Book of the Week - England's Mistress: The Infamous Life of Emma Hamilton
Kate WilliamsA dramatic, sparkling tale of sex, glamour, intrigue, romance and heartbreak, "England's Mistress" traces the rise and rise of the gorgeous Emma Hamilton. Born into poverty, she clawed her way up through London's underworlds of sex for sale to become England's first media superstar.
Book of the Week - Love and Louis XIV
Antonia FraserMistresses and wives, mothers and daughters - Antonia Fraser brilliantly explores the relationships which existed between The Sun King and the women in his life. This includes not only Louis XIV's mistresses, principally Louise de La Valliere, Athenais de Montespan, and the puritanical Madame de Maintenon, but also the wider story of his relationships with women in general, including his mother Anne of Austria, his two sisters-in-law who were Duchesses d'Orleans in succession, Henriette-Anne and Liselotte, his wayward illegitimate daughters, and lastly Adelaide, the beloved child-wife of his grandson.
Book of the Week - Someone Like Me: Tales from a Borrowed Childhood
Miles KingtonBeloved broadcaster and writer Miles Kington's account of an endearingly eccentric childhood has everything - a lovable narrator, a mother who is constantly on her deathbed, a gadget-obsessed father and a flamboyantly theatrical older brother. SOMEONE LIKE ME is a collection of enchanting musings on life from the fringes of a sometimes roundabout, often perplexing but always entertaining adult world in which the incidents and accidents of dog training, borrowed lawnmowers, badminton, figs and unlikely brushes with the Catholic Church combine in the most original and laugh-out-loud funny book you'll have read in decades.
Front Row Special - David Lodge
Mark LawsonMark Lawson interviews David Lodge who's new novel Author, Author journeys back to the 1880s to explore Henry James' middle years...
Front Row Special - John Le Carré
Mark LawsonIn a special edition of Front Row, Mark Lawson talks in a rare extended interview to writer John le Carré. As his latest book Absolute Friends is published, le Carré looks back at his childhood and his relationship with his father. He explains how his work for the British foreign service has influenced his writing and reflects on the current international political situation.
In Our Time - Catherine the Great
Melvyn BraggIn Moscow's Tretyakov Gallery hangs perhaps the most well-known picture of Russia's most well-known ruler. Dimitri Levitsky's 1780 'Portrait of Catherine the Great in the Justice Temple' depicts Catherine in the temple burning poppies at an altar, symbolising her sacrifice of self-interest for Russia. Law books and the scales of justice are at her feet, highlighting her respectful promotion of the rule of law. But menacingly, in the background an eagle crouches, suggesting the means to use brutal power where necessary. This was one of many images that Catherine commissioned that demonstrated her skill at manipulation and reinvention. For an obscure, small town, German princess her ambition was large - the transformation of a semi-barbaric country into a model of the ideals of the French 18th century Enlightenment. How far was Catherine able to lead her country into full participation in the political and cultural life of Europe? Was she able to liberate the serfs? And should she be remembered as Russia's most civilised ruler or a megalomaniacal despot?
In Our Time - Newton's Laws Of Motion
Melvyn BraggThese are the three laws of motion with which Newton founded the discipline of classical mechanics and conjoined a series of concepts - inertia, acceleration, force, momentum and mass - by which we still describe the movement of things today. Newton’s laws have been refined over the years – most famously by Einstein - but they were still good enough, 282 years after they were published, to put Neil Armstrong on the Moon.
The Chambers - 1
Radio 4First of two programmes which go behind the elegant facades of legal London to meet the barristers, clerks and staff of Outer Temple Chambers, one of London's leading law chambers, as they prepare for the biggest upheaval in their history: the full implementation of the 2007 Legal Services Act. Due to be fully implemented in 2012, the Act will produce greater competition in who can provide legal services. Many of the cosy arrangements of the past will be swept away, and barristers will need to show that they can provide the service and value for money that the public wants.
The Chambers - 2
Radio 4Second of two programmes which go behind the elegant facades of legal London to meet the barristers, clerks and staff of Outer Temple Chambers, one of London's leading law chambers. The new management structure is firmly in place and commercial director Christine is leading the work to get Chambers in shape for the implementation of the new Legal Services Act. Meanwhile, Chambers's big winter PR social event at the Royal Courts of Justice is nearly scuppered by a taxi strike coinciding with a foot of snow. Barrister Cara is back at work after maternity leave, but when her nanny is called back to Poland she finds herself struggling to juggle work and home. New recruits are joining Chambers: Ali represents part of the business's ambitious plans for Middle East expansion, while Michael's tax expertise is put to good use at a tribunal in Manchester. On QC Richard's farm, spring arrives as his new role as head of strategic development begins to take shape, while by July, the nerves of Chambers's pupils (trainee barristers) are shredded as decision day approaches for whether they are going to be kept on or unceremoniously 'let go'. But at least it's summer and there is the annual party to look forward to.
The Reith Lectures 2004 - 2 - Power and Freedom
Wole SoyinkaThis lecture examines how difficult it can be to tell friend from foe in a climate of fear. Organisations that are set up to overthrow dictatorships can themselves turn into tyrannical regimes. Liberation movements may be forced to seek help from dangerous quarters. And these days it is not just countries that control and direct the lives of their citizens. When the rule of law breaks down, shadowy forces set themselves up as "quasi-states" - and these, more than anything else, have produced today's climate of fear
Voices from the Old Bailey. Episode 1: Highwaymen
Amanda VickeryProfessor Amanda Vickery presents dramatised extracts from gripping Old Bailey court cases from the 18th century and discusses with fellow historians what they reveal about the period. In episode 1, Amanda Vickery listens to the voices of 18th-century highwaymen.
Voices from the Old Bailey. Episode 2: Wicked Women
Amanda VickeryProfessor Amanda Vickery presents dramatised extracts from gripping Old Bailey court cases from the 18th century and discusses with fellow historians what they reveal about the period. In episode 2, Amanda Vickery listens to the voices of criminal women in the Old Bailey.
Voices from the Old Bailey. Episode 3: Children
Amanda VickeryProfessor Amanda Vickery presents dramatised extracts from gripping Old Bailey court cases from the 18th century and discusses with fellow historians what they reveal about the period. In episode 3, Amanda Vickery listens to the voices of young children who found themselves in court.
Voices from the Old Bailey. Episode 4: Conmen and a Brawl in the Streets
Amanda VickeryProfessor Amanda Vickery presents dramatised extracts from gripping Old Bailey court cases from the 18th century and discusses with fellow historians what they reveal about the period. In episode 4, Amanda Vickery listens to the voices of conmen and street fighters in the 18th century.
The Great Artists - Degas
John Gaisford, 1985Edgar Degas abandoned his law studies at the age of 18 to take up his career as an artist. He is best known for his charmingly evocative pictures of the ballet dancers at the Paris Opera. This book explores the life and works of this influential Parisian artist