Henry James’s ‘The Portrait of a Lady’

June 18th, 2009

Podcast 14: our final podcast of this academic year, just in time for some satisfying holiday reading, is an interview with former colleague John Fanagan, who talks about Henry James's great 1881 novel The Portrait of a Lady. Set in England and Italy, the book examines the progress of the innocent American young woman Isabel Archer, as she comes into contact with the ways of an older civilisation. John discusses other characters in the novel, such as Ralph Touchett, Lord Warburton, Madame Merle, Henrietta Stacpoole and the dark Gilbert Osmond. There's a spoiler warning before the last few minutes of the podcast, in which the infamous ending is discussed, so if you haven't already read the novel, you might like to pause it then, and return later.

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Richard Yates: his life and works, discussed by John Fanagan

March 18th, 2009

Our second podcast is an interview with former Head of Department, John Fanagan, who has been discovering the works of the American novelist Richard Yates (1926-92). Somewhat neglected since his death, this has changed thanks to the success of the recent film of his novel Revolutionary Road.  John discusses Yates's 'disaster area' of a private life, and several novels and short stories.

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