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Classic Serial

Publish and Be Damn'd: The Memoirs of Harriette Wilson

Episode 1

Duration: 58 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC Radio 4 FMLatest broadcast: on BBC Radio 4 Extra

Adapted by Ellen Dryden.

Nancy Carroll stars as Harriette Wilson, one of the most infamous and talked-about women of the early 19th century. Her lovers included aristocrats, adventurers and even the Duke of Wellington himself. And when they all ceased to support her after her retirement, she had a simple bargain for them - 'pay up, and I'll keep you out of my memoirs'.

A scandalous bestseller of their time, her memoirs reveal a sharp-witted, good-hearted, infinitely adaptable, madcap woman who took on the patriarchy of the time and did something close to beating them at their own game.

Harriette's exciting, secretive, unpredictable world is brought vividly to life in Ellen Dryden's radio dramatization of the book which set the whole country gossiping about the behaviour of the men who ran it, and the women they loved.

In the first episode, Harriette escapes from the stultifyingly boring household of her first aristocratic protector in favour of a more exciting, younger lover. But will he be able to keep her in the style to which she has become accustomed?

We also meet Harriette's friends and rivals such as the mysterious Julia, her saintly sister Fanny, and her satanic sister Amy. Featuring Blake Ritson as the Duke of Argyle, Charles Edwards as Lord Ponsonby, and Barnaby Kay as the Duke of Wellington.

Producer: Ellen Dryden
A First Writes Radio production for BBC Radio 4. Show less

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