Dr Bob Nicholson, Reader in History, and co-director of the EHU19 research centre which specialises in interdisciplinary research focusing on 19th Century topics, provides the narration for new BBC Sounds podcast Killing Victoria.
The series, which is available to download now, examines the seven men who took the fateful decision to try to kill her and were with seconds of changing history. Each could have brought the Victorian era to a premature end, yet each has now been forgotten to history.
In the series, Dr Nicholson looks to answer the question of what led these men to try to kill the most famous and influential woman on the planet.
“Queen Victoria lived through an era of high-profile assassinations including two US presidents and a Russian tsar, as well as the King of Italy.
“Ironically, each attempt on her life only strengthened her position as monarch and resulted in an outpouring of loyalty towards Queen Victoria from the adoring public.
“The story of each of these men and their failed attempts to kill the Queen is fascinating.
“It was a real pleasure to delve into the archives to uncover their pasts, what might have motivated their murderous intent and bring their tales to a wider audience through the podcast.”Dr Bob Nicholson
Dr Nicholson, an expert in Victorian journalism and popular culture, sifted through police archives, court reports and Victorian newspapers to bring the story of these seven unknown men to life.
Each episode delves deep into the past of the seven would-be assassins, from 18-year-old Edward Oxford who fired at Queen Victoria as she passed outside Buckingham Palace in her carriage in June 1840, to Roderick Maclean, a Victorian wanderer whose path led him to a long journey to Windsor where he waited, pistol in hand, for the Queen to arrive in 1882.
After each attempt the news shot through Britain like lightning – journalists, politicians, police and the public all clamoured for information.
Now almost 200 years on from the first attempt on Queen Victoria’s life, Killing Victoria shines new light on the attempted assassinations and brings these stories to life for a new generation.
Killing Victoria is available to download via BBC Sounds, Apple Podcasts and other podcast providers.
March 24, 2023