5 Shows on Netflix for History Lovers

For some people, history is one of the most fascinating topics there are. Getting a glimpse into the past is getting a glimpse into where we, as people, have come from. You can see how far we’ve evolved, and even get an idea of what the lives parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and so on were like during their youth.

Although there is nothing wrong with documentaries, it’s even better when history can be learned in an entertaining fashion. Netflix has several shows that can keep people entertained while providing a daily dose of history. Here is a round up of the five best shows on Netflix for history lovers. 

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Call the Midwife

Set in London’s poverty-stricken East End during the 1950s and 1960s, Call the Midwife offers a poignant look at a much different time. The series is based on the real memoirs of Jennifer Worth, and history lovers can catch a glimpse at a time when women lacked easy access to contraceptives. Due to this, women would have large families, mostly given birth to at home. 

Call the Midwife also glances into the beginning of vaccinations, and a time just after the infamous London workhouses. An all-star cast gives birth to plenty of internal stories and conflict as the nuns and midwives of Nonnatus House try to help Poplar to the best of their abilities, despite trying circumstances and lack of modern medical equipment. 

Peaky Blinders

For a further look back into the United Kingdom’s history, Peaky Blinders offers a snapshot of 1920’s Birmingham, England. The show is based off an urban youth gang that operated within Birmingham during the later part of the 19th century, and has given new life to the idea of a “mob movie.”

According to the show’s creator, Steven Knight, Peaky Blinders is based on stories that were told to him in his youth, including some things actually seen by his parents.

The Crown

No listing of historical must-watch television series would be complete without The Crown, which is a fan favorite following the life of Queen Elizabeth II. The first season starts viewers off in 1947, with the queen’s marriage to Philip Mountbatten. Season one also looks at the ill-fated relationship between Princess Margaret and Peter Townsend.

Season two explores the difficulties experienced early on in the marriage of Queen Elizabeth and Philip. It touches on the early accusations that Philip was unfaithful. The third season has been confirmed, although an exact date has not yet. It is expected to debut sometime during the fall.

Medici: Masters of Florence

Medici: Masters of Florence, which features Dustin Hoffman as Giovanni de’ Medici, takes a look at the Medici dynasty that helped to shape Florence, Italy in the 15th Century. The Medici family serves as bankers for the Catholic Church and Pope, and early on in the show, Giovanni is poisoned.

This clears the way for his son, Cosimo, to take over the family business. From the start, Cosimo is thrust into a world full of deceit, lies, and betrayal, that he must try to navigate while aiming to clear his name and keep the family legacy alive.

TURN: Washington’s Spies

For an unrivaled look at the American Revolution’s untold history, Turn: Washington’s Spies offers insight into the unseen heroes of the day. The show looks at American between 1776 and 1781, and although its story arc is wide-ranging it primarily focuses on the Culper Ring.

The Culper Ring was a group of everyday men assembled by founding father, George Washington, to work as spies for the not-quite-founded American government. Despite knowing how the story ends, the lives of the men and women who helped win the American Revolution are told engagingly.