Once again I seem to be late in announcing the newest Second Decade episode! This has been a very strange week for me, dominated by a major cold and ice storm that wreaked havoc with work schedules and general goings-on. But, before all that began, I did manage to post Episode 7 of Second Decade, “Volcano,” which is another environmental history-themed installment.
Second Decade is on iTunes, here; it’s on TuneIn, here; you can access it directly on the Libsyn page for it, here; or, perhaps the easiest way, click this link for an embedded player that will open in your browser.
In Episode 7: Volcano, I tell the story of the immense 1815 eruption of Mt. Tambora, located in what is now Indonesia, which was one of the key events of the 1810s. I blogged about the eruption last year, here, but this is a more in-depth story of the largest single volcanic event in the period of recorded history. As is my style with Second Decade, I don’t just talk about the eruption itself–which I get to in the second half of the episode–but I like to set the stage with the historical context. In this case, it’s the fascinating history of the East Indies, which in 1815 were in a political state of transition, finding themselves suddenly ruled by the British rather than the Dutch, who were temporarily taken out of the colonizing business by the Napoleonic Wars. Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, briefly the British colonial governor of the East Indies, is one of the important sources we have about the Tambora eruption, and its staggering aftermath for the long-suffering people of the islands.
As with Episode 6, I took the opportunity to record a bonus video lecture for the followers of my Patreon account, specifically regarding why they may not have heard of Tambora when they probably have heard of Krakatoa, a similar but much smaller eruption. That post is here, but you can’t see it unless you’re a patron. Pledge an amount each month and you’ll get access to goodies like this!
Thanks, as always, for the support of the podcast. It’s been going great so far!