Daisy Dunn

Refreshingly unfettered: LRB Podcast's Close Readings on Patricia Highsmith

10 April 2021 9:00 am

I’d forgotten what a rich and deep and characterful voice John le Carré had. Listening to author and lawyer Philippe…

Barack Obama will make you cringe: Renegades: Born in the USA reviewed

13 March 2021 9:00 am

Barack Obama wants the world to know how much he loves singing. In his new podcast, which takes the form…

It’s not easy running a stately home: Duchess podcast reviewed

13 February 2021 9:00 am

The Duchess of Rutland, Emma Manners (née Watkins), grew up on a farm in the Welsh Borders before becoming proprietress…

Englishness vs California dreaming: Meghan and Harry's Archewell Audio reviewed

16 January 2021 9:00 am

On Archewell Audio, Harry and Meghan’s new podcast, ‘love wins’, ‘change really is possible’, and ‘the courage and the creativity…

The grumpy genius of Raymond Briggs

19 December 2020 9:00 am

No one captures better than Raymond Briggs the ambivalence that many of us feel towards the festive season, says Daisy Dunn

The genius of I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue

5 December 2020 9:00 am

I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue has just been voted the greatest radio comedy of all time by Radio Times,…

The shocking story of Charles and Mary Lamb: Slightly Foxed podcast reviewed

7 November 2020 9:00 am

The Slightly Foxed podcast, like the quarterly and old bookshop of the same name, is almost muskily lovely. It’s the…

Alan Partridge should replace Jenni Murray on Woman's Hour

10 October 2020 9:00 am

In the week Jenni Murray left Woman’s Hour, I was listening to Alan Partridge on his new podcast, From the…

The gentle genius of Mervyn Peake

19 September 2020 9:00 am

Mervyn Peake’s unsettling illustrations reveal a gentle, kindly man with the soul of a pirate, says Daisy Dunn

The Archers is a masterclass in how not to write a monologue

12 September 2020 9:00 am

If you’ve been listening to The Archers lately, you’ll know how tedious monologues can be. The BBC has received so…

Hats (and knickers) off to the hosts: The Naked Podcast reviewed

15 August 2020 9:00 am

I spent half an hour this week listening to a woman make a plaster cast of her vulva. Kat Harbourne,…

The best podcasts for all your corona-gardening needs

18 July 2020 9:00 am

The American diet was probably at its healthiest in the second world war. Fearing interruption to supply chains, Washington launched…

From Hogarth to Mardi Gras: the best art podcasts

20 June 2020 9:00 am

If you study History of Art, people generally assume you’re a nice, conscientious, plummy-voiced girl. Sometimes, people are right. It…

Adapting Wodehouse for the radio is a challenge – but the BBC has succeeded brilliantly

23 May 2020 9:00 am

Everyone knows a Lord Emsworth. Mine lives south of the river and wears caterpillars in his hair and wine on…

The author who made a living measuring the legs of lice

16 May 2020 9:00 am

Wilhelm Nero Pilate Barbellion, real name Bruce Frederick Cummings, earned his living measuring the legs of lice in the Natural…

I've lost patience with podcasts and their presenters

24 April 2020 11:00 pm

‘To be recognised and accepted by a peregrine,’ wrote J.A. Baker in 1967, ‘you must wear the same clothes, travel…

Every bit as well observed as Rembrandt – and often funnier: Nicolaes Maes reviewed

7 March 2020 9:00 am

Nicolaes Maes (1634–93) relished the simple moments of daily life during the Dutch Golden Age. A woman peeling parsnips over…

Why do writers enjoy walking so much?

7 February 2020 10:00 pm

Writers like walking. When people ask us why, we say it’s what writers do. ‘Just popping out to buy a…

What really happened at Troy?

16 November 2019 9:00 am

Heinrich Schliemann had always hoped he’d find Homer’s Troy. Although he had no archaeological background to speak of, he did…

Did Radio 2 really need to give us four days of the Beatles to celebrate Abbey Road?

5 October 2019 9:00 am

This Changeling Self, Radio 4’s lead drama this week, clearly ought to have gone out in August. It’s set —…

Metamorphosis in progress: a mosaic of the giant Orion being turned into a constellation

The new treasures of Pompeii

25 May 2019 9:00 am

One afternoon in AD 79 an unusual cloud appeared above Vesuvius in the Bay of Naples. ‘It was raised high…

It’s all Greek to me: a schoolchild’s homework on a wax tablet, Egypt, 2nd century AD

Would James Joyce have finished Ulysses without coloured pens?

11 May 2019 9:00 am

The Mesopotamians wrote on clay and the ancient Chinese on ox bones and turtle shells. In Egypt, in about 1,800…

‘The Fisherman’s Cottage’, 1906, by Harald Sohlberg

If you’re tired of hygge then you’ll like Harald Sohlberg

23 February 2019 9:00 am

If you’re tired of hygge then you’ll like Harald Sohlberg. The Norwegian painter  eschewed the cosy fireside for the great…

‘St Paul from Bevin Court’, 1961, by Cyril Mann

The exceptional romantic cityscapes of Cyril Mann

9 February 2019 9:00 am

The little-known painter Cyril Mann (1911-80) saw a lot from his council-flat window. Beyond the parks and trees and red-brick…

Ivory plaque of a lioness mauling a man, ivory, gold, cornelian, lapis lazuli, Nimrud, 900 BC–700 BC. [© The Trustees of the British Museum]

The Assyrians of Ashurbanipal’s time were just as into pillage and destruction as Isis

1 December 2018 9:00 am

The Assyrians placed sculptures of winged human-headed bulls (lamassus) at the entrances to their capital at Nineveh, in modern Mosul,…