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Melvyn Bragg - Author

About the Author

Melvyn Bragg is a writer and broadcaster. His novels include The Hired Man, for which he won the Time/Life Silver Pen Award, Without a City Wall, winner of the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, The Soldier's Return, winner of the WHSmith Literary Award, A Son of War and Crossing the Lines, both of which were longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, A Place in England, which was longlisted for the Lost Man Booker Prize, and most recently Grace and Mary. He has also written several works of non-fiction, the most recent being The Book of Books about the King James Bible. He lives in London and Cumbria.

Photograph © ITV

Featured books by Melvyn Bragg

Grace and Mary

Grace and Mary

Author: Melvyn Bragg Format: Paperback Release Date: 13/03/2014

Reaching from late 19th-century Cumbria to the present, this elegiac novel celebrates two spirited women: Grace, a farm labourer's daughter who fatefully followed her heart, and Mary, the child she was forced to give up. Unsung heroines according to Mary's son who, as his elderly mother's mind begins to fail, lovingly recreates their lives and the vanished country of their pasts, linking three generations in a chain of enduring love, loss and courage.

ebook of the month

Other books by Melvyn Bragg

Love Without End A Story of Heloise and Abelard

Love Without End A Story of Heloise and Abelard

Author: Melvyn Bragg Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 23/01/2020

'Melvyn Bragg's account of the passionate and painful love affair between the 12th century radical theologian, Peter Abelard, and the brilliant young convent-educated Eloise springs magnificently to life . . . Thrilling.' Piers Plowright, Tablet Within the Cloisters of Notre-Dame, a charismatic philosopher and a young woman renowned for her scholarship embark on an ardent, secret affair. It will send shockwaves through Paris, incur savage retribution and lead to years of separation, though nothing will break the bond between them. Bringing the true story of Heloise and Abelard to vivid life, this engrossing novel conveys the powerful emotions and beliefs that drove them. It captures a couple who defied the conventions and religious orthodoxies of their times with striking audacity, and illuminates why their extraordinary tale still resonates today.

William Tyndale A Very Brief History

William Tyndale A Very Brief History

Author: Melvyn Bragg Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 18/04/2019

Part One: The History (What do we know?) This brief historical introduction to William Tyndale explores the social, political and religious factors that formed the original context of his life and writings, and considers how those factors affected the way he was initially received. What was his impact on the world at the time and what were the key ideas and values connected with him? Part Two: The Legacy (Why does it matter?) This second part explores the intellectual and cultural `afterlife' of William Tyndale, and considers the ways in which his impact has lasted and been developed in different contexts by later generations. Why is he still considered important today? In what ways is his legacy contested or resisted? And what aspects of his legacy are likely to continue to influence the world in the future? The book has a brief chronology at the front plus a glossary of key terms and a list of further reading at the back.

Love Without End A Story of Heloise and Abelard

Love Without End A Story of Heloise and Abelard

Author: Melvyn Bragg Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/03/2019

'Melvyn Bragg's account of the passionate and painful love affair between the 12th century radical theologian, Peter Abelard, and the brilliant young convent-educated Eloise springs magnificently to life . . . Thrilling.' Piers Plowright, Tablet Paris in 1117. Heloise, a brilliant young scholar, is astonished when the famous, radical philosopher, Peter Abelard, consents to be her tutor. But what starts out as a meeting of minds turns into a passionate, dangerous love affair, which incurs terrible retribution. Nine centuries later, Arthur is in Paris to recreate the extraordinary story of Heloise and Abelard in a novel. To his surprise, his daughter visits and agrees to help, challenging his portraits of a couple who seem often inscrutable, sometimes breathtakingly modern. It soon emerges she is on her own mission to discover more about her parents' fractured relationship - and that Arthur's connection to his subject is more emotional than he cares to admit.

Love Without End A Story of Heloise and Abelard

Love Without End A Story of Heloise and Abelard

Author: Melvyn Bragg Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/03/2019

A classic love story, retold for our times. Heloise, a young scholar reputed to be the cleverest woman in 12th-century France, arrives in Paris set on entering the city's masculine world of learning. Frustrated in her wishes, she is stunned when the brilliant, radical philosopher, Peter Abelard, consents to be her tutor in exchange for lodgings with her uncle. But what starts out as a meeting of minds turns into a passionate, dangerous love affair, which sends shockwaves throughout the country and incurs terrible retribution. Nine centuries later, Arthur, an English academic, is in Paris attempting to recreate Heloise and Abelard's story in a novel. When his daughter Julia comes to visit, she agrees to help, interrogating his portraits of a couple who seem often inscrutable, sometimes strikingly modern. As she spars with her father, it becomes evident that Julia is on her own quest is to discover more about her parents' fractured relationship - and that Arthur's connection to his subject is more emotional than he cares to admit. In this profoundly thought-provoking, moving novel, Melvyn Bragg brings the 12th-century into the 21st as he breathes fresh life into one of history's most remarkable and enduring love stories.

In Our Time Celebrating Twenty Years of Essential Conversation

In Our Time Celebrating Twenty Years of Essential Conversation

Author: Melvyn Bragg, Simon Tillotson Format: Hardback Release Date: 04/10/2018

'Melvyn not only makes you think ... he makes it enjoyable too. He's brilliant.' - John Humphrys, the Today Programme. 'In a troubled world where many sneer at experts, In Our Time is always a treat. Those who know what they're talking about, talk about it, and they do it under the benevolent if occasionally testy guidance of one who knows how to bring out the best in them. Listen, read, mark, and inwardly digest; agreeable glass of accompanying refreshment optional.' - Sir Diarmaid MacCulloch 'This beautifully produced and expertly edited book is a wonderfully rich and varied sample of 50 In Our Time programmes, from ancient Greek philosophy to dark matter via the gin craze. It will whet your appetite to visit or revisit the many hundreds of other programmes in this remarkable series.' - Professor Angela Hobbs 'Bragg gives short shrift to pretension of any kind, while remaining stalwart in his search for knowledge. His methodology in In Our Time is... not unlike that of a man throwing a stick at a dog: he chucks his questions ahead, and if the chosen academic fails to bring it right back, he chides them. He retains enough of his bluff Cumbrian origins not to be taken in by gambolling and tweedy high spirits.' - Will Self, from a February 2010 issue of London Review of Books In Our Time has been the cornerstone of broadcasting every Thursday morning on BBC Radio 4 for the past twenty years, with over 800 episodes since its launch in October 1998. Presented by one of Britain's greatest champions of the arts, Melvyn Bragg, the show explores ideas across history, religion, philosophy, science and culture. With a vast array of contributors from the world of academia, such as Mary Beard, Angie Hobbs and Diarmaid MacCulloch, it is one of Radio 4's most successful programmes, attracting a weekly live audience exceeding 2 million listeners, and, per episode, it is one of the world's most downloaded podcasts. To honour this major anniversary of BBC broadcasting, this beautifully illustrated book provides a lively and colourful guide to fifty of the most captivating discussions from the past two decades of In Our Time, as chosen by Melvyn and the producer Simon Tillotson, and, influenced by listeners who have recommended their favourite programmes from those years. Highlights include 'Romulus and Remus', 'The Death of Elizabeth I', 'Ada Lovelace', 'The Gin Craze', the 'Epic of Gilgamesh' and 'The Salem Witch Trials', and there are additional behind-the-scenes insights, peppered with Melvyn Bragg's remarks both on and off air. This is a captivating gift for all fans and a celebration of this iconic series.

William Tyndale A Very Brief History

William Tyndale A Very Brief History

Author: Melvyn Bragg Format: Hardback Release Date: 19/10/2017

Part One: The History (What do we know?) This brief historical introduction to William Tyndale explores the social, political and religious factors that formed the original context of his life and writings, and considers how those factors affected the way he was initially received. What was his impact on the world at the time and what were the key ideas and values connected with him? Part Two: The Legacy (Why does it matter?) This second part explores the intellectual and cultural `afterlife' of William Tyndale, and considers the ways in which his impact has lasted and been developed in different contexts by later generations. Why is he still considered important today? In what ways is his legacy contested or resisted? And what aspects of his legacy are likely to continue to influence the world in the future? The book has a brief chronology at the front plus a glossary of key terms and a list of further reading at the back.

The Adventure Of English

The Adventure Of English

Author: Melvyn Bragg Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 31/05/2016

REISSUED AS A SCEPTRE 30TH CLASSIC, with a new afterword by the author. English is the collective work of millions of people throughout the ages. It is democratic, ever-changing and ingenious in its assimilation of other cultures. English runs through the heart of world finance, medicine and the Internet, and it is understood by around two thousand million people across the world. Yet it was very nearly wiped out in its early years. In this book Melvyn Bragg shows us the remarkable story of the English language; from its beginnings as a minor guttural Germanic dialect to its position today as a truly established global language. THE ADVENTURE OF ENGLISH is not only an enthralling story of power, religion and trade, but also the story of people, and how their day-to-day lives shaped and continue to change the extraordinary language that is English.

Grace and Mary

Grace and Mary

Author: Melvyn Bragg Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 09/05/2013

John visits his ageing mother Mary in her nursing home by the sea, and mourns the slow fading of her mind. Hoping to shore up her memory, he prompts her with songs, photographs and questions about the 1940s, when she was a young woman and he a child in a small Cumbrian town. But he finds that most of all it is her own mother she longs for - Grace, the mother she barely knew. John sets out to recreate their buried family history, delving into the secrets and silences of Mary's fractured childhood as he imagines the life of her spirited mother. Reaching from the late 19th century to the present, this becomes a deeply moving, reflective elegy on three generations linked by a chain of love, loss, and courage.

Nerve

Nerve

Author: Melvyn Bragg Format: eBook Release Date: 21/06/2012

One August bank holiday, Ted Johnson wakes to a day of reckoning - with his past in Cumberland, his present in London and his fantasies. An inflamed nerve troubles his eye as he veers between elation and despair, overwhelmed by the noise and bustle of the streets, unable to connect even with a visiting girlfriend. Written in 1971, Melvyn Bragg's sixth novel draws a remarkable portrait of a man's courageous fight to keep his mental balance and regain a sense of identity amid the stress and intoxication of modern city life.

Son of War: A Novela and Stories

Son of War: A Novela and Stories

Author: Melvyn Bragg Format: eBook Release Date: 05/01/2012

The second volume of a trilogy that began with The Soldier's Return.After the upheavals of the Second World War, the Richardson family -- Sam, Ellen and their young son Joe -- settle back to working-class life in the Cumbrian town of Wigton. Yet for them, as for so many, life will never be the same again. As the old order begins to be challenged and new vistas open, Sam and Ellen forge their future together with differing needs and desires - and conflicting expectations of Joe, who grows up with his own demons to confront.Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Arcade, Yucca, and Good Books imprints, are proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in fictionnovels, novellas, political and medical thrillers, comedy, satire, historical fiction, romance, erotic and love stories, mystery, classic literature, folklore and mythology, literary classics including Shakespeare, Dumas, Wilde, Cather, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.

The Adventure Of English

The Adventure Of English

Author: Melvyn Bragg Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/06/2011

English is the collective work of millions of people throughout the ages. It is democratic, ever-changing and ingenious in its assimilation of other cultures. English runs through the heart of world finance, medicine and the Internet, and it is understood by around two thousand million people across the world. Yet it was very nearly wiped out in its early years. In this book Melvyn Bragg shows us the remarkable story of the English language; from its beginnings as a minor guttural Germanic dialect to its position today as a truly established global language. The Adventure of English is not only an enthralling story of power, religion and trade, but also the story of people, and how their day-to-day lives shaped and continue to change the extraordinary language that is English.

The South Bank Show: Final Cut

The South Bank Show: Final Cut

Author: Melvyn Bragg Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 11/11/2010

What drives a musician to write extraordinary songs? How do writers create their worlds? How does an actor achieve greatness? For over thirty years of The South Bank Show, Melvyn Bragg has interviewed many of the greatest cultural icons of our age. These interviews offer revelatory insights into the lives and work of writers, actors, artists and musicians. In The South Bank Show: Final Cut he has revisited some of these artists and used the interviews as the basis for fuller portraits. The range of artists is remarkable and this book is true to The South Bank Show's ethos of seeking out the highest quality whatever the art form. Melvyn Bragg's unique perspective makes this book indispensable for anyone interested in the work and lives of some of the best artists of our time.

In Our Time The companion to the Radio 4 series

In Our Time The companion to the Radio 4 series

Author: Melvyn Bragg Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/09/2010

Melvyn Bragg's In Our Time series regularly enlightens and entertains substantial audiences on BBC Radio 4. For this book he has selected episodes which reflect the diversity of the radio programmes, and takes us on an amazing tour through the history of ideas, from philosophy, physics and history to religion, literature and biology. We can discover the reasons for the fall of the Byzantine empire, and why women were persecuted as witches in the seventeenth century. What shape is the origin of life? Where does our calendar come from? We can unearth the influence of prime numbers, Socrates and Tectonic plates. Melvyn Bragg orchestrates the ideas of leading academics in each field so that the dynamic and lively discussion from the programmes comes through vividly on the page. IN OUR TIME brings to life the signposts of history, the moments that significantly changed the world as we know it, and the individuals and ideas that made us what we are today.

Rich: The Life of Richard Burton

Rich: The Life of Richard Burton

Author: Melvyn Bragg Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/04/2010

Richard Burton: star. The roaring boy from the Welsh coal valleys who came to sport on the banks of the old Nile, playing great Antony to Elizabeth Taylor's Cleopatra. From the West End to Hollywood, from Camelot to Shakespeare, he drank, dazzled and despaired, playing out his life on the public stage. But there was another, quieter, off-stage Richard Burton, a face hidden from the multitude. Melvyn Bragg, allowed free access to the never-before-revealed Burton private notebooks, and with the cooperation of friends who have never spoken about him before, has brought together the private and public sides for the first time. Rich is the complete Richard Burton: a revelation.

In Our Time The companion to the Radio 4 series

In Our Time The companion to the Radio 4 series

Author: Melvyn Bragg Format: CD-Audio Release Date: 01/10/2009

Melvyn Bragg's In Our Time series regularly entertains and fascinates substantial audiences on BBC Radio 4. Melvyn Bragg orchestrates the ideas of leading academics in each field and leads a dynamic and lively discussion. In Our Time brings to life the signposts of history, the moments that significantly changed the world as we know it, and the individuals and ideas that made us what we are today. Now collected on CD for he first time here are all four programmes about Charles Darwin, recorded on location.

12 Books That Changed The World How words and wisdom have shaped our lives

12 Books That Changed The World How words and wisdom have shaped our lives

Author: Melvyn Bragg Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/02/2007

When we think of great events in the history of the world, we tend to think of war, revolution, political upheaval or natural catastrophe. But throughout history there have been moments of vital importance that have taken place not on the battlefield, or in the palaces of power, or even in the violence of nature, but between the pages of a book. In our digitised age of instant information it is easy to underestimate the power of the printed word. In his fascinating new book accompanying the ITV series, Melvyn Bragg presents a vivid reminder of the book as agent of social, political and personal revolution. Twelve Books that Changed the World presents a rich variety of human endeavour and a great diversity of characters. There are also surprises. Here are famous books by Darwin, Newton and Shakespeare - but we also discover the stories behind some less well-known works, such as Marie Stopes' Married Love, the original radical feminist Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Woman - and even the rules to an obscure ball game that became the most popular sport in the world . . .

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