The Mayor of Casterbridge Part Two

Mayor of Casterbridge Part Two: A skimmity ride beyond the city walls The Curiously Specific Book Club

In part two of our adventure with The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy we walk out of Dorchester over two bridges and down to a weir, where Michael Henchard can be found considering ending it all and seeing what appears to be a body floating down the Frome. Behind him and up on a hill we can imagine his creator looking down on to the marshy fields beyond Dorchester, because this is where Hardy built his home, called Max Gate, where he wrote the Mayor of Casterbridge and where, some forty years later, he died. We tell the extraordinary story of Hardy’s funerals (yes, funerals), and consider whether or not he is Curiously Specific about dates and locations. Get early access to new episodes and bonus content Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

In part two of our adventure with The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy we walk out of Dorchester over two bridges and down to a weir, where Michael Henchard can be found considering ending it all and seeing what appears to be a body floating down the Frome.

Behind him and up on a hill we can imagine his creator looking down on to the marshy fields beyond Dorchester, because this is where Hardy built his home, called Max Gate, where he wrote the Mayor of Casterbridge and where, some forty years later, he died.

We tell the extraordinary story of Hardy’s funerals (yes, funerals), and consider whether or not he is Curiously Specific about dates and locations.

If you want to hear our episodes without ads, as soon as they’re available, subscribe to our Patreon page.

The Mayor of Casterbridge Part One

Mayor of Casterbridge Part One: Is it Casterbridge? Or is it Dorchester? The Curiously Specific Book Club

We’ve reached the 15th book of our second series of The Curiously Specific Book Club, and it’s one of the most famous books in English publishing history: Thomas Hardy’s The Mayor of Casterbridge. Set in the fictional town of Casterbridge in the just-as-fictional county of Wessex, it’s a finely-wrought depiction of real people in real places; country-folk at the dawn of modernity in the Dorset county town of Dorchester, about to undergo wild expansion with the arrival of the railways and the professional classes. What’s more, the town has gone through a second change, because right on its western edge a new ‘fictional’ place has sprung up: King Charles’s fantastical experiment in town-planning, the weird zone that is Poundbury. What on earth would former architect Thomas Hardy have made of it? Get early access to new episodes and bonus content Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

We’ve reached the 15th book of our second series of The Curiously Specific Book Club, and it’s one of the most famous books in English publishing history: Thomas Hardy’s The Mayor of Casterbridge.

Set in the fictional town of Casterbridge in the just-as-fictional county of Wessex, it’s a finely-wrought depiction of real people in real places; country-folk at the dawn of modernity in the Dorset county town of Dorchester, about to undergo wild expansion with the arrival of the railways and the professional classes.

What’s more, the town has gone through a second change, because right on its western edge a new ‘fictional’ place has sprung up: King Charles’s fantastical experiment in town-planning, the weird zone that is Poundbury. What on earth would former architect Thomas Hardy have made of it?

If you want to hear our episodes without ads, as soon as they’re available, subscribe to our Patreon page.

Rebecca Part Two

Rebecca Part Two: completing a sunny circular walk around Manderley/Menabilly The Curiously Specific Book Club

We’re halfway through a walk around the edge of the Menabilly estate in Cornwall, where Daphne Du Maurier lived for many years. We’re trying to work out how closely Menabilly aligns with the fictional house of Manderley, as featured in ‘Rebecca’We find a gatehouse and driveway on the west side, then repair to the local pub to consider how reliable Daphne Du M might be as a narrator. Finally we walk into the woods of Menabilly to the north and come across a lovely surprise – a little bit of the Manderley dreamspace surviving in the real world! Get early access to new episodes and bonus content Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

We’re halfway through a walk around the edge of the Menabilly estate in Cornwall, where Daphne Du Maurier lived for many years. We’re trying to work out how closely Menabilly aligns with the fictional house of Manderley, as featured in ‘Rebecca’

We find a gatehouse and driveway on the west side, then repair to the local pub to consider how reliable Daphne Du M might be as a narrator. Finally we walk into the woods of Menabilly to the north and come across a lovely surprise – a little bit of the Manderley dreamspace surviving in the real world!

If you want to hear our episodes without ads, as soon as they’re available, subscribe to our Patreon page.

Rebecca Part One

Rebecca Part One: we’re off to Fowey in Cornwall in search of Manderley The Curiously Specific Book Club

“Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again…” We’re off to Cornwall to see if the dream-house of Manderley, as featured in Daphne Du Maurier’s ‘Rebecca’, could ever be a real place. We start off in Lostwithiel, a town where we think Rebecca’s inquest could’ve taken place. We move to Fowey, the nearest village to the grand house of Menabilly, Daphne du M’s home for many years. From there we start a hike along the Coastal Path ending up at Polridmouth Bay where Rebecca meets her end. Get early access to new episodes and bonus content Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

“Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again…” 

We’re off to Cornwall to see if the dream-house of Manderley, as featured in Daphne Du Maurier’s ‘Rebecca’, could ever be a real place. 

We start off in Lostwithiel, a town where we think Rebecca’s inquest could’ve taken place. We move to Fowey, the nearest village to the grand house of Menabilly, Daphne du M’s home for many years. From there we start a hike along the Coastal Path ending up at Polridmouth Bay where Rebecca meets her end.

If you want to hear our episodes without ads, as soon as they’re available, subscribe to our Patreon page.

The Remains of the Day Part Two

The Remains of the Day Part Two: what the hell are we doing on Dartmoor? The Curiously Specific Book Club

In part two of our adventure with Kazuo Ishiguro's The Remains of the Day, we have some questions, and make an apology. Our questions include: what the hell are we doing on Dartmoor? And what happened to Day Five? Our apology follows a discovery made thanks to Ship's Dog. We end on the remains of a pier at the remains of the day, pondering on the book's closing pages, and wondering what really happened to Stevens the butler as his melancholy journey came to an end. Get early access to new episodes and bonus content Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

In part two of our adventure with Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day, we have some questions, and make an apology. Our questions include: what the hell are we doing on Dartmoor? And what happened to Day Five? Our apology follows a discovery made thanks to Ship’s Dog.

We end on the remains of a pier at the remains of the day, pondering on the book’s closing pages, and wondering what really happened to Stevens the butler as his melancholy journey came to an end.

If you want to hear our episodes without ads, as soon as they’re available, subscribe to our Patreon page.

The Remains of the Day Part One

The Remains of the Day Part One: a repressed butler drives to the West The Curiously Specific Book Club

We’re taking our first Nobel prize winner out for a walk! Actually, it’s more of a drive, as Kazuo Ishiguro’s unforgettable creation, the butler Stevens, drives his boss’s Ford down the backroads from Oxfordshire to Cornwall. In part one we ask where exactly Oxfordshire ends and Berkshire begins (clue: it isn’t where Ishiguro thinks it is); discover another epic bench; spend a night in Salisbury; and hang out at a pond near Mere. But why no Stonehenge, Mr Stevens? Get early access to new episodes and bonus content Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

We’re taking our first Nobel prize winner out for a walk! Actually, it’s more of a drive, as Kazuo Ishiguro’s unforgettable creation, the butler Stevens, drives his boss’s Ford down the backroads from Oxfordshire to Cornwall.

In part one we ask where exactly Oxfordshire ends and Berkshire begins (clue: it isn’t where Ishiguro thinks it is); discover another epic bench; spend a night in Salisbury; and hang out at a pond near Mere. But why no Stonehenge, Mr Stevens?

If you want to hear our episodes without ads, as soon as they’re available, subscribe to our Patreon page.

Life After Life Part Two

Life After Life Part Two: swanky Kensington pads and WW2 Soho drinking dens The Curiously Specific Book Club

We start Part Two in one of the ritziest parts of London – Holland Park – where both Ursula and her charismatic aunt Izzie from Kate Atkinson’s ‘Life After Life’ are meant to live (alongside Michael Powell and Michael Winner it seems).  We scurry off quickly to Soho in search of pubs and clubs featured in the novel, trying to avoid getting drunk or falling downstairs.This is the free version of the podcast. If you want to hear all episodes as soon as they're available, and without ads, check us out on Patreon. Get early access to new episodes and bonus content Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

We start Part Two in one of the ritziest parts of London – Holland Park – where both Ursula and her charismatic aunt Izzie from Kate Atkinson’s ‘Life After Life’ are meant to live (alongside Michael Powell and Michael Winner it seems). 

We scurry off quickly to Soho in search of pubs and clubs featured in the novel, trying to avoid getting drunk or falling downstairs.

If you want to hear our episodes without ads, as soon as they’re available, subscribe to our Patreon page.

Life After Life Part One

Life After Life Part One: exploring the Buckinghamshire stockbroker belt The Curiously Specific Book Club

We’re off in search of Fox Corner, the family home of the Todds, as featured heavily in Kate Atkinson’s time-twisting bestseller ‘Life After Life’. Is Fox Corner a real place or just made up? Or could it be a bit of both? If you want get hear all episodes as soon as they're available, and without ads, check us out on Patreon. Get early access to new episodes and bonus content Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

We’re off in search of Fox Corner, the family home of the Todds, as featured heavily in Kate Atkinson’s time-twisting bestseller ‘Life After Life’. Is Fox Corner a real place or just made up? Or could it be a bit of both?

If you want to hear our episodes without ads, as soon as they’re available, subscribe to our Patreon page.

The Night Watch Part Two

The Night Watch Part Two: a walk through a City of London air raid The Curiously Specific Book Club

We’re back with part two of our adventure with The Night Watch, by Sarah Waters, an extraordinary novel of romantic accident and passionate love against the backdrop of the Blitz and Baby Blitz in Second World War London. In this episode we follow the extraordinary walk taken by two of the book’s protagonists, Julia and Helen, as they walk across the City of London during an air raid. It’s a landscape of doomed churches and hidden alleyways, now loomed over by gargantuan office blocks. We doff our caps to the intelligence and diligence of Sarah Waters, whose research chops are staggering, and we also uncover the hidden history of the WW2 London Auxiliary Ambulance Service, which was staffed almost entirely by women.This is the free version of the podcast, with ads. If you want to listen without ads, and get all episodes as soon as they’re available, search for ‘Curiously Specific’ on patreon.com. Get early access to new episodes and bonus content Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

In this episode we follow the extraordinary walk taken by two of the book’s protagonists, Julia and Helen, as they walk across the City of London during an air raid. It’s a landscape of doomed churches and hidden alleyways, now loomed over by gargantuan office blocks. We doff our caps to the intelligence and diligence of Sarah Waters, whose research chops are staggering, and we also uncover the hidden history of the WW2 London Auxiliary Ambulance Service, which was staffed almost entirely by women.

If you want to hear our episodes without ads, as soon as they’re available, subscribe to our Patreon page.

The Night Watch Part Two

The Night Watch Part One: ‘conchies’, air raids and hidden love The Curiously Specific Book Club

We’re back, with our second novel set in the Second World War. This time, it’s The Night Watch by Sarah Waters, a passionate and intricate story of doomed love affairs among the falling bombs of the Blitz and the Baby Blitz. In part one we visit Lavender Hill, Wormwood Scrubs and the tall Georgian manor houses of Marylebone, as we make our way to a bombed-out mews off Rathbone Place. Along the way we discover the difficult history of conscientious objection, and the odd decision to allow model aeroplanes to fly near the walls of Wormwood Scrubs prison.This is the free version of the podcast, with ads. If you want to listen without ads, and get all episodes as soon as they’re available, search for ‘Curiously Specific’ on patreon.com. Get early access to new episodes and bonus content Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

We’re back, with our second novel set in the Second World War. This time, it’s The Night Watch by Sarah Waters, a passionate and intricate story of doomed love affairs among the falling bombs of the Blitz and the Baby Blitz. In part one we visit Lavender Hill, Wormwood Scrubs and the tall Georgian manor houses of Marylebone, as we make our way to a bombed-out mews off Rathbone Place. Along the way we discover the difficult history of conscientious objection, and the odd decision to allow model aeroplanes to fly near the walls of Wormwood Scrubs prison.

If you want to hear our episodes without ads, as soon as they’re available, subscribe to our Patreon page.