Read by Juliet Stevenson and Simon Callow, A Literary Christmas is a seasonal anthology that collects together poems, short stories, and prose extracts by some of the greatest poets and writers in the English language. Like Charles Dickens’ ghosts of Christmas Past and Present, they are representative of times old and new - from John Donne’s Elizabethan hymn over the baby Jesus to Rudyard Kipling’s "Christmas in India", from Thomas Tusser counting the cost of a Tudor feast to Laurie Lee’s "Cider with Rosie".
"Marvelous, with one very avoidable flaw"
Everyone loves a bedtime story. And here are eight of the best from BBC Radio 4's Book at Bedtime, each with a Christmas theme, written by an array of literature's best-known names. They include Laurie Lee, Charles Dickens, and Hans Christian Andersen - just some of the storytellers included in this collection.
"Christmas Stories From The BBC"
Cider with Rosie is a wonderfully vivid memoir of childhood in a remote Cotswold village, a village before electricity or cars, a timeless place on the verge of change. Growing up amongst the fields and woods and characters of the place, Laurie Lee depicts a world that is both immediate and real and belongs to a now-distant past.
"A voice of the past"
A new, and for the first time, full-cast dramatisation of Laurie Lee's lyrical autobiography of his childhood in a secluded Cotswold valley. Recorded on location at Westley Farm and the Woolpack Inn in Gloucestershire, Cider with Rosie stars Tim McInnerny as the narrator and Niamh Cusack as Mother.
"My best listen ever!"
Friday Night Live was a late night programme that pushed comedy on TV to new levels. Most TV comedy at that time was a rather safe affair full of middle aged comics and impersonators. Friday Night Live brought in a new generation of comedians; some from the growing club circuit and some along the path from University. On Volume 1, Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie can be heard alongside Lee Evans and Jo Brand. This was her TV debut whilst Lee Evans was also just starting his own phenomenal career.