Listen to Owen Bennett-Jones discuss the future of opinion polls with Mark Pack

Eleanor Janega and Neil Max Emmanuel

Jan 25, 2022

The Middle Ages

A Graphic History

Icon Books 2020

A unique, illustrated book that aspires to bring medieval history closer to the general audience will change the way you see medieval history, The Middle Ages: A Graphic History (Icon Books, 2021) busts the myth of the ‘Dark Ages’, shedding light on the medieval period’s present-day relevance in a unique illustrated style.

This history takes us through the rise and fall of empires, papacies, caliphates and kingdoms; through the violence and death of the Crusades, Viking raids, the Hundred Years War and the Plague; to the curious practices of monks, martyrs and iconoclasts. We’ll see how the foundations of the modern West were established, influencing our art, cultures, religious practices and ways of thinking. And we’ll explore the lives of those seen as ‘Other’ – women, Jews, homosexuals, lepers, sex workers and heretics. Join historian Eleanor Janega and illustrator Neil Max Emmanuel on a romp across continents and kingdoms as we discover the Middle Ages to be a time of huge change, inquiry and development – not unlike our own.

Eleanor Janega is a medieval historian at the London School of Economics specializing in sexuality, propaganda, apocalypticism, and the urban experience in the medieval period generally and in late medieval Bohemia in particular. Her focus is on communicating medieval history for a general audience, and to that end she blogs at and has written for The Washington Post, BBC History and History Today among others. At the same time, she can also be found hosting medieval history programs on History Hit TV.

Neil Max Emmanuel is a motion graphics animator, illustrator, storyboard artist, cartoonist, visual facilitator, media trainer, and consultant. For ten years he has worked for Channel 4’s Time Team alongside the country’s leading historical experts and filmmakers. He has worked for many historical documentaries for BBC, Channel 4, National Geographic and History Channel to name a few.

Evan Zarkadas is a graduate student of European history at the University of Maine focusing on Medieval Europe, the Eastern Mediterranean, medieval identity, and ethnicity during the late Middle Ages.

Listen to more episodes on:

Your Host

Evan Zarkadas

Learn More