Literary Pursuits [sunday Feature]

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: 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.