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BBC Dramatisations - Classics

 
  • Dr Finlay: Further Adventures of a Black Bag
    by A. J. Cronin
    Narrated by David Ashton
    4.60 (19 ratings)
    John Gordon Sinclair stars as Scotland's most celebrated doctor in six more BBC Radio dramatisations. Dr Finlay is back with his black bag, ready to remedy all manner of ailments suffered by his patients in the Scottish Highland town of Levenford. In "The Catch", Finlay moons over Nurse Angus while Dr Cameron gets two arch enemies to look after each other. Scarlet fever hits Levenford in "The Fever" and Finlay decides to do a little investigative work - with disastrous results.
  • Dr Finlay: Adventures of a Black Bag
    by A.J. Cronin
    Narrated by David Ashton, Phyllis Logan, David Tennant, Tracy Wiles, John McGlynn, John Gordon Sinclair
    4.20 (26 ratings)
    John Gordon Sinclair stars as Scotland's most celebrated doctor in six BBC Radio full-cast dramatisations. When Dr Cameron gets called in to see a patient, he doesn't expect it to be his new partner Dr Finlay. But the new doctor is full of surprises: caring, stubborn, idealistic and clever, Finlay might have been welcomed to the practice with a black eye but he proves to be more than a match for the local residents.
  • 15 Minute Drama: Une Vie (Complete Series)
    by Adrian Penketh, Guy de Maupassant
    Narrated by Aimee-Ffion Edwards, Robert Blythe
    0.00 (0 ratings)
    Adrian Penketh's adaptation of Maupassant's first novel. Jeanne de Lamare - a sheltered and naive country aristocrat - leaves her convent education filled with thoughts of love and romance. Lamare marries a smallminded local landowner, and begins to discover how rotten and treacherous adult life is all around her. Jeanne believes that conceiving a second child will heal the ache in her heart caused by a loveless marriage in a rotten world.
  • The Three Musketeers
    by Alexandre Dumas
    Narrated by full cast
    4.30 (19 ratings)
    17th Century France. Dashing young swordsman D’Artagnan heads for Paris, dreaming of serving the King as a member of his elite guard. On arrival, he meets the three musketeers - Athos, Porthos and Aramis - and the four men soon become fast friends. Together, they strive to outwit the murderous schemes of power-hungry Cardinal Richelieu, and save the Queen from a plot to dishonour her. Their adventures take them on a perilous journey through the French countryside and across the Channel to England....
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  • The Barchester Chronicles: Barchester Towers (Dramatised)
    by Anthony Trollope
    Narrated by uncredited
    4.60 (5 ratings)
    One of the most respected, successful chroniclers of nineteenth-century life, Anthony Trollope is still widely-read and much-loved today, and The Barchester Chronicles - witty moral comedies with a wonderful range of characters - are among his most popular tales. In the second story in the series, the Reverend is now plain Mr Harding, bound up in a tale of intrigue, hypocrisy and ambition that will delight the listener.
  • The Barchester Chronicles: Doctor Thorne (Dramatised)
    by Anthony Trollope
    Narrated by uncredited
    5.00 (3 ratings)
    One of the most respected, successful chroniclers of 19th-century life, Anthony Trollope is still widely read and much-loved today, and The Barchester Chronicles - witty moral comedies with a wonderful range of characters - are among his most popular tales. Doctor Thorne is a gripping drama of wealth and wedlock.
  • The Barchester Chronicles: Framley Parsonage (Dramatised)
    by Anthony Trollope
    Narrated by uncredited
    4.20 (5 ratings)
    Here is the acclaimed BBC Radio 4 dramatisation of Anthony Trollope's classic story of provincial life. One of the most respected, successful chroniclers of 19th-century life, Anthony Trollope is still widely read and much-loved today, and The Barchester Chronicles - witty moral comedies with a wonderful range of characters - are among his most popular tales. Framley Parsonage tells the story of a naïve, ambitious young clergyman whose unwise associations bring him to the brink of ruin.
  • The Barchester Chronicles: The Last Chronicle of Barset (Dramatised)
    by Anthony Trollope
    Narrated by uncredited
    3.50 (4 ratings)
    The Last Chronicle of Barset sees the most popular characters from Trollope's earlier novels, including the Proudies, Lily, Mr Harding, and Archdeacon Grantley, reunited in a moving tale of honesty triumphing over hypocrisy.
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  • The Barchester Chronicles: The Small House at Allington (Dramatised)
    by Anthony Trollope
    Narrated by uncredited
    3.80 (8 ratings)
    One of the most respected, successful chroniclers of 19th-century life, Anthony Trollope is still widely read and much-loved today, and The Barchester Chronicles - witty moral comedies with a wonderful range of characters - are among his most popular tales.

    The Small House at Allington explores the power of devotion, in the form of Lily Dale's love for self-seeking Adolphus Crosbie.

  • The Barchester Chronicles: The Warden (Dramatised)
    by Anthony Trollope
    Narrated by uncredited
    3.70 (6 ratings)
    One of the most respected, successful chroniclers of 19th-century life, Anthony Trollope is still widely read and much-loved today, and The Barchester Chronicles - witty moral comedies with a wonderful range of characters - are among his most popular tales.

    The first in the series, The Warden finds Rev. Harding forced to question the moral basis of the life he is leading.

  • The American Senator: Part 2
    by Anthony Trollope
    Narrated by Joanna David, Barbara Flynn
    5.00 (2 ratings)
    Lord Rufford has kissed Arabella twice but she realises that much more needs to be done to win him and his estate. It is now time to tell John Morton she no longer wants to marry him? Starring Robert Glenister, Anna Maxwell Martin, Barbara Flynn, Blake Ritson, Stuart Milligan, Joanna David, Daniel Rabin, Penelope Rawlins, Carl Prekopp, Henry Devas, Elaine Claxton, Joanathan Forbes, Jane Whittenshaw, and Sean Baker. Directed by Tracey Neal. Dramatised by Martyn Wade.
  • The Complete Barchester Chronicles (Dramatisation)
    by Anthony Trollope
    Narrated by Anna Massey, Alex Jennings
    4.40 (576 ratings)
    Here is a new audio edition of the acclaimed BBC Radio 4 dramatisations of Anthony Trollope's gently satirical tales of provincial life, available together in one download. Nearly 20 hours of ironic, witty, and wonderfully written drama is contained in this audiobook. The cast includes Anna Massey, Alex Jennings, David Haig, Rosemary Leach, Kenneth Cranham, Emma Fielding, and Brenda Blethyn.
