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Summary: For biographer Michael Holroyd, playwright George Bernard Shaw is practically an alter ego. Using archival footage and Holroyd's painstaking detective work, this intriguing program questions the extent to which Shaw's life and art fed upon each other, addressing issues including the effects of the triangle between his father, his mother, and Vandeleur Lee on his plays, as seen in Misalliance...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2005

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Summary: Seamus Heaney, one of the finest poets writing in the English language, and the late Richard Ellmann, biographer of Joyce and Wilde, and critic of Yeats, in literary dialogue about these three brilliant Dublin writers. The literary dialogue between Heaney and Ellmann uses documentary material pertaining to Joyce, Yeats, and Wilde, and was filmed at such literary