The early years of the 19th century were a truly great period of literary achievement in the history of English poetry. Inspired by the rugged landscape of the English Lake District, men such as Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley, Keats and Byron wrote challenging new works that took English poetry into a new and golden age. This episode explores the power and beauty of poems such as I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud, The Ancient Mariner and Don Juan and tells the stories of the remarkable men who wrote them.
This is the story of Honore de Balzac, the remarkable French novelist whose greatest work was written during a time of turmoil and division between the conservative and revolutionary factions of post-Napoleonic France. Balzac's miserable childhood was followed by a life blighted by illness and debt and perhaps it was this more than anything that encouraged a phenomenal work rate and output? Some 85 novels in 20 years. Quantity however did not compromise quality and such works as Les Derniers Chouans, Le Pere Goriot, Les Illusions Perdue and Les Paysans have become classics which have been translated into many languages.
Presented by the noted British actor Brian Blessed and featuring comment and analysis by the author John Stallworthy, 'The War Poets' explores the strong link between poetry and warfare and demonstrates that the written word is equal at least in power to the photograph or moving image. Beginning in ancient times, the programme takes us on a journey through some of history's great conflicts and the way they were recorded by those who lived through them. The programme ends with the unforgettable poetry of the Great War as written by men such as Owen, Brooke and Sassoon.
Dani Dyer becomes Rattus' Political Advisor, as we look at everything from the birth of Democracy, to Margaret Thatcher having to change her voice so she'd be taken more seriously.
Dara O Briain joins Rattus for a show marking the 1969 Moon landings: the first use of rocket power, the Space Race, and poo floating in the Apollo 10 cockpit - it's all here!