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  • Orley Farm (Dramatised)
    by Anthony Trollope, Martyn Wade (dramatisation)
    Narrated by Tim Pigott-Smith, Samantha Bond
    4.20 (17 ratings)
    Orley Farm, described as a “[B]rilliantly choreographed legal thriller” (Mail on Sunday), centres on the pathos of the main character, Lady Mason. Youthful marriage choices, middle-aged marital crisis, love and loss revolve around the legal action and the complex portrayal of Lady Mason, who is both sympathetic and wily.
  • The Cherry Orchard: (Classic Radio Theatre - Dramatised)
    by Anton Chekhov
    Narrated by Sinéad Cusack, Anna Massey, Patricia Routledge, Gwen Ffrangcon-Davies, Andrew Sachs
    3.80 (37 ratings)
    Sinéad Cusack, Anna Massey, Patricia Routledge, Andrew Sachs and Gwen Ffrangcon-Davies star in this 1974 BBC Radio full-cast production of Chekhov’s classic play.Madame Ranyevskaya and her daughter Anya have returned home from Paris to discover that their family estate - which includes their beloved cherry orchard - has to be sold to cover the family’s debts.
  • The Grand Babylon Hotel (Classic Serial)
    by Arnold Bennett
    Narrated by Full Cast Sessions
    3.00 (4 ratings)
    Murder mystery by Arnold Bennett, adapted in two parts by Chris Harrald. Episode 1. American tycoon Theodore Racksole buys Europe's most exclusive hotel on a whim, but is warned by the seller that he will live to regret it. Soon, a mysterious death occurs and Theodore and his daughter Nella find themselves in danger in their own hotel. Episode 2: Having bought Europe's most exclusive hotel, American tycoon Theodore Racksole is thrown in to a world of intrigue, espionage and murder. Starring John Sessions with full cast.
  • The Graduate (Dramatised)
    by Charles Webb
    Narrated by Danny Mahoney, Benjamin Braddock
    1.00 (1 ratings)
    It's the summer of 1963 in suburban California and Benjamin Braddock has the world at his feet. He's just graduated from university with a teaching scholarship, his dad has bought him a fancy new Italian sportscar, and all the Braddocks' friends and neighbours have been invited to a houseparty to celebrate. There's just one problem. Benjamin refuses to leave his room. He's worried about his future. His parents are perplexed.
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  • Villette (Dramatised)
    by Charlotte Bronte
    Narrated by Catherine McCormack, Joseph Fiennes, Harriet Walter
    4.10 (17 ratings)
    Catherine McCormack, Joseph Fiennes, and Harriet Walter star in this BBC Radio 4 adaptation of Charlotte Bronte's last and most remarkable novel. Passion and perception run through this fascinating study of loneliness, love, and ultimate triumph over adversity.
  • Sons and Lovers: BBC Radio 4 Full-cast Dramatisation
    by D. H. Lawrence, Michael Butt (adaptation)
    Narrated by Fiona Clarke
    4.00 (2 ratings)
    A BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation of D. H. Lawrence's classic story about working class love, loss and hardship. Sensitive, intellectual Gertrude Coppard married miner Walter Morel for his rich, ringing laugh and colourful character. But now, years later, she finds there is little behind the bluster and their marriage has become riddled with disillusionment. Instead, Gertrude pours all her love and attention into her two sons, William and Paul.
  • Robinson Crusoe and His Farther Adventures (Dramatised)
    by Daniel Defoe
    Narrated by Tim McInnerny
    3.50 (4 ratings)
    A BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation by Andy Barratt of Daniel Defoe's less famous sequel to the classic adventure ‘Robinson Crusoe’.After returning to England from his island home, Robinson Crusoe sets sail once more in search of adventure.Starring Tim McInnerny as Robinson Crusoe, with Jonathan Tafler, Adrian Grove, Stephen Critchlow, David Timson, Alison Pettitt and Ben Onwukwe. Directed by Peter Leslie Wild.
  • The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe
    by Daniel Defoe
    Narrated by Michael Maloney
    5.00 (2 ratings)
    Michael Maloney reads Daniel Defoe's timeless tale of a man who has to use all his own skills to survive alone on an island. Robinson Crusoe has a great desire to see the world and, against his father's wishes, goes to sea. After surviving a terrible shipwreck, however, Robinson Crusoe discovers he is the only person on a deserted island, far from any shipping routes or rescue.
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  • The Birds (Dramatised)
    by Daphne Du Maurier
    Narrated by uncredited
    4.00 (27 ratings)
    A BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation of Daphne du Maurier's classic tale of horror. In her story, the birds become hostile after a harsh winter with little food. First the seagulls, then birds of prey, and finally even small birds all turn against mankind. The nightmarish vision appealed to Alfred Hitchcock, who turned it into the celebrated film.
  • Under Milk Wood (Dramatised)
    by Dylan Thomas
    Narrated by Richard Burton
    4.50 (159 ratings)
    A classic BBC Radio full-cast production of Dylan Thomas' poetic play for voices starring Richard Burton as the narrator. To begin at the beginning: it is spring, moonless night in the small town, starless and bible-black.... When Richard Burton breathed the opening words of 'Under Milk Wood' into a microphone, broadcasting history was made.
  • Under Milk Wood (Dramatised)
    by Dylan Thomas
    Narrated by Richard Burton
    4.50 (43 ratings)
    Richard Burton’s voice has been digitally remastered and seamlessly mixed with an all-Welsh cast to create a magical, fresh visit to the unique but universally recognisable world of Llareggub. Richard Burton’s inimitable narration as the Narrator in the BBC’s 1963 recording of 'Under Milk Wood' was hugely acclaimed.
  • Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog (Dramatised)
    by Dylan Thomas
    Narrated by full cast
    4.30 (6 ratings)
    Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog features five popular short stories written by Dylan Thomas and read by celebrated Welsh actors.
