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Melvyn Bragg's Travels in Written Britain
Many thanks to the original capper - the wonderful! minicab
Episode 1, "North Journey"
New series. The author and South Bank Show presenter explores the country's literary heritage, visiting a different region each week. His journey of discovery begins in the north, where the earliest surviving writings in Britain were found near Hadrian's Wall in Northumberland. With contributions from the Bishop of Durham, Robson Green, Tim Healy, Keith Barron, Hunter Davies and Chris Bonington.
A journey through London examining the street slang of Shakespeare's day and the language of the foul-mouthed Thames boatmen. Plus, the Victorian view on the squalor of the East End and a look at Britain's seafaring tradition in Gravesend. With contributions from Stephen Fry, Boris Johnson, Tracey Emin and Ken Livingstone.
Examining the literary heritage of the Midlands, from John Clare's poetic vision of the Northamptonshire countryside to George Eliot's Middlemarch. The presenter explores a landscaped park at Hagley Hall and the village of Bourneville, designed to be a worker's paradise, before taking in Shakespeare's Stratford by way of Ambridge. Contributions from Simon Russell Beale, Christopher Lee and Meera Syal.
In the final episode of the series Bragg follows in the footsteps of Scotland's early tourists, including the 18th-century man of letters Samuel Johnson. He travels from Edinburgh to the Trossachs, North Berwick and Stirling experiencing the literature that chronicles the area's turmoils, taking a particular look at the poem by Robert Burns A Man's a Man for Aw That - a contender to be the country's national anthem.
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