Episodes

EpisodeFirst
Broadcast
RepeatedComments
012017040320180403 (BBC7)
20180402 (BBC7)

Newly widowed Cora Seaborne and her young son Francis leave London for Colchester.

Readings from modern classics, new works by leading writers and world literature

Sarah Perry's award-winning novel, set at the end of the nineteenth century and inspired by true events.

Moving between Essex and London, myth and modernity, Cora Seaborne's spirited search for the Essex Serpent encourages all around her to test their allegiance to faith or reason in an age of rapid scientific advancement. At the same time, the novel explores the boundaries of love and friendship and the allegiances that we have to one another. The depth of feeling that the inhabitants of Aldwinter share are matched by their city counterparts as they strive to find the courage to express and understand their deepest desires, and strongest fears.

Episode One
It is 1893. Newly widowed, Cora Seaborne and her young son, Francis, leave London and head for Colchester. Cora plans to look for fossils but is intrigued to hear about the myth of the Essex Serpent.

Sarah Perry was born in Essex in 1979. She has a PhD in creative writing at Royal Holloway which she completed under the supervision of Andrew Motion. She has been writer in residence at the Gladstone Library and is the winner of a Shiva Naipaul award for travel writing. Her first novel, After Me Comes The Flood won the East Anglian Book of the Year Award in 2014. The Essex Serpent was Waterstone's Book Of The Year in 2016 and was short-listed for the Costa Novel Award 2016. She lives in Norwich.

Writer: Sarah Perry
Abridger: Jeremy Osborne
Reader: Ruth Gemmell
Producer: Rosalynd Ward

A Sweet Talk production for BBC Radio 4.

Newly widowed Cora Seaborne and her young son Francis leave London for Colchester.

Readings from modern classics, new works by leading writers and world literature

Sarah Perry's award-winning novel, set at the end of the nineteenth century and inspired by true events.

Moving between Essex and London, myth and modernity, Cora Seaborne's spirited search for the Essex Serpent encourages all around her to test their allegiance to faith or reason in an age of rapid scientific advancement. At the same time, the novel explores the boundaries of love and friendship and the allegiances that we have to one another. The depth of feeling that the inhabitants of Aldwinter share are matched by their city counterparts as they strive to find the courage to express and understand their deepest desires, and strongest fears.

Episode One
It is 1893. Newly widowed, Cora Seaborne and her young son, Francis, leave London and head for Colchester. Cora plans to look for fossils but is intrigued to hear about the myth of the Essex Serpent.

Sarah Perry was born in Essex in 1979. She has a PhD in creative writing at Royal Holloway which she completed under the supervision of Andrew Motion. She has been writer in residence at the Gladstone Library and is the winner of a Shiva Naipaul award for travel writing. Her first novel, After Me Comes The Flood won the East Anglian Book of the Year Award in 2014. The Essex Serpent was Waterstone's Book Of The Year in 2016 and was short-listed for the Costa Novel Award 2016. She lives in Norwich.

Writer: Sarah Perry
Abridger: Jeremy Osborne
Reader: Ruth Gemmell
Producer: Rosalynd Ward

A Sweet Talk production for BBC Radio 4.

Sarah Perry's award-winning novel, set at the end of the nineteenth century and inspired by true events.

Moving between Essex and London, myth and modernity, Cora Seaborne's spirited search for the Essex Serpent encourages all around her to test their allegiance to faith or reason in an age of rapid scientific advancement. At the same time, the novel explores the boundaries of love and friendship and the allegiances that we have to one another. The depth of feeling that the inhabitants of Aldwinter share are matched by their city counterparts as they strive to find the courage to express and understand their deepest desires, and strongest fears.

Episode One

It is 1893. Newly widowed, Cora Seaborne and her young son, Francis, leave London and head for Colchester. Cora plans to look for fossils but is intrigued to hear about the myth of the Essex Serpent.