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  • Badgers in My Vest (Dramatised)
    by John Fletcher, Dylan Thomas
    Narrated by uncredited
    3.50 (2 ratings)
    Badgers in My Vest is a new, darkly funny play by an acclaimed contemporary playwright, based on a true incident in Dylan Thomas' life. Deemed unfit to fight in World War II, Dylan Thomas spends his time in Newquay in the local pub, cadging drinks, laughing at the Welsh behind their back and being outrageous. Privately, he is terrified, suffering nightmares and in the grip of writer's block. Then one night, a soldier comes in.
  • Chelsea Dreaming (Dramatised)
    by Dylan Thomas
    Narrated by Dramatisation
    0.00 (0 ratings)
    A quizzical look at the life and legend of celebrated poet Dylan Thomas, through the critical eyes of New York's infamous Chelsea Hotel. In Room 206, Thomas went into the coma that led to his death.
  • Room with a View (Dramatised)
    by E. M. Forster
    Narrated by Cathy Sara, Shiela Hancock
    4.30 (13 ratings)
    Lucy Honeychurch is an innocent abroad. Under the care of her well-meaning but infuriating chaperon, Cousin Charlotte, she is completing the final part of a conventional well-bred English upbringing: the Grand Tour. But the sensual atmosphere of the Florentine countryside exercises a strange power over Lucy's half-formed and untested character, as do her fellow guests at the Pension Bertolini.
  • The Custom of the Country (BBC Radio 4: Classic Serial)
    by Edith Wharton
    Narrated by uncredited
    5.00 (1 ratings)
    A BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation of Edith Wharton’s 1913 satire of marriage and money in early-20th century American society. ‘The Custom of the Country’ was originally broadcast as the ‘Classic Serial’ from 3 - 17 January 2010. The play follows the beautiful Undine Spragg as she arrives in New York and sets her sights on Ralph Marvell, then travels to Paris where she meets a charming French aristocrat. Will Undine ever find real happiness?
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  • Age of Innocence (Dramatised)
    by Edith Wharton, Jane Rogers (dramatisation)
    Narrated by Andrew Wincott, Susanne Bertish
    4.20 (5 ratings)
    A full-cast dramatisation of Edith Wharton's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about a passionate love affair which breaks all the rules of the restrictive high society of 1870s New York.In the exclusive world of upper-class New York, in which attendance at balls and dinner passes for occupation, Newland Archer anticipates his marriage to May Welland, a beautiful young girl from a suitable family ‘who knows nothing and expects everything’.
  • Wives and Daughters (BBC Radio 4: Woman's Hour Drama)
    by Elizabeth Gaskell
    Narrated by Deborah McAndrew, Emerald O'Hanrahan, Jamie Newall
    4.60 (18 ratings)
    A BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation of Elizabeth Gaskell's classic novel of everyday provincial life in the 1820s, ‘Wives and Daughters’, first broadcast in the ‘Woman’s Hour Drama’ slots from 29 November 2010 - 10 December 2010.‘Wives and Daughters’ was written in the 1860s and serialised in the Cornhill Magazine. It is set in the 1820s and deals to a large extent with the position of women in society.
  • Mary Barton (Dramatised)
    by Elizabeth Gaskell
    Narrated by uncredited
    4.30 (19 ratings)
    This BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation of Elizabeth Gaskell's tale of Manchester life is set in the 19th century, when a series of bad harvests placed a heavy tax burden on workers. Gaskell's powerful drama, adapted here for Woman's Hour, is regarded as one of the most important novels of its time.
  • The Ladies' Delight (Classic Serial)
    by Emile Zola
    Narrated by David Hargreaves
    4.30 (4 ratings)
    By Emile Zola. Dramatised by Carine Adler. Business, ambition and fashion all collide in Zola's colourful love story. Set in the hustle and excitement of the expansion of one of Paris' first department stores. Episode 1: When innocent provincial girl Denise arrives in Paris, she quickly catches the eye of the notorious seducer of women, Octave Mouret. Despite her uncle's disapproval, Denise accepts a job at Mouret's ever expanding department store The Ladies' Delight.
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  • Therese Raquin (Classic Serial)
    by Émile Zola, Diana Griffiths (dramatisation)
    Narrated by Charlotte Riley, Full Cast
    4.50 (4 ratings)
    Two-part dramatisation by Diana Griffiths of the novel by Emile Zola, set in mid-19th century Paris. Therese is forced by her aunt to marry her sickly son, Camille. However, upon moving to Paris, she and her lover Laurent conspire to murder Camille so that they may love freely. Part 2: Therese and Laurent have murdered Camille and are free to marry. Their wedding night is not joyous - it is a night of terror, and each night is the same as they feel the ghost of Camille infiltrate their every thought and action.
  • Brideshead Revisited (Dramatised)
    by Evelyn Waugh
    Narrated by full cast
    4.50 (41 ratings)
    A BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation of Evelyn Waugh's stunning, tragi-comic novel of the lives, loves, and mores of the English aristocracy. The action moves between 1923 and 1944, to tell the story of Charles Ryder and his infatuation with the decadent Sebastian Flyte.
  • Gargantua & Pantagruel (Classic Serial)
    by Francois Rabelais, Lavinia Murray (dramatisation)
    Narrated by David Troughton, full cast
    3.80 (6 ratings)
    Gargantua and Pantagruel by Francois Rabelais. Dramatised by Lavinia Murray. Episode 1: Gargantua. The bawdy, exuburant adventures of medieval giants. A dizzying blend of fantasy, comedy, philosophy and scatological humour. The world's a messy place. The first episode depicts the young life of the giant Gargantua, who is reduced to laughable insanity by an education at the hands of paternal ignorance, old crones and syphilitic professors. Episode 2: - Pantagruel. Concluding the bawdy and scatological adventures of Medieval giants.
  • Pygmalion (Classic Radio Theatre)
    by George Bernard Shaw
    Narrated by uncredited
    4.40 (5 ratings)
    Simon Cadell stars as Henry Higgins with Imelda Staunton as Eliza Doolittle in this BBC Radio 4 production of Shaw’s famous play. When phonetics tutor and linguist Henry Higgins meets Cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle, he makes a bet with his friend Colonel Pickering that he can teach her to speak so well that she will be able to pass herself off as a Duchess at a society ball.
