"Captain Nelson is a little man who cannot boast of being handsome, but who will, in my view, one day astonish the world." So said Sir William Hamilton to his wife Emma, when Captain Nelson first sailed into Naples Bay in 1793. Even that shrewd Ambassador could hardly have guessed how great the "little man" would become.
"History in a tea cup."
Borley Rectory in rural Suffolk seems to have been plagued with ghosts, particularly that of a young French nun believed to have been murdered on the site. Dark and malevolent shapes, poltergeist activity, and voices from disused cellars and stairways haunt this recording. Borley Rectory burned down in the 1950s - and so did the studio where this eerie reconstruction was recorded.
"Too over the top"
There has never been another novelist like Dickens. In his novels and stories, loved throughout the world, he created a host of fictional immortals, reflecting their eccentricities, their wit, their violence, and their pathos. They live today as vividly as ever. This engrossing dramatisation shows how his most famous creations were derived from his own experiences and from facets of his complex, almost demonic personality.
Emma Hamilton came to be recognized as the most beautiful woman of her age and has become immortal in history for her romantic involvement with Nelson, England's greatest hero. As well as beauty, she had great gifts: she was a singer of professional ability, a natural linguist and actress, and a shrewd behind-the-scenes politician. She captivated almost everyone with her warm-hearted, extroverted charm.
One of the best-known and loved storytellers of all time. Like the "Ugly Duckling" of one of his most famous stories, Hans Christian Andersen was an ungainly and clumsy youth. He sought solace in his real and wonderful gift for imaginative writing. This enthralling programme is gripping, romantic, funny, sad, and compelling listening throughout.