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02Part 2. Tennyson's In Memoriam20201011

The stories behind two of the greatest and most influential poetic elegies ever published in English.

Part 2. Tennyson's In Memoriam- starring Holliday Grainger and James Cooney.

Although written centuries apart, in 1637 and 1833, the making and circumstances of these great elegies are full of interconnections, centred on the poetic response to grief and loss. Both Milton's Lycidas and Tennyson's In Memoriam were written in response to the sudden unexpected death of a young male friend, striking the poets in their mid-twenties. when the poets were students at Cambridge. The dead men were prodigiously gifted and also poets, early rivals and first readers to the poets who elegised them.

Milton and Tennyson were thereby thrown into personal grief and poetic challenge. But how to make a poetic elegy that honours and reflects that genuine grief whilst rising to the challenge of the first great poetic subject in these young poets' lives? Milton and Tennyson responded to these complex and terrible circumstances with radically different elegies that stand among the finest poems in English literature.

The line from Lycidas to In Memoriam is clear. Tennyson idolised Milton and wanted his elegy to emulate Milton's expansiveness and profundity. When Tennyson's friend the poet Edward Fitzgerald heard that he was working on an elegy for Hallam, he warned his friend that Milton had already done it all: 'Lycidas is the utmost length that an elegy can reach'

CAST

Holliday Grainger ..... Emily Tennyson
James Cooney ..... Alfred Lord Tennyson
Ashley Margolis ...... Diodati

Elegies was written and adapted from Lycidas by John Milton by Michael Symmons Roberts
Directed by Susan Roberts .
A BBC North production

Poet Michael Symmons Roberts's adaptation of Milton's Lycidas and Tennyson's In Memoriam

Drama from BBC Radio 4

01Part 1. Milton's Lycidas20201004A two-part drama telling the stories behind two of the greatest and most influential poetic elegies ever published in English - Milton's Lycidas and Tennyson's In Memoriam.

Part 1. Milton's Lycidas - starring Holliday Grainger and Nico Mirallegro.

Although written two centuries apart, in 1637 and 1833, the making and circumstances of these great elegies are full of interconnections and are centred on the poetic response to grief and loss. Milton's Lycidas is the first great elegy in English poetry. Both Lycidas and In Memoriam were written in response to the sudden unexpected death of a young male friend, striking the poets in their mid-twenties. when the poets were students at Cambridge. The dead men were prodigiously gifted and also poets, early rivals and first readers to the poets who elegised them.

Milton and Tennyson were thereby thrown into personal grief and poetic challenge, but how to make a poetic elegy that honours and reflects that genuine grief whilst rising to the challenge of the first great poetic subject in these young poets' lives? Milton and Tennyson responded to these complex and terrible circumstances with radically different elegies that stand among the finest poems in English literature.

CAST

Holliday Grainger.... Emily Tennyson
Nico Mirallegro.... John Milton
James Cooney.... Alfred Lord Tennyson
Conrad Nelson.... John Milton senior
Ashley Margolis.... Diodati

Elegies was written and adapted from Lycidas by John Milton by Michael Symmons Roberts
Directed by Susan Roberts

A BBC North production

Poet Michael Symmons Roberts's adaptation of Milton's Lycidas and Tennyson's In Memoriam

Drama from BBC Radio 4