From tax to sugar

Plus: a Katherine Mansfield story

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Head Office

Episode: "The Tiny Building With 285,000 Businesses Inside" | Podcast: Wiki Walks | 6m02s

Short monologues about the curiosities or “huh, who knew?” pages to be found on Wikipedia. This one focuses on a single, unremarkable building in Delaware, US, which thanks to a tax loophole is technically the registered home something like 285,000 businesses. The so called "Delaware loophole", which originated in a law passed in 1899, allows companies to pay a lower rate of tax, charge higher rates of interest on loans, and in some cases keep the identities of directors and personnel hidden (6m02s)


Too Sweet

Episode: "The Not So Sweet History Behind Sugar" | Podcast: Then Again | 26m18s

Local history podcast from Georgia, US, looks at the sugar trade. It's the scope of the conversation between the host and the historian guest that makes this worthwhile. They look both at the ramifications of the Atlantic sugar trade in their home area but also very widely at the broader geopolitical forces that set it all in motion. This episode therefore touches on early 17th century Dutch and British colonisation in the Caribbean as well as slavery and the "Sugar Revolution" that resulted in the plantation system (26m18s)


Bonus pick: Ever wondered why anonymous or "poison pen" letters became such a cliché of crime fiction? Well, the new podcast episode from Listener editor Caroline Crampton looks at social history to explain why this became such a staple of murder mysteries. Listen to Shedunnit now at shedunnitshow.com or in your podcast app.


Open Air

Episode: "The Garden Party By Katherine Mansfield" | Podcast: Short Story | 38m41s

Expressive, unabridged reading of Katherine Mansfield's 1922 short story The Garden Party. Considered an influential work in the development of the modernist short story, it tackles themes of class, mortality and community. A wealthy family in Mansfield's native New Zealand are preparing for a fancy summer garden party when the news arrives that a working class neighbour has died. They are divided on whether to go ahead with the revelry. The clever shifts in Mansfield's narrative are easy to appreciate in this audio form (38m41s)


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