The Memoirs of Harriette Wilson, Volumes One and Two Written by Herself by Harriette Wilson

amatisation, published-1825, radio-4, summer-2014, autobiography-memoir, prostitution, regency-romp1811-1820, nonfiction

Recommended to ☯Bettie☯ by: Gerry
Read on July 12, 2014

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01jgb92

Description: Adapted by Ellen Dryden. Nancy Carroll stars as Harriette Wilson, one of the most infamous and talked-about women of the early 19th century. Her lovers included aristocrats, adventurers and even the Duke of Wellington himself. And when they all ceased to support her after her retirement, she had a simple bargain for them – ‘pay up, and I’ll keep you out of my memoirs’.

A scandalous bestseller of their time, her memoirs reveal a sharp-witted, good-hearted, infinitely adaptable, madcap woman who took on the patriarchy of the time and did something close to beating them at their own game.

Harriette’s exciting, secretive, unpredictable world is brought vividly to life in Ellen Dryden’s radio dramatization of the book which set the whole country gossiping about the behaviour of the men who ran it, and the women they loved.

We also meet Harriette’s friends and rivals such as the mysterious Julia, her saintly sister Fanny, and her satanic sister Amy. Featuring Blake Ritson as the Duke of Argyle, Charles Edwards as Lord Ponsonby, and Barnaby Kay as the Duke of Wellington.
Producer: Ellen Dryden
A First Writes Radio production for BBC Radio 4.

1/2 Harriette escapes from the stultifyingly boring household of her first aristocratic protector in favour of a more exciting, younger lover. But will he be able to keep her in the style to which she has become accustomed?

2/2 Nancy Carroll plays the notorious courtesan with a trail of rich and powerful lovers.

Loved it – plenty of ooo la la in Regency England with ooopins of name dropping. Four dropped white kid gloves.

England’s Mistress: The Infamous Life of Emma Hamilton by Kate Williams

bookshelves: spring-2014, biography, published-2005, nonfiction, history, prostitution, lifestyles-deathstyles, london, radio-4x

Recommended for: BBC Radio Listeners
Read from May 02 to 09, 2014

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01lvb07

Description: She was the most famous woman in England–the beautiful model for society painters Joshua Reynolds and George Romney, an icon of fashion, the wife of an ambassador, and the mistress of naval hero Horatio Nelson. But Emma Hamilton had been born to the poverty of a coal-mining town and spent her teenage years working as a prostitute. From the brothels of London to the glittering court of Naples and the pretentious country estate of the most powerful admiral in England, British debut historian Kate Williams captures the life of Emma Hamilton with all its glamour and heartbreak.

In lucid, engaging prose, Williams brings to life a complex and intelligent woman. Emma is sensuous, generous, artistic, at once shamelessly seductive and recklessly ambitious. Willing to do anything for love and fame, she sets out to make herself a star–and she succeeds beyond even her wildest dreams. By the age of twenty-six, she leaves behind the precarious life of a courtesan to become Lady Hamilton, wife of Sir William Hamilton–the aging, besotted, and probably impotent British ambassador to the court of Naples.
But everything changes when Lord Nelson steams into Naples harbor fresh from his triumph at the Battle of the Nile and literally falls into Emma’s adoring arms. Their all-consuming romance–conducted amid the bloody tumult of the Napoleonic Wars–makes Emma an international celebrity, especially when she returns to England pregnant with Nelson’s baby.

Read by Polly Walker.

Episode 1: Birth in the Wirral, where mum worked in the mine.

Episode 2: Emma’s inexorable rise brings with it a personal transformation and the emergence of genuine talent.

Episode 3: Horatio Nelson’s attention works wonders for Emma’s social standing. But what of her husband Sir William?

Episode 4: Back in England, Emma gives birth. Desperate to be with her, Nelson searches for a perfect country house.

Episode 5: Nelson and Emma are briefly reunited, but he must face the French fleet off the Cape of Trafalgar.

I had three biographies on the go at the same time and this paled into insignificance, style-wise, against the wonderful professional writing of Wedlock: The True Story of the Disastrous Marriage and Remarkable Divorce of Mary Eleanor Bowes, Countess of Strathmore and Eleanor Marx: A Life

Resurrection by Leo Tolstoy

bookshelves: published-1899, spring-2014, classic, slavic, lit-richer, radio-4x, prostitution, philosophy, politics, religion, psychology

Recommended for: Laura
Read from April 10 to 20, 2014


Classic Serial

Description: Resurrection (1899) is the last of Tolstoy’s major novels. It tells the story of a nobleman’s attempt to redeem the suffering his youthful philandering inflicted on a peasant girl who ends up a prisoner in Siberia. Tolstoy’s vision of redemption, achieved through loving forgiveness and his condemnation of violence, dominate the novel. An intimate, psychological tale of guilt, anger, and forgiveness, Resurrection is at the same time a panoramic description of social life in Russia at the end of the nineteenth century, reflecting its author’s outrage at the social injustices of the world in which he lived. This edition, which updates a classic translation, has explanatory notes, and a substantial introduction based on the most recent scholarship in the field.

1: Katerina Maslova is a young prostitute on trial for the murder of one of her clients. Serving on the jury, Prince Dmitri recognises the young woman as the girl he seduced many years before. Believing himself partly responsible for her predicament, he embarks upon a complex legal attempt to reverse the sentence passed upon her.

2: Prince Dmitri follows the young prostitute Katerina Maslova to Siberia. Having been unable to reverse the sentence for murder served in error upon her, he proposes marriage in the hope of redeeming the wrongs he did to her as a girl.

But he finds his proposal contested by a fellow prisoner Simonson, a man who has already made all the sacrifices in life that Prince Dmitri only threatens to make.

