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.
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"
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.
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.
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.
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.
"Wonderfully Written Wordsmithery"
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"
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"
Written in 1895, The Seagull follows the romantic and artistic conflicts between its four main characters, all dissatisfied with life. Some desire love. Some desire success. Some desire artistic genius. No one seems able to attain happiness. Full cast: Samantha Bond, Catrin Stewart, Freddie Fox, Anthony Howell, Katherine Kingsley, John Rowe, Rachel Atkins, Hugh Ross, Nick Boulton, Stephen Critchlow
Written in 1593, King Richard III is one of Shakespeare's earliest plays. This play differs from its predecessors, being amore structured piece, examining the development and motivations of a single character, Richard Duke of Gloucester, who will stop at nothing to gain control of the throne occupied by his brother Edward IV.
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"
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"
When the crew of the Oceanus rescued a man close to death, its captain could barely have guessed at the incredible story that man would come to share. This is the story of Victor Frankenstein: a man obsessed with discovering the secret of life and cheating death; a man who brings to life to a body built from corpses; and a man who rejects this would-be child.... Soon Victor and his creature are entangled in a dangerous game of cat and mouse across Europe. But who is truly the monster?
"only aprox 3hrs long"
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
Twelfth Night, nowadays one of Shakespeare's best-loved and most-admired comedies, was not always so regarded: Samuel Pepys saw the play three times in the 1660s and judged it 'silly'. Modern audiences, critics, and directors seem better attuned to its delicate counter pointing of romance and realism....
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"
Lady Ludlow's appalling snobbery, prejudice and bred-in-the-bone conviction as to the superiority of the English aristocracy and their feudal way of life are deliciously tested, and found wanting, in this gently radical tale of the collapse of a social system. Elizabeth Gaskell's My Lady Ludlow is a brilliant picture of the shift in power in a rural northern village, from the velvety feudal Ludlows to the glitter of the new money rattling through the system courtesy of the brazen baker from Birmingham.
Nora Helmers has a secret. Years previously she placed herself at considerable financial risk so that her husband, the overbearing Torvald, could recuperate abroad from an illness. However, despite her sacrifices and deep love for Tovald, he looks upon her as careless and childlike - a doll to be admired. Nora will eventually come to contemplate the unthinkable, seeing her marriage for what it is. Ibsen's classic play represents a significant contribution to the theatre world for its critical attitude toward 19th-century marriage norms.
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).
Samantha Spiro, David Troughton, and Amanda Root are among the cast of this new BBC Radio 4 dramatisation of Jane Austen's famous novel. Mrs Bennet is determined to see her five daughters married off and secure a future for them all. When the wealthy Mr Bingley arrives in the neighbourhood, Mrs Bennet wastes no time in making his acquaintance. His friend Mr Darcy, however, discourages Mr Bingley from marrying Jane Bennet, and also appears to snub her sister Elizabeth.