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  • Man and Superman
    by George Bernard Shaw
    Narrated by Judi Dench, Ralph Fiennes, Juliet Stevenson, John Wood, Nicholas Le Prevost, Paul Merton, Peter Hall
    4.30 (18 ratings)
    Man and Superman was the first drama to be broadcast on the BBC's Third Programme on October 1, 1946. To celebrate Radio 3's 50th anniversary, the play was directed by Sir Peter Hall, and preserved for all time in this lush audio dramatization. 'A comedy and a philosophy', Man and Superman is based on the Don Juan theme, and using all the elements from Mozart's Don Giovanni, Shaw reordered them so that Don Juan becomes the quarry instead of the huntsman.
  • Classic Drama: Daniel Deronda (Dramatised)
    by George Eliot
    Narrated by Anna Chancellor
    4.70 (9 ratings)
    Here is George Eliot's last and undeniably great novel, which tells the story of young Daniel Deronda and his fateful relationship with the astonishing Gwendolen Harleth. At heart a love story, this passionate, enthralling, full-cast production is packed with all the ingredients to make a splendid dramatisation: unforgettable characters, mystery, betrayal and sacrifice.
  • Silas Marner (Classic Serial)
    by George Eliot, Richard Cameron (dramatisation)
    Narrated by George Costigan, Rebecca Callard
    4.30 (3 ratings)
    Outcast from the church, community, and close friends for a crime he did not commit, Silas Marner's trust and faith falls away. A broken, disillusioned man, he builds a new faith, that will never let him down: gold. He weaves his cloths, counts his money, baptises himself with the coins of his new religion. When tragedy strikes again and all his money is stolen he's bereft and grief stricken. Then on New Year's Eve a vision of gold flickers before the flames.
  • Animal Farm [Dramatised]
    by George Orwell
    Narrated by Tamsin Greig
    4.70 (21 ratings)
    Animal Farm - the history of a revolution that went wrong - is George Orwell's brilliant satire on the corrupting influence of power. Mr Jones of Manor Farm is so lazy and drunken that one day he forgets to feed his livestock. The ensuing rebellion under the leadership of the pigs Napoleon and Snowball leads to the animals taking over the farm. Vowing to eliminate the terrible inequities of the farmyard, the renamed Animal Farm is organised to benefit all who walk on four legs. But as time passes, the ideals of the rebellion are corrupted, then forgotten. And something new and unexpected emerges....
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  • Nineteen Eighty-Four
    by George Orwell
    Narrated by Tim Pigott-Smith
    4.20 (71 ratings)
    Winston Smith works for the Ministry of Truth in London, chief city of Airstrip One. Big Brother stares out from every poster and the Thought Police uncover each act of betrayal. When Winston finds love with Julia, he discovers that life does not have to be dull and deadening and awakens to new possibilities. Despite the police helicopters that hover and circle overhead, Winston and Julia begin to question the Party.
  • J'accuse: Zola and the Dreyfus Affair
    by Hattie Naylor, Pauline Harris (director)
    Narrated by Mark Heap, Kathryn Hunt, Graeme Hawley, Conrad Nelson, Paul Mundell, Jonathan Keeble
    4.70 (3 ratings)
    A BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation by Hattie Naylor. This play was inspired by a newspaper article written by Emile Zola in response to the Dreyfus Affair of the 1890s, when a Jewish army officer was persecuted and wrongly imprisoned by the French military and judicial establishment. Louis Gregori gives a right-wing and nationalistic perspective on the events that led him to believe that the murder of the guiltless Dreyfus was the correct and only action.
  • Tom Jones
    by Henry Fielding
    Narrated by Patience Thompson, Anton Lesser, Annette Crosbie, Hannah Gordon, Sarah Badel, Martin Jarvis
    4.30 (7 ratings)
    A BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation of Henry Fielding's rollicking comic masterpiece. Found one evening in the bed of the rich and benevolent Mr Allworthy, baby Tom grows up in the guardianship of the kindly squire. He develops into a good-hearted fellow who is nonetheless resented by Allworthy's mean-natured heir and nephew, Blifil. Tom's naive inability to resist a pretty face lands him in hot water when the gamekeeper's daughter declares herself pregnant.
  • Tom Jones (Classic Serial)
    by Henry Fielding, Stephen Wyatt (adaptation)
    Narrated by Annette Crosbie, Full Cast
    5.00 (3 ratings)
    This is Stephen Wyatt's adaptation of Henry Fielding's classic comic adventure. Episode 1: The wealthy Squire Allworthy steps into bed and finds an infant wrapped between his sheets. Episode 2: Tom is banished from the home in which he has spent his entire life. Episode 3: Tom follows his true love Sophia to London and receives an invitation to a masked ball.
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  • The Aspern Papers (BBC Radio 4: Book at Bedtime)
    by Henry James
    Narrated by Samuel West
    3.50 (4 ratings)
    A BBC Radio 4 Book at Bedtime recording of Samuel West reading from the novella The Aspern Papers by Henry James, set against the decaying grandeur of Venice. Originally broadcast 26 April - 4 May 2010. Henry James took as inspiration for this tale the story of a mistress of Byron's who outlived the poet into lonely old age. He transposed the setting to Venice and cast the city he loved as a character in a taut narrative of literary theft and deception.
  • The Ambassadors (Dramatised)
    by Henry James, Graham White (dramatisation)
    Narrated by Henry Goodman, full cast
    4.00 (3 ratings)
    Adapted by Graham White from the Henry James novel that centres on the predicament of Lambert Strether, a 50-something New Englander lately arrived in Paris. Henry Goodman stars as the hapless protagonist in a novel many critics find James' finest.
  • The Wings of the Dove (Dramatised)
    by Henry James, Linda Marshall Griff (dramatisation)
    Narrated by Lyndsey Marshal
    4.80 (4 ratings)
    Kate and Merton need money. Milly needs love. How far will they go to get what they want? Kate Croy is in love with Merton Densher; a poor writer. Her rich aunt Maud disapproves. Maud has offered Kate a wealthy existence but if Kate chooses to marry Merton she risks losing it all. When American Heiress Milly Theale steps into her London society, Kate sees a way out. Milly confides in Kate that she believes herself to be gravely ill and Kate begins to see a way for her and Merton to have a future. When Merton returns to London, Kate sets out to bring her lover and her friend together.
