lost books - wtte ep43

Ep 43: Lost Books

There are countless great works of literature we have tantalising glimpses of, works we know exist but, as far as anyone can tell, have been lost to history. Huge swathes of ancient Greek literature, a vast Chinese encyclopedia, a lost Shakespeare play based on the story of Don Quixote.

And then there are the works we rescue. Kate Macdonald, at Handheld Press, specialises in finding and reprinting lost classics, works that have fallen out of print but deserve another chance and a new audience. In this episode I chat to her about lost literature, the intricacies of reprinting old books, and authors who will never go out of print.


Kate Macdonald is a literary historian, editor, reviewer, and lecturer in British literature and cultural history. She has published over fifty books, chapters and articles of her own research on twentieth-century British book history and publishing culture. As an editor she helped other writers tell their stories, in archaeology, history, clinical practice and building conservation. In 2017 she set up Handheld Press

Works Mentioned & Referenced

Yongle Encyclopedia

Ernest Bramah

Rose Macauley

Nicola Griffith

Gerald O’Donovan

Here’s the Guardian article mentioned, about Macauley’s book

And here’s a top 10 of a few more lost books

Rose Macauley What Not - WTTE Ep43 - Lost Books


All music by Audioblocks

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There’s more on highbrow and lowbrow literature on this episode

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Lost Books Transcripts

Full transcripts for the Lost Books episode will be available soon

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