Testimonials


"The Listener was where the British did their thinking. Literate and engaged, it had the mild irony of all the best of British culture. Unlike most magazines it  combined reflections on politics and what was in the news with the arts: but not from any partisan clique. The only thing you signed up to when you bought The Listener was informed scepticism and wit. The online archive is a seam of pure gold for researchers, politics, writing, theatre and social observation, but it offers many delights for browsers as well."

Jean Seaton
Professor of Media History and Official Historian of the BBC
The University of Westminster


"The Listener is a great resource for me because it's basically the only written record of the mid-20th-century BBC that's widely available. Due to shortages, for most wartime broadcasts, few programs were recorded, and the ones that were tended to be wiped and recorded over; as a result, the related articles and broadcast transcriptions in The Listener are often the best resource for finding out about broadcast history: i.e. what was actually playing on the BBC.

Because I research food writing and literature in the context of the Second World War, it's really helpful for me to see what shows up in The Listener, since it's a pretty accurate reflection of the discussions that writers and public intellectuals working for the BBC were having in wartime. More specifically, I've been researching particular authors and events, as well as looking up mentions of food and rationing and ideas about the state of literature in the immediate postwar period. So without digging through the BBC Written Archives in Reading (which I'll hopefully be doing this summer!), I can get a basic idea of the ideas in circulation at the BBC. As opposed to highbrow literary journals, which the average listener wouldn't be reading, The Listener (although still definitely intellectual) is pretty closely linked to the actual broadcast tendencies of the BBC and so has a bit of a further reach in terms of audience."

Ariel Buckley, a PhD candidate, McGill University, Canada