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Join Nicholas Crane in Great British Journeys as he shows how Britian was discovered in eight episodes exploring the most extraordinary geographical adventures ever made across the largest island in Europe, Great Britain.
He travels by foot, horse and bicycle, on eight epic endurance journeys, through our wildest landscapes, following in the footsteps of Britain's greatest indigenous explorers. From the great medieval journeys of Gerald of Wales to Thomas Pennant's 18th Century Hebridean island hopping, from William Cobbett's polemical Rural Rides to Daniel Defoe's wild adventures through East Anglia. Crane looks at how these Great British Journeys informed the public of the day; what light they cast on the Britain of that time, and how their Britain compares to our modern archipelago.
Extras encoded at 640x352 with 0.2 Bits/(Pixel*Frame)
These files are re-encoded MPEG4/XVID versions of the MPEG2/PAL DVD's and not a repack of the original uploads. The video quality has been increased in case you play the programmes full screen but they'll still play on a Standalone Media Player or DivX DVD player.
1. Thomas Pennant (Author of A Tour in Scotland 1772)
Thomas Pennant from North Wales island-hopped through the wild archipelago in the UK and published his masterwork, A Tour in Scotland. The book's amazed English readers learned about rocks that could overpower a compass or prove the real age of the earth, and about a people on the edge of starvation.
2. William Gilpin (Author of Observations on the River Wye 1783)
Gilpin started touring Britain's most ravishing landscapes in 1768. His travels were the basis of his new theory of artistic beauty, the Picturesque, which was nowhere more evident than the River Wye, one of the outstanding river journeys of the British Isles.
3. Celia Fiennes (Author of The Journeys of Celia Fiennes)
It took a certain kind of woman to ride a horse from London to the Scottish border in the late 1600s. Fiennes was an acute observer of Restoration England and travelled the length and breadth of England for 30 years.
4. William Cobbett (Author of Rural Rides 1821-26)
William Cobbett was born in 1763, in Farnham, Surrey. He served in the 54th Foot and rose to the rank of sergeant-major in New Brunswick, before returning to England as a highly politicised writer and champion of Radicalism. Cobbett loved the countryside, and his Rural Rides are probably the best known elegy to rustic England.
5. Gerald of Wales (Author of Journey through Wales 1188)
Gerald joined a cavalcade led by Archbishop Baldwin of Canterbury on a mission to recruit Welshmen for a great crusade against the infidel then occupying the Holy Land. Gerald was familiar with south Wales, but his journey was to take him to the wild north, where his welcome was far from certain.
6. Daniel Defoe (Author of A Tour Through the Whole Island of Great Britain 1721)
Defoe was 64 when volume 1 of his Tour was published. He'd survived the Plague and the Great Fire of London as a youngster, fought at the Battle of Sedgemoor, been bankrupted more than once, suffered arrests and written several books, among them Robinson Crusoe.
7. John Leland (Author of his Itinerary of 1533-42)
John Leland's tour of England made him "the father of English topography". He was travelling in the 1530s, a time of religious upheaval when the country's monasteries were being dissolved. The sheer scale of his task to record the whole landscape of England would eventually drive him mad.
8. H V Morton (Author of In Search of Scotland, 1929, and In Scotland Again, 1933)
Although he was the first traveller to write about touring Britain in a motor car, some of Morton's most exciting experiences came about when he abandoned his car and plunged into the wilds of the Cairngorms or the vast, dark mountains of Skye.
9. Extras - Lost Scenes and Outtakes
10. Extras - Interview with Nicholas Crane
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