The Dark is Rising

Welcome to the fourth CSB podcast, in which Lloyd and Tim discover the hidden landscapes at the heart of Susan Cooper’s magnificent fantasy, The Dark Is Rising. We travel to deepest Buckinghamshire to find Cooper’s fictional village of Huntercombe, and the home of her hero Will Stanton, seventh son of a seventh son.

Lloyd gets obsessed with the dates of Britain’s first motorway for reasons which will only become obvious if you listen, while Tim brings stories of the emerging counter-culture of the late 1960s. We look for Herne’s Oak in Windsor Great Park, and go digging around in churchyards for Celtic crosses.

Each month we road-test a work of fiction that appears to be curiously specific about dates and locations. We go to the places mentioned and see if descriptions are accurate, journey-times credible, dates and days all in order.

Sources & credits

Bryn Terfel: Songs from A Shropshire Lad –
Led Zeppelin: Battle of Evermore –
Jethro Tull: Jack in the Green –
Incredible String Band: No Sleep Blues –
Quintessential: Sleepsong


Susan Cooper’s Margaret Edwards acceptance speech –…hes/2012/cooper.pdf
British Motorway Network Chronology Maps –
Camelot Project Interview with Susan Cooper –…th-susan-cooper
The Windsor Free Festival 1972 –
English magic: how folklore haunts the British landscape –…tish-landscape

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