There are few things more pleasant than hearing the story of a fascinating life, particularly when it's told by a passionate expert, particularly when it clocks in under 30 minutes. History boffins who agree with us will find a lot to like in this new podcast out of LaTrobe University, which aims to tell the stories of historical lives in digestible parts. Hosted by the very able Matt Smith (of podcasts When in Romeand Emperors of Rome), its first mini-series covered Spartacus, while the second, current series is deep in Darwin. Each life is recounted by an engaging academic, in response to questions from Smith, with an eye to the human details that make even these mythologised greats seem, well, human (Darwin's marriage pros and cons list was a memorable gem). Listen bi-weekly; most episodes are around 20 minutes.
Gateway episodes: Spartacus 1 - Spartacus the Gladiator (21 Sep 2015) / Charles Darwin 2 - The Voyage of the Beagle (20 Nov 2015)