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Welcome to Why I Really Like This Book, a podcast series about books that ought not to be forgotten. The podcasts were written, recorded and edited by me, Kate Macdonald, from 2011 to 2014 in a house in Brussels. I'm an English lecturer and an lifelong rummager in second-hand bookshops, and I write a lot about books, so podcasts was an enjoyable way to talk about what I was reading.

The intro music is by The Tribe Band, and the illustration is by Harriet Marsh.

In 2014 I stopped recording podcasts and moved to That's my personal site where I post information about my books and articles, the research I do, and where I post book reviews twice a week. Many of the reviews are the scripts for the podcasts, so I keep this excellent Libsyn site going so anyone passing by can listen to three or more years of podcasts. One day I may start recording again.

Sep 15, 2011

Freya Stark was a great woman traveller and explorer of the Middle East before the Second World War. During the war she worked in Intelligence and propaganda for the British in Cairo. After the war she settled into old age as a grand old lady of exploration, and became a national treasure. But many things had been left out of her own accounts of what she had done, and she left of a lot of bad feeling behind her triumphant exploits in the Middle East. Molly Izzard's biography of Freya Stark digs into her past, and shows us a better and not entirely nicer picture of this remarkable British traveller, that also asks what biography is for, and what we want to remember. For rule-breakers and iconoclasts.