to plans, plots and Henry VIII’s private conversation with Thomas Cromwell, from racial segregation in the United States of America to 10th century Sweden and symbolism in Viking keys and padlocks, and from family Bibles to the Reformation and the rise of Protestantism. 

In private seclusion and retreat, James and Sam discover that this unexpected history is actually all about; intention and survival, intimacy and introspection, access and experience, love and romance, baths and promenades, social relations and communal living, control and social order, individualism and personhood, autonomy and choice, self-identity and culture. 


Listen out as James suggests a way to make a jelly on board a ship and Sam reveals the cost of a first class suite on the Titanic $$$$!

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