Between Edison and Tesla there are some 1,200 patents for inventions and innovations that birthed the modern world. To fully appreciate their contribution, you would have to remember that at the time of their birth, technology was steam-powered locomotion, and candlelight. Over the course of their years of discovery and success, they engaged in bitter rivalry and the greatest leaps forward for humankind. But there were also failures, and tragedies.

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Though equally loved and vilified by modern historians and analysts, it is beyond question that Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher of Great Britain remains one of the most audacious women of history. This Iron Lady, who came to be respected by her enemies and friends alike, held firm in the face of strikes, wars, ideology and treachery. Her legacy may still be a controversial one, but even the most chauvinist right-winger or unionist feminist can likely agree that she was formidable on an international scale.

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The story of Pyotr Alekséyevich is the story of Russia emerging from the cold. It is a story which continues to play out in the centuries which followed, and which galvanised the character of not just a new nation, but a nascent empire. Join us on the bewildering journey of a man of extraordinary character and ambition, and learn about the darker side of greatness in his relationships. From very nearly losing his life to the mob, Peter the Great would become one of the key figures of post-enlightenment Europe, and indeed, the father of his nation.

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Kings and Queens aren’t always the best of us. Sometimes they’re weak, pathetic, unimpressive or downright evil! Just as history has shown us a range of glorious and exemplary monarchs, it is also full of examples of the kinds of men and women who might have been better suited to obscurity - men and women whose brief chapters in the story of their kingdom is one of great embarrassment or misery. Donald Trump would probably call them "losers”, but we thought they deserved a backward glance in the last episode of the season...

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The Romans were a decaying bunch, with not very much to boast about and a rotten empire that was divided in half, ruled by four weak emperors. The only thing that arrested its slide into ignominy was the character and action of an ambitious, military, pious man called Constantine, whom history would call The Great. He picked Rome up and dusted it off, built a new capital for the empire, and with one gesture established Christianity as the religion of the known world. Those bold moves forged a relationship between church and state that would last until the enlightenment...

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Cardinal Richelieu was the most powerful man in France, and the architect of absolute monarchy. His strategic mind and dedication to French interests made it possible for Louis XIV, and later Napoleon, to make France the envy of the world. Join us as we transport you back to the early 1600s, and into the mind and personality of this unique man…

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Women in 2021 talk about sexism and not being taken seriously by the scientific, corporate or engineering world. Imagine what that was like during World War Two? Hedy Lamarr was called the most beautiful woman in the world, but in her own words, she wished they’d been more interested in her brain. In fact, you might actually be listening to us via a technology she played a part in developing, right now…

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Nostradamus was either a genius with magical powers, or a very lucky bullshitter. In 16th century France, there may have been many mysterious men with the ability to convince the mighty they could foretell the future, but only one name survived down the ages. Even now, books about him and his predictions fly off the shelves. Those predictions continue to confound historians, ensnare mystics and drive rational people crazy... but who was Nostradamus?

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The most famous bandit of the Wild West, Jesse James and his gang terrorised many American cities for more than a decade. Apart from a treacherous death, a crazy mom and many crimes, we’ll tell you all about one of the most dangerous men the USA ever knew...

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To the Spanish he was a conquering hero, a conquistador, spreading Christianity to the 'savage tribes' of the new world. To the Aztecs and the native people of Central America, he was a harbinger of death, a destroyer of culture, and a frightening apparition that heralded the end of their civilisation.

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