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. The Winter's Tale: one man's consuming jealousy threatens to destroy both himself and those around him, but his actions arouse a passionate sense of honour, love, justice and self-sacrifice in members of his Court and family. First broadcast in 1982, starring Ronald Pickup as Leontes, with Hannah Gordon as Hermione and John Gielgud as Time.
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.
Prilla, the newest fairy to arrive in Neverland, is so odd that Neverland itself isn't certain whether to let her into Fairy Haven. Prilla shakes hands when she meets other fairies, and she says "Pleased to meet you", instead of "Fly with you". What's more, she calls Tinker Bell Miss Bell. Altogether, she acts more like a Clumsy than a self-respecting Never fairy should.
"Far too violent"
It is Charlotte's first night at boarding school. But when she wakes up, the girl in the next bed is not the person who was sleeping there the evening before. And the new building outside her window seems to have metamorphosed into a huge, dark cedar tree! Somehow, Charlotte has slipped back forty years... A classic time travel mystery from acclaimed author Penelope Farmer.
"My favorite book as a child"
Marking Time is the second of four compelling Cazalet novels by Elizabeth Jane Howard, which together give a vivid insight into the lives, hopes and loves of three generations. In the second series, the families' worst fears are realised as war breaks out. Rupert decides he must join up, Edward will see what military work he can get, whilst Hugh - still suffering from injuries from the first war - has to settle with running the family firm.
Scottish poetry is a powerful, beautiful expression of Country and Culture. It’s proud history includes such figures as Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson and many other illustrious figures. This volume of poetry is a perfect compendium of the words and works of Scotland.
"The Poetry of Scotland"
What can take the fire out of a fever, the ache out of loving and the meanness out of a miser? The answer according to Tearlaich is whisky - the ‘water of life’. And when he suggests to Lillian that the islanders should have their own blend - a ‘Bruach Blend’ - Lillian can see his logic.
"An absolute delight!"
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.
"Not like the book but entertaining!"
For Anna, a carefree and gentle child living in a remote community in the Hebrides, a chance meeting with the mysterious and romantic Jimmy Pearl is to take on a dream-like quality as she grows to womanhood and encounters a hard and often cruel adult world. When Anna’s parents die, and her brother, with his new wife, sells the family croft, Anna is forced into a loveless marriage to the cold and heartless Black Fergus. But life has surprises in store for them, including the reappearance of Jimmy Pearl.
The year in 1801. In this section, all the principal characters are introduced. Mr Lockwood, the new tenant of Thrushcross Grange, arrives at Wuthering Height to meet his landlord, Heathcliff. The next day, he encounters Hareton, the orphaned son of Hindley Earnshaw, and Heathcliff’s daughter-in-law, Cathy Linton.
"narrator makes a difference"
Middlemarch is a complex tale of idealism, disillusion, profligacy, loyalty and frustrated love. This penetrating analysis of the life of an English provincial town during the time of social unrest prior to the Reform Bill of 1832 is told through the lives of Dorothea Brooke and Dr Tertius Lydgate and includes a host of other paradigm characters who illuminate the condition of English life in the mid-19th century.
Praised by Virginia Woolf as one of the only novels "written for grown-up people", Middlemarch is a highly accomplished story, whose characters are involving and intriguing. Dorothea's story interlinks powerfully and tantalisingly with that of Lydgate's, a doctor, who joins her for a some of her journey towards making sense of her role in the world, both as a woman and as an idealist.
Ruth and her three small children eagerly await the return of their father who has taken his fishing boat for a refit at a boatyard in the north of Scotland. Rising waters takes them on a journey to a remote hill farm.
An absorbing, semi-philosphical tale of love and people driven to extremes. Our hero, a carpenter, loves Hetty Sorel, but she loves Arthur Donnington, a local squire. The story soon progresses onto powerful themes, such as: who has the right to determine who lives and who dies?
Read by Hannah Gordon, Susan Sheridan and Rupert Degas. Mog, everyone’s favourite cat, is back and she is not happy…Mog loves her garden, but somehow it seems to have completely disappeared over night. What Mog doesn’t realise is that the flappy floppy thing that has replaced her garden is in fact a marquee put up for a cat show. Mog hides in the house and is oblivious to the cats of various sizes and colours who parade themselves hoping to be winners. Then curiosity takes over and Mog makes a spectacular entrance in true prize-winning form!
Read by Hannah Gordon, Susan Sheridan and Rupert Degas, this furry feline tale comes from the creator of Mog the Forgetful Cat and The Tiger Who Came to Tea!Grandpa has a black cat called Puss. They like eating bacon and chips together.The Jones family also have a black cat. They call him Twinkles.Lady Daisy found a lovely black cat outside her window one day, whom she calls Arthur.One day Twinkles, Arthur and Puss all disappear! As Grandpa, the Jones family and Lady Daisy search everywhere for their cats, a hilarious plot unfolds.
This novel is based on George Eliot's own experiences of provincial life, is a masterpiece of ambiguity in which moral choice is subjected to the hypocrisy of the Victorian age. As the headstrong Maggie Tulliver grows into womanhood, the deep love which she has for her brother Tom turns into conflict, because she cannot reconcile his bourgeois standards with her own lively intelligence. Maggie is unable to adapt to her community or break free from it, and the result, on more than one level, is tragedy.
Louis-Charles Bourbon enjoyed a charmed early childhood in the gilded palace of Versailles. At the age of four, he became the Dauphin, heir to the most powerful throne in Europe. Yet within five years, he was to lose everything. Drawn into the horror of the French Revolution, his family was incarcerated and their fate thrust into the hands of the revolutionaries who wished to destroy the Monarchy.
Adam Bede (1859), George Eliot's first full-length novel, marked the emergence of an artist to rank with Scott and Dickens. Set in the English Midlands of farmers and village craftsmen at the turn of the 18th century, the book relates a story of seduction issuing in 'the inward suffering which is the worst form of Nemesis'. But it is also a rich and pioneering record - drawing on intimate knowledge and affectionate memory - of a rural world that we have lost.
Falsely accused of theft and cast out by the religious community of which he was a member, Silas Marner leaves his home and settles in Raveloe, where he leads a solitary existence as a weaver. Marner's work is in great demand, and the wealth that he accumulates becomes his consolation for all that he has lost; but when Dunstan Cass, one of the squire's sons, steals Marner's money, the weaver loses his only remaining reason for living.