🎧 Betwixt the Sheets

🎧 Betwixt the Sheets

Why did kings and queens have spectators on their wedding night? Who had the very first boob job? And did our ancestors have their unmentionables pierced?

Join historian, Kate Lister, Betwixt the Sheets as she unashamedly roots around the topics which seem to have been skipped in history class.

Everything from landmark LGBTQ+ court cases, to political scandal, to downright bizarre medieval cures for impotence. The etymology of swear words, gender bias in medicine, and satanic panic and cults - there’s nothing off limits.

She'll be bed-hopping around different time periods; from ancient civilisations, to the middle ages, to renaissance and early modern...right up to now.

You’ll laugh, you’ll wince, and you’ll ask yourself how much has actually changed.

So join Kate Betwixt the Sheets: The History of Sex, Scandal & Society - a podcast from History Hit.

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🎧 Betwixt the Sheets
  • 🎧 Banned History

    How much did Britain and its allies know about the Holocaust? Could the Bengal Famine of 1943 have been helped? And was Elizabeth I really the Virgin Queen?

    Lynsey Calver is a history teacher, and in this episode, she helps us to fill in some of the gaps on the history curriculum.

    *WARNING The...

  • 🎧 Sex Myths

    Why were the ovaries once seen as inverted testes? What words might you use if you were trying to describe a condition 'down there' to your doctor? And why did people once believe that you couldn't conceive a baby whilst standing up?

    In this episode of Betwixt the Sheets, we're clearing away the...

  • 🎧 Lady Chatterley's Lover

    *This episode contains very strong language and adult content*

    A semi autobiographical account from a conflicted man? An ode to a wife’s sexual desire? A criminally obscene novel?

    Lady Chatterley’s Lover is one of the most famous texts from the past century, but why?

    In this episode, we hear f...

  • 🎧 The History of the Clitoris

    It’s so important that it’s been ‘discovered’ at least twice, but what is the clitoris and why has it previously been so hard to find?

    The clitoris is the human female’s most erogenous zone, and is responsible for 75% of women’s orgasms. So why has it been so overlooked and demonised, and how ha...

  • 🎧 Mussolini's Favourite Daughter

    What do we know about the people who shared the surname Mussolini with the Italian fascist dictator?

    Edda Mussolini may have been Benito’s daughter, but she was also the wife of a convicted traitor, an unwilling mother and a hard-drinking socialite.

    To find out about Edda’s life and its connect...

  • 🎧 Tattoos

    George V, Otzi the Iceman, possibly Winston Churchill and … Kate Lister. What do all these people have in common?

    They have tattoos. As do a fifth of the population of the United Kingdom.

    In this episode, Kate speaks to tattoo historian Matt Lodder about the origins of tattoos, their meanings a...

  • 🎧 Heartthrobs

    What makes a heartthrob? Is he brooding, flamboyant or a bad boy? And what qualities translate to sex symbol status in society?

    Which men have made the hearts of young (heterosexual) women flutter over the centuries? And why?

    Today, Carol Dyhouse joins Kate to talk about the history of famous m...

  • 🎧 Hacks, Hitler & the Hotel Imperial

    We might now be used to hearing about the intimate details of celebrities and world leaders, but when did this become the norm?

    In the lead up to the Second World War, a collection of American journalists began to report not only on world affairs - interviewing Hitler, Gandhi and Mussolini to na...

  • 🎧 Sex in Ancient China

    How did the people of Ancient China think about sex?

    From sexual vampirism to unrealistic representations of courtesan culture, from wife lending to avoiding *ahem* finishing: in this episode Kate and Paul R. Goldin from the University of Pennsylvania delve into the beds and sexual beliefs of An...

  • 🎧 Indecent Exposure

    It can happen on a bus, in a park, in your home, at the school gates. An estimated one in every ten women in England and Wales have reported it happening to them.

    So why do people flash? And when did it become criminalised?

    Indecent exposure is when someone deliberately exposes their genitals i...

  • 🎧 Gothic Fiction

    Dracula, Frankenstein’s monster, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde…How did the popularity of these gothic characters endured for so many years? And where do they originate from?