Sarah Perry was born in Essex in 1979. She has a PhD in creative writing at Royal Holloway which she completed under the supervision of Andrew Motion. She has been writer in residence at the Gladstone Library and is the winner of a Shiva Naipaul award for travel writing. Her first novel, After Me Comes The Flood won the East Anglian Book of the Year Award in 2014. The Essex Serpent was Waterstone's Book Of The Year in 2016 and was short-listed for the Costa Novel Award 2016. She lives in Norwich.

Writer: Sarah Perry

Abridger: Jeremy Osborne

Reader: Ruth Gemmell

Producer: Rosalynd Ward

A Sweet Talk production for BBC Radio 4.

022017040420180404 (BBC7)
20180403 (BBC7)

Rumours about the re-emergence of the Essex Serpent are circulating in Aldwinter.

Readings from modern classics, new works by leading writers and world literature

Sarah Perry's award-winning novel, set at the end of the nineteenth century and inspired by true events.

Moving between Essex and London, myth and modernity, Cora Seaborne's spirited search for the Essex Serpent encourages all around her to test their allegiance to faith or reason in an age of rapid scientific advancement. At the same time, the novel explores the boundaries of love and friendship and the allegiances that we have to one another. The depth of feeling that the inhabitants of Aldwinter share are matched by their city counterparts as they strive to find the courage to express and understand their deepest desires, and strongest fears.

Episode Two
Rumours about the re-emergence of the Essex Serpent are circulating in the village of Aldwinter. Cora has an unexpected encounter with one of the villagers.

Sarah Perry was born in Essex in 1979. She has a PhD in creative writing at Royal Holloway which she completed under the supervision of Andrew Motion. She has been writer in residence at the Gladstone Library and is the winner of a Shiva Naipaul award for travel writing. Her first novel, After Me Comes The Flood won the East Anglian Book of the Year Award in 2014. The Essex Serpent was Waterstone's Book Of The Year in 2016 and was short-listed for the Costa Novel Award 2016. She lives in Norwich.

Writer: Sarah Perry
Abridger: Jeremy Osborne
Reader: Ruth Gemmell
Producer: Rosalynd Ward

A Sweet Talk production for BBC Radio 4.

Rumours about the re-emergence of the Essex Serpent are circulating in Aldwinter.

Readings from modern classics, new works by leading writers and world literature

Sarah Perry's award-winning novel, set at the end of the nineteenth century and inspired by true events.

Moving between Essex and London, myth and modernity, Cora Seaborne's spirited search for the Essex Serpent encourages all around her to test their allegiance to faith or reason in an age of rapid scientific advancement. At the same time, the novel explores the boundaries of love and friendship and the allegiances that we have to one another. The depth of feeling that the inhabitants of Aldwinter share are matched by their city counterparts as they strive to find the courage to express and understand their deepest desires, and strongest fears.

Episode Two
Rumours about the re-emergence of the Essex Serpent are circulating in the village of Aldwinter. Cora has an unexpected encounter with one of the villagers.

Sarah Perry was born in Essex in 1979. She has a PhD in creative writing at Royal Holloway which she completed under the supervision of Andrew Motion. She has been writer in residence at the Gladstone Library and is the winner of a Shiva Naipaul award for travel writing. Her first novel, After Me Comes The Flood won the East Anglian Book of the Year Award in 2014. The Essex Serpent was Waterstone's Book Of The Year in 2016 and was short-listed for the Costa Novel Award 2016. She lives in Norwich.

Writer: Sarah Perry
Abridger: Jeremy Osborne
Reader: Ruth Gemmell
Producer: Rosalynd Ward

A Sweet Talk production for BBC Radio 4.

Sarah Perry's award-winning novel, set at the end of the nineteenth century and inspired by true events.

Moving between Essex and London, myth and modernity, Cora Seaborne's spirited search for the Essex Serpent encourages all around her to test their allegiance to faith or reason in an age of rapid scientific advancement. At the same time, the novel explores the boundaries of love and friendship and the allegiances that we have to one another. The depth of feeling that the inhabitants of Aldwinter share are matched by their city counterparts as they strive to find the courage to express and understand their deepest desires, and strongest fears.

