Podcasts and other audio presentations on a wealth of topics are extremely popular these days. Here’s a look at a few related to Jane Austen, Mary Shelley and their works.
The podcast “Bonnets at Dawn” pits Lauren Burke, a fan of the Brontes, against her friend, Hannah K Chapman, who loves Austen. The two square off weekly about different aspects of the authors and their works (with side episodes on works by other authors, such as Elizabeth Gaskell’s “North & South”). The women aim to produce a tie-in book to the podcast. Check out Episodes 13 and 14, in which they debate “Northanger Abbey” vs. “Jane Eyre,” and Episode 17, when Burke visits Bath.
“Converging Cultures” explores the intersection of science and the arts. The Sept. 11, 2017, episode centers on Shelley, electricity and the “Age of Wonder.” How much scientific knowledge did Shelley have?
Each season on her podcast, “You Must Remember This,” Karina Longworth recounts real-life stories of Old Hollywood. This season she spotlights Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi, the kings of Universal’s classic monster movies. Check out Episode 4, which gives listeners a peek behind the scenes of Karloff’s 1931 turn in “Frankenstein.”
The New Statesman’s “Hidden Histories” podcast produced a series last year on women writers before Jane Austen. Namechecked in the series: Mary Wollstonecraft and Fanny Burney. In Episode 5, the hosts debate who is the greatest writer of the 18th century.
And BBC Radio 4 presents a look at Shelley’s “Frankenstein” in the audio program “Frankenstein Lives!” presented by British cultural historian and writer Christopher Frayling.
The above podcasts are free, but if you’re willing to pay, a new audio adaptation of “Northanger Abbey” was released last year. Narrated with humor by the fantastic-as-always Emma Thompson, the recording also includes the voices of Douglas Booth (“Pride and Prejudice and Zombies”) and Eleanor Tomlinson (“Poldark,” “Death at Pemberley”).
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