rmc28: Rachel standing in front of the entrance to the London Eye pier (Default)
[personal profile] rmc28
I saw a tweet today which pretty much summed up why I like the Radio 4 show In Our Time:


The format is the same every time: professional enthusiast Melvyn Bragg invites three experts to discuss an interesting topic, and (mostly) gently steers them through a reasonably good coverage of the subject in about 45 minutes.  The entire archive of hundreds of episodes is freely available online, and I've intermittently subscribed to the podcast ever since I got a device capable of playing them. My current podcast app is set to give me the latest 3 episodes I haven't already told it I've heard, so I am mostly keeping up with new ones, and slowly catching up back in time with the ones I missed while not subscribed for a couple of years ...

I listened to two really good episodes as distraction from a migraine earlier this week.  I had only the haziest of ideas about The Gin Craze, (it forms the background for a historical romance series which included the amazing Regency Romance Batman novel, but with which I got fed up because my Opinions on prohibiting drugs are so very much at odds with that of the characters with whom I am meant to sympathise). I was delighted to discover that much of the SCANDAL of the Gin Craze was that WOMEN were making, selling and DRINKING it. Excellent stuff.

I had not previously been at all aware of the writer Harriet Martineau, who was prolific and famous in the 1800s and I thoroughly enjoyed learning about her. I think I would have liked her very much and found her deeply frustrating: she was clearly brilliant, clever, determined, incredibly judgmental and fixed in her views, and successfully supported herself and her household by her writing. The level and style of public criticism she got at times does rather demonstrate the long history of yelling at women with opinions in public to shut up, with gratuitous insult and commentary on their physical attractiveness.  (Oh, and she was partially deaf and got ridiculed for her use of an ear trumpet.)

Something new since I was last listening regularly is additional material and a reading list on the webpage for each episode, so I may follow these up some day (in my copious free time etc).


Date: 2017-02-10 22:14 (UTC)
kore: (Brontes - C)
From: [personal profile] kore
Harriet Martineau! I've been meaning to read Deerbrook for a while, Charlotte Bronte admired it and the two of them were friends.

//can make anything about the Brontes no fooling

Date: 2017-02-11 22:12 (UTC)
kore: (Brontes - C)
From: [personal profile] kore
SHE DID. Poor Charlotte. George Lewes was nasty to her too.

Date: 2017-02-11 02:06 (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
Oooh, that sounds cool.

Do you know if they have transcripts of any of the shows? My hearing is fine, but I have auditory processing issues.

Date: 2017-02-11 17:52 (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
Thank you!

Date: 2017-02-11 02:27 (UTC)
sir_guinglain: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sir_guinglain
Harriet Martineau lived in Tynemouth for a while; there is a plaque on her house which I've passed several times. She's also the seversl times great-aunt of Kate Middleton. Random and irrelevant comment...

Date: 2017-02-11 03:25 (UTC)
sixbeforelunch: a stylized woman's profile with the enterprise and a star field overlaid (Default)
From: [personal profile] sixbeforelunch
(Here via my network page.)

If you want more info about the gin craze, Craze: Gin and Debauchery in an Age of Reason by Jessica Warner is quite good. She approaches the subject in part from the angle of drawing parallels between modern day drug wars and the attempts to squelch the gin craze during the 18th century. I found it very interesting.

Date: 2017-02-11 12:14 (UTC)
falena: Picture of a girl hiding behind a camera, reflected in a mirror. (Default)
From: [personal profile] falena
Ooh, I have listented to In Our Time only sporadically in the past (when it covered a topi c I wanted to cover in one of my lessons) and it was the kind of podcast I like. Thanks for the reminder to subscribe.

Date: 2017-02-11 14:29 (UTC)
angrboda: Close-up of hedgehog bristles, with my username written above (Default)
From: [personal profile] angrboda
Husband really enjoys that program as well. Says he learns the strangest things sometimes.

Date: 2017-02-11 03:10 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] amaebi.livejournal.com
That sounds like a great radio programme.

Harriet Martineau was also a drug addict-- laudanum IIRC-- whose very rich Swiss family guard her reputation very carefully. I know these things because a friend wrote an updated work about her, some twenty years ago....

Date: 2017-02-11 18:37 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] amaebi.livejournal.com
I think she remained functional, actually. As people often do.

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rmc28: Rachel standing in front of the entrance to the London Eye pier (Default)
Rachel Coleman

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