  • The Portrait of a Lady (Classic Serial)
    by Henry James, Rachel Joyce (dramatisation)
    Narrated by Anna Maxwell Martin, Haydn Gwynne, Robert Bathurst, Gayle Hunnicutt
    4.70 (7 ratings)
    Henry James's novel, dramatised by Rachel Joyce. Young and beautiful, Isabel Archer thinks that she is in control of her fate. Little does she know, however, that others behind the scenes are pulling the strings. The beautiful and free-spirited Isabel Archer is now a very rich woman. Two men have declared their love for her but she does not want to be married. Resolved to enjoy her fortune, she begins her travels. Starring Anna Maxwell Martin, Haydn Gwynne, Robert Bathurst, Gayle Hunnicutt and full cast. Pianist Duncan Walsh Atkins. Directed by Tracey Neale.
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  • Classic Drama: Moby Dick (Dramatised)
    by Herman Melville
    Narrated by F. Murray Abraham
    4.30 (14 ratings)
    Ishmael, the narrator, tells of the adventures of Captain Ahab in his relentless quest to seek revenge on the white whale that bit off his leg. Full of allegory and symbolism, Moby Dick is an epic tragedy of tremendous dramatic power and narrative drive. This large-scale adaptation, recorded in America, skilfully reproduces the unique mixture of adventure, myth, history, and philosophy in Melville's epic tale.
  • The Black Sheep (Classic Serial)
    by Honore de Balzac
    Narrated by Geoffrey Whitehead
    5.00 (2 ratings)
    Chris Dolan's dramatisation of Honore de Balzac's entertaining tale of family rivalry and fortunes lost and won, set in 19th-century France. Episode 1:After Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo, Philippe Bridau becomes a reckless gambler who steals from his mother to finance his obsession. She foolishly continues to idolise him, and it is left to his more dependable brother Joseph to rescue the family from destitution. Episode 2: Philippe's gambling has left his family destitute and his political activities have landed him in jail.
  • When We are Married (Classic Radio Theatre)
    by J. B. Priestley
    Narrated by Alan Bennett
    4.10 (17 ratings)
    A sparkling BBC Radio 4 adaptation of J.B. Priestley’s comic play, starring Alan Bennett, Brenda Blethyn, Gwen Taylor, Alun Armstrong, Michael Jayston and Nicola Pagett. Three eminently respectable Yorkshire couples are in the midst of their joint silver wedding celebrations when they receive a rude shock - they are not legally married.
  • An Inspector Calls (Classic Radio Theatre)
    by J. B. Priestley
    Narrated by Toby Jones, David Calder, Morven Christie
    4.50 (316 ratings)
    The Birling family are spending a happy evening celebrating the engagement of Sheila Birling to Gerald Croft - a marriage that will result in the merging of two successful local businesses. Yet, just when everything seems to be going so well, they receive a surprise visit from an Inspector Goole who is investigating the suicide of a young girl.
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  • Classic Radio Theatre: Time and the Conways
    by J. B. Priestley
    Narrated by Marcia Warren, Stella Gonet, Belinda Sinclair, Amanda Redman, Toby Stephens
    3.90 (15 ratings)
    Marcia Warren and Stella Gonet star in J. B. Priestley’s classic family drama about the nature of time. Time and the Conways follows the fortunes of one family over a period of years, and offers a moving perspective on the abstract nature of the past, present and future. It is 1919, the War is over and the Conway family are celebrating their daughter Kay’s 21st birthday. But her sudden premonition of their lives in 1937 casts a shadow over their dreams and expectations.
  • The Admirable Crichton (Dramatised)
    by J.M. Barrie
    Narrated by Russell Tovey
    4.60 (5 ratings)
    This is a BBC Radio adaptation of J. M. Barrie's classic satire about the changing fortunes of Crichton, the perfect butler. Liberal aristocrat Lord Loam favours a return to nature, with masters and servants living together as equals, but Crichton is the perfect butler and the perfect snob who adores the intricacies of the class system. He cannot help but be horrified by his master's opinions, and it will take a sea change to alter them.
  • Emma
    by Jane Austen
    Narrated by full cast
    4.60 (54 ratings)
    Jane Austen's engaging and infuriating heroine sparkles in this superb full-cast BBC Radio 4 dramatisation, which stars Angharad Rees as Emma.
  • Sense and Sensibility
    by Jane Austen
    Narrated by Annette Crosbie
    3.60 (14 ratings)
    Jane Austen's acclaimed comedy of manners contains a truly memorable cast of characters, including the snobbish Mrs Ferrers, impetuous Marianne, selfish John Dashwood, and his awful, grasping wife. Annette Crosbie captures all the wit and charm of the romance in this BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour reading.
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  • Classic Drama: Mansfield Park (Dramatised)
    by Jane Austen
    Narrated by Hannah Gordon, Amanda Root, Michael Williams
    4.40 (15 ratings)
    Here is a BBC Radio 4 dramatisation of Jane Austen's perceptive study of middle class morals and mores in the 19th century. The cast includes Hannah Gordon as the narrator, Amanda Root as Fanny Price, Jane Lapotaire as Mrs Norris, and Michael Williams as Sir Thomas Bertram.
  • Classic Drama: The Thirty-Nine Steps (Dramatised)
    by John Buchan
    Narrated by Tom Baker, David Robb
    4.70 (40 ratings)
    In this classic tale of wartime espionage, Richard Hannay's living nightmare begins at home with the discovery of a dead man in his London flat. He becomes an innocent on the run, pursued by the police for a murder he didn't commit.
  • The Forsyte Chronicles: Part Three: The End of the Chapter (Dramatised)
    by John Galsworthy
    Narrated by Dorothy Tutin, Sophie Thompson, John Moffatt
    4.90 (14 ratings)
    A Radio 4 dramatisation of John Galsworthy’s gripping trilogy that concludes the Forsyte Saga, featuring a star cast including Sophie Thompson, Dorothy Tutin, John Moffatt, and Miranda Foster. The End of the Chapter is an adaptation of Galsworthy’s three novels chronicling the lives of the Cherrells, cousins of the Forsytes.
