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British Literature — Appreciation
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The Knights of Camelot [electronic resource]

King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table inspired legends, best sellers, and movies. Romantic and magical, the tales of Merlin the magician and the inhabitants of Camelot continue to fascinate after centuries. But could such a wondrous place as Camelot have once existed in reality? Was King Arthur merely a legend, or in fact a real historical figure? This episode of Ancient Mysteries interviews prominent British archaeologists and historians to discover the truth.

Great Expectations: Episode 2

Pip starts his new life as a gentleman in London, quickly acquiring expensive tastes, and mounting debts. He falls deeper in love with Estella and escorts her around town. As his twenty first birthday approaches, Pip waits for his benefactor and their intentions to be revealed.
2017; 2011

Jewish Nationalism

In the sixth part of an eight part lecture series on “Daniel Deronda,” Professor Ruth Wisse discusses George Eliot’s inspiration for writing a novel in support of Jewish nationalism decades before Theodor Herzl wrote The Jewish State. An expert on Yiddish and Jewish literature and winner of the National Humanities Medal, Wisse draws parallels between Eliot’s relationship to her mentor, Emmanuel Deutsch, and Daniel’s relationship to Mordecai Ezra. She analyzes arguments against Mordecai’s vision from within the Jewish community, and examines Mordecai’s “embryonic Zionist” speech in Chapter 42 that also speaks to 19th century English society.

Summer Day's Dream

Adaptation of J. B. Priestley’s play set in a post-apocalyptic future. A world government is in place and an old man’s peaceful existence in the country is threatened.
2017; 1994

Julius Caesar (Feature Film)

This star-studded 1970 feature film production of William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar was the first full-color adaptation of the play. It tells the famous story of Caesar's assassination and the subsequent struggle between his friend and protege Marc Antony and the anti-Caesar conspirators, led by Brutus and Cassius. Charlton Heston stars as Marc Antony, as he did in a previous 1950 film. Jason Robards's understated performance as Brutus proved controversial. Other performances were widely praised, including John Gielgud as Caesar, Richard Chamberlain as Octavius, Diana Riggs as Portia, and Richard Johnson as Cassius. Directed by Stuart Burge.
2018; 1973

The Mystery of Edwin Drood: Episode 1

Opium addict and choirmaster John Jasper has vivid dreams of killing his beloved nephew Edwin Drood and stealing his fiancée Rosa. When two exotic strangers arrive in town Jasper's dark desires take shape and his life will never be the same again.
2017; 2012

The Line of Beauty: The Love Chord

Andrew Davies' adaptation of Alan Hollinghurst's Booker Prize-winning novel set in London in the 1980s. It's 1983 and Oxford graduate Nick Guest is adopted by the rich, privileged family of Tory MP Gerald Fedden. Nick is drawn into the seductive world of the Feddens and finds his feet in London's gay scene, embarking on a secret love affair with a black council worker, Leo Charles.
2017; 2006

The Pickwick Papers: Episode 1

A twelve-part BBC Adaptation of Charles Dickens' first novel. In this episode, Mr. Samuel Pickwick and his gang begin their travels through England visiting coaching inns. Starring Nigel Stock, Clive Swift, Alan Parnaby, and Jeremy Nicholas.
2017; 1985

Jonathan Swift and Gulliver’s Travels

With politics, religion, invention and the monarchy numbering amongst his targets, Jonathan Swift created a masterpiece that is a scathing satire on human nature. Visiting strange nations such as Lilliput and Brobdingnag, the program presents a fascinating study of the man, his life and works and the enduring effect he still has today as one of the world's foremost giants of literature.
2017; 2010

The Pickwick Papers: Episode 2

A twelve-part BBC Adaptation of Charles Dickens' first novel. In this episode, due to a case of mistaken identity Mr. Winkle has been challenged to a duel. Starring Nigel Stock, Clive Swift, Alan Parnaby, and Jeremy Nicholas.
2017; 1985

