Charlotte Bronte - A Life

Episodes

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01Childhood2015110220151103 (R4)

Hattie Morahan reads Claire Harman's new and intimate biography of Charlotte Bronte, one of the nation's greatest novelists. This vivid and complex portrait is published ahead of the two hundredth anniversary of the writer's birth in April 2016.

The events of Charlotte Bronte's life - her motherless childhood on the Yorkshire moors, the early and tragic deaths of her beloved siblings and a great and unrequited love - all found their way into her novels. Claire Harman unravels the complexities of Bronte's life to reveal a fiercely passionate and determined woman who gave us some of our best loved novels and heroines, most famously Jane Eyre.

Claire Harman is an acclaimed and award winning biographer. Her books include Sylvia Townsend Warner, Fanny Burney, Robert Louis Stevenson and Jane's Fame which tells the story of Jane Austen's renown.

Hattie Morahan is an award winning actress of the stage and screen and has appeared in television dramas including, Sense and Sensibility, Lark Rise to Candleford and The Outcast. She won Best Actress at the 2012 Evening Standard Awards and the 2012 Critics' Circle Theatre Awards for her performance as Nora in The Doll's House.

Abridged by Julian Wilkinson

Produced by Elizabeth Allard.

Claire Harman's intimate biography of one of Britain's greatest novelists.

02Roe Head School2015110320151104 (R4)

Hattie Morahan reads Claire Harman's new and intimate portrait of Charlotte Bronte. The biography of one of our greatest novelists looks ahead to the two hundredth anniversary of her birth in April 2016. Today, a decision to write to the poet laureate, Robert Southey, yields a surprising response. Meanwhile, the fourteen year old Charlotte begins life at Roe Head School as a pupil before returning as an intransigent teacher.

Abridged by Julian Wilkinson.

Produced by Elizabeth Allard.

A decision to write to the poet laureate Robert Southey yields a surprising response.

03In A Strange Land2015110420151105 (R4)

Hattie Morahan reads Claire Harman's new and intimate biography of Charlotte Bronte which looks ahead to the two hundredth anniversary, in April 2016 of one of our greatest novelists. Today, Charlotte and Emily Bronte travel to Brussels to attend school at the Pensionnat Heger. Here Charlotte is powerfully and hauntingly attracted to her charismatic tutor.

Abridged by Julian Wilkinson

Produced by Elizabeth Allard.

At school in Brussels, Charlotte is powerfully attracted to her charismatic tutor.

04Being Published2015110520151106 (R4)

The Bronte sisters set about the business of bringing out their best-known books.

Hattie Morahan reads Claire Harman's new and intimate biography of Charlotte Bronte. This vivid and complex portrait of one of our greatest novelists looks ahead to the two hundredth anniversary of her birth in April 2016. Today, the Bronte sisters set about the business of bringing out their best known books. Meanwhile, their brother Branwell is the source of strained relations at the parsonage in Haworth.

Abridged by Julian Wilkinson

Produced by Elizabeth Allard.

05Affairs Of The Heart2015110620151107 (R4)

Hattie Morahan reads Claire Harman's new and intimate biography of Charlotte Bronte. This vivid and complex portrait of one of our greatest novelists looks ahead to the two hundredth anniversary of her birth in April 2016. Today, Charlotte grieves for her brother Branwell and her sisters Emily and Anne who died in quick succession. Affairs of the heart are also on her mind.

Abridged by Julian Wilkinson

Produced by Elizabeth Allard.

Charlotte grieves for her brother Branwell and her sisters Emily and Anne.