Episode Two

Rumours about the re-emergence of the Essex Serpent are circulating in the village of Aldwinter. Cora has an unexpected encounter with one of the villagers.

Sarah Perry was born in Essex in 1979. She has a PhD in creative writing at Royal Holloway which she completed under the supervision of Andrew Motion. She has been writer in residence at the Gladstone Library and is the winner of a Shiva Naipaul award for travel writing. Her first novel, After Me Comes The Flood won the East Anglian Book of the Year Award in 2014. The Essex Serpent was Waterstone's Book Of The Year in 2016 and was short-listed for the Costa Novel Award 2016. She lives in Norwich.

Writer: Sarah Perry

Abridger: Jeremy Osborne

Reader: Ruth Gemmell

Producer: Rosalynd Ward

A Sweet Talk production for BBC Radio 4.

032017040520180404 (BBC7)
20180405 (BBC7)

Cora, Francis and Martha visit Aldwinter and meet the local vicar.

Readings from modern classics, new works by leading writers and world literature

Sarah Perry's award-winning novel, set at the end of the nineteenth century and inspired by true events.

Moving between Essex and London, myth and modernity, Cora Seaborne's spirited search for the Essex Serpent encourages all around her to test their allegiance to faith or reason in an age of rapid scientific advancement. At the same time, the novel explores the boundaries of love and friendship and the allegiances that we have to one another. The depth of feeling that the inhabitants of Aldwinter share are matched by their city counterparts as they strive to find the courage to express and understand their deepest desires, and strongest fears.

Episode Three
Cora, her son Francis and her companion, Martha, visit the Essex village of Aldwinter. They are introduced to the local vicar, Will Ransome, and his delightful family.

Sarah Perry was born in Essex in 1979. She has a PhD in creative writing at Royal Holloway which she completed under the supervision of Andrew Motion. She has been writer in residence at the Gladstone Library and is the winner of a Shiva Naipaul award for travel writing. Her first novel, After Me Comes The Flood won the East Anglian Book of the Year Award in 2014. The Essex Serpent was Waterstone's Book Of The Year in 2016 and was short-listed for the Costa Novel Award 2016. She lives in Norwich.

Writer: Sarah Perry
Abridger: Jeremy Osborne
Reader: Ruth Gemmell
Producer: Rosalynd Ward

A Sweet Talk production for BBC Radio 4.

Sarah Perry's award-winning novel, set at the end of the nineteenth century and inspired by true events.

Moving between Essex and London, myth and modernity, Cora Seaborne's spirited search for the Essex Serpent encourages all around her to test their allegiance to faith or reason in an age of rapid scientific advancement. At the same time, the novel explores the boundaries of love and friendship and the allegiances that we have to one another. The depth of feeling that the inhabitants of Aldwinter share are matched by their city counterparts as they strive to find the courage to express and understand their deepest desires, and strongest fears.

Episode Three

Cora, her son Francis and her companion, Martha, visit the Essex village of Aldwinter. They are introduced to the local vicar, Will Ransome, and his delightful family.

Sarah Perry was born in Essex in 1979. She has a PhD in creative writing at Royal Holloway which she completed under the supervision of Andrew Motion. She has been writer in residence at the Gladstone Library and is the winner of a Shiva Naipaul award for travel writing. Her first novel, After Me Comes The Flood won the East Anglian Book of the Year Award in 2014. The Essex Serpent was Waterstone's Book Of The Year in 2016 and was short-listed for the Costa Novel Award 2016. She lives in Norwich.

Writer: Sarah Perry

Abridger: Jeremy Osborne

Reader: Ruth Gemmell

Producer: Rosalynd Ward

A Sweet Talk production for BBC Radio 4.

042017040620180405 (BBC7)
20180406 (BBC7)

Will tries to dissuade his flock from their belief in the existence of the Essex Serpent.

Readings from modern classics, new works by leading writers and world literature

Sarah Perry's award-winning novel, set at the end of the nineteenth century and inspired by true events.

