I watch quite a few YouTubers who review books– AKA, BookTubers. But bookish channels aren’t the only ones I follow, and I’m sure it will surprise no one to find out that the non-book channels I watch are history channels. I would hate to not be On Brand™, after all.
So without further ado, here are some of the history channels I follow on YouTube:
Bernadette Banner was one of the first historical dress YouTubers I started watching in 2020. I found her videos relaxing, her sense of humor on point, and her information about fashion history eye-opening. While she had done projects ranging back to the late Medieval era, her primary emphasis is on Victorian and Edwardian history and fashion. She’s the one who got me to start sewing (by hand!), and even though I really only make basic projects like pillowcases and drawstring bags, I’ve come to enjoy sewing and look forward to Bernadette’s videos whenever she posts a new one.
Morgan Donner does a lot of historical sewing, too, but focuses on different eras than Bernadette Banner- mostly on the Medieval and Renaissance periods, but with some Victorian era shenanigans, too. She’s hilarious an informative, and always willing to try new things– see her 500 Years of Hairstyles video, in which she undergoes a radical hairstyle transformation. She hasn’t posted very many videos in the past few months, but that’s because she and her husband moved all the way across the country. They’re getting settled into their new lives now, though, so I’m hoping to see more of Morgan as she gets her new sewing room put together.
Abby Cox’s primary emphasis is on late 18th century American fashion, but she’s been doing a lot more with Victorian/Gilded Age and Edwardian history lately. But even though the 18th century doesn’t capture my interest the way that the Medieval era does, Abby’s videos are still entertaining and informative. Like Bernadette Banner, she does a remarkable amount of research and provides links to her online sources in case you want to read up on whatever subject she’s talking about. Her history of the witch hat is especially informative.
Sewstine is a doctor who loves to sew 18th century clothing for herself and her family. Her videos don’t include a lot of history (and I can’t blame her for that, as she’s an incredibly busy doctor and research takes a lot of time), but I do enjoy seeing her put together the frilly, ruffly gowns she loves so much. I wouldn’t wear them myself, but her enthusiasm for the clothing of her favorite era is catching. It’s always fun to see what new thing she’s made.
Rachel Masky is the least historical of all of these channels, but her videos are a constant delight no matter what she’s making– and she makes a lot of things. A book bag made of books? Got it. A Robin Hood costume for her dog? Got that, too. Knightcore fashion? Hobbit Aesthetic? Whiskey Grandpa? She’s got it all. After a long week of work, it’s always great to settle down to watch her videos on Friday nights.
The Welsh Viking
Jimmy is a PhD student and historical re-enactor who focuses on (surprise!) the Viking Age and the Norse culture that goes with it. He’s all about busting the popular myths that people have about the Vikings and digging into what we actually know about Norse societies of the Medieval era. He’s funny and informative, and encourages people to look into history and not just accept what Hollywood or the Victorians tell us about the Viking Age. Plus, Jimmy is fluent in Welsh and will occasionally give a brief Welsh language lesson at the end of his videos.
Modern History TV
Jason is an English historical re-enactor who focuses on the late Medieval era. He is a skilled horseman who jousts as well as fighting hand-to-hand in full armor. His videos cover a range of topics, from making ink and rushlights to Medieval food, what a knight’s life would have been like, using Medieval weapons, and horses. He has a stable full of gorgeous horses. You can watch the videos just for the horses.