Histories of the Unexpected at the Chalke Valley History Festival

Professor James Daybell and Dr Sam Willis took ‘Histories of the Unexpected’ to the Chalke Valley History festival in June 2019. James and Sam also participated in a pistol duel, taking on the role of seconds at the festival.

The Histories of the Unexpected podcast continues to go from strength to strength, with James and Sam performing at over 30 events so far this year including BBC History Weekends, Cambridge History Festival, the Oxford and Blenheim Literary Festivals and at the AyeWrite festival in Glasgow. One of the highlights was a sold out show for their home audience in the House in the University of Plymouth in February.

Four new Histories of the Unexpected books are due out in November covering an array of exciting topics including the Tudors, Vikings, Romans and World War II.

More unexpected histories

Find out how the history of the beard is connected to the Crimean War; how the history of paperclips is all about the Stasi; how the history of bubbles (and also cats) are all about the French Revolution; how the Titanic, the nuclear destruction of Hiroshima and Ground Zero are all connected, and what they have to do with Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations; you will come to understand why the history of the scar is so important; why the history of chimneys is so charming; why the history of snow is so inspirational.
Histories of the Unexpected is the brainchild of broadcaster and historian Dr Sam Willis and James Daybell, Professor of Early Modern History at the University of Plymouth.