A somewhat complete history of sitting down

The artwork for A Somewhat Complete History of Sitting Down shows a strange composite of a porcelain toilet, wooden electric chair, and golden throne stuck together into a hybrid chair


Yes, it’s a strange kind of history. And that’s the way Public Historian Greg Jenner likes it. Because, he says, how we sit, where we sit, what we do when we sit and what happens as a result of all that sitting says a lot about humans past and present.

This study means we can link a royal throne with a 2000-year-old toilet. It shows how the language and culture of sitting is deep seated in all of us. It sits listeners down in classrooms, parliaments, sports grounds, protests and in the penitentiary death chamber.

So if you’re sitting comfortably….



“Along with its unusual subject matter, Jenner’s series is notable for its excellent writing, which is irreverent, illuminating and sharply funny. You can imagine this seemingly niche podcast translating easily into a book or TV series, such is its wide-ranging nature. You might even say it was bottomless.”THE FT

“The tone is always brisk, curious and fun (Jenner chuckles along as he talks to his guests, or interrupts interviews to crack jokes), but remains informative. Jenner discusses typical home furniture through time, as well as ceremonial chairs, seats of power, Japanese toilets, classroom seating, sex chairs, wheelchairs and even the electric chair to explore the role that sitting down plays in every conceivable society from the ancient world to the present day. In what seems like a narrow topic, he finds an endless variety of diverting avenues.”NEW STATESMAN

“It sounds bizarre, but A Somewhat Complete History of Sitting Down, from Audible, is highly absorbing. It helps that we’re in the safe hands of Greg Jenner, the historian, author and host of the BBC Sounds podcast You’re Dead to Me… It’s a clever idea, cleverly done.”THE WEEK

“Highly entertaining and informative”YORKSHIRE POST MAGAZINE