Hosted ByJohn Mitchinson & Andy Miller

The literary podcast presented by John Mitchinson and Andy Miller. Brought to you by Unbound. Visit


It’s our Hallowe’en special ! For this year’s Hallowe’en episode our subject is the Old English poem, Beowulf, composed somewhere in England more than a thousand years ago. The atmospheric tale of supernatural monsters and human heroes has inspired scores of translations over the centuries and we will discuss several, including versions by Seamus Heaney, J.R.R. Tolkien, Michael Morpurgo and the powerful new translation by Maria Dahvana Headley (the 2007 computer-animated film adaptation by Robert Zemeckis and Neil Gaiman also makes an appearance). Andy and John are joined by regular Backlisted Hallowe’en guest Andrew Male, the senior associate editor of MOJO magazine, and Dr Laura Varnam, who first appeared on our last Hallowe’en episode to discuss Daphne Du Maurier’s collection, The Breaking Point. As well as being a Du Maurier expert, Laura is also the Lecturer in Old and Middle English Literature at University College, Oxford and teaches Beowulf to undergraduates. Before that, to put everyone in a suitably spooky mood, we all discuss stories taken from Robert Shearman’s remarkable experiment in storytelling, We All Hear Stories in the Dark.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter