The Written World is a five part radio series put together by Melyvn Bragg as part of the In Our Time BBC radio project. The programmes look at the history of written word, and how it has shaped our intellectual history. Each episode is available as a podcast and has an accompanying page (1 2 3 4 5) with images and links for further exploration. Also: The books that shaped history (narrated slideshow); the British Library page. [more inside]
LONDON, the Metropolis and Glory of the Kingdom, was anciently the Seat of the British Empire; and since, stiled commonly, the Royal Chamber of our Kings. The Kings Chamber, the Heart of the Commonwealth, and a Short Draught of the whole Kingdom: As it was once described by Sir Edward Coke, sometime Recorder of this City. It may boast it self to be the largest in Extent, and the fairest built, the most Populous, and best inhabited (and that by a Civil, Rich and Sober People) of any in the World. And for a general Trade throughout the Universe, all other must give her the Precedence. [more inside]
You guys know about BBC Radio 4's In Our Time, right? Each week, the broadcaster Melvyn Bragg hosts a 45-minute discussion on some aspect of culture, history, philosophy, religion or science. His guests are always three academics with expert knowledge of the chosen subject, and the tone is serious and detailed but never inaccessible. By respecting his audience's intelligence, Bragg delivers a programme of unrivaled interest, depth and educational value. The topics covered this year alone include The Frankfurt School, The Glencoe Massacre, Silas Marner and Ibn Khaldun. Eclectic, yes, but never less than fascinating. The good news is that the programme has just redesigned its website, making all 440 episodes to date available for your listening pleasure in its eminently browsable archive. In the dumbed-down 21st Century, it's a miracle that a programme like this still exists, so let's all make the most of it while we can.
2009 marks not only the 150th anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin's On The Origin of Species* but the 200th anniversary of his birth as well. To celebrate, BBC Radio 4 presents a special series of Melvyn Bragg's In Our Time exploring Darwin's life and work: Episode 1 explores Darwin's unhappy childhood, his time at Cambridge University and his failure to become a priest, episode 2 focuses on Darwin's round the world voyage on the Beagle and the objects and the ideas he bought back, episode 3 looks at the publication of Darwin's masterpiece, On the Origin of Species, and the controversy it stirred, and episode 4 is set in Down House where Darwin lived out the final years of his life and which became both family home and experiment lab. [more inside]