DEL Island Discs Episode Two: Sue Trinder

Welcome to the second episode of DEL Island Discs! To celebrate the weekend and the end of the first week of term, we are going to cast away an extra victim this week.

In this series, literary characters are cast away on a distant desert island, located somewhere on the enigmatic fourth floor of the Edith Morley building. Each week we will hear the musical choices of a new castaway, presented by one of their fans from the Department of English Literature.

Before getting started this week, we’d like to thank the Department of History for giving us the inspiration for this series, and recommend you give their castaways a try, too.

Our second castaway is Sue Trinder from Sarah Waters’ Fingersmith (2002), presented by Shelley Harris.

Fingersmith is a modern classic, a neo-Victorian novel which is a masterpiece of narrative structure. At its heart is seventeen-year-old Sue Trinder. Brought up by petty thieves, she has always been told: ‘You’ll make your fortune – and ours along with it.’ One day, the mysterious Gentleman comes calling. When he asks for her help in cheating another girl of her inheritance Sue agrees, thinking the time has come to fulfil her destiny. But destiny has other ideas…

Disc One – London, England – Corduroy


Disc Two – Shoplifters of the World Unite – The Smiths


Disc Three – Opportunity – Joan Armatrading


Disc Four – Constant Craving – K D Lang


Disc Five – Can’t Stand Me Now – The Libertines


Disc Six – Mama – Bjork



Disc Seven – Won’t Get Fooled Again – The Who


Disc Eight – All I Want is You – U2


Sue’s book
Sue cannot read, but there is one book she might treasure enough to take to the island. It’s mentioned on the final page of Fingersmith – but I won’t give any spoilers.

Sue’s luxury
A single glove.

You can find out more about our presenter this week, Shelley Harris, on the DEL website, or on her own website here. Thanks for joining in and see you next week!

About English Literature at Reading

The Department of English Literature at Reading has been an internationally recognised centre for research and teaching in English Studies for over a hundred years. Our teaching system, with its emphasis on seminars and tutorial work, encourages our students to discuss ideas with tutors and other students in a relaxed and supportive atmosphere. All of our students have access to dedicated study advisors; our academic placement scheme and 'professional track' programme provide invaluable preparation for subsequent careers.
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