Episodes

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Literary Pursuits - Les Miserables20181230

The story behind the writing of Victor Hugo's classic novel is one of adultery, revolution, political intrigue and exile. It was begun in Paris, when Hugo was part of the political and literary establishment, but the revolution of 1848 led to Hugo falling foul of the authorities and he had to flee for his life in disguise. He was reunited with his precious manuscript days later when it was brought to him in Brussels by his long-time mistress Juilette Drouet. Eventually ending up in Guernsey, it was twelve years later that Hugo finally took his manuscript out and finished it. But the events of the intervening years caused Hugo to make huge additions to the manuscript, transforming it from a novel into a masterpiece.

The story behind the writing of Victor Hugo's book is one of adultery, intrigue and exile.

Exploring music, history, science, philosophy, film, visual arts and literature.

Literary Pursuits - RL Stevenson's Jekyll and Hyde2018022520190802 (R3)

Sarah Dillon discovers the story behind the writing of R.L. Stevenson's horror classic 'Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.' Written at speed in Bournemouth while Stevenson was recuperating from a serious illness, this is the book that finally made his name and fortune. He later said it was inspired by a dream, and his wife, Fanny claims that it was her influence that caused him to burn the first draft and re-write it in three days. But interviews with author and broadcaster Sir Christopher Frayling, biographer Claire Harman, author and journalist Jeremy Hodges and Professor Richard Dury reveal that the myth of the books composition can be challenged. Sarah Dillon discovers there are many other possible influences on the novel, including the death of a friend by alcoholic poisoning; a contemporary investigative journalist report who exposed child prostitution; a real life murderer who Stevenson knew in Edinburgh and a wardrobe with a disturbing history from his childhood bedroom.

Sarah Dillon finds out the story behind the writing of RL Stevenson's Jekyll and Hyde.

Exploring music, history, science, philosophy, film, visual arts and literature.

Literary Pursuits - Rl Stevenson's Jekyll And Hyde2018022520190802 (R3)

Sarah Dillon discovers the story behind the writing of R.L. Stevenson's horror classic 'Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.' Written at speed in Bournemouth while Stevenson was recuperating from a serious illness, this is the book that finally made his name and fortune. He later said it was inspired by a dream, and his wife, Fanny claims that it was her influence that caused him to burn the first draft and re-write it in three days. But interviews with author and broadcaster Sir Christopher Frayling, biographer Claire Harman, author and journalist Jeremy Hodges and Professor Richard Dury reveal that the myth of the books composition can be challenged. Sarah Dillon discovers there are many other possible influences on the novel, including the death of a friend by alcoholic poisoning; a contemporary investigative journalist report who exposed child prostitution; a real life murderer who Stevenson knew in Edinburgh and a wardrobe with a disturbing history from his childhood bedroom.

Sarah Dillon finds out the story behind the writing of RL Stevenson's Jekyll and Hyde.

Exploring music, history, science, philosophy, film, visual arts and literature.

Literary Pursuits: Em Forster's Maurice2017070920180904 (R3)

Exploring the long journey to publication of EM Forster's gay love story, Maurice.

Exploring music, history, science, philosophy, film, visual arts and literature.

Forster's gay love story was a forbidden book. Written in 1913, inspired by a touch on the buttocks, 'Maurice' was only published in 1971 after Forster died. Nevertheless, for almost sixty years, it was a secret manuscript, clandestinely circulating among those Forster trusted. They included Lytton Strachey, Leonard Woolf, Siegfried Sassoon and Christopher Isherwood. Isherwood's comments especially prompted Forster to re-write, adding a sex scene and altering the ending. But for years he refused Isherwood's pressure to publish, until finally acquiescing to a posthumous publication, and sending the typescript by trusted couriers from Cambridge to America. Biographer Wendy Moffat talks about how she pieced together the details of this journey, scholar Philip Gardner looks at the manuscript changes and writer Peter Parker discusses Isherwood's influence on the finished novel.