  • The Forsyte Chronicles: Part Two: A Modern Comedy (Dramatised)
    by John Galsworthy
    Narrated by Amanda Redman, Gary Bond, Belinda Lang
    4.80 (14 ratings)
    A Radio 4 dramatisation of John Galsworthy’s second absorbing trilogy about the lives and loves of the Forsytes, with a star cast including Amanda Redman, Gary Bond and Belinda Lang.A Modern Comedy is a gripping dramatisation of Galsworthy’s three classic books following the fortunes of the Forsytes throughout the Roaring Twenties.
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  • The Forsyte Saga (Dramatised)
    by John Galsworthy
    Narrated by Dirk Bogarde, Michael Hordern, Diana Quick, Michael Williams, Amanda Redman
    4.60 (82 ratings)
    The blockbuster BBC Radio 4 adaptation of John Galsworthy’s classic family drama, featuring a star cast including Dirk Bogarde, Sir Michael Hordern, Diana Quick, Michael Williams and Amanda Redman. Galsworthy’s epic story chronicles the decline and fall of the Forsytes through almost 50 years of material triumph, emotional disaster, and a terrible feud that splits them asunder.
  • Anna Karenina (Dramatised)
    by Leo Tolstoy
    Narrated by Teresa Gallagher, Toby Stephens
    4.30 (13 ratings)
    Anna Karenina enjoys a privileged and aristrocratic lifestyle as the wife of influential government official Alexy Karenin. Yet their ten-year marriage is devoid of tenderness, and when Anna falls in love with the handsome Count Vronsky they embark upon a deep and passionate affair. Reflecting the social conditions of the era in which it was written, Tolstoy's masterpiece sets a doomed love story against a harsh and unforgiving backdrop.
  • War and Peace (Dramatised)
    by Leo Tolstoy
    Narrated by full cast
    4.20 (128 ratings)
    A BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation features a star cast including Leo McKern, Simon Russell Beale, Emily Mortimer, and Nicola Pagett, and over two hours of specially composed music.
  • Alice Through the Looking Glass (BBC Children's Classics)
    by Lewis Carroll
    Narrated by uncredited
    4.00 (5 ratings)
    When Alice's wish to visit the Looking Glass world comes true, she can't resist delving deeper and deeper into a land of caustic characters and twisted logic. So begins a game of chess on a grand scale, where the inhabitants of each square have their own set of rules. In her bid to become Queen of the Chess Board, Alice takes advice - and sometimes downright criticism - from such peculiar folk as Humpty Dumpty, Tweedledum and Tweedledee, the Lion and the Unicorn and very helpful gnat.
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  • In Search of Lost Time (Dramatised)
    by Marcel Proust
    Narrated by James Wilby, Jonathan Firth, Harriet Walter, Imogen Stubbs, Corin Redgrave
    4.20 (65 ratings)
    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.
  • Three Stories by Mark Twain (BBC Radio 4: Afternoon Reading)
    by Mark Twain
    Narrated by Stuart Milligan
    0.00 (0 ratings)
    Three of Mark Twain’s classic short stories, originally broadcast in the ‘Afternoon Reading’ slot on BBC Radio 4 from 9 - 11 November 2010, to accompany the 'Autobiography of Mark Twain' (aired on ‘Book of the Week'). Read by Stuart Milligan.T wain’s classic short stories, with their familiar trademarks of high farce and droll insight, bring us eccentric burglars, cossetted children, and a visitor to a theme park obsessed with the making of mocassins. And also torrents of water...
  • Mark Twain's Niagara (BBC Radio 4: Afternoon Reading)
    by Mark Twain
    Narrated by Stuart Milligan
    0.00 (0 ratings)
    A classic short story by Mark Twain, originally broadcast in the ‘Afternoon Reading’ slot on BBC Radio 4 on 9 November 2010, to accompany the 'Autobiography of Mark Twain' (aired on ‘Book of the Week'). Read by Stuart Millligan. This is the last of three of Twain’s classic short story broadcasts featuring the McWilliamses, with his familiar trademarks of high farce and droll insight.
  • Mark Twain's The Experience of the McWilliamses with Membranous Croup (BBC Radio 4: Afternoon Reading)
    by Mark Twain
    Narrated by Stuart Milligan
    0.00 (0 ratings)
    A classic short story by Mark Twain, originally broadcast in the ‘Afternoon Reading’ slot on BBC Radio 4 on 10 November 2010, to accompany the 'Autobiography of Mark Twain' (aired on ‘Book of the Week'). Read by Stuart Millligan. This is the second of three of Twain’s classic short story broadcasts featuring the McWilliamses, with his familiar trademarks of high farce and droll insight.
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  • Mark Twain's The McWilliamses and the Burglar Alarm (BBC Radio 4: Afternoon Reading)
    by Mark Twain
    Narrated by Stuart Milligan
    0.00 (0 ratings)
    A classic short story by Mark Twain, originally broadcast in the ‘Afternoon Reading’ slot on BBC Radio 4 on 9 November 2010, to accompany the 'Autobiography of Mark Twain' (aired on ‘Book of the Week'). Read by Stuart Millligan. This is the first of three of Twain’s classic short story broadcasts featuring the McWilliamses, with his familiar trademarks of high farce and droll insight.
  • Classic Drama: Huckleberry Finn (Dramatised)
    by Mark Twain
    Narrated by uncredited
    4.30 (4 ratings)
    Young Huck Finn meets runaway slave Jim, and the two become firm friends. Their bond of trust holds strong as they travel down the Mississippi river on a raft - witnessing misdeeds and murder along the way - and are separated, captured, and re-captured before continuing in their bid for freedom.
  • Frankenstein (Dramatised)
    by Mary Shelley
    Narrated by Michael Maloney
    4.40 (5 ratings)
    Frankenstein is a dark and brooding dramatisation of Mary Shelley's famous novel, and stars Michael Maloney as the scientist who makes a creature in his own name.

    Denied a female counterpart, the creature turns on his creator, then murders Frankenstein's brother. In an attempt to destroy his creation, the scientist tracks him to the Arctic.

  • Classic Radio Theatre: Private Lives (Dramatised)
    by Noel Coward
    Narrated by Paul Scofield, Patricia Routledge
    4.10 (21 ratings)
    Paul Scofield and Patricia Routledge star in Noël Coward’s classic comedy of manners. Private Lives was written in 1930 and has been a mainstay of British theatre ever since. This sharply funny play of reversals focuses on Elyot and Amanda, a passionate but feuding couple who divorced five years before. Now, on the first night of their honeymoons with their new partners, they find that they are all staying in the same hotel on the French Riviera. Fireworks are inevitable....