Robert Winston

In this film the leading scientist, medical doctor and broadcaster Professor Robert Winston explores six incredible Treasures of the British Library. He is helped and guided by the Library’s expert curators, discovering amazing facts and quirky details about each book, manuscript or object. Above all he and we enjoy the privilege of spending time with a truly unique and historic document or object. Each item taps into a different aspect of Robert’s life, career and interests. They cover subjects as diverse as skiing and theater directing, ranging from a much-loved colleague’s pioneering lab notes to a rough notebook handwritten by Beethoven. Through the six Treasures Robert gains a glimpse of the sheer scale and breadth of the British Library collection, before ending the film with h [...]
2018; 2016

Shakespeare in Perspective: Titus Andronicus

Anthony Clare offers his personal view of the play which portrays the family as "the source of all our strengths, the genesis of our noblest hopes and foulest desires."
2017; 1985

Daniel Deronda: Episode 3

This film is a dramatization of George Eliot's novel of the same name. Set in Victorian London, Gwendolen Harleth is drawn to Daniel Deronda, a selfless and intelligent gentleman of unknown parentage, but her own desperate need for financial security may destroy her chance at happiness. In the third episode,the Grandcourt marriage occurs; acclaimed musician Herr Klesmer receives an invitation to hear Mirah sing; Daniel finds Mirah's brother Ezra; and Sir Hugo Mallinger gives Daniel an important letter.
2017; 2002

The Woman in White: Episode 1

The lives of two half-sisters and their drawing master get caught up in a deadly conspiracy revolving around a mentally ill woman dressed all in white. In this first episode of the five part series, Walter Hartright encounters a woman in the woods before arriving at Limmeridge. He falls in love with Laura Fairlie who is engaged to marry Sir Percival Glyde. Glyde's reputation is called into question by a mysterious letter.
2017; 1982

Shakespeare in Perspective: Henry VI Part 1

Michael Wood sets the scene for the first play in this historical trilogy telling of the death of heroes, loss of Empire and the origins of the Wars of the Roses.
2017; 1983

Sense and Sensibility: Episode 1

Mrs. Dashwood is devastated when her beloved husband dies. The late Mr. Dashwood’s estate and fortune are bequeathed by law to his son from a previous marriage, John Dashwood, to the delight of John’s rapacious wife, Fanny. Mrs. Dashwood and her daughters are forced to move to a tiny cottage on a cousin’s estate in Devonshire, to start their lives again. It is perhaps Elinor, the eldest daughter, who is most upset to leave her childhood home. She has fallen in love with Fanny’s brother, the kind and unassuming Edward Ferrars. However, Mrs. Dashwood’s cousin, Sir John Middleton, ensures that the family settles into life in Devonshire. Before long, Elinor’s younger sister, Marianne, finds that she has an admirer in Sir John’s friend, Colonel Brandon. However, a rival soon emerges in th [...]
2017; 2008

The Woman in White: Episode 4

The lives of two half-sisters and their drawing master get caught up in a deadly conspiracy revolving around a mentally ill woman dressed all in white. In the fourth episode of the five part series, Laura Fairlie is presumed dead but is actually in an asylum and Walter Hartright learns the circumstance of Sir Percival Glyde's birth.
2017; 1982

Chaucer: Road to Canterbury

This video covers the life of English author, poet, philosopher, courtier, and diplomat Geoffrey Chaucer to middle age. Chaucer's 14th-century saw him survive the Black Death as a child, the plague that wiped out a third of the population of Europe, and become actively involved, both as a soldier and later as a secret agent, in the 100 Years' War—a war that was to leave England devastated. Despite these man-made and natural catastrophes, English literature went through a short Renaissance, and the program hints as to why this might have happened while considering the leading role that Chaucer was to play in it. Terry Jones (Monty Python) stars.
2017; 2009

Jane Austen's Life

This program looks at Austen and explores her personality by examining her correspondence and visiting the places she lived, in the process making a journey through the same glorious English countryside which Austen experienced for herself some 200 years ago.
2017; 2005

The Falklands Play

Ian Curteis's play on the inside story of how the Thatcher government went to war to regain the Falklands. Originally commissioned in 1987, it was not staged until 15 years later as it was felt too politically sensitive at the time.
2017; 2002