Moving between Essex and London, myth and modernity, Cora Seaborne's spirited search for the Essex Serpent encourages all around her to test their allegiance to faith or reason in an age of rapid scientific advancement. At the same time, the novel explores the boundaries of love and friendship and the allegiances that we have to one another. The depth of feeling that the inhabitants of Aldwinter share are matched by their city counterparts as they strive to find the courage to express and understand their deepest desires, and strongest fears.

Episode Four
Will tries to dissuade his congregation from their belief in the existence of the Essex Serpent. Cora and her family move to Aldwinter where Cora's friendship with Will deepens.

Sarah Perry was born in Essex in 1979. She has a PhD in creative writing at Royal Holloway which she completed under the supervision of Andrew Motion. She has been writer in residence at the Gladstone Library and is the winner of a Shiva Naipaul award for travel writing. Her first novel, After Me Comes The Flood won the East Anglian Book of the Year Award in 2014. The Essex Serpent was Waterstone's Book Of The Year in 2016 and was short-listed for the Costa Novel Award 2016. She lives in Norwich.

Writer: Sarah Perry
Abridger: Jeremy Osborne
Reader: Ruth Gemmell
Producer: Rosalynd Ward

A Sweet Talk production for BBC Radio 4.

Sarah Perry's award-winning novel, set at the end of the nineteenth century and inspired by true events.

Moving between Essex and London, myth and modernity, Cora Seaborne's spirited search for the Essex Serpent encourages all around her to test their allegiance to faith or reason in an age of rapid scientific advancement. At the same time, the novel explores the boundaries of love and friendship and the allegiances that we have to one another. The depth of feeling that the inhabitants of Aldwinter share are matched by their city counterparts as they strive to find the courage to express and understand their deepest desires, and strongest fears.

Episode Four

Will tries to dissuade his congregation from their belief in the existence of the Essex Serpent. Cora and her family move to Aldwinter where Cora's friendship with Will deepens.

Sarah Perry was born in Essex in 1979. She has a PhD in creative writing at Royal Holloway which she completed under the supervision of Andrew Motion. She has been writer in residence at the Gladstone Library and is the winner of a Shiva Naipaul award for travel writing. Her first novel, After Me Comes The Flood won the East Anglian Book of the Year Award in 2014. The Essex Serpent was Waterstone's Book Of The Year in 2016 and was short-listed for the Costa Novel Award 2016. She lives in Norwich.

Writer: Sarah Perry

Abridger: Jeremy Osborne

Reader: Ruth Gemmell

Producer: Rosalynd Ward

A Sweet Talk production for BBC Radio 4.

052017040720180406 (BBC7)
20180407 (BBC7)

Cora is invited to give a talk to Joanna Ransome's class in Aldwinter school.

Readings from modern classics, new works by leading writers and world literature

Sarah Perry's award-winning novel, set at the end of the nineteenth century and inspired by true events.

Moving between Essex and London, myth and modernity, Cora Seaborne's spirited search for the Essex Serpent encourages all around her to test their allegiance to faith or reason in an age of rapid scientific advancement. At the same time, the novel explores the boundaries of love and friendship and the allegiances that we have to one another. The depth of feeling that the inhabitants of Aldwinter share are matched by their city counterparts as they strive to find the courage to express and understand their deepest desires, and strongest fears.

Episode Five
Cora is invited to give a talk to Joanna Ransome's class in Aldwinter school, which has unforeseen consequences for the girls.

Sarah Perry was born in Essex in 1979. She has a PhD in creative writing at Royal Holloway which she completed under the supervision of Andrew Motion. She has been writer in residence at the Gladstone Library and is the winner of a Shiva Naipaul award for travel writing. Her first novel, After Me Comes The Flood won the East Anglian Book of the Year Award in 2014. The Essex Serpent was Waterstone's Book Of The Year in 2016 and was short-listed for the Costa Novel Award 2016. She lives in Norwich.

Writer: Sarah Perry
Abridger: Jeremy Osborne
Reader: Ruth Gemmell
Producer: Rosalynd Ward

A Sweet Talk production for BBC Radio 4.

