Highly Unusual, Highly Compelling, and Highly Inspiring


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With empathy and intelligence, the podcast devotes episodes to everything from the life and works of giants like Tolstoy and Dostoevsky to light hearted topics like “Best of the Bard: Shakespeare’s Greatest Lines” and “Overrated! The Books You Don’t Need to Read.” Hosted by amateur enthusiast Jacke Wilson, the podcast features professors, scholars, literary biographers, and writers discussing the books and authors that have changed their lives. Each episode also features a Wikipedia-like breakdown of the authors under discussion and reader emails.

What People Are Saying

“Don’t Let the scholarly-sounding title or baroque strains of its opening put you off. This “history” isn’t delivered in the form of lectures, but rather anecdotally, via host Jacke Wilson’s unpretentiously wry, digressive style.”

– The Globe and Mail

“From Hamlet to Prince: This podcast gives literature its proper place.”

– Haaretz

“Literature, after all, may have no greater value than that it gets us asking questions – a value The History of Literature demonstrates in every episode.”

– Open Culture

“The perfect audio companion for anyone who cares where literature is, and where it has come from.”

The Penguin blog

Meet Your Host

Jacke Wilson

Jacke Wilson is the pen name of a writer whose work has been described as “full of intrigue and expertly rendered deadpan comedy.” Born in Wisconsin, Jacke has since lived in Chicago, Italy, Taiwan, Michigan, Seattle, California, and New York City. He now lives and works in the Washington D.C. area. Since 2015, Jacke has served as the host of The History of Literature Podcast, an audio journey that covers everything from the Epic of Gilgamesh to contemporary classics. 

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