According to one critic, the world the novelist Ellen Alpsten conjures in her book The Tsarina's Daughter makes Game of Thrones 'look like a nursery rhyme.'
This world - the Russia of Peter the Great - is our destination in this week's episode. Peter the Great is known as the man who struggled in the early eighteenth-century to transform his country into a modern, West-facing nation by defeating the Swedes, founding St Petersburg, and creating a navy.
Yet his much-celebrated achievements should be considered alongside the conditions of the Russian people at this time. Russia was a land whose greatest natural resource were its beleaguered inhabitants. Here were millions of serfs whose disposable lives made anything possible for its omnipotent ruler, the Tsar.
Everything that belonged to a Russian belonged first and foremost to him. And with a nation of slaves at his beck and call, pretty much anything could be achieved through ruthlessness and ambition.
For the women around him, however, the world was quite different. Kept as private possessions, hidden away in the great palaces and stately homes of the aristocracy, they were seen only by their fathers, brothers, and husbands. Uneducated, isolated, and entirely dependent on the will of the men around them.
Even so, many did manage to lead astonishing lives. It is these women whose stories Ellen Alpsten tells us all about, as we venture back to the year 1709.
As ever, much, much more about this episode is to be found at our website tttpodcast.com.Show notes
Scene One: The battlefield outside the Ukrainian city of Poltava
Scene Two: The Red Square outside the Kremlin fortress
Scene Three: A bedchamber in the magical timber palace of Kolomenskoye
Memento: Elisabeth’s St Nicholas amulet, studded with diamonds, which she wore around her neck for protection.People/Social
Presenter: Violet Moller
Guest: Ellen Alpsten
Production: Maria Nolan
Podcast partner: Colorgraph
Follow us on Twitter: @tttpodcast_
Or on Facebook
See where 1709 fits on our Timeline
Jamie Mackay: Garibaldi and the Birth of Italy (1860)
Christina Lamb and Judith Mackrell: Looking for Trouble with Virginia Cowles (1938)
Tracy Borman: Elizabeth I and the Spanish Armada (1588)
Robert Lyman: A War of Empires (1944)
Robert Sackville-West: The Missing of the First World War (1915)
James Clark: The Dissolution of the Monasteries (1540)
Malcolm Gaskill: An Execution and a Witch (1649)
Justine Picardie: Miss Dior (1947)
Garry J Shaw: Ancient Egypt and Tutankhamun (c.1335 BC)
Neil Oliver: Skara Brae (2,500 BC)
Michael Pye: The City at the Hub of the World (1549)
Susan Denham Wade: The Gutenberg Press (1454)
Bernard Cornwell: The Battle of Waterloo (1815)
Stephen Greenblatt: The Death of Christopher Marlowe (1593)
Season Five Trailer!
Colin Jones: The Fall of Robespierre (1794)
Alex Renton: Blood Legacy (1839)
Alasdair Cross: The Spitfire and the Schneider Trophy (1925)
Philip Hoare: Albert and the Whale (1520)
Warlords of History
World of Warships Podcast
The Political History of the United States
Copyright © 2006-2021 Podbean.com