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Molière and the Comédie-Française

Offering a brief history of the Comédie-Française, this video analyzes two scenes from Molière's plays, Le Misanthrope and Tartuffe.
2017; 1982

Julian Fellowes: Tribute to Edith Wharton

Recently, The Edith Wharton Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Lord Julian Fellowes actor, novelist, film director, and screenwriter for his extraordinary accomplishments in the literary, television and film world. At Wharton's 150th birthday celebration at the Harvard Club of Boston, Fellowes addresses Wharton's significant influences on his writing career. Like Wharton's own references to her New York and Newport social milieu, Fellowes scrutinizes his adaptation and profiling of literary characters from his own life, especially those featured in his triumphant television series, Downton Abbey. Fellowes recognized Wharton's literary accomplishments, noting her prolific output of "Publishing forty books in forty years." Additionally, he offers insights and observations abou [...]

Grammar Follies

The Standard Deviants look at sentence problems, including sentence fragments, comma splices, and run-on sentences. Then we examine common grammatical traps, such as tense shifts, vague pronoun references, and faulty parallels. We'll wrap things up with a look at acceptable grammar "errors"—like the use of contractions, splitting infinitives, and using prepositions at the end of sentences. Topics include: Sentence Fragments, Comma Splices, Run-On Sentences, Tense Shifts, Vague Pronoun References, Faulty Parallels, and Acceptable Errors.
2018; 2008

King Lear

Ian Holm stars in the title role of this award-winning Royal National Theatre Production of William Shakespeare's King Lear. The cast also includes Timothy West as The Earl of Gloucester, Finbar Lynch as his bastard son, Edmund, and Paul Rhys as his legitimate son, Edgar; Barbara Flynn, Amanda Redman and Victoria Hamilton as Lear's daughters Goneril, Regan and Cordelia; and Michael Bryant as the Fool.
2017; 1998

The Matter of Angels and Demons

This video is an in-depth analysis of the best-selling novel, including the struggle between science and religion. It contemplates the lives of Milton, Michelangelo, Bernini, and Galileo. There is a brief review of the Papacy, including the Propaganda 2 affair that some believe culminated in the assassination of Pope John Paul I. Also included are conspiracies surrounding the Masons.
2017; 2009

How Fiction Differs From Philosophy

In the seventh part of an eight part lecture series on “Daniel Deronda,” Professor Ruth Wisse examines George Eliot’s decision to present social and political ideas in fictional form. An expert on Yiddish and Jewish literature and winner of the National Humanities Medal, Wisse focuses on the Princess Leonora Halm-Eberstein, whose lively character contrasts her rejection of Judaism and of her son Daniel. She and Gwendolen Harleth desire freedom from family constraints; Eliot uses their actions as a warning of the women’s liberation movement's potentially detrimental impacts on society—ironically, Eliot was a modern woman herself. An antithesis of Jewish motherhood, Leonora complicates the novel’s otherwise strong support of Jewish nationalism.

Tony Award-Winning Virginia Theater Sprouted From a Garage (6/5/09)

Arlington, Virginia's Signature Theater won a 2009 Tony Award as one of the nation's best regional theaters. Jeffrey Brown explores the theater's history and humble beginnings.
2017; 2009

Hard Times

A powerful adaptation of Dickens' tale for all times. In an industrial Victorian town the philosohy of the market predominates over human sensitivity and true passions are repressed.
2017; 1984

Basic Literary Terms, Volume 7: Understanding Poetry—Alliteration, Assonance, Consonance, Free Verse

This program continues to explore both the history and the essential components of poetry introduced in Volume 6. After viewing, students will understand alliteration, assonance, and consonance in connection to rhythm/meter and rhyme as they discover free verse as an artistic reaction against the poetry forms covered previously and as the dominant poetic form of our time. Classic works of poetry are presented along with detailed graphics, engaging examples, and exciting video. On-screen multiple-choice reviews at the end of each segment reinforce important concepts and make learning fun.

