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Episode 10 - The Liverpool Mystery

Back of the Bookshelf

Release Date: 04/01/2019

Season 2, Episode 4 -The Fir Tree show art Season 2, Episode 4 -The Fir Tree

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Festive Greetings, You are cordially invited to join us for a sleigh ride back into the past courtesy of the Christmas episode of our second season. It’s our version of Hans Christian Andersen’s THE FIR TREE, originally published in 1844 in NEW FAIRY TALES, VOL. 1, COLLECTION 2. It isn’t as well-known as some of Andersen's tales, but has a bittersweet quality which makes it hard to forget, telling of a tree who yearns to leave his forest home, only to find life outside doesn't meet his expectations.

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Season 2, Episode 3 - In the Court of the Dragon show art Season 2, Episode 3 - In the Court of the Dragon

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Halloween is here, when trick-or-treaters roam the streets… along with other less wholesome things. To honour the occasion, this episode is a horror story by Robert W. Chambers called IN THE COURT OF THE DRAGON, first published in his THE KING IN YELLOW collection.

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Season 2, Episode 2 - Gods of the North show art Season 2, Episode 2 - Gods of the North

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Fantasy fans should enjoy our latest episode, 'Gods of the North'. It’s a tale of savage warriors and mystical beings by Robert E. Howard, in whose imagination the iconic character of Conan was famously forged. Interestingly, Conan was the story's main protagonist at first, but Howard replaced him with the character of Amra after it was rejected for publication. Following a later reinsertion, the Amra version was largely forgotten, so it this we have chosen to present. Now it’s time we began, by Crom...

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Season 2, Episode 1 - When the World Screamed show art Season 2, Episode 1 - When the World Screamed

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Greetings. After a long hiatus, 'Back of the Bookshelf' has returned for its second season. Kicking things off is another Professor Challenger story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle called 'When the World Screamed'. It was originally published in 'Liberty', a U.S. magazine, before making its appearance in the U.K. courtesy of 'The Strand'. Join us as we journey deep underground to find out if the Earth is truly a living organism as Challenger believes. C.J. Carter-Stephenson narrates, music is by Kevin MacLeod.

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Season 2 Announcement... show art Season 2 Announcement...

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On 1st July 2021, Back of the Bookshelf will return for its second season. To mark the occasion, we'll be releasing a special feature length episode in both audio and video format. It's another Professor Challenger story from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle called When the World Screamed, so takes us full circle back to where we began. After that, our monthly exploration of lesser known gems of yesteryear will resume. If you thrill at the clatter of carriage wheels on the road, if you yearn for astounding adventures in space, then you won't be disappointed. As always, it's all free and all are welcome,...

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Episode 12 - How An Old Man Lost His Wen show art Episode 12 - How An Old Man Lost His Wen

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Welcome one and all to episode 12 of 'Back of the Bookshelf', the final episode of our opening season. This time we're proud to present Yei Theodora Ozaki's 'How An Old Man Lost His Wen'. It's a punchy tale of demons and dancing taken from her 1903 fairy tale collection, 'The Japanese Fairy Book', which was loosely translated from a work by Sadanami Sanjin. Now hold onto your seats as we wave our magic wand and teleport you back to ancient Japan. C.J. Carter-Stephenson narrates; music is by Kevin MacLeod

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Episode 11 - The Mortal Immortal: A Tale show art Episode 11 - The Mortal Immortal: A Tale

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Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be immortal? Well in our eleventh episode we offer an answer, courtesy of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley's 'The Mortal Immortal: A Tale'. Commissioned in 1833 for literary annual, 'The Keepsake', the story tells of a man who ceases to age when he drinks a concoction created by his master. It's an enthralling piece, which deals with many of the same themes as Shelley's more famous, 'Frankenstein'. Now it's time to wind back the years once again... the past beck

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Episode 10 - The Liverpool Mystery show art Episode 10 - The Liverpool Mystery

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After a hiatus, we're back with our tenth episode. It's a mystery this time, written by Baroness Orczy of Scarlet Pimpernel fame. It was originally published in 'The Royal Magazine' in June 1902, and was part of a series featuring a character known as the old man in the corner. Sherlock Holmes was a key influence, but as you'll see, Orczy's detective is very different. Now hold onto your hats as we fire up the 'Back of the Bookshelf' time machine and take you back to the age of steam trains and hansom cabs.

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Episode 9 - A Strange Christmas Game show art Episode 9 - A Strange Christmas Game

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Some people say Christmas is over-commercialised, but for us, it never loses its sheen, so for our 9th episode, released at midnight on 25th December 2018, we have embraced the tradition of the Christmas ghost story with Charlotte Riddell's 'A Strange Christmas Game'. First published in 'The Broadway Annual' in 1867, it's set at Christmas, was published around Christmas and is steeped in Victorian atmosphere, so fits the bill perfectly. So turn down the lights and journey back to an iPhoneless age...

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Episode 8 - The Legend of Sir Dinar show art Episode 8 - The Legend of Sir Dinar

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Don your armour and saddle your horse, because in our eighth episode we're journeying back to the age of chivalry courtesy of Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch's 'The Legend of Sir Dinar'.  The story was originally published in 'The Speaker' in 1891. It is about the quest for the Holy Grail, but focuses on a lesser known knight called Sir Dinar. Sir Dinar is left at Camelot because of his inexperience, but sets out to join the search hoping to make a name for himself. Needless to say, things do not go smoothly.

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More Episodes

After a short hiatus, we're back with our tenth episode. It's a mystery this time in the tradition of the Sherlock Holmes and Hercules Poirot stories and was written by Baroness Emma Orczy of Scarlet Pimpernel fame. It's called The Liverpool Mystery, and as the title suggests, is set in the coastal city of Liverpool. Originally published in The Royal Magazine in June 1902, it was part of a series of stories featuring a character known only as the old man in the corner, who reveals the truth behind unsolved crimes to a female journalist from the comfort of a London tea-room. Orczy was inspired to write the stories by the success of Sherlock Holmes, but made a conscious decision to make her detective as different as possible from his more famous forerunner. The stories focus entirely on the reasoning powers of the old man, and unlike Sherlock Holmes, he does nothing to bring the criminals to justice. It's an interesting take, which we think you'll enjoy. C.J. Carter-Stephenson is on narration duty as usual and music is by Kevin MacLeod. Now hold onto your hats as we fire up the Back of the Bookshelf time machine and take you back to our beloved age of steam trains and hansom cabs...