Ulverton [Ulverton]

Episodes

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01Ulverton20190804

First of two dramas bookending a reading of Adam Thorpe's classic historical novel.

Thorpe's ground-breaking Ulverton was published in 1992. Although it was a first novel, the reviews heralded a "masterpiece" (Peter Kemp, Sunday Times) and it was also celebrated in the American press - "as encompassing a portrait of what it means to be British as I have ever read" (Seattle Times) and "One of the great British fictional works of our time" (LA Times).

It's a novel which has long been celebrated for the way it employs all the lyrical agility of the English language as it evolved down the centuries to give us a narrative that is shaped by time and character and born of a particular landscape - the chalk downlands of West Berkshire. A succession of different voices offer brief glimpses of life in Ulverton at roughly a generation's interval.

The first drama consists of three parts. We begin with Return (1650) and a shepherd, William, who looks back on the end of the English Civil War and the day his boyhood friend Gabby came back to Ulverton after five years away fighting for Cromwell. This episode is followed by two further chapters from the book - Friends (1689) in the form of a sermon from the Rev Brazier which features a fatal snowstorm, and Improvements (1712) in which a farmer charts the progress of his farm in his journal, while lamenting his own lack of a son and heir to pass it on to.

The novel will be read from Monday to Friday for the next two weeks, before a second drama on Saturday 17th August.

Cast:
RETURN
WILLIAM: John Sackville,
ANNE: Emma Spurgin-Hussey,
GABBY: Tristan Sturrock
THOMAS WALTERS: Rory Wilton

FRIENDS:
REV BRAZIER: David Threlfall

IMPROVEMENTS
FARMER PLUMM: Richard Goulding

Dramatised by Sara Davies
Music and Sound Design: Herbie Homer Warbeck and John Etchells

Produced by Jill Waters
A Waters Company production for BBC Radio 4

Two dramas bookend a multi-voice reading of Adam Thorpe's fictional historical novel.

0220190805

Adam Thorpe's ground-breaking Ulverton was published in 1992. Although it was a first novel, the reviews heralded a "masterpiece" (Peter Kemp, Sunday Times) and it was also celebrated in the American press - "as encompassing a portrait of what it means to be British as I have ever read" (Seattle Times) and "One of the great British fictional works of our time" (LA Times).

It's a novel which has long been celebrated for the way it employs all the lyrical agility of the English language as it evolved down the centuries to give us a narrative that is shaped by time and character and born of a particular landscape - the chalk downlands of West Berkshire. A succession of different voices offer brief glimpses of life in Ulverton at roughly a generation's interval.

Ulverton House, 1743. Lady Chalmers is confined to her room in the weeks and months after the birth of her first child. Her letters reveal a turbulent state of longing.

Written by Adam Thorpe
Read by Eleanor Tomlinson
Abridged by Sara Davies and Jill Waters
Produced by Jill Waters
A Waters Company production for BBC Radio 4

A multi-voice reading of Adam Thorpe's story of a fictional village from 1650 to 1988.

Two dramas bookend a multi-voice reading of Adam Thorpe's fictional historical novel.