Katerina Maslova …… Katherine Igoe
Dmitri Nikhloydov …… Richard Dillane
Lydia Menshova …… Vivienne Dixon
Vera Bogovskaya …… Joanna Tope
Princess Marya …… Lesley Hart
Anatoly Krylstov/Rizin …… Joe Arkley
Gudz/Makar Dyerkin …… John Buick

Directed by Lu Kemp.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00772ff

4* The Death of Ivan Ilych
4* Anna Karenina
5* War and Peace
3* The Kreutzer Sonata
CR Resurrection
2* The Cossacks
TR What Men Live By
3* A Letter to Hindu
3* The Sebastopol Sketches

Three Brothers by Peter Ackroyd

bookshelves: published-2013, e-book, ipad, spring-2014, period-piece, london, lit-richer, britain-england, tbr-busting-2014, under-100-ratings, families, antarctica, author-love, betrayal, books-about-books-and-book-shops, bullies, casual-violence, christian, doo-lally, filthy-lucre, journalism, library-in-norway, lifestyles-deathstyles, lit-crit, prostitution, recreational-homicide, religion, roman-catholic

Read from March 11 to April 18, 2014

 

description: Rapier-sharp, witty, intriguing, and mysterious: a new novel from Peter Ackroyd set in the London of the 1960s.

Three Brothers follows the fortunes of Harry, Daniel, and Sam Hanway, a trio of brothers born on a postwar council estate in Camden Town. Marked from the start by curious coincidence, each boy is forced to make his own way in the world, a world of dodgy deals and big business, of criminal gangs and crooked landlords, of newspaper magnates, backbiters, and petty thieves.

London is the backdrop and the connecting fabric of these three lives, reinforcing Ackroyd’s grand theme that place and history create, surround and engulf us. From bustling, cut-throat Fleet Street to hallowed London publishing houses, from the wealth and corruption of Chelsea to the smoky shadows of Limehouse and Hackney, this is an exploration of the city, peering down its streets, riding on its underground, and drinking in its pubs and clubs.

Everything is possible, not only in the new freedom of the 1960s but also in London’s timeless past.

Opening: IN THE London borough of Camden, in the middle of the last century, there lived three brothers; they were three young boys, with a year’s difference of age between each of them. They were united, however, in one extraordinary way. They had been born at the same time on the same day of the same month—to be precise, midday on 8 May.


John A. Parks, Camden Town

Wormwood Scrubs in the ’50s

Three boys, so very different on the surface:

Harry ‘Heck’ Hanway, the reporter
Daniel, lit-crit bitch
Sam, personal assistant.

At an early age these lads drifted away from each other, however, by the time they are late teens, early twentiers, they are so ‘Oh my giddy aunt-ishly’ connected in both business and personal matters that it is a wonder Ackroyd could keep this devilishly sly plot going. All the balls were in the air.

Three Brothers is a parable about conectivity: I drew parallels with Brothers Karamazov, Dickens, and The New Testament, however it is because London itself is a main character that these parallels only held a superficial similarity. Ackroyd himself alludes to connections on page 192.

I did not enjoy those brief hallucinatory passages and that is reflected in a star fall.

3* Three Brothers
3* Hawksmoor
4* Shakespeare: The Biography
4* Chatterton
4* Dickens
1* The Lambs of London
3* The House of Doctor Dee
3* Poe: A Life Cut Short
3* Venice: Pure City
2* The Plato Papers
5* Tudors (The History of England, #2)
3* The Fall of Troy
4* Wilkie Collins
5* The Mystery Of Charles Dickens

Absolute Beginners

published-1959, london, lifestyles-deathstyles, britain-england, winter-20132014, racism, radio-4, fradio, cults-societies-brotherhoods, music, recreational-drugs, art-forms, prostitution, gangsters, glbt, under-500-ratings, young-adult, casual-violence, period-piece, bullies

Read from January 12 to 19, 2014

 

BABT

Colin MacInnes’s cult classic about teenagers, style and racial tension in 1950s London.

Description: London, 1958. “I swore by Elvis and all the saints that this last teenage year of mine was going to be a real rave.” The eighteen-year-old narrator of Colin MacInnes’ cult classic is determined to declare his independence from earlier generations, as he roams the city with his camera and a sharp eye for the stylish and the subversive. In the smoky jazz clubs of Soho, the coffee bars of Notting Hill and the cheap rooms of Pimlico the young and the restless – the absolute beginners – are revolutionising youth culture and forging a new carefree lifestyle of sex, drugs and rock’n’roll. Meanwhile the Teddy Boy gangs are staging internecine battles, and a generation of Black immigrants is struggling to make a life in a hostile city. The definitive account of London life in the 1950s and what it means to be a teenager, this account of a young man’s coming of age captures the spirit of a generation and the changing face of London in the era of the first race riots and the lead up to the swinging Sixties.

Read by Joel MacCormack Abridged and produced by Sara Davies.

Theme tune: Laurie London – He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands – 1958

1. Last year as a teenage for our protagonist, and in Notting Hill too.

2. Mr Cool reports trouble brewing on the streets, the Fabulous Hoplite brings news of a party at Dido Lament’s, and Suzette won’t be persuaded out of her impending marriage.

3. The teenage narrator of Colin MacInnes’s cult classic sets about making some serious money in an attempt to win back the love of his life, and there’s a worrying visit from Mr Cool.

4. The teenage narrator is still shocked by Suzette’s marriage to Henley. Determined to try and woo her back, he takes the opportunity of a boat trip up the Thames to pay her a visit.

5. The teenage narrator finds himself caught up along with his friends in the violence that erupts on the streets of his home patch in Notting Hill.

Unsuprisingly, because of the parentage, MacInnes is at home with his subject matter and the writing is accomplished.