0120100628Oscar-winning writer Frederic Raphael reads the first of five new essays exploring the theme of couples throughout history, literature, classical civilisation, culture and politics.

He begins the series looking at the origin of human coupling and the earliest couples - in Greek mythology, the Bible and early civilisation.

Frederic explores the relation between the first human couples depicted by early mythology, Prometheus and his early humans, and at Adam and Eve, as well as man's desire for ideal love.

Drawing on the early ideas of Plato and Aristophanes he explores different versions of why humans pair off two by two, and at the political impact of, for example, early Egyptian coupling, which included brother/sister marriage.

The series goes on to look at other famous couples of politics, public life and literature.

Frederic Raphael explores some of the earliest couples in civilisation.

0220100629Oscar-winning writer Frederic Raphael a new essay exploring some of couples who have become archetypes in classical myth and literature - including Odysseus and Penelope and Orpheus and Eurydice.

Frederic looks at the complex relationships between men and women in classical Greece - at Helen, Menelaus and prince Paris, and of the soldier Odysseus who went the distance to get his wife back.

He also re-examines the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice and offers a new interpretation of that fatal look back.

Writer Frederic Raphael explores some of classical myth and literature's couples.

0320100630Oscar-winning writer Frederic Raphael reads a new essay looking at some of literature's most famous couples.

He looks at Ovid as the first writer to make adultery his overt theme, and Somerset Maugham's satire of the marriages of Thomas Hardy in his novel Cakes and Ale.

Frederic explores how writers including Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway have interpreted couples, real and imagined, as well as looking at their own marriages and affairs - both failed and successful.

Frederic Raphael focuses on some of literature's most famous couples.

0420100701Oscar-winning writer Frederic Raphael reads a new essay looking at parents and marriage throughout history and literature.

He looks at the story of an American wife who killed her husband over a game of bridge; at Nigel Nicholson's interpretation of the marriage of his parents - Vita Sackville West and Harold Nicholson - and at DH Lawrence's relationships with his parents and women.

Frederic Raphael discusses marriage and parents throughout history and literature.

05 LAST20100702Oscar-winning writer Frederic Raphael reads a new essay about public couples.

Beginning with royal couples as the first public couples Frederic explores those very public pairings including Victoria and Albert and Elizabeth and Sir Walter Raleigh.

He looks at how Byron became one of the first celebrities to exploit his relationships with women for fame and at the great political "couple" William Gladstone and Benjamin Disraeli.

He also looks at couples in Hollywood such as Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton and alternative society public couples such as Simone De Beauvoir and Jean Paul Sartre.

Writer Frederic Raphael discusses public couples.

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