Episodes

EpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
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01Dreaming Of Spires20171023

Philip Pullman on how Oxford provided inspiration for the setting of His Dark Materials.

In these personal, entertaining and deeply thoughtful essays, Philip Pullman examines the art of storytelling.

Written over a period of 30 years, they reflect on a wide range of topics including the origins of his own stories, the practice of writing and the storytellers who have most inspired him.

Today's essay reveals how his days at Oxford in the sixties provided the inspiration for the setting of His Dark Materials.

Adapted and produced by Kate McAll
A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

02Paradise Lost20171024

Philip Pullman remembers the impact of reading Paradise Lost aloud for the first time.

In these personal, entertaining and deeply thoughtful essays, Philip Pullman examines the art of storytelling.

Written over a period of 30 years, they reflect on a wide range of topics including the origins of his own stories, the practice of writing and the storytellers who have most inspired him.

In today's essay, Philip remembers the impact of reading Milton's Paradise Lost aloud for the first time at school, and how the memory of that moment influenced His Dark Materials.

Adapted and produced by Kate McAll
A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

03Imaginary Friends20171025

Philip Pullman reflects on the power of fairytales on a child's imagination.

In these personal, entertaining and deeply thoughtful essays, Philip Pullman examines the art of storytelling.

Written over a period of 30 years, they reflect on a wide range of topics including the origins of his own stories, the practice of writing and the storytellers who have most inspired him.

In today's essay, he turns his attention to fairytales and the power they have on a child's imagination.

Adapted and produced by Kate McAll
A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

04The Firework-maker's Daughter On Stage20171026

Philip Pullman reflects on how he writes and how stories tell themselves.

In these personal, entertaining and deeply thoughtful essays, Philip Pullman examines the art of storytelling.

Written over a period of 30 years, they reflect on a wide range of topics including the origins of his own stories, the practice of writing and the storytellers who have most inspired him.

In his penultimate essay, Philip remembers being a teacher and writing the school play every year. He also examines how he writes, how stories have a habit of telling themselves and how meaning is often only revealed at the end.

Adapted and Produced by Kate McAll
A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

05Soft Beulah's Night - William Blake And Vision20171027

Philip Pullman recalls discovering William Blake as a teenager, via Alan Ginsberg's Howl.

In these personal, entertaining and deeply thoughtful essays, Philip Pullman examines the art of storytelling.

Written over a period of 30 years, they reflect on a wide range of topics including the origins of his own stories, the practice of writing and the storytellers who have most inspired him.

In today's final essay, Philip recalls how, at the age of sixteen, he discovered visionary 18th century poet William Blake through the "hellish rapture" of beat poet Alan Ginsberg's Howl.

Adapted and produced by Kate McAll
A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

05 LASTSoft Beulah's Night - William Blake And Vision20171027