    Spooky castles, misty forests, deadly romance and other such tropes arose simultaneously in the late 18th century in a popular lit...

  • 🎧 Seances

    Everybody hold hands! We're going for a seance!

    How long have we've been trying to talk to dead people for? And have we ever actually been speaking to the dead or just to somebody’s clicky toe joints?

    In today's episode Kate is joined by Lisa Morton, author of 'Calling the Spirits: A History of...

  • 🎧 Ghosts

    How long have people believed in ghosts?

    Eleanor Janega is back Betwixt the Sheets with Kate to tell us why you should always stand up to ghosts and why you might be visited by a woman with frogs sucking on her body.

    From improper burials to resentful visitors, they delve into people’s beliefs ...

  • 🎧 The Grisly Deaths of Kings and Queens

    Did Henry VIII really have syphilis? Who died from a red hot poker up the bum? And which king was taken down by a school of fish?
    To learn about the often gruesome ways that our royals have met their doom, Kate gets Betwixt the Sheets with Suzie Edge, TikTok historian and author of ‘Mortal Monarc...

  • 🎧 Black Georgians

    Who were Ignatius Sancho, Dido Elizabeth Belle and Francis Barber?

    Between 10,000 and 30,000 black people lived in Britain during the Georgian period. Despite this, some people have remained convinced that black British history doesn't start until after the Second World War.

    In this episode, Ka...

  • 🎧 Henrietta Maria: The Most Hated Queen Consort?

    What does it take to get the reputation as one of the least popular queens in history?

    Should we remember Henrietta Maria as the wife of the King executed by his subjects, the Catholic influencer and a serial adulterer? Or as a prankster, a patron of the arts and a mother of two Kings?

    Henriett...

  • 🎧 Serial Killers & Misogyny

    What is it with our culture’s fascination with serial killers? Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, Peter Sutclifffe, Jack the Ripper….these violent people are as well known as our national treasures, but we only know them for their horrific crimes.

    What role does misogyny play in how these serial killers...

  • 🎧 Phobias & Manias

    What did Salvador Dali, Elizabeth I and Sigmund Freud have in common? They all had phobias, and it's possible you do too.

    As ‘normal’ as you might consider yourself to be, it is highly likely that you have an irrational streak. Phobias and manias are very common, and we have a lot of names for t...

  • 🎧 Black Victorians

    Why is there an assumption that Victorian Britain was white? Who does this mean is missing from our history books? And how can we find out more about the lives of black people in the Victorian Era?

    Today, Kate is joined by Dr Keshia Abrahams and Dr John Woolf, authors of ‘Black Victorians: Hidde...

  • 🎧 Bad King James VI & I

    You might know him best as the longest reigning Scottish king, the son of Mary, Queen of Scots, the father of Charles I, or the eponymous poster of the translation of the bible into English.

    But King James VI of Scotland, and I of England, had some very questionable traits and got up to shady st...

  • 🎧 Private Members' Clubs

    Private Members’ Clubs are often the location of suspected scandal - from Oscar Wilde to Chris Pincher, what happens behind these elitist doors?

    Seth Alexander Thévoz joins Kate Betwixt the Sheets to reveal the secret history behind some of London’s most famous members’ clubs, from 1693 to the p...

  • 🎧 The Secret Lives of Marilyn Monroe

    Marilyn Monroe. She's got to be one of the most famous people of all time, hasn't she?

    But what happens when an investigative war reporter dedicates years of his life to finding out who real Marilyn was, interviewing hundreds of people who knew her, from her co-stars, to her psychiatrist’s fam...

  • 🎧 Forbidden Books

    What makes a book bad? Does it have to be nonsensical? Heretical? Libellous? Sexy?

    Well for 500 years, a panel from the Roman Catholic Church attempted to grapple with this distinction.

    Today Betwixt the Sheets, we find out what this collection of people deemed unsafe for the eyes of their wors...

  • 🎧 Women in Power

    What do Hatshepsut and Hillary Clinton have in common?

    Well, what do they have in common with the vast majority of women who have been so successful as to gain power? Women like Britain’s new Prime Minister, Liz Truss, just the third woman to hold the title.

    They have been subject to some very ...