The three Theban plays by Sophocles - Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus and Antigone - are one of the great landmarks of Western theatre. They tell the story of Oedipus, King of Thebes, who was destined to suffer a terrible fate - to kill his father, marry his mother, and beget children of the incestuous union. He does this unknowingly but still has to suffer terrible consequences, which also tragically affect the next generation.
The opening episode begins on Trantor, capital of the Galactic Empire, with the meeting of Seldon and Dornick, their trial, and their exile to Terminus. The action then jumps forward 50 years, to the first Seldon Crisis, where the repercussions of the recent independence of the Four Kingdoms of the Periphery are being felt on Terminus, and are handled by the first Mayor, Salvor Hardin....
"A Muffled Foundation"
This is the third book in the 'Blackwood' saga. For three generations, members of the Blackwood family served the Royal Marines with distinction. With the outbreak of World War I, at last comes Jonathan Blackwood's turn to carry the family name into battle. But as the young marines embark for the Dardanelles, and a new kind of warfare, it dawns on them that the days of scarlet coats and an unchanging tradition of honour and glory have gone forever.
Frank Derrick is 81. And he's just been run over by a milk float. It was tough enough to fill the hours of the day when he was active. But now he's broken his arm and fractured his foot, it looks set to be a very long few weeks ahead. Frank lives with his cat Bill (which made more sense before Ben died) in the typically British town of Fullwind-on-Sea.
Rebellion still simmers in England and King Henry's health is failing. Prince Hal has proved his courage but the king still fears that his son's pleasure-loving nature will bring the realm to ruin. Meanwhile, Falstaff and his ribald companions waste the nights in revelry, anticipating the moment when Hal will ascend the throne. Falstaff is in Gloucestershire when news arrives that the king has died. Has the dissolute old knight's hour come at last?
The events of Pietro Russell's life are told in 26 chapters. From A-Z each chapter is set in a different place and reveals a fragment of his story. As his memories flicker back and forth through time in his search for a resolution to the conflicts of his life, his story gradually unfolds. . .
BBC Radio has a unique heritage when it comes to Shakespeare. Since 1923, when the newly formed company broadcast its first full-length play, generations of actors and producers have honed and perfected the craft of making Shakespeare to be heard.
In German East Africa, on the eve of the First World War, two freebooting adventurers, one a flamboyant Irish American, the other an impeccable young Englishman, pit their wits against the gross German commissioner from whose territory they are making their living as game hunters and ivory poachers.
"Expect the unexpected"
First published in 1952, Herbert and Eleanor Farjeon's Kings and Queens has attained the status of a children's classic. The charming poems, each one dedicated to a different king or queen, tell the story of the 41 English monarchs from William I to Elizabeth II in a humorous and charming way that has delighted generations of children and their parents.
Shakespeare's most sophisticated comedy is a riotous tale of hopelessly unrequited passions and mistaken identity. Duke Orsino is in love with the noblewoman Olivia. She, however, has fallen for his servant Cesario, who is actually Viola, a woman disguised as a man, who loves Orsino: Confusion is rife. Meanwhile, Olivia's arrogant steward Malvolio is cruelly tricked by her uncle Sir Toby Belch, his friend Sir Andrew Aguecheek, and the maidservant Maria into believing his mistress loves him.
The epic story of this hero's battle against dragons, monsters, and their mothers is particularly suited to being recorded as an audiobook given that for the first 300 years of its existence it was only ever spoken. The first known (and indeed the only surviving manuscript) of the poem was written in AD 1,000. It survived Henry VIII's attempts to destroy it (as a religious artifact) and a catastrophic fire that destroyed many other historical British documents.
In a gloomy cellar, the figure of a beautiful, pale woman makes no move when the man advances on her from the shadows, puts his hands around her neck and strangles her. Arthur Johnson is a mild-mannered, shy man who has never known how to talk to women. His resulting loneliness has twisted his yearning for love and respect into a carefully constructed predilection for violence and control.
"A gripping story, a wonderful performance"
While King Henry's England is threatened by rebellion, the king's scapegrace son Hal haunts the taverns of London, his companions a crew of rogues and thieves let by Falstaff. The earl of Northumberland and his fiery son Hotspur scheme to overthrow the crown. Can Hal be brought to a sense of duty as Prince of Wales? Or will the influence of Falstaff prove too strong? The issue is decided when Hal, Hotspur, and Falstaff come together at the climactic battle of Shrewsbury.
The sensitive and poetic Richard II is undoubtedly the rightful king of England but he is unscrupulous and weak. When his cousin Henry Bolingbroke returns from banishment and mounts a challenge to his authority, Richard's right to the throne proves of little help to him. Richard is forced to abdicate, but as his power is stripped away, he gains dignity and self-awareness, and he meets his death heroically.
Representing the work of more than 30 poets, and extending from Thomas Hardy's lines on the loss of Titanic to the present-day concerns of Seamus Heaney, The Best of 20th-Century Poetry offers an extensive survey of English poetry of the last hundred years.