Sarah Perry's award-winning novel, set at the end of the nineteenth century and inspired by true events.

Moving between Essex and London, myth and modernity, Cora Seaborne's spirited search for the Essex Serpent encourages all around her to test their allegiance to faith or reason in an age of rapid scientific advancement. At the same time, the novel explores the boundaries of love and friendship and the allegiances that we have to one another. The depth of feeling that the inhabitants of Aldwinter share are matched by their city counterparts as they strive to find the courage to express and understand their deepest desires, and strongest fears.

Episode Five

Cora is invited to give a talk to Joanna Ransome's class in Aldwinter school, which has unforeseen consequences for the girls.

Sarah Perry was born in Essex in 1979. She has a PhD in creative writing at Royal Holloway which she completed under the supervision of Andrew Motion. She has been writer in residence at the Gladstone Library and is the winner of a Shiva Naipaul award for travel writing. Her first novel, After Me Comes The Flood won the East Anglian Book of the Year Award in 2014. The Essex Serpent was Waterstone's Book Of The Year in 2016 and was short-listed for the Costa Novel Award 2016. She lives in Norwich.

Writer: Sarah Perry

Abridger: Jeremy Osborne

Reader: Ruth Gemmell

Producer: Rosalynd Ward

A Sweet Talk production for BBC Radio 4.

0620170410

Sarah Perry's award-winning novel, set at the end of the nineteenth century and inspired by true events.

Moving between Essex and London, myth and modernity, Cora Seaborne's spirited search for the Essex Serpent encourages all around her to test their allegiance to faith or reason in an age of rapid scientific advancement. At the same time, the novel explores the boundaries of love and friendship and the allegiances that we have to one another. The depth of feeling that the inhabitants of Aldwinter share are matched by their city counterparts as they strive to find the courage to express and understand their deepest desires, and strongest fears.

Episode Six

Cora seeks help from her London friend, Dr Luke Garrett. Her friendship with Will is tested. Meanwhile, the summer heat seems to banish all thoughts of the Essex Serpent.

Sarah Perry was born in Essex in 1979. She has a PhD in creative writing at Royal Holloway which she completed under the supervision of Andrew Motion. She has been writer in residence at the Gladstone Library and is the winner of a Shiva Naipaul award for travel writing. Her first novel, After Me Comes The Flood won the East Anglian Book of the Year Award in 2014. The Essex Serpent was Waterstone's Book Of The Year in 2016 and was short-listed for the Costa Novel Award 2016. She lives in Norwich.

Writer: Sarah Perry

Abridger: Jeremy Osborne

Reader: Ruth Gemmell

Producer: Rosalynd Ward

A Sweet Talk production for BBC Radio 4.

0720170411

Sarah Perry's award-winning novel, set at the end of the nineteenth century and inspired by true events.

Moving between Essex and London, myth and modernity, Cora Seaborne's spirited search for the Essex Serpent encourages all around her to test their allegiance to faith or reason in an age of rapid scientific advancement. At the same time, the novel explores the boundaries of love and friendship and the allegiances that we have to one another. The depth of feeling that the inhabitants of Aldwinter share are matched by their city counterparts as they strive to find the courage to express and understand their deepest desires, and strongest fears.

Episode Seven

Cora hosts a midsummer party at her Aldwinter house. Her connection with Will deepens. Stella Ransome's mysterious illness gets worse, prompting a visit to London with her husband.

Sarah Perry was born in Essex in 1979. She has a PhD in creative writing at Royal Holloway which she completed under the supervision of Andrew Motion. She has been writer in residence at the Gladstone Library and is the winner of a Shiva Naipaul award for travel writing. Her first novel, After Me Comes The Flood won the East Anglian Book of the Year Award in 2014. The Essex Serpent was Waterstone's Book Of The Year in 2016 and was short-listed for the Costa Novel Award 2016. She lives in Norwich.

Writer: Sarah Perry

Abridger: Jeremy Osborne

Reader: Ruth Gemmell

Producer: Rosalynd Ward

A Sweet Talk production for BBC Radio 4.

