BBC The Last Journey of John Keats (50:10)In 1820, John Keats was advised by doctors to travel to Italy for a climate they hoped would help cure him of tuberculosis. In this program, Keats biographer Andrew Motion retraces the poet’s tortuous trip to Naples and Rome, where he died at the age of 25. Extracts from poems and letters written by Keats create a realistic portrait of a young man of ideas, ideals, and consuming passions.
BBC The Real Jane Austen (01:00:00)Illustrated with clips from movie and television adaptations of her novels, this program takes a visually rich approach to understanding the woman behind such classics as Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, and Emma. An extensive biographical and psychological profile of the author provides insight into what life was like for a woman in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Filmed at key locations, including Bath and Austen’s later home in Chawton, the program also shatters the myth that she lived the elegant Regency life of one of her heroines.
BBC Walter Scott: Great Scots—The Writers Who Shaped a Nation (50:12)Andrew Marr believes that if you really want to get to the heart of this great battle for Scottish identity in Britain, you have to turn to the greatest writers that came from north of the border: James Boswell, Sir Walter Scott and Hugh MacDiarmid. Across three turbulent centuries, these writers were to shape the way the world looked at Scotland – for good and for ill – and so Andrew looks at the lives of these men who were so pivotal in shaping Scotland’s character. This film looks back at these creative geniuses to answer the crucial question – what image of Scotland will the nation choose for itself this time?
The Lake Poets (01:01:30)Tucked away in arguably the most lovely corner of Great Britain, a poetic revolution took place around the turn of the 19th century that did much to define the nature of modern poetry. Using the atmospheric scenery of the Lake District as a backdrop, this program focuses on the literary development of William Wordsworth and Samuel Coleridge. Expert commentary is provided by some of the greatest authorities on British romanticism, including Robert Woof, Jonathan Wordsworth, Grevel Lindop, Molly Lefebure, and Pamela Woof. The late poet laureate Ted Hughes reads from the works of Wordsworth.
Pride and Prejudice Series (4 part series)Much-loved, Pride and Prejudice is regarded as one of English literature’s true classics. This series of programs looks at four key aspects of the novel: characters, context, themes, and writing style.
Performances & Readings
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BBC Mary Shelley: The Birth of Frankenstein (59:57)Her father was philosopher William Godwin. Her mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, was feminism’s founder. By pedigree and experience, Mary Shelley was uncannily equipped to write the gothic masterpiece Frankenstein. This program offers a fresh exploration of her novel, focusing on how Shelley’s personal life influenced the book and mirrored it afterwards. Along with reenactments of scenes from her classic and dramatizations of her life, the program draws from a wealth of primary sources, including readings from her mother’s A Vindication of the Rights of Woman and Mary Shelley’s personal letters, as well as those of her husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and of Lord Byron.
BBC Northanger Abbey (01:29:30)A taste for melodrama from reading too many Gothic novels is almost Catherine Morland's downfall when she falls in love with Henry Tilney. Invited to stay at Northanger Abbey, she finds evidence of a sinister family secret. This is a disturbingly surreal interpretation of the Jane Austen novel.
BBC Sense And Sensibility Series (3 part series)From acclaimed writer Andrew Davies comes this enchanting new adaptation of Jane Austen's classic novel about love and marriage. Marianne Dashwood wears her heart on her sleeve when she falls in love with the charming but unsuitable John Willoughby, ignoring her sister Elinor's warning that her impulsive behaviour leaves her open to gossip and innuendo. Elinor, sensitive to social convention, struggles to conceal her own romantic disappointment, even from those closest to her. Will the sisters learn that sense must mix with sensibility if they are to find personal happiness in a society where status and money govern the rules of love?
In addition to streaming media, we have DVDs, images, audio and more media.
EmmaThis is the story of a rich, clever, and beautiful young woman who can't resist orchestrating other people's lives. As her romantic plans go ridiculously wrong, however, it's Emma herself who risks missing out on her perfect match.
Pride & prejudiceMr. Bennet is an English gentleman living in Hartfordshire with his overbearing wife and 5 daughters. There is the beautiful Jane, the clever Elizabeth, the bookish Mary, the immature Kitty and the wild Lydia. Unfortunately, if Mr. Bennet dies their house will be inherited by a distant cousin whom they have never met. The family's future happiness and security is dependent on the daughters making good marriages.
Rime of the Ancient MarinerA two-part program which examines the life of Samuel Coleridge from his orphaned childhood to how his friendship with William and Dorothy Wordsworth inspired him to write The rime of the ancient mariner. Part 2 consists of a visualization of Coleridge's epic poem - The rime of the ancient mariner.
Sense and SensibilityTwo sisters, one practical and conventional and the other emotional and sentimental, find that only through compromise of their mutual differences can they get along and find the husbands they wish.