29 episodes

A brand-new podcast for a 225-year-old bookshop. Hosted by Ryan Edgington and Matt Hennessey.

The Hatchards Podcast The Hatchards Podcast

    • Arts
    • 5.0 • 16 Ratings

A brand-new podcast for a 225-year-old bookshop. Hosted by Ryan Edgington and Matt Hennessey.

    Alice Winn on In Memoriam: From Tennyson to the Trenches

    Alice Winn on In Memoriam: From Tennyson to the Trenches

    On this episode, we were joined by Alice Winn, author of the Hatchards Fiction Book of the Month, 'In Memoriam,' her highly-acclaimed debut.

    Beginning at the onset of WWI, Winn's novel follows lifelong friends Gaunt and Ellwood from the confines of their cloistered English boarding school to the horrors of trench warfare, as a forbidden romance of fits-and-stars slowly blossoms between them.

    Alice spoke to us about the parallels in attitude felt by young people during that time period and the present; taking ideas from the life of Siegfried Sassoon; and the dangers of complacency within a peacetime society.

    We also learn how inspiration for the novel came from reading archival newspapers published by her alma mater, Marlborough, regularly listing the wounded and dead amongst former students throughout the war.

    Finally, her cat makes a most welcome appearance on mic; a first for The Hatchards Podcast.

    If you're a fan of the show, please remember to subscribe and rate us 5-stars on Apple and Spotify.

    • 38 min
    Sarah Watling on Tomorrow Perhaps the Future: Solidarity and the Spanish Civil War

    Sarah Watling on Tomorrow Perhaps the Future: Solidarity and the Spanish Civil War

    In the latest episode of the Hatchards podcast our guest was the historian Sarah Watling, author of Tomorrow Perhaps the Future, an enthralling group biography of a handful of female writers and rebels who aided the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War during the 1930s.

    Nancy Cunard, Sylvia Townsend Warner, Martha Gellhorn, Gerda Taro and Josephine Herbst – among others – all felt compelled, to varying degrees, to aid the spirited but ultimately doomed defence against Franco’s fascist regime. But what was it about this particular conflict – more so than most others in history – that prompted such widespread and fierce solidarity from the outside? And what kind of legacy did the war leave on these women who travelled to a war zone and risked their lives for a cause they felt morally compelled to support?

    We spoke to Sarah about the role of the writer in war; explored some of the fascinating personalities featured within her book – most notably the pioneering American journalist Martha Gellhorn; the Spanish Civil War in the popular imagination, and why it is so stubbornly synonymous with just a handful of famous men; parallels between the war in Spain and contemporary causes such as the Ukraine war and Black Lives Matter; and whether or not Nancy Cunard would be an entertaining or insufferable presence on Twitter.

    Tomorrow Perhaps the Future was published by Vintage on February 9 and is available from Hatchards.co.uk as well as our shops on Piccadilly, at St. Pancras Station and in Cheltenham.

    • 30 min
    Bret Easton Ellis on The Shards: Lost Youth in Los Angeles

    Bret Easton Ellis on The Shards: Lost Youth in Los Angeles

    Bret Easton Ellis – one time enfant terrible of American literature, a precociously talented writer who published his first novel when he was barely into his twenties, and author of the classic piece of provocation and perversion American Psycho – is now, at the age of 58, looking back on the era in which he came of age.

    Set in 1981, his new novel The Shards is a bravura work of auto-fiction steeped in the milieu of Ellis’ seminal early novels, and features many of the hallmarks that first made him famous, notorious and wildly successful: obscenely privileged youth; indulgence and excess; drugs; sex; pop music; and a touch of the old ultra-violence.

    It is written largely in the same inimitable style (“numbness as feeling”) as those earlier works – including Less Than Zero, which we see the ‘Bret’ of the novel himself trying to perfect.

    Bret spoke to us about what it was like to revisit this formative period of his youth; the irresistible pull of the music and fashions and sense of freedom he remembers from 1981; blending more traditional “auto-fiction” with the genre trappings of a horror story; his indifference to reviews; and whether he cares about being called “controversial”.

    California cadres Bret & Ryan also spoke about their respective experiences growing up in the San Fernando Valley while Matt – whose hometown has hitherto not been memorialised in fiction – nodded in silent unrecognition.

