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From Rose Tremain comes the Booker Prize shortlisted novel that “restored the historical novel to its rightful place of honor” (New York Times). Robert Merivel, son of a glove maker and an aspiring physician, finds his fortunes transformed when he is given a position at the court of King Charles II. Merivel slips easily into a life of luxury and idleness, enthusiastically enjoying the women and wine of the vibrant Restoration age. But when he’s called on to serve the king in an unusual role, he transgresses the one law he is forbidden to break and is brutally cast out from his new-found paradise. Thus begins Merivel’s journey to self-knowledge, which will take him down into the lowest depths of seventeenth-century society. “Nothing less than superb.”—New York TimesShow more
BBC radio productions of H. G. Wells' finest fiction - plus hear H G Wells in his own words in a selection of original radio broadcasts from the 1930s and 40s H. G. Wells is one of the founding fathers of science fiction, renowned for his futuristic tales in which he predicted space travel, lasers, the atomic bomb and wireless communication. But in addition to his 'scientific romances', he also wrote numerous ghost stories, domestic comedies and Utopian novels espousing his ideals of socialism and feminism. This collection features a selection of his best works from across these genres. Here are dramatisations of his sci-fi and fantasy classics, The Time Machine, The Wonderful Visit, The Island of Dr Moreau, The War of the Worlds and The First Men in the Moon, with stellar casts including Robert Glenister, Bernard Cribbins, Garard Green, Blake Ritson and Hywel Bennett, as well as a reading by Stephen Murray of The Invisible Man. Wells' comic novels of lower middle-class life are represented by Love and Mr Lewisham (read by Paul Daneman), and adaptations of Kipps, Tono-Bungay and The History of Mr Polly, starring Mark Straker, Neil Dudgeon and Christopher Guinee. Also included is a dramatisation of his 'New Woman' novel Ann Veronica, with Amy Hoggartas the eponymous heroine and Bill Nighy as the Narrator. One of Wells' most famous supernatural short stories, The Inexperienced Ghost, is dramatised with a full cast including Donald Houston and Christopher Guard, and four further short tales - In the Abyss, The Sea Raiders, A Dream of Armageddon and The New Accelerator - are read by Timothy Keightley and Robert Bathurst. In the fascinating documentary H G Wells: The Invisible Author, Brian Morton asks whether the focus on Wells' science fiction has overshadowed his other authorial achievements. And we hear Wells in his own words as he discusses topics as diverse as world politics, the history of the printing press, the possibilities of technology and the shape of things to come... Lastly, Martyn Wade's original drama The Wells Way brings H. G. Wells and George Gissing together at crisis points in their lives, as each tries to be more like the other. Julian Rhind-Tutt stars as Wells, with Joseph Millson as Gissing. Contents: The Time Machine The Wonderful Visit The Island of Dr Moreau The Invisible Man The War of the Worlds Love and Mr Lewisham The First Men in the Moon Kipps Tono-Bungay Ann Veronica The History of Mr Polly In the Abyss The Sea Raiders A Dream of Armageddon The New Accelerator The Inexperienced Ghost H G Wells: The Invisible Author Radio speeches by H G Wells The Wells Way by Martin Wade With thanks to Keith WickhamShow more
Dwarves, elves, goblins, trolls, dragons and wizards - these are the ingredients of J.R.R. Tolkien's wonderful fantasy, the prelude to The Lord of The Rings, now the subject of a major feature film series. The hero of the tale is Bilbo Baggins, a home-loving unambitious hobbit who is suddenly thrust into what turns out to be the biggest adventure of his life. Guided by Gandalf the wizard, Bilbo and a company of dwarves set out to destroy Smaug the Magnificent, a ferocious dragon who guards a treasure hoard. Their journey contains many dangers, and in facing them the reluctant Bilbo's great resourcefulness and courage surprises everyone - not least himself! Since it was first broadcast in 1968, this BBC Radio 4 dramatisation has become a classic in its own right, perfectly evoking Tolkien's magical other world and its enchanting, fantastic inhabitants.Show more
'They came in cylinders as dreaded falling stars; they were the ultimate killing machines...' When a Martian spacecraft crash-lands near Woking, mankind is terrorised by aliens in tall, armoured capsules that stalk the countryside on three legs. The frightening machines wreak havoc on London and the Southern Counties with their heat-rays, and survivors are driven underground. Yet it all began in the calm of an observatory... While scanning the heavens, scientist John Nicholson sees a shower of meteorites heading towards Earth. But what he is witnessing is, in fact, the beginnings of an invasion. Soon, dense black smoke wipes out vast numbers of the population and Nicholson tells how he was plunged into a paralysing nightmare of stark terror and utter destruction. Martin Jarvis, Peter Sallis and Anthony Jackson also feature in this thrilling six-part, full-cast dramatisation of H.G. Well's classic novel - an immensely atmospheric recording based on one of the most influential stories ever told.Show more