The Frock Flicks Guide to Other Historical Podcasts, Videos, & Websites

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After the chaos of Snark Week, I figured it would be nice to show some love to some of the other podcasts, YouTube channels, and websites out there that focus on historical accuracy in film, as well as general history. We aren’t the only ones out there who care about historical accuracy on film, which is nice to know since sometimes it feels like we’re preaching to a rather small choir. While most of these resources aren’t focused strictly on costuming, they provide a nice balance to what we do here at Frock Flicks, and believe it or not, we aren’t the snarkiest ones, either!

So, without further ado…

 

Podcasts:

AskHistorians Podcast – A few good things come from Reddit, and this is one of them. And I’m not even saying that because they interviewed me a few months back about my work on the chemise á la reine (and a tad about historical accuracy on film). The podcast has been going strong for the last few years, putting out roughly one episode per month on a wide variety of topics in interviews with the rigorously vetted historians of the AskHistorians subreddit.

Backstory Radio with the American History Guys – Not strictly movies, but the purpose of the podcast is to tease out the truth between the lines in popular culture’s take on historical people, places, and events.

Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History – Probably the #1 history podcast out there, and I have a lot to say about it.  Some serious academics I know come down pretty hard on Dan Carlin for his tendency towards emphasizing the juicier aspects of history rather than simply telling it like it is, but in my opinion, Carlin provides a pretty balanced take on major and minor historical happenings. Maybe if he focused on Marie Antoinette or Queen Elizabeth I, I’d have more to quibble with — in fact, that’s the one thing negative thing I have to say about him — he focuses almost exclusively on the typical “male” aspects of history: war, war, and more war featuring dudes and war. There’s a few asides into stories dealing with female historical personages and the events they shaped, but not a whole lot. Still, it a podcast worth listening to.

Stuff You Missed in History Class – Interesting detours into obscure or little discussed historical topics. Not as dense as “Hardcore History,” but not really fluffy either, the hosts Tracy and Holly discuss topics ranging from Rose Bertin to an interview with costume historian April Calahan.

Tom & Lorenzo’s Popstyle Opinionfest – Tom & Lorenzo are more devoted to style in terms of modern fashion, but they do touch on fashion on film from time to time. Mostly I’m including them on this list because 1) they put together a great podcast, and 2) Trystan will hurt me if I don’t.

 

YouTube Channels:

History Buffs Reviews – Entertaining videos narrated by Nick Hodges on historical accuracy in films, most averaging 20 minutes in length and packed with interesting commentary. Nick also has a podcast channel with longer format interviews and commentary.

Historical Inaccuracy on Film by Lindybeige – Another Brit with a thing or two to say about historical inaccuracy. Sort of a “Mystery Science Theatre 3000” approach to historical film snarking. Lindybeige has quite a bit of snarking to get out of his system, so his YouTube channel covers a lot of historical territory aside from film critiques.

 

Websites & Blogs:

An Historian Goes to the Movies – Andrew Larsen is a man after our own irritated, snarky heart. In fact, he’s been known to comment here a time or two! He focuses on historical inaccuracy in film and writes hysterically funny commentary on all manner of period movies across time. AHGTTM is a good tandem read to Frock Flicks if you want the entire story about a film’s accuracy, not just the costuming. Check out his reviews of Downton Abbey, Braveheart, and Amadeus for a good intro to his style.

Clothes on Film and Tyranny of Style – I’m throwing these two together because there’s a lot of mutual-adoration going on between the sites and both cover any and all costumes and clothing in modern cinema. Both are also big budget sites with a lot of overlap into traditional media such as newspaper and radio and are very much rooted in the industry, so there’s always interviews with costume designers and directors about “visions” and whatnot.

Go Fug Yourself – Once upon a dozen years ago, I stumbled across this hysterically funny blog run by two chicks who liked to snark runway fashion. Over the years, Jessica and Heather have snarked a great many other things, including film and television. It’s no lie that Frock Flicks: The Website owes a serious debt of gratitude to these ladies. I just about passed out with happiness when our Snark Week article on the top 10 shittiest 1980s TV historical costume movies made it to their weekly feature “Fugs and Pieces” last week.

Senpai Noticed Me

MFW my snark idols noticed Frock Flicks.