The Pickwick Papers: Episode 5

A twelve-part BBC Adaptation of Charles Dickens' first novel. In this episode, Samuel Pickwick and Sam Weller pursue Mr. Alfred Jingle to Bury St. Edmonds. Starring Nigel Stock, Clive Swift, Alan Parnaby, and Jeremy Nicholas.
2017; 1985

Gloria Whelan: Homeless Bird (11/23/00)

Gloria Whelan's book Homeless Birdchronicles the story of 13-year-oldKoly whoentered an arranged marriage in India and became a widow. In this interview, Whelandiscusses Koly's story, widows in white sarees,writing about other places, and more.
2017; 2000


Lewis Carroll's books, written by a mild stuttering bachelor lecturer of mathematics, that told the adventures of a little girl who fell down a rabbit hole into a wonderland, and later, went through a mirror into a looking-glass world, have sold more copies than any other book except the Bible. Alice was the name of that little girl, who became the heroine of these tales.
2017; 2010

Martin Chuzzlewit: Episode 1

The ailing old Martin Chuzzlewit finds himself surrounded by scheming relatives, all trying to get their hands on his wealth. They have learned that his ward and grandson, young Martin Chuzzlewit, has been disinherited. Pecksniff, a cousin, pleads the cause of young Martin to his grandfather while secretly taking on the boy as an architectural student—premium waived, with hopes of making a match with one of his two daughters. Pecksniff is summoned to London, where the elder Martin warns him that young Martin has already made his matrimonial choice against the old man’s wishes: the boy has secretly courted Mary Graham, a young orphan old Martin has adopted as his companion. Pecksniff readily agrees to dismiss the boy from his Wiltshire home and, instead, receive old Martin and Mary as [...]
2017; 1994

Shakespeare in Perspective: Pericles

Poet P. J. Kavanagh offers his personal view of Shakespeare's play which tells the story of a good man whose patient acceptance of life's hostilities brings about his own redemption.
2017; 1984

Author Wes Moore's Book Explores His Own Alternate Reality (5/12/10)

Judy Woodruff talks to Baltimore native Wes Moore about his new book, The Other Wes Moore, which explores the stories of two inner-city young men who share the same name but lead very different lives.
2017; 2010

Lessons From Joan

Joan Littlewood gained world fame with her musical "Oh, What a Lovely War!“ which played on Broadway for an amazing eight months. Walter Macintosh uses a Melbourne revival of the musical in order to revisit Joan Littlewood´s life and career assembling an astonishing number of survivors from those days in the 1960s. Her great causes were community and political theatre, improvisation and working class language, all of which have passed into the mainstream of drama. The Theatre Company Joan Littlewood and Gerry Raffles founded in Stratford, East London, continues to showcase new theatre work inspired by its local community and the world today.

George Eliot: Life and Literature

Author George Eliot achieved mass popularity and was acclaimed by her literary contemporaries. In contrast, Marian Evans flouted Victorian conventions by living with a man she was unable to marry and by ceasing to attend church. She was refused entry into Victorian society. This documentary tells the story of Evans, from her pious Midland childhood and through her development into an independent-minded academic before emerging as the novelist George Eliot. She transformed the novel from a form of entertainment to a social critique incorporating serious moral judgments and faithful representations of commonplace things.
2017; 2007

David Copperfield - Episode 2

Romance is in the air as David secretly gets engaged to his employer’s daughter, the beautiful but dizzy Dora Spenlow (Joanna Page) - despite Mr Spenlow’s (James Grout) outrage. Spenlow’s death soon after, however, gives David a chance to marry Dora, and he starts to write his stories and columns for newspapers. But what of the beautiful Agnes Wickfield (Amanda Ryan), his one constant friend? David is now working in London as a clerk at Spenlow’s and living at Mrs Crupp’s (Dawn French) house. However, her fondness for "peppermint cordial" renders her incapable of fulfilling her promise to Aunt Betsey (Maggie Smith) to treat David as if he were her own son. A chance meeting with his old schoolfriend, James Steerforth (Oliver Milburn), leads to David being invited to dinner with Steerf [...]
2017; 1999

Paris and the 19th-Century Novelists

This video shows the influence of Paris on the lives and works of 19th-century novelists, including Victor Hugo, Emile Zola, George Sand, and Honoré de Balzac.
2017; 1983

Becoming Falstaff: An Interview With Kevin Kline (1/7/04)

Jeffrey Brown speaks with actor Kevin Kline about the challenges of portraying Sir John Falstaff in the new production of Shakespeare's Henry IV at New York's Lincoln Center Beaumont Theater.
2017; 2004