The British Empire was vast, but it didn’t spring up over night. South Africa was a vital imperial staging post, then a fledgling colony. The story of how it got to be is intimately linked to the land and the people. Start the next series on empire, this episode covers

Intro and reviews

Why South Africa?

Mythbusting: Africa, a continent of cities and kingdoms.

The many African migrations throughout History.

South Africa: The land – beauty and danger.

Islands and ship wrecks.

The Dutch arrive, and the Napoleonic Wars.

Ours by right of conquest – the British take the Cape from the Dutch.

The Dutch Boer migrations begin.

The Xhosa & War.

The British decide to remove the Xhosa from the neutral zone.

Col Graham and the first British Imperial War in South Africa.

If you want to get in touch, I’d love to hear from you. You can email me at ageofvictoriapodcast@gmail.com, follow me on twitter @ageofvictoria, visit the website at www.ageofvictoriapodcast.com. The show also has a facebook page and group. Just search for Age of Victoria. Don’t forget to leave a review on Apple Podcasts, it takes less time than making a coffee. You can also subscribe for free on most major podcast apps. To support the show on Patreon, either CLICK HERE you can go to Patreon and search for Age of Victoria podcast or my name. Take care and bye for now.


The journey into Empire continues as we look at Tasmania, known as Van Diemen’s Land. Here the European settlers, the indigenous people, the convict system, the bush rangers, the lure of food, the battle for land, resulted in war, conquest and genocide. The birth pang of a new world was one of agony, yet the future of a unique culture and the amazing beauty of the island were in stark contrast to the declared British ambition of making it the ultimate penal hell. Join me for the complex and painful settlement of Tasmania, and its incorporation into the Empire.

  • This episode covers

  • Guest promo and thank you’s.

  • The brief history of Tasmania and the amazing geograph and ecosystem.

  • Settlement and strategic necessity – keeping the French out.

  • First contact goes wrong – the Risdon Cove Massacre.

  • Mad Tom loves a drink.

  • Governor Sorrell vs the outlaws.

  • The sad death of the Tasmanian Whisky Industry – murdered in 1839

  • The Black War begins – the stage is set for genocide.

  • Tools of the trade – muskets & raiding.

  • A terrible place for a soldier – why colonial Van Diemen’s Land was feared.

  • What was left after? A land of possibilities.

  • The forgotten – listening to the descendants.

Thanks for your listening. I hope you enjoy. If you want to get in touch, I’d love to hear from you. You can email me at ageofvictoriapodcast@gmail.com, follow me on twitter @ageofvictoria, visit the website at www.ageofvictoriapodcast.com. The show also has a facebook page and group. Just search for Age of Victoria. Don’t forget to leave a review on iTunes, it takes less time than making a coffee. If you want to support the show on patreon, just click here, or you can go to Patreon and search for age of victoria podcast or my name.


Here end the Napoleonic Wars. The revolution is over. France is beaten and it seems Britain is set to take over power in Europe, and perhaps the world. Learn how France fell, how the political battles ousted Napoleon & doomed the Marshals, and the final triumph of the great British Napoleonic Army.

Email any questions to ageofvictoriapodcast@gmail.com

Episode 008 Waterloo Pt 3: The climax

The climax of the Battle of Waterloo. The fate of Napoleon, France and Europe hangs in the balance. The French seem poised for victory. Can a thin line of brave Scotsmen and the dashing British cavalry save the Allies from defeat?

This episode covers

The heroic Scots

The British Heavies and the Charge of the Greys by Lady Butler

The arrival of the Prussians

The massed French cavalry charges

The dire position of the brave 27 (Irish) Inniskillens

The last attack of the Imperial Guard

Total victory & total defeat.

A post script to a pair of brave soldiers.

Episode 006 Waterloo Pt1: Destiny dawns

The dawn of the day of Waterloo brings only fear, discomfort and suffering. This is the first in the Waterloo episodes series. It covers

  • The feelings of the men and a most important breakfast.
  • Why Napoleon felt he was onto a sure thing.
  • The weather and terrain.
  • The reasons why Waterloo was chosen, and how it compares to some other historical battles.
  • The mental state of senior commanders.
  • Deployment, tactics, plans and confusion.
  • The last grand review of the Armee Du Nord.

Waterloo can be a confusing battle, so maps are available on the website.

TRANSCRIPT: Episode 004 The Emperor marches to war

  1. Here we are then. The scene is set. It must be war. The politics, the philosophy and the cultures of the European great powers are now to be decided on the battlefields. In many ways this conflict was about far more than Napoleon, or even the ideals of the French revolution versus the Ancien Regime. This is the climax of a clash that defined Europe since the discovery of the New World. Would Europe be a land empire, ruled by the French, facing the mediterranean and projecting power to the old core of Western civilisation, into the Balkans and the middle east, or would the British Atlantic facing international empire triumph. That might sound outlandish, but some historians have certainly viewed it that way. Britain had financed Prussia and other nations to attack the French to conquer French oversea’s territories. William Pitt the Elder, a famous British politician had explicitly stated this aim “While we had France for an enemy, Germany was the scene to employ and baffle her arms.” meaning that Britain would arm and finance continental powers to weaken the French to seize French oversea’s colonies.


Episode 005 Quatre Bras – the chance to change history

Europe was at war. The fate of nations and armies hung in the balance. As people made hard choices, Napoleon began his attack. He planned to beat the Prussians, but that meant Marshal Ney had to face the British and their allies. Here was a chance for swift and decisive victory, but was Ney the man to seize it?

This episode covers

Implications of being in the war zone

Position of the armies

Why Ligny and Quatre Bras were key battles

Detailed analysis of pre-battle events and orders

The Battle of Quatre Bras and a background on Marshal Ney

Consequences and the missing day.

Speculation on psychology of Marshal Ney.