A masterpiece of satire, this classic has entertained and enlightened readers the world over with its sly and ironic portrayal of human life from the vantage point of Screwtape, a highly placed assistant to "Our Father Below". At once wildly comic, deadly serious, and strikingly original, C. S. Lewis gives us the correspondence of the worldly-wise old devil to his nephew Wormwood, a novice demon in charge of securing the damnation of an ordinary young man. The Screwtape Letters is the most engaging and humorous account of temptation - and triumph over it - ever written.
"This is the Best Audio Screwtape, a Masterpiece"
Joss Ackland, Roger Allam, and Leslie Phillips star in this BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation of Victor Hugo’s classic novel. When poverty drives Jean Valjean to steal a loaf of bread from a baker’s window, it is an action that will haunt him for the rest of his life. A citizen of postrevolutionary France, he is sentenced to nineteen years’ hard labour.
"Possibly the best audio version of Les Miserables?"
Here are two of Captain Marryat's stirring tales of the sailing ships of the British Navy in the 19th century. You will hear vivid descriptions, conjuring up the sounds and smells of the sea, timbers, and tar, the rattle of the anchor chain, and the shouts of the sailors. The stories are masterfully told by Joss Ackland.
>The Screwtape Letters, now in its 70th anniversary year, is an iconic classic on spiritual warfare and the power of the devil. This profound and striking narrative takes the form of a series of letters from Screwtape, a devil high in the Infernal Civil Service, to his nephew Wormwood, a junior colleague engaged in his first mission on Earth trying to secure the damnation of a young man who has just become a Christian. Although the young man initially looks to be a willing victim, he changes his ways and is ‘lost’ to the young devil.
"The Best 'Available'"
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.
"Hard to tell which character is speaking"
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"
Herman Melville's original story about Captain Ahab's obsessive search for Moby Dick, the great white whale, is one of the most exciting sea stories ever told.
The story of the New England whaling captain and his skirmishes and final confrontation with an incredible and frighteningly aggressive white whale has an energy and excitement that thrills the imagination. This exciting abridgement is stirringly told by Joss Ackland.
In the hours before his brother is born, eight year old Joe has an unusual visitor, Mika, who falls out of a spaceship and lands upside down in an apple tree in Joe's garden. Hens, dinosaurs, an astronaut and a white rabbit all play their part in this magical story in which the encounter between Earth-boy and alien opens up the wonders of the universe.
Jim goes to sea full of dreams of heroism and boyish adventure. But, under pressure, his own conduct falls far below the ideal he has set himself. Condemned even more by himself than by his fellow men, Jim leaves the world and seeks his redemption in the remote forests of Patusan. It is there he finds fame, love, and success. It is there also that he faces the final and biggest test of his courage and faith, and comes through it in tragic triumph.
Queen of France by her marriage to Henry II, Catherine dominated Europe's dying Renaissance, manipulating France by her goading of an hysterical and half-demented king. It was a colourful and blood-soaked time that is excitingly brought to life in this biography.
First published in 1904, Nostromo is set in the South American republic of Costaguana. In the province of Sulaco everyone's life is shaped, directly or indirectly, by the San Tome silver mine. When the government is overthrown, Charles Gould, owner of the mine, is determined to save the silver from the advancing rebel forces.
An intriguing murder mystery exploring the desire of the artist to remain elusive and anonymous behind work which is heavily codified and seemingly impenetrable. When a brilliant young art historian flies in the face of the received wisdom regarding the work of the reclusive Anderson Perrine, the artist feels a distinct invasion of his privacy. He sets about laying a series of false trails but her pursuit of him is unrelenting and he is obliged to take radically evasive action.
First published in 1902, Conrad's story describes intensely and in stark detail how greed can so easily drive civilised and enlightened men to revert to primitive savagery. Set against the background of the European ivory trade in Africa, Heart Of Darkness is narrator Marlow's account of his journey in search of the legendary and mystical Kurtz, the most successful trader of them all, who is now reported to be ill.
The world of Victorian melodrama, of wilting heroines, brave and handsome heroes, horrible foreign villains, and powerful action with a host of scenes from the best plays of the period; acted, amusingly explained, and related to the development of the English-speaking theatre.
An actual event, a bomb attack on Greenwich Observatory in 1894, provided the inspiration for The Secret Agent. But Conrad offers more than a simple account of a bungled attempt at revolution. He provides an absorbing study of characters who disturb us as much as they enlist our sympathies.
Victory was the last of Conrad's novels to be set in the Malay Archipelago. It tells the story of Axel Heyst, who has retreated from the world of commerce to live alone on the island of Samburan. But his solitary existence ends when he rescues an English girl and brings her back to the island. She recalls him to love and to life, until the world breaks in on them once more with tragic consequences.