A collection of BBC radio full-cast dramatisations of Jane Austen's six major novels. Jane Austen is one of the finest writers in the English language, and this volume includes all six of her classic novels. Mansfield Park: on a quest to find a position in society, Fanny Price goes to live with her rich aunt and uncle. Northanger Abbey: young, naïve Catherine Morland receives an invitation to stay at the isolated Gothic mansion Northanger Abbey.
Three powerful radio productions from the BBC archives starring Ian McKellen, Ronald Pickup and Paul Scofield and a host of celebrated acting talent. These three legendary plays, performed by some of the best-known theatrical actors of the 20th century, are the perfect way to commemorate England's greatest dramatist.
Four classic comedies from one of the wittiest playwrights in Western literature: Lady Windermere's Fan, A Woman of No Importance, An Ideal Husband and The Importance of Being Earnest, all featuring star-studded casts with the likes of Jacqueline Bisset, Miriam Margolyes, James Marsters, Alfred Molina, Roger Rees, Yeardley Smith, Eric Stoltz, and many more. Also includes a chilling dramatization of Wilde's sole novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray.
"Excellent performances of superb plays"
Joss Ackland, Roger Allam, and Leslie Phillips star in this BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation of Victor Hugo's classic novel. When poverty drives Jean Valjean to steal a loaf of bread from a baker's window, it is an action that will haunt him for the rest of his life. A citizen of postrevolutionary France, he is sentenced to nineteen years' hard labour.
"Radio doing what it does best"
Paterson Joseph, John Hurt, Lesley Manville and Harriet Walter are among the cast of BBC Radio 4's epic full-cast dramatisation. Adapted for radio by Timberlake Wertenbaker, Leo Tolstoy's epic story follows the fortunes of three Russian aristocratic families during the Napoleonic War. First broadcast on New Year's Day 2015, the drama also features Alun Armstrong, Natasha Little, David Calder, Phoebe Fox, Sam Reid and Joanna David. Duration: 10 hours approx.
Stephen Fry narrates this full-cast dramatisation of the famous Victorian comic novel, a portrait of English society and its mores, with Emma Fielding as Becky Sharp. Duration: 5 hours approx.
A brand-new BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation of Aldous Huxley's classic dystopian novel, set in the future and widely considered one of the greatest novels of all time.
Fanny Burney's wickedly funny satire follows the trials and romantic adventures of the young and beautiful Evelina as she tries to make her way through 18th-century Britain handicapped by her three great problems: being poor, being illegitimate - and being a girl. Evelina was a raging best seller when it was first published in 1778 and is widely credited with being the first of the great British domestic novels. Burney was a direct influence on her immediate follower, Jane Austen.
Tom Hiddleston (The Night Manager) stars as Jonathan Harker, with David Suchet (Poirot) as Dracula in Liz Lochhead's powerful BBC radio adaptation of the classic novel by Bram Stoker. When solicitor Jonathan Harker sets off for Transylvania to sell the mysterious Count Dracula a Gothic mansion, his bride-to-be, Mina, begs him to stay - to no avail. But on arrival at Dracula's castle, deep in a black forest surrounded by wolves, Harker wishes he had listened to his fiancée.
The brave warrior Macbeth allows himself to be persuaded by Lady Macbeth, his wife, to slay good King Duncan and seize the throne of Scotland for himself. Macbeth achieves his ambition, but one murder proves not to be enough as he desperately attempts to eliminate all who might threaten his ill-gotten power. Descending into paranoia, Macbeth achieves his ambition but ravages his soul.
After the death of their father, an army officer, his three daughters find it very hard to live in a drab Russian provincial town. The presence of a company of army officers is the only thing that makes their existence bearable. Full cast: Samatha Bond, Freddie Fox, Katherine Kingsley, Alison Pettitt, Catrin Stewart, Clare Corbett, Nick Boulton, Stephen Critchlow, Anthony Howell, Richard Reed, Hugh Ross, John Rowe
David Tennant stars as Malvolio in Shakespeare's comedy of disguise, madness and love. One of Shakespeare's happiest plays, Twelfth Night is both a comedy of misrule and a trenchant attack on puritanism. Disguise and deceit leads to misadventure, madness and mistaken love. Orsino loves Olivia, but she loves Cesario, who really does love Orsino (for Cesario is actually Viola).
The major texts of Western culture are a gateway to wisdom that can widen your views on self and society in enduring ways. And now you can examine its most important works - whether drama, poetry, or narrative - in this series of 64 penetrating lectures that reveal astonishing common ground.
"Interesting, Informative English Literature course"
A new recording of Henrik Ibsen's masterpiece, starring Calista Flockhart. Nora Helmer has everything a young housewife could want: beautiful children, an adoring husband, and a bright future. But when a carelessly buried secret rises from the past, Nora's well-calibrated domestic ideal starts to crumble. Ibsen's play is as fresh today as it was when it first stormed the stages of 19th-century Europe.
"Captivating performance of a classic drama"
Toby Stephens and Juliet Aubrey star in a BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation of Wilkie Collins' chilling Gothic drama. A lonely stretch of road on Hampstead Heath is the venue for Walter Hartright's midnight first encounter with a mysteriously distressed figure in white. As he helps the woman to escape from unnamed pursuers, he has little understanding of the way she will affect his future. At Limmeridge House in Cumberland, Walter meets and falls in love with Laura, who strangely resembles the woman in white.
"Well put together dramatisation"
Ever since the first night at the St James' Theatre on 14 February 1895, The Importance of Being Earnest has been recognised as one of the world's finest comic dramas. Now Judi Dench as Lady Bracknell leads an outstanding cast in this superb new production of Wilde's masterpiece, mounted to celebrate the centenary of the first performance.
If only I could remain young while the picture grows old. For that I'd give anything.... When Dorian Gray, a handsome young man about town, makes this wish, he can hardly guess that it will mark the beginning of a life of hedonism and debauchery. Soon enough his webs of deception and deceit catch innocent victims, some of them his closest friends, and the only evidence of his misdeeds is a long-forgotten portrait in his attic.
"Ahead of it's time"
A classic staged performance of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet by the Old Vic Company. Starring Claire Bloom and Alan Bandel.
Featuring a fictional version of himself - 'Marcel' - and a host of friends, acquaintances, and lovers, In Search of Lost Time is Proust's search for the key to the mysteries of memory, time, and consciousness. As he recalls his childhood days, the sad affair of Charles Swann and Odette de Crecy, his transition to manhood, the tortures of love and the ravages of war, he realises that the simplest of discoveries can lead to astonishing possibilities.
"BBC does Proust proud"
There is now no doubt that not only is Waiting for Godot the outstanding play of the 20th century, but it is also Samuel Beckett's masterpiece. Yet it is both a popular text to be studied at school and an enigma. The scene is a country road. There is a solitary tree. It is evening. Two tramp-like figures, Vladimir and Estragon, exchange words. Pull off boots. Munch a root vegetable. Two other curious characters enter. And a boy. Time passes. It is all strange yet familiar.
"In a word, Brilliant"