Lockdown listening: 10 podcasts about radical women

Get your headphones on and immerse yourself in some radical history listening, with the best podcasts on inspiring women.

It’s not hard to find a podcast about women’s history, but how to chose the best? Here are a selection to help launch you into this inspiring history.

Restoring Women’s Voices — BBC History Extra
Sarah Jackson from the East End Women’s Museum explores how women’s voices having been missing from mainstream historical narratives, in this BBC podcast. She shares some of her favourite stories of East London’s radical women.

Women Who Made Modern Britain — BBC History Extra
Journalist and news presenter, Cathy Newman, has written a book called Bloody Brilliant Women, celebrating those who changed our society. This podcast from the BBC looks at several stories from the book — some you may know, and some you may not. A good introduction to those starting out on their journey through women’s history.

Women’s suffrage series with Kirsty Walk — The National Trust
This podcast series from the National Trust looks at the women’s suffrage through the filter of their properties. Suffragette stories tend to focus on London, but this series takes you on a tour around the UK. It provides a wider view of the subject than you may have heard before.

Josephine Baker — You’re Dead to Me
This BBC podcast from Greg Jenner, “chief nerd” on Horrible Histories, is one of my favourites. Its history smothered in a big dose of comedy. This episode on Josephine Baker is a particular treat. Not only does it explore her fascinating life story, there is comedic commentary from Desiree Birch.

The Witch Craze — You’re Dead to Me
The history of the witches trials is well documented, but this episode of Your Dead to Me adopts a more feminist approach. With additional cackles from comedian Cariad Lloyd.

Women of Ireland 1916 Easter Rising- Dig!
Despite studying Irish history at A’ Level, I’ve read little about the women involved in Irish resistance, beyond Constance Markievicz. Turns out there’s a reason for that -most of them have been airbrushed from history. Dig! podcast seeks to address this historical revisionism.

Anita Garibaldi: the woman in red — What’s Her Name
I love how historical podcasts bring you closer to subjects you’d never delved into otherwise. This episode of Whats Her Name is a classic example. Italian revolutionary history is far from my normal area of study, and Anna Garibaldi has been so forced into the shadows, I doubt if I would have found her story otherwise. And what a story it is!

Ching Shih — The History Chicks
I stumbled by chance upon the story of Ching Shih, one of the world’s most successful pirates. Her story typifies the class, race and gender bias in history. You will listen to this podcast and think to yourself, why was I not taught about this extraordinary woman at school?

The White Rose: Sophie Scholl — What’s Her Name
The story of the anti-fascist activist, Sophie Scholl, is reasonably well know. Through this podcast learnt things I didn’t know before. Such as what she had in her pockets before she died, and the fact she used to be in the Hilter Youth. Well worth a listen.

The Accidental Activist: Sybil Stockdale — What’s Her Name
With some women you can tell from their earliest years they are going to do bold and radical things. Some, there are no clues at all. It’s those stories I like best, because they take you by surprise. This podcast about Sybil Stockdale is no exception.

Socialist-feminist. Writer-historian. Passionate about what women today learn from our sisters of the past https://about.me/esther_freeman