There are some fascinating projects appearing on BBC TV and Radio concerning 18th century history in the next few months,and I thought I ought to give you all advance notice of the programmes, so you might not miss them.

The first to appear is  Amanda Vickery’s new BBC Radio 4 series, Voices from the Old Bailey which will begin to air next Thursday at 9 a.m on Radio 4. The blurb from the BBC tell us that:

In this new series Professor Amanda Vickery presents dramatised extracts from gripping court cases and discusses with fellow historians what they reveal about 18th century society and culture. Amanda Vickery was the presenter of the highly successful “A History of Private Life” on BBC Radio 4 last year.

The series begins with the voices of highwaymen in court,and was recorded on location at The Flask Tavern in Highgate Village,London one of Dick Turpin’s favourite inns.

During the programme, Professor Vickery will be taking to fellow historians Professor Robert Shoemaker of the University of Sheffield, Dr Helen Berry of Newcastle University and Professor John Mullan of University College London

All the histories referred to in the programme can be accessed in the Old Bailey Online website, a fantastic resource detailing hundreds of thousands of criminal cases,ranging from the most trivial to the more serious cases. Do explore it-  try searching on your own surname to see if any of your ancestors were unlucky enough to pass through its courtrooms…..

If you access the programme here via its webpage, then as I understand it,wherever you are in the world, you should be able to listen to it, even though the broadcast time has passed.

Professor Vickery is currently in the process of filming Behind Closed Doors for the BBC,and the series is due to be screened in November. You can follow her daily progress because she is now on Twitter, twittering  about locations and filming events. It all sounds madly interesting, if  hectic. Go here to access her Twitter page and follow her.

She has been in closed carriages careering through the Peak District (in the company of a burly cameraman) and has filmed at Chawton House and Jane Austen’s House Museum. She even managed ,after reading about it here, to go to the Georgian Gadets Sale at Crewkherne and play with the silver goodies on offer at Lawrences saleroom including the silver tongue scraper. I wonder if that scene will make the final cut?  Yesterday she was filming in London at Coles wallpaper company (whose ancient workshop I used to pass every day on the way to the office when I lived in London).She was trawling around the beautiful rolls of wallpaper

and getting covered in flock when she tried her hand at block printing


Later in the day she was at the Lansdown Club in Berkley Square,  originally called Lansdown House and  designed by Robert Adam .

It really is fascinating being able to follow her around the country as she films, so do follow her on Twitter for all the delicious details.

In early August a double CD of selections from her acclaimed BBC Radio 4 series,The History of Private Life is published,

and though it covers more than the era we are concerned with here I think you will all find it fascinating and a jolly interesting and totally enjoyable series of dramatised essays about the history of domestic life.(They kept me company in the school car park last autumn!)

Yale Publishing have also produced an informative website for Professor Vickery. If you go here you can access it,and if you go here you can view pages from Behind Closed Doors, listen to a podcast and read reviews. All good fun ;-)