History vs. Hollywood – Breaks down historical movies by comparing script and casting to the actual history and historical people being portrayed. They offer a pretty good primer for anyone looking to get a synopsis about whether a particular film is veering way off the historical path or not. Check out their series “Reel Faces” on The Danish Girl, Bessie, and Titanic.

Reel History – The Guardian’s recurring series by historian Alex von Tunzelmann, looking at historical film and television with a critical eye towards fact and fiction. I particularly enjoyed “Scrap Accuracy–Give me Ringo Starr as the Pope: The 10 Quirkiest Historical Films” and “A Little Chaos: Leads History Down the Garden Path”.

These are just a few that we recommend — where else do you go online for a history fix?

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About the author

Sarah Lorraine

Website

Sarah discovered her dual passion for history and costume right around the age of twelve. Dragged kicking and screaming to her first Renaissance Faire at Black Point, she was convinced she was going to hate it, but to her surprise, she fell head over heels in love with the world of reenactment and dress up immediately. Her undergraduate degree is in Clothing & Textile Design, and she has a Master's in Art History and Visual Culture. When she’s not hauling crap to SCA events and ren faires, Sarah enjoys reading true crime books, writing fiction, and sewing historical clothing from the Middle Ages through the 20th-century. One of these days, she might even start updating her old costuming blog again.

16 Responses

  1. patricia

    http://thehistorychicks.com/
    A podcast about women throughout history, with interesting details and not too heavy. I haven’t listened all of the episodes, but the ones that I have were pretty nice.

    (Also hello i’m reading from madrid, spain, i’m a big fan, keep up the good work)

    Reply
  2. Makenzie

    I would add the British History Podcast and The History of Rome/ Revolutions. In Particular Revolutions has a great run on the French Revolution and the BHP does a nice job of getting into the nitty gritty of “dark ages” Britain.

    Reply
  3. Danielle

    There is a podcast I LOVE called ‘The History Chicks’. It is two women talking for about an hour each episode about a different woman in history every time! It’s great because they only talk about women, mainly only mentioning men when they are relevant to the story, instead of the other way around! They cover a range of women, including a fictional one every series! You must check it out if you are interested in history at all. :)
    But now I can’t wait to check out some of these new ones here! :)

    Reply
  4. adela

    Other than here, I go to several blogs with history topics.
    TheDreamstress.com, a historical costumer and teacher.
    TheHistoryBlog.com which is heavy on extant documents, artifacts and sites as well as issues on politics, preservation, restoration, and crimes involving historical objects.
    and twonerdyhistorygirls.blogspot.ca which are geeks doing the squee regularly.
    A lot of my favourite sites have gone dark or link dead in recent years which is frustrating.

    Reply
    • Sarah Lorraine

      I was going to include Two Nerdy History Girls, but somehow forgot! And I know Kendra keeps up on The Dreamstress (I pop in every so often, but don’t follow her heavily). Haven’t heard of The History Blog, though… Thanks for the rec!

      Reply
  5. Abby Chandler

    I also recommend Liz Covart’s Ben Franklin’s World, which is a weekly podcast interviewing various historians about their work but is intended for a non-academic audience: http://www.benfranklinsworld.com

    Episode 21 was with Eugene Tesdahl who is a history professor in Wisconsin and a reannactor and sometimes teaches his class in historical clothing and talked about doing this during his interview. And in a moment of true disclosure, the February 16 episode is an interview with me about my research on sexual misconduct trials in colonial New England.

    Reply
      • Abby Chandler

        Thank you! It was taped almost two months ago so I’m looking forward to having it out in the world. Like Eugene, I also sometimes teach my college classes in historical clothing and I am currently trying to figure out whether there are more of us doing this- do any of you know of anyone else?

        Reply
        • Sarah Lorraine

          I am currently trying to figure out whether there are more of us doing this- do any of you know of anyone else?

          You mean more podcasts by people who teach history? Or more historians teaching history of clothing? Or something else…? I’m kind of brain fried right now, so I apologize!

          Reply
          • Abby Chandler

            Sorry on the poor phrasing (my brain is equally fried). I’m working on an article about teaching history while wearing clothing from the time period being taught which got me wondering whether there are any other history professors who do this and Eugene is the only other one I know of.

            Reply

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