Episodes

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01Orange Fever - The Invention of...2018052120180523 (R4)

Misha Glenny explores a pivot of western history, the Netherlands.

Misha Glenny presents histories of nations.

Misha Glenny explores a pivot of Western history - the Netherlands.

"Chances are you think we're talking about Holland. But Holland's a province. Go back two centuries and this was a kingdom that included Belgium and Luxembourg. Before that it was the Austrian Netherlands; before that the Spanish Netherlands. And this region was rich!"

They call it the golden delta, where the Rhine and the Scheldt run into the chilly North Sea. Amsterdam, Antwerp, Brussels and Bruges are among European history's key centres of trade. Merchants, inventors, philosophers, outsiders - all flocked to the Netherlands. Benelux was the gap between Germany and France, and the home of the EU. But is this a country, and if so when did it begin?

From the team behind The Invention of Germany, the USA and Brazil. With contributions from Geert Mak, author of "In Europe: Travels Through the Twentieth Century"; Anne Goldgar, author of "Tulipmania", Judith Pollman of Leiden University; Maarten Prak of Utrecht University; and Ben Coates, author of "Why the Dutch are Different".

The presenter is Misha Glenny, the producer Miles Warde.

01Orange Fever - The Invention of...20180521

Misha Glenny explores a pivot of western history, the Netherlands.

Misha Glenny presents histories of nations.

Misha Glenny explores a pivot of Western history - the Netherlands.

"Chances are you think we're talking about Holland. But Holland's a province. Go back two centuries and this was a kingdom that included Belgium and Luxembourg. Before that it was the Austrian Netherlands; before that the Spanish Netherlands. And this region was rich!"

They call it the golden delta, where the Rhine and the Scheldt run into the chilly North Sea. Amsterdam, Antwerp, Brussels and Bruges are among European history's key centres of trade. Merchants, inventors, philosophers, outsiders - all flocked to the Netherlands. Benelux was the gap between Germany and France, and the home of the EU. But is this a country, and if so when did it begin?

From the team behind The Invention of Germany, the USA and Brazil. With contributions from Geert Mak, author of "In Europe: Travels Through the Twentieth Century"; Anne Goldgar, author of "Tulipmania", Judith Pollman of Leiden University; Maarten Prak of Utrecht University; and Ben Coates, author of "Why the Dutch are Different".

The presenter is Misha Glenny, the producer Miles Warde.

01Orange Fever - The Invention Of...2018052120180523 (R4)

Misha Glenny explores a pivot of western history, the Netherlands.

Misha Glenny presents histories of nations.

Misha Glenny explores a pivot of Western history - the Netherlands.

"Chances are you think we're talking about Holland. But Holland's a province. Go back two centuries and this was a kingdom that included Belgium and Luxemburg. Before that it was the Austrian Netherlands; before that the Spanish Netherlands. And this region was rich!"

They call it the golden delta, where the Rhine and the Scheldt run into the chilly North Sea. Amsterdam, Antwerp, Brussels and Bruges are among European history's key centres of trade. Merchants, inventors, philosophers, outsiders - all flocked to the Netherlands. Benelux was the gap between Germany and France, and the home of the EU. But is this a country, and if so when did it begin?

From the team behind The Invention of Germany, the USA and Brazil. With contributions from Geert Mak, author of "In Europe: Travels Through the Twentieth Century"; Anne Goldgar, author of "Tulipmania", Judith Pollman of Leiden University; Maarten Prak of Utrecht University; and Ben Coates, author of "Why the Dutch are Different".

The presenter is Misha Glenny, the producer Miles Warde.

02The Golden Age - The Invention Of...2018052820180530 (R4)

Misha Glenny on the astonishing golden age of the Netherlands.

Misha Glenny presents histories of nations.

Misha Glenny on the Dutch golden age - when a few boggy Netherlandish provinces turned into one of the military and trading heavyweights of the world.

In 1607 the Dutch took on and defeated the mighty Spanish in their own backyard at Gibraltar, Sixty years later they sailed up the Medway and humiliated another trading nation by towing away the flagship of the English fleet. It was called the Royal Charles, and parts can still be seen in the Rijksmuseum. This was the golden age - when North America, South Africa, north east Brazil and the Dutch East Indies all received visits from this violent upstart nation. How did this happen? How did Amsterdam transform itself from a small fishing town into the hub of a global super power in a few short decades?

With contributions from Rebecca Rideal, author of 1666: Plague, War and Hellfire; Ben Kaplan of University College London; Gils Rommelse, author of the Second Anglo-Dutch War; Judith Pollmann of Leiden University; Maarten Prak of Utrecht University; and the Dutch journalist Geert Mak.

From the team behind The Invention of Germany, the USA and of Brazil. The presenter is Misha Glenny.

The producer in Bristol is Miles Warde.

The Invention of...02The Golden Age2018052820180530 (R4)

Misha Glenny on the astonishing golden age of the Netherlands.

Misha Glenny presents histories of nations.

Misha Glenny on the Dutch golden age - when a few boggy Netherlandish provinces turned into one of the military and trading heavyweights of the world.

In 1607 the Dutch took on and defeated the mighty Spanish in their own backyard at Gibraltar, Sixty years later they sailed up the Medway and humiliated another trading nation by towing away the flagship of the English fleet. It was called the Royal Charles, and parts can still be seen in the Rijksmuseum. This was the golden age - when North America, South Africa, north east Brazil and the Dutch East Indies all received visits from this violent upstart nation. How did this happen? How did Amsterdam transform itself from a small fishing town into the hub of a global super power in a few short decades?

With contributions from Rebecca Rideal, author of 1666: Plague, War and Hellfire; Ben Kaplan of University College London; Gils Rommelse, author of the Second Anglo-Dutch War; Judith Pollmann of Leiden University; Maarten Prak of Utrecht University; and the Dutch journalist Geert Mak.

From the team behind The Invention of Germany, the USA and of Brazil. The presenter is Misha Glenny.

The producer in Bristol is Miles Warde.

The Invention of...03Why Belgium?2018060420180606 (R4)

Misha Glenny ends his travels in the Netherlands in Brussels, home of the EU.

Misha Glenny presents histories of nations.

Misha Glenny ends his Netherlandish travels in Brussels, and asks why does Belgium exist. With details on the brief Kingdom of the Netherlands - a union with the Dutch in the north - and the reason why the British went to war with Germany in 1914. There is a faultline in Europe, running from the North Sea to the Alps, and this is one reason Belgium exists.

With contributions from Gita Deneckere of Ghent University; Simon Winder, who's at work on a new book called Lotharingia; and Paul Arblaster, author of A History of the Low Countries.

The producer is Miles Warde.

The Invention of...03Why Belgium?20180604

Misha Glenny ends his travels in the Netherlands in Brussels, home of the EU.

Misha Glenny presents histories of nations.

Misha Glenny ends his Netherlandish travels in Brussels, and asks why does Belgium exist. With details on the brief Kingdom of the Netherlands - a union with the Dutch in the north - and the reason why the British went to war with Germany in 1914. There is a faultline in Europe, running from the North Sea to the Alps, and this is one reason Belgium exists.

With contributions from Gita Deneckere of Ghent University; Simon Winder, who's at work on a new book called Lotharingia; and Paul Arblaster, author of A History of the Low Countries.

The producer is Miles Warde.