The Cambridge Geek

Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics
Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics

This is one I'm slightly embarassed to not have heard of before. There's been two seasons of this, and I'm going to have to go back and hunt them down. It's one in the genre of Radio 4's sneaky "we're going to educate you without you noticing" shows. For instance, I didn't know the connection between "lyrics" and "lyre". I feel like I should have.

Anyway, this is a neat little exploration of Sappho, the great poet, about whom it appears we know very little. Obviously there are the various bits of history about her sexuality, and the influence she's had on bisexual/homosexual culture (they're not called "fans of sappho" for no reason), but I also picked up the interesting tidbit that she was a shipping magnate.

There's also an excellent guest in Edith Hall, who is a Classics professor and absolutely hilarious. I'm going to assume she's not going to reappear in later episodes, but I'm hoping the future experts are as good.

It's a well put together show, with a really good mix of comedy and history. The only awkward bit is the band, who don't necessarily add much. Still, absolutely something you should listen to if you've any interest in history.

Highly recommended.

Tagged: Radio Documentary Cast Informative Arts/Culture