Stuff the British Stole

Throughout its reign, the British Empire stole a lot of stuff.

Today those objects are housed in genteel institutions across the UK and the world. They usually come with polite plaques. This is a series about the not-so-polite history behind those objects.

Each episode, award-winning journalist, author and genetic-potluck, Marc Fennell, picks one artefact and takes you on the wild, evocative, sometimes funny, often tragic adventure of how it got to where it is today.

These objects will ultimately help us see the Commonwealth – and ourselves – today, in a different light.

In Season Two, Walkley award-winning host Marc Fennell will take you to a temple, a tree, a lab, a paradise island, a crime scene and a stage. You’ll uncover abductions, scandals and a murder investigation.

“I’m a nerd, I love museums, but every time you go they always have these plaques that tell a really polite version of history, and the reality is, for most of these objects, the real history is not that polite. It’s also not that simple,” said Fennell.


The antidote to A History of the World in 100 Objects. Marc Fennell, fab Aussie podcaster of It Burns and Nut Jobs, investigates a single cultural artefact in each episode of his new podcast, thus exposing what he calls the “not-so-polite history” of the British empire. The latest show uses pekinese dogs to take us to 1860 and the British-Chinese opium wars; previous episodes explain the British theft of Benin’s bronzes, and how Tipu’s Tiger ended up in the V&A. Fennell is immensely entertaining, his podcasts are always gripping and this is an excellent series that uses history, colonialism and art to examine where we are today. Recommended.
— Miranda Sawyer, The Guardian


Listen here at Radio National
Stuff the British Stole
With Marc Fennell



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