The London Library has launched a new podcast series in which a leading writer or cultural figure will discuss the books that have shaped them with its director Philip Marshall.
Each month, guests will be in conversation with Marshall and will delve into the Library’s archives to unearth treasured books as well as nuggets of historical detail about the books chosen.
The first podcast interview, released yesterday (18th November) on The Library’s website and on iTunes, is with Hallie Rubenhold, social historian and author of The Five (Doubleday). Other guests lined up include novelist Harriet Evans, rare book expert and actor Neil Pearson, Jacaranda founder and publisher Valerie Brandes, Dhaka Literary Festival director Ahsan Akbar, and Rough Trade’s Nigel House.
In this month’s episode, Rubenhold will be discussing the books that shaped her: Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder; Les Miserables by Victor Hugo; The Family, Sex and Marriage in England, 1600 - 1800 by Lawrence Stone; Clarissa by Samuel Richardson and Fingersmith by Sarah Waters.
From the Library’s collection and archives, meanwhile, Marshall and Rubenhold will look at books including a late 19th century edition of Les Miserables with the iconic image of Cosette, used on film and theatre posters worldwide, and the library membership form of Lawrence Stone, author of The Family, Sex and Marriage in England, 1600 – 1800, showing that Stone was a London Library member while he wrote this book.
Marshall, director of The London Library commented: “I’m delighted that we are launching The London Library Podcast. As well as giving us the chance to speak to some brilliant authors, publishers and cultural figures about the books which have shaped their world, we hope through discussing books and historical material in the Library’s collection that it will bring the Library to life for the listener.”
For December’s episode, novelist Harriet Evans has selected for discussion: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by CS Lewis; The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 ¾ by Sue Townsend; The Light Years by Elizabeth Jane Howard and I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith.
The London Library Podcast – each 30 minutes long, and released in the middle of each month – can be found across the usual podcast platforms and at www.londonlibrary.co.uk.