0820170412

Sarah Perry's award-winning novel, set at the end of the nineteenth century and inspired by true events.

Moving between Essex and London, myth and modernity, Cora Seaborne's spirited search for the Essex Serpent encourages all around her to test their allegiance to faith or reason in an age of rapid scientific advancement. At the same time, the novel explores the boundaries of love and friendship and the allegiances that we have to one another. The depth of feeling that the inhabitants of Aldwinter share are matched by their city counterparts as they strive to find the courage to express and understand their deepest desires, and strongest fears.

Episode Eight

In Aldwinter, the mystery of the Essex Serpent appears to be solved. But there is shocking news from London for Cora.

Sarah Perry was born in Essex in 1979. She has a PhD in creative writing at Royal Holloway which she completed under the supervision of Andrew Motion. She has been writer in residence at the Gladstone Library and is the winner of a Shiva Naipaul award for travel writing. Her first novel, After Me Comes The Flood won the East Anglian Book of the Year Award in 2014. The Essex Serpent was Waterstone's Book Of The Year in 2016 and was short-listed for the Costa Novel Award 2016. She lives in Norwich.

Writer: Sarah Perry

Abridger: Jeremy Osborne

Reader: Ruth Gemmell

Producer: Rosalynd Ward

A Sweet Talk production for BBC Radio 4.

0920170413

Sarah Perry's award-winning novel, set at the end of the nineteenth century and inspired by true events.

Moving between Essex and London, myth and modernity, Cora Seaborne's spirited search for the Essex Serpent encourages all around her to test their allegiance to faith or reason in an age of rapid scientific advancement. At the same time, the novel explores the boundaries of love and friendship and the allegiances that we have to one another. The depth of feeling that the inhabitants of Aldwinter share are matched by their city counterparts as they strive to find the courage to express and understand their deepest desires, and strongest fears.

Episode Nine

Cora and Will resume their deep friendship. Stella Ransome enlists the young Francis Seaborne's help with a secret project.

Sarah Perry was born in Essex in 1979. She has a PhD in creative writing at Royal Holloway which she completed under the supervision of Andrew Motion. She has been writer in residence at the Gladstone Library and is the winner of a Shiva Naipaul award for travel writing. Her first novel, After Me Comes The Flood won the East Anglian Book of the Year Award in 2014. The Essex Serpent was Waterstone's Book Of The Year in 2016 and was short-listed for the Costa Novel Award 2016. She lives in Norwich.

Writer: Sarah Perry

Abridger: Jeremy Osborne

Reader: Ruth Gemmell

Producer: Rosalynd Ward

A Sweet Talk production for BBC Radio 4.

10 LAST20170414

Sarah Perry's award-winning novel, set at the end of the nineteenth century and inspired by true events.

Moving between Essex and London, myth and modernity, Cora Seaborne's spirited search for the Essex Serpent encourages all around her to test their allegiance to faith or reason in an age of rapid scientific advancement. At the same time, the novel explores the boundaries of love and friendship and the allegiances that we have to one another. The depth of feeling that the inhabitants of Aldwinter share are matched by their city counterparts as they strive to find the courage to express and understand their deepest desires, and strongest fears.

Episode Ten

The villagers confront the myth of the Essex Serpent for the last time. Cora and Will are forced to re-examine their relationship and their future.

Sarah Perry was born in Essex in 1979. She has a PhD in creative writing at Royal Holloway which she completed under the supervision of Andrew Motion. She has been writer in residence at the Gladstone Library and is the winner of a Shiva Naipaul award for travel writing. Her first novel, After Me Comes The Flood won the East Anglian Book of the Year Award in 2014. The Essex Serpent was Waterstone's Book Of The Year in 2016 and was short-listed for the Costa Novel Award 2016. She lives in Norwich.

Writer: Sarah Perry

Abridger: Jeremy Osborne

Reader: Ruth Gemmell

Producer: Rosalynd Ward

A Sweet Talk production for BBC Radio 4.