Laura Varnam on Elizabeth Jane Howard
Our English lecturer Dr Laura Varnam made another appearance on the literary podcast Backlisted for their Halloween episode discussing the novels of Elizabeth Jane Howard.
Laura has joined hosts Andy Miller and John Mitchinson, and regular Halloween guest Andrew Male, for two previous episodes of the podcast, focusing on key areas of Laura’s research: the twentieth century author Daphne du Maurier (listen here) and the Old English epic Beowulf (listen here).
This year Laura was delighted to take a deep dive into the works of Elizabeth Jane Howard, a novelist most well known for her bestselling Cazalet Chronicles but whose earlier work demonstrates a strong pull towards the uncanny and psychologically disturbing.
Laura says, “on the podcast we explored the weird ghost stories that Howard co-published with that master of the strange tale, Robert Aickman, in 1951 (We Are For the Dark). We then discussed her 1969 novel Something in Disguise which certainly lives up to its title- and has the most unexpected and shocking ending! Finally, I read from my favourite Howard novel Falling (1999), a skin-crawling tale of the author’s real-life experience of being taken in by a conman. By far the most chilling and powerful book I’ve read this year. It was a pleasure and a privilege to join the Backlisted team for this discussion. I cannot recommend Elizabeth Jane Howard highly enough!”
The podcast itself, plus links and clips for further reading and listening, are available on the Backlisted website: backlisted.fm
Published: 11 November 2021