The Europeans (omnibus)

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20190922With the building of the railways and new technological advances, 19th Century Europe is hovering on the brink of great change. By exploring the love triangle between a famous opera singer, her husband-manager and a Russian novelist, Orlando Figes’ latest book charts the emergence of a cosmopolitan Europe.

The reader is Hugh Bonneville

Abridged by Richard Hamilton
Produced by Elizabeth Allard
Directed by Gemma Jenkins

The Europeans takes us back to the 19th century and tells the story of the intimate relationship which existed between opera superstar, Pauline Viardot, her husband and manager Louis Viardot and the Russian novelist, Ivan Turgenev. Alongside their personal story The Europeans also tells of the role they played in Europe’s cultural renaissance. From the mid-19th century up until the outbreak of the First World War, Europe experienced a cultural revolution which stretched from the British Isles to Imperial Russia heralding in a new age of heady optimism. A thirst for literature, art and music flourished during this period bringing about a commercial demand that was facilitated by technology changes from the railways to the factory scale production of upright pianos.

Each of the five episodes focuses on a different stage of the Viardot’s and Turgenev’s relationship and a selection of the ways in which they and their work contributed to Europe’s evolving cultural landscape.

Hugh Bonneville reads Orlando Figes' account of a love triangle amid huge cultural change.

With the building of the railways and new technological advances, 19th Century Europe is hovering on the brink of great change. By exploring the love triangle between a famous opera singer, her husband-manager and a Russian novelist, Orlando Figes’ latest book charts the emergence of a cosmopolitan Europe.

Omnibus read by Hugh Bonneville.

The Europeans takes us back to the 19th century and tells the story of the intimate relationship which existed between opera superstar, Pauline Viardot, her husband and manager Louis Viardot and the Russian novelist, Ivan Turgenev. Alongside their personal story The Europeans also tells of the role they played in Europe’s cultural renaissance. From the mid-19th century up until the outbreak of the First World War, Europe experienced a cultural revolution which stretched from the British Isles to Imperial Russia heralding in a new age of heady optimism. A thirst for literature, art and music flourished during this period bringing about a commercial demand that was facilitated by technology changes from the railways to the factory scale production of upright pianos.

Each of the five episodes focuses on a different stage of the Viardot’s and Turgenev’s relationship and a selection of the ways in which they and their work contributed to Europe’s evolving cultural landscape.

Abridged by Richard Hamilton

Producer: Elizabeth Allard
Director: Gemma Jenkins

First broadcast in five parts on BBC Radio 4 in 2019.

Hugh Bonneville reads Orlando Figes's account of a love triangle amid huge cultural change

With the building of the railways and new technological advances, 19th Century Europe is hovering on the brink of great change. By exploring the love triangle between a famous opera singer, her husband-manager and a Russian novelist, Orlando Figes’ latest book charts the emergence of a cosmopolitan Europe.

Omnibus read by Hugh Bonneville.

The Europeans takes us back to the 19th century and tells the story of the intimate relationship which existed between opera superstar, Pauline Viardot, her husband and manager Louis Viardot and the Russian novelist, Ivan Turgenev. Alongside their personal story The Europeans also tells of the role they played in Europe’s cultural renaissance. From the mid-19th century up until the outbreak of the First World War, Europe experienced a cultural revolution which stretched from the British Isles to Imperial Russia heralding in a new age of heady optimism. A thirst for literature, art and music flourished during this period bringing about a commercial demand that was facilitated by technology changes from the railways to the factory scale production of upright pianos.

Each of the five episodes focuses on a different stage of the Viardot’s and Turgenev’s relationship and a selection of the ways in which they and their work contributed to Europe’s evolving cultural landscape.

Abridged by Richard Hamilton

Producer: Elizabeth Allard
Director: Gemma Jenkins

First broadcast in five parts on BBC Radio 4 in 2019.

Hugh Bonneville reads Orlando Figes's account of a love triangle amid huge cultural change