Paula Byrne

Paula Byrne: Hardy Women

43 min listen

My guest on this week’s Book Club podcast is Paula Byrne. In her new book Hardy Women: Mothers, Sisters, Wives, Muses, she investigates the women in the life and work of the great poet and novelist Thomas Hardy. She talks to me about Hardy’s romantic life, the torture he inflicted on the women he fell for,

When Oxford life resembled a great satirical novel

Evelyn Waugh’s Oxford friend Harold Acton, immortalised as Anthony Blanche in Brideshead Revisited, once bumped into the wife of John Beazley, a lecturer in ancient Greek pottery, while she was exercising their pet goose in Christ Church’s Tom Quad. Hopping over the bird, Acton intuitively doffed his hat. Here, Marie Beazley declared, was ‘a true

A house and its history

The new Brideshead Revisited film, out in September, was, like the 1981 television version, filmed at Castle Howard. For Jane Mulvagh, however, the ‘real’ Brideshead was Madresfield Court near Malvern in Worcestershire, a lovely moated house that has been in the Lygon family, headed by successive Earls Beauchamp, for nearly 1,000 years. This new book