Smarty Pants Podcast

Jane Austen and the Making of Desire

On being a Regency fanboy, and America’s weird relationship with sex

By Stephanie Bastek | November 20, 2017
Vittorio Reggianini, The Letter

This week on the podcast, we’re talking about sublimated desires—and the repressed kind, too. William Deresiewicz expands on an essay he wrote for us about being a man in Jane Austen’s world—and how her novels are about so much more than Colin Firth-as-Mr. Darcy. And Hallie Lieberman explains how the history of sex toys—and the laws banning them—can illuminate America’s complicated relationship with sexuality.



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Tune in every two weeks to catch interviews with the liveliest voices from literature, the arts, sciences, history, and public affairs; reports on cutting-edge works in progress; long-form narratives; and compelling excerpts from new books. Hosted by Stephanie Bastek.

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