Radio 4

Watching the listings of the UK’s Radio 4 now and again (it’s available on the internet and there’s a ‘listen again’ feature) would be a good habit to get in to. Some things literature students might be interested in from this week’s schedule include:

  • 20th century: Salman Rushdie, a regular feature on university syllabuses, was on Start the Week (Mon.). George Orwell was discussed in Great Lives (Tue.) and The History of the Future (a series that also deals with Nostradamus, H.G. Wells, and the Book of Revelations.
  • 17th century: There’s an abridged serialisation of the diary of Samuel Pepys in 15 minute chunks. This details the everyday life of Restoration London and focuses onEnglish: The Diary of Samuel Pepys Esquire, F.R.S.Pepys’s main concerns, money, sex and books. Along the way we get a first hand account of the plague and the Great Fire of London.
  • 21st century: Front Row (weekdays at 7.15pm), Open Book, Poetry Please, and The Film Programme feature reviews of recent novels, plays and cinema.
  • Medievals and Victorians: Things We Forget to Remember focused on the Anglo-Saxon king Alfred the Great and the reputation he acquired in the Victorian period when he was regarded as a British hero. Nowadays people are a little more sceptical about his achievements because most of what we know about him was written under his influence.