In Episode 32 (released 15 June 2021): ‘Whether Picnic at Hanging Rock is fact or fiction, my readers must decide for themselves.’ It’s a scorching St Valentine’s Day in 1900 when three boarding-school girls and a teacher disappear during a day-trip to Hanging Rock in the arid Australian outback. Fact or fiction? Misadventure or murder? Accident or assassination? Join us on our latest literary podcast adventure as we delve into the mystery, history and hysteria of Joan Lindsay’s classic Australian Gothic novel with Kate Young, author of The Little Library Cookbook. From the slow-seeping horror of Hanging Rock to coming-of-age tales of tuck boxes and midnight feasts, high jinks and humour, Kate guides the Slightly Foxed magazine team through the school-story tradition and asks why it’s such fertile ground for fiction. On the way we visit the Chalet School, Malory Towers and St Trinian’s, and slip into darker territory with Decline and Fall, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go.

In this month’s literary expedition, we take a peek inside Quentin Blake’s House of Illustration, and to finish there’s the usual wide-ranging round-up of current reading featuring: Anthony Buckeridge’s classic Jennings series of prep-school stories; Emily Danforth’s romp, Plain Bad Heroines, inspired by Shirley Jackson; and Tsitsi Dangarembga’s tale of a young girl from a rural village in Zimbabwe, Nervous Conditions. Click here to listen to this episode.