    The Shards was published on January 17 and is available from our three branches in Piccadilly, St. Pancras and Cheltenham, as well as at Hatchards.co.uk.

    • 36 min
    Bill Nighy on Hatchards, ‘Living’, and Kazuo Ishiguro

    Bill Nighy on Hatchards, ‘Living’, and Kazuo Ishiguro

    For our final episode of 2022, one of our most loyal customers dropped in for a festive chat: the sharp-suited national treasure, bookshop-haunter, and newly-Golden Globe-nominated actor, Bill Nighy.

    Bill kindly took time out for a busy schedule promoting his new film, 'Living,' to talk to us about working with Kazuo Ishiguro; his teenage dreams of literary stardom; his feelings about being known as "Mr. Christmas" following the success of 'Love Actually'; and his enduring affection for Hatchards.

    Thank you for listening to us throughout the year, happy holidays, and look out for much more from The Hatchards Podcast in 2023.

    • 34 min
    Jerry Saltz on Why Art is Life

    Jerry Saltz on Why Art is Life

    According to former lorry driver turned Pulitzer Prize-winning art critic, Jerry Saltz, art represents "the greatest operating system our species has ever devised to explore consciousness." That is, of course, until they invented the podcast.

    On this episode, Ryan and Lydia Porter had the distinct pleasure of talking all things visual with America's most famous, and in some corners of the internet, infamous, art critic.

    In his new book, "Art Is Life", Saltz draws on two decades of work to offer a real-time survey of contemporary art as a barometer of our times. Chronicling a period punctuated by dramatic turning points - from the cultural reset of 9/11 to the rolling social crises of today - Saltz traces how visionary artists have both documented and challenged the culture.

    Art Is Life offers Saltz's eye-opening appraisals of trailblazers like Kara Walker, Hilma af Klint and Jasper Johns; provocateurs like Jeff Koons, Richard Prince and Marina Abramovic; and visionaries like Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning. With his signature blend of candour and conviction, Jerry Saltz argues in Art Is Life for the importance of the fearless artist. The result is an openhearted and irresistibly readable appraisal by one of our most important cultural observers.

    Jerry spoke to us about everything from Tracey Emin to Dolly Parton, to the bankrupt FTX billionaire currently making headlines. We debated the merits of the art market, to whether or not we British are capable of transcending our literary roots to paint what he calls, "the bullsh*t American sublime."

    While rarely succinct, he is never boring, and full of tremendous curiosity, intelligence, and an enthusiasm for art and artists that cannot be ignored.

    • 35 min
    Nick Hornby on Charles Dickens and Prince

    Nick Hornby on Charles Dickens and Prince

    The Hatchards Podcast has always been about hard graft.

    In this episode, resident workaholics Ryan Edgington and Matt Hennessey discuss the life & times of two other (arguably less celebrated) grafters, Charles Dickens and Prince, alongside our special guest, the bestselling novelist and screenwriter, Nick Hornby.

    Hornby’s excellent new book – Dickens & Prince: A Particular Kind of Genius – uses the example of these two giants to explore the nature of creativity and asks what drove them both to such extremes of productivity. How, exactly, did they get so much done? Is this drive innate or manufactured by experience? Is it better to be perfect or prolific? And is there ever such a thing as ‘wasted talent’?

    We also asked Nick about his own creative process; the importance of pop culture (especially music) in his work; whether there is a modern equivalent of “the pram in the hall” distracting artists from their toil; and the likelihood of there ever being a Fever Pitch 2.

    • 33 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
16 Ratings

16 Ratings

Jtr1P ,

Just the ticket

Lovely, punchy, varied fare from an excellent bookshop. A nice balance of ‘chat’ and proper bookish questions, and of course unrivalled access to lots of interesting writers. Never drags, often surprises.

And getting better each episode too, I think!

Top Podcasts In Arts

S:E Creative Studio
BBC Radio 4
Jessie Ware
Tommy Banks
Bauer Media
Ebony Francis & Emma Thatcher

You Might Also Like

BBC Radio 4
Penguin Books UK
Literary Friction
BBC Radio 4