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  • This Happy Breed (Classic Radio Theatre)
    by Noel Coward
    Narrated by John Moffatt, Rosemary Leach
    4.90 (14 ratings)
    John Moffatt and Rosemary Leach star in this BBC Radio 4 production of Noël Coward’s patriotic play about the ups and downs of a working-class family between 1919 and 1939. This Happy Breed opens in 1919, when the Gibbons family have just moved to their smart new home in the suburbs of South London. Against a background of social change and national upheaval spanning twenty years, the family celebrate their own triumphs and deal with their personal traumas.
  • Brief Encounter (Classic Radio Theatre)
    by Noel Coward
    Narrated by Jenny Seagrove, Nigel Havers
    4.70 (21 ratings)
    Jenny Seagrove and Nigel Havers star in this BBC Radio 2 production of Noël Coward’s classic tale of forbidden love. Laura Jesson is a happily married woman until a chance encounter in a train station café draws her to Dr Alec Harvey. Literally bumping into each other brings temptation, danger and guilt into their lives, and a doomed love affair ensues...
  • Hay Fever (Classic Radio Theatre)
    by Noel Coward
    Narrated by Peggy Ashcroft, Tony Britton
    4.20 (19 ratings)
    Peggy Ashcroft and Tony Britton star in this 1971 BBC Radio production of Noël Coward’s classic comedy about a disastrous weekend house party. Judith Bliss is a famous actress who, after a string of successful roles, has retired to her country retreat. Missing the adulation of her public, she has has invited a fan over for a weekend of uninterrupted adoration - unaware that the rest of her family has company arriving too.
  • Classic Radio Theatre: The Importance of Being Earnest (Dramatised)
    by Oscar Wilde
    Narrated by Jeremy Clyde, Richard Pasco, Prunella Scales, Maurice Denham
    4.50 (26 ratings)
    Algernon Moncrieff, a bachelor-about-town, has invented an invalid friend called Bunbury in order to get out of tiresome family engagements. At the same time, his friend, Jack Worthing, has invented a wicked brother called Ernest to disguise his own misdemeanours. When Algernon poses as Ernest to win the heart of Cecily Cardew, confusion reigns, and it takes the discovery of an old black handbag to reveal the truth.
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  • The Picture of Dorian Gray (Dramatised)
    by Oscar Wilde, Jamie Glover
    Narrated by uncredited
    4.70 (6 ratings)
    A BBC Radio full-cast dramatisation of Wilde's gothic masterpiece. When Dorian Gray gazes upon his portrait, he is struck by his own youth and beauty and makes a wish that they will last forever. Gradually, his simple good nature is corrupted with the help of his hedonistic friend Lord Henry Wotton. Dorian sinks into a life of debauchery and depravity yet keeps his innocent good looks. Only his portrait reveals the true corruption of his soul Starring Jamie Glover as Dorian Gray and Ian McDiarmid as Lord Henry Wotton.
  • The Ring and the Book (Classic Serial)
    by Robert Browning, Martyn Wade (adaptation)
    Narrated by Anton Lesser
    4.50 (2 ratings)
    Robert Browning's poetic masterpiece of sex, lies and murder, adapted by Martyn Wade.
  • I, Claudius (Dramatised)
    by Robert Graves
    Narrated by Derek Jacobi, Tom Goodman Hill
    4.70 (137 ratings)
    A full-cast dramatisation of Robert Graves' brilliant account of the madness and debauchery of ancient Rome, starring Tom Goodman Hill as Claudius and Derek Jacobi as Augustus. The wickedly entertaining inside story of the lives and deaths of the Imperial dynasty from Augustus to Caligula is told by their obscure relation, Claudius. In public, Claudius is a stammering, drooling weakling, whose reputation as an idiot keeps him safe from office and assassination.
  • Beasts on the Lawn
    by Saki, Sean Grundy (Adapted by)
    Narrated by Nick Mohammed, Pippa Haywood
    5.00 (1 ratings)
    Beasts on the Lawn is a collection of Edwardian short stories by Saki (H. H. Munro) recycled and restaged in a modern-day gated community for the far-too-wealthy-for-their-own-good. The tales are woven together by the character of Clovis, a security guard. She recalls the events of strange days and long nights. The five stories are: "Tobermory", "The Interlopers", "Sredni Vashtar", and "Gabriel Ernest and Mrs Packletide's Tiger".
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  • The Lost World (Dramatised)
    by Arthur Conan Doyle
    Narrated by Francis de Wolff, Gerald Harper, Carol Boyd
    4.40 (19 ratings)
    This production of The Lost World, based on the novel by Arthur Conan Doyle, was first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 1975, and amongst the cast are Francis de Wolff, Gerald Harper, Carol Boyd and the renowned radio actor Carleton Hobbs. The story follows a 19th century expedition to enter the rumoured lair of animals thought to have died out millions of years before - a terrifying world of pterodactyls and other 'prehistoric monsters'.
  • Cold Comfort Farm (Dramatised)
    by Stella Gibbons
    Narrated by uncredited
    4.40 (86 ratings)
    Strong of will and slender of ankle, 20-year-old orphan Flora Poste is blessed with every virtue save that of being able to earn her own living. Casting around for suitable relatives with whom she can make her home, Flora alights on the mysterious Starkadders and, ignoring the horrified shrieks of her friends, heads down to darkest Sussex.
  • The Waste Land & Four Quartets
    by T.S. Eliot
    Narrated by Paul Scofield
    4.40 (47 ratings)
    These are masterly readings, by renowned thespian Paul Schofield, of two substantial works of poetry by T.S. Eliot.
  • The Mayor of Casterbridge (Dramatised)
    by Thomas Hardy
    Narrated by John Nettles, David Calder, Janet Dale
    4.30 (18 ratings)
    Drunk on rum at a country fair, Henchard sells his wife to a sailor for five guineas. Unable to find them and overcome with guilt and remorse he vows to be teetotal for 21 years. Many years later his wife seeks him out in Casterbridge, where he has gained both wealth and the well respected position of mayor.
