430 In Shakespeare’s Shadow (with Michael Blanding)

It’s a paradox that has bothered Shakespeare’s fans for centuries: the man was as insightful into human beings as anyone whoever lived, and yet his own life is barely documented. This combination of literary genius plus biographical uncertainty has spun off a number of mysteries – including the question of how exactly Shakespeare came to know the things that he did.

In this episode, Jacke talks to investigative journalist Michael Blanding, author of In Shakespeare’s Shadow, about a renegade scholar named Dennis McCarthy’s theory that Shakespeare may have drawn upon a previously unknown source – the lost plays of Sir Thomas North – and how Blanding himself joined the pursuit of searching for evidence to support McCarthy’s theory.

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Help support the show at patreon.com/literature or historyofliterature.com/shop. The History of Literature Podcast is a member of Lit Hub Radio and the Podglomerate Network. Learn more at www.thepodglomerate.com/historyofliterature.

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417 What Happened on Roanoke Island? (with Kimberly Brock)

It’s one of the great mysteries in American history. The “lost colony” of Roanoke Island, where 120 or so men, women, and children living in the first permanent English settlement in North America simply disappeared, leaving behind nothing but a mysterious word carved into a tree trunk. While historians remain baffled, speculation has run rampant, with everything from massacre to relocation to space alien abduction taking their turns as potential theories. What happened to those people? And is there any way to tell their story? In this episode, Jacke talks to author Kimberly Brock about her novel The Lost Book of Eleanor Dare, which extends the mystery of Roanoke and its legacy from the late seventeenth century to the mid-twentieth.

Additional listening suggestions:

Help support the show at patreon.com/literature or historyofliterature.com/shop. The History of Literature Podcast is a member of Lit Hub Radio and the Podglomerate Network. Learn more at www.thepodglomerate.com/historyofliterature.

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350 Mystery! (with Jonah Lehrer)

Mysteries! Beloved by adults and children alike, it’s hard to imagine a genre with a more universal appeal. But what makes mysteries so compelling? What is it about mysteries – and human beings, for that matter – that makes mysteries so seductive? And how do authors like Shakespeare and J.K. Rowling turn the mechanics of mystery into the highest art?

Jonah Lehrer, author of the new book Mystery: A Seduction, A Strategy, A Solution joins Jacke for a special October talk about the science and art behind this beloved literary genre.

AND for a few lucky History of Literature Podcast listeners, we are giving away free signed copies of Mystery: A Seduction, A Strategy, A Solution. Learn more at our Instagram page @historyofliteraturepod. Good luck!

Jonah Lehrer is a writer, journalist, and the author of MysteryA Book About LoveHow We Decide, and Proust Was a Neuroscientist. He graduated from Columbia University and studied at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. He’s written for The New YorkerNatureWiredThe New York Times MagazineThe Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

 

Help support the show at patreon.com/literature or historyofliterature.com/shop. The History of Literature Podcast is a member of Lit Hub Radio and the Podglomerate Network. Learn more at www.thepodglomerate.com/historyofliterature.

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207 Agatha Christie (with Gillian Gill)

Agatha Christie is one of the most successful writers of all time – it’s often said that sales of Christie’s books are surpassed only by Shakespeare and the Bible. But who was Agatha Christie? What was she like before she became famous? And what exactly happened during those infamous two weeks, when she disappeared from view – perhaps suffering from amnesia, perhaps to spite her husband and his young lover, or perhaps even to frame him for the murder of his wife. In this episode of The History of Literature, Gillian Gill (author of Virginia Woolf and the Women Who Shaped Her World and Agatha Christie: The Woman and Her Mysteries) joins Jacke for a discussion of Agatha Christie’s mysteries and her, well, mysteries.

Help support the show at patreon.com/literature or historyofliterature.com/shop. (We appreciate it!) Find out more at historyofliterature.com, jackewilson.com, or by following Jacke and Mike on Twitter at @thejackewilson and @literatureSC. Or send an email to jackewilsonauthor@gmail.com.

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