Programme Index

Discover 9,979,407 listings and 227,023 playable programmes from the BBC

Book of the Week

This Long Pursuit

Episode 4

Duration: 15 minutes

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

A meditation on the art of biography from a master of the genre. Ranging widely over art, science and poetry, Richard Holmes confesses to a lifetime's obsession with his Romantic subjects - a pursuit and pilgrimage that takes him across three centuries, through much of Europe and into the lively company of many earlier biographers.

In episode 4, Richard looks at the way an account of somebody's death can be used to recast the whole of their preceding life. In particular, he considers the received narrative of Shelley's death by drowning which has "become one of the most powerful of all Romantic legends. And also perhaps the most misleading."

The diversity of Holmes's material is testimony to his empathy, his erudition and his enquiring spirit - and also sometimes to his mischief.

Written by Richard Holmes
Read by Patrick Malahide
Abridged and produced by Jill Waters
A Waters Company production for BBC Radio 4. Show less

About this data

This data is drawn from the data stream that informs BBC's iPlayer and Sounds. The information shows what was scheduled to be broadcast, meaning it was/is subject to change and may not be accurate. More