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  • Two on a Tower (Dramatised)
    by Thomas Hardy
    Narrated by Maggie O'Neill, Blake Ritson
    4.30 (6 ratings)
    Two on a Tower' is Hardy's ninth novel and contains perhaps his most complete treatment of the theme of love across the class and age divide, and also the fullest expression of his fascination with astronomy and science.
  • Classic Drama: Tess Of The D'Urbervilles (Dramatised)
    by Thomas Hardy
    Narrated by uncredited
    4.00 (6 ratings)
    John Durbeyfield learns that he is descended from the Norman family of d'Urbervilles. He and his wife, Joan, encourage their daughter, Tess, to befriend the family of Stoke d'Urbervilles. In doing so, she is seduced by their son, Alec, and she bears him a child that dies. So begins a chain of events that culminates in tragedy for all.
  • The Expedition of Humphrey Clinker (Dramatised)
    by Tobias Smollet, Yvonne Antrobus
    Narrated by Nigel Anthony, Full Cast
    4.50 (10 ratings)
    Tobias Smollet's uproarious satire of 18th-century life, dramatised by Yvonne Antrobus. Squire Bramble and family embark on their whistle-stop tour of Great Britain. They encounter adventure, mayhem, and the enigmatic Humphry Clinker. Episode 2: The family is stranded. Bramble is keen to continue their grand tour, but how can they leave London when Humphry is in gaol? Episode 3: The Bramble family's adventures continue as they begin the long trip home, a journey full of surprises and unexpected revelations. Starring Nigel Anthony and full cast. Directed by Marc Beeby.
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Dramatised)
    by Victor Hugo
    Narrated by David Bower, Full Cast
    1.50 (2 ratings)
    An adaptation of Victor Hugo's classic tale set in 15th-century Paris, dramatised in a collaboration between the BBC and Graeae, the disabled-led theatre company. Starring deaf actor David Bower, artistic director of Signdance Collective. Quasimodo, the deformed bell ringer, hides away in the bell tower of Notre Dame Cathedral, friendless and ashamed of his appearance. When the bewitching gypsy Esmeralda arrives in Paris, Quasimodo falls in love with her from afar. Starring David Bower and full cast.
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  • Orlando
    by Virginia Woolf
    Narrated by Clare Higgins
    4.20 (96 ratings)
    Fantasy, love and an exuberant celebration of English life and literature, Orlando is a uniquely entertaining story. Originally conceived by Virginia Woolf as a playful tribute to the family of her friend and lover, Vita Sackville-West, Orlando's central character, a fictional embodiment of Sackville-West, changes sex from a man to a woman and lives throughout the centuries, whilst meeting historical figures of English literature.
  • The Waves (Dramatised)
    by Virginia Woolf, Terence Davies (dramatisation)
    Narrated by Janet Suzman
    5.00 (6 ratings)
    The Waves: Terence Davies's dramatisation of Virginia Woolf's story. Episode 1: Louis, Bernard, Neville, Jinny, Susan, and Rhoda recall their childhood and first steps into adulthood. Episode 2: Louis, Bernard, Neville, Jinny, Susan, and Rhoda struggle to come to terms with life after Percival.
  • The Emigrants: Ambros Adelwarth (Dramatised)
    by W. G. Sebald, Edward Kemp (adaptation)
    Narrated by John Wood, Henry Bron, Eleanor Bron
    4.30 (12 ratings)
    Inspired by an old photograph album to investigate the life of a lost relative, a man finds himself on a journey that traverses the 20th century, leading him from an American asylum to the shores of the Dead Sea. Adapted by Edward Kemp from W G Sebald's acclaimed novel about the experiences of Jewish emigrants.
  • The Heart of Midlothian (Dramatised)
    by Walter Scott
    Narrated by Gerda Stevenson
    3.70 (3 ratings)
    The Heart of Midlothian: Gerda Stevenson's dramatisation of Walter Scott's classic.

    Part One: A mob storms the Tolbooth Prison where young Effie Deans awaits trial for murder. Part 2: While her sister awaits execution, Jeanie decides to walk to London to plead for her life.

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  • The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
    by Washington Irving
    Narrated by Martin Jarvis
    4.70 (10 ratings)
    The story is set circa 1790 in the Dutch settlement of Tarry Town (based on Tarrytown, New York), in a secluded glen called Sleepy Hollow. It tells the story of Ichabod Crane, a lean, lanky, and extremely superstitious schoolmaster from Connecticut, who competes with Abraham "Brom Bones" Van Brunt, the town rowdy, for the hand of 18-year-old Katrina Van Tassel, the daughter and sole child of a wealthy farmer, Baltus Van Tassel. As Crane leaves a party he attended at the Van Tassel home on an autumn night, he is pursued by the Headless Horseman....
  • The Yellowplush Papers (Classic Serial)
    by William Makepeace Thackeray, Stephen Wyatt (adaptation)
    Narrated by Adam Buxton, Full Cast
    4.30 (4 ratings)
    Series of five comic tales by William Makepeace Thackeray, adapted by Stephen Wyatt, recounting the rise and fall of early-19th century footman Charles Yellowplush.
  • Classic Radio Theatre: The Country Wife (Dramatised)
    by William Wycherley
    Narrated by Maggie Smith, Jonathan Pryce, John Duttine, John Moffatt, Harriet Walter, Michael Aldridge
    3.50 (8 ratings)
    Maggie Smith and Jonathan Pryce star in William Wycherley’s raunchy Restoration comedy. Considered too obscene to be staged in its original form for nearly 200 years, William Wycherley’s bawdy comedy tells the tale of Mr Horner, a notorious rake who spreads the false rumour that he is impotent in order to gain free access to other men’s wives. When he meets the young, innocent Margery Pinchwife, the ‘country wife’ of the title, the scene is set for scandal.
  • The Odyssey (Dramatised)
    by Homer, Simon Armitage - dramatisation
    Narrated by Tim McInnerny, Amanda Redman, full cast
    4.70 (34 ratings)
    "My fame is written in the heavens, and my fate too..." So speaks Odysseus as he starts to recount his struggles to sail home to Ithaca, in one of the greatest pieces of storytelling in Western literature. The Odyssey is his incredible traveller's tale, and also the story of his faithful wife Penelope who waits for him, besieged by suitors, and their son Telemachus who has a quest of his own.