Why I Really Like This Book
These are podcasts about forgotten fiction, for curious readers, and for anyone who likes old books. Sometimes they're stories, sometimes they're not. Most of the authors write in English; and sometimes they don't. But all the books I talk about, I really really like. I hope you will too.
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My name is Kate Macdonald: I'm an English lecturer, and a lifelong browser in second-hand bookshops. I post weekly ten-minute podcasts on a Friday, on the books I really like which I think deserve new readers. You can find out lots more at the Facebook page here, and get these podcasts weekly by subscribing on the iTunes link above.

The music for the podcast intro is by The Tribe Band. Lucy Marsh did the drawing and Matthias Opsomer lettered it. Patrick Belk and Martin Fowler hold my tech safety net.

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Questions? Send me a message by mailing me at kate [dot] brussels [at] yahoo [dot] com.

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Robert Gibbings's picaresque account of a meander down the Thames, from source to Windsor Castle, in a home-made punt and with a microscope, is a blissful immersion into inter-war natural history. Sweet Thames Run Softly holds hundreds of stories about plants and wildlife, swan maidens included. For those who embrace the mud as a brother.

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Wigs, flounces, fans, sprites, epic card games, and the calamitous consequences of the cutting of a lock of hair: Alexander Pope's satire on the heroic epic, The Rape of the Lock, is neo-classical fun and games. it's also a sly social commentary on women's lives and the wasted days in the lives of the rich and bored. For those who like to take counsel as well as tea.

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Lord Tennyson and The Princess - Five Great Epic Poems You've Never Read

Tennyson's The Princess is a Victorian chivalric farce, packed with lyric poetry, knightly errantry, cross-dressing, and the ludicrous concept of a women-only university. Gasp at the foot-stomping rage of a king whose son has been jilted. Smile at the spectacle of a woman teaching philosophy. Be gravely pleased by the submission of Princess Ida to her prince's persuasions. For readers who take their lecture notes wearing classical drapery.

Direct download: Lord_Tennyson_and_The_Princess_-_Five_Great_Epic_Poems.mp3
Category:fantastical -- posted at: 9:49am CET
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The epic continues into the 17th century, when John Milton wrote about Hell in Paradise Lost, and Lucifer's escape from Hell to wreak vengeance on the vengeful god who'd sent him there, by seducing and destroying God's favourite creation. That would be us.  Playing fast and loose with the details of the Book of Genesis, Milton rewrote the Fall of Man as really nothing to do with man's destiny at all, but as part of the eternal battle between good and evil. For those who like their religion realigned now and then.

Direct download: John_Milton_and_Paradise_Lost_-_Five_Great_Epic_Poems.mp3
Category:fantastical -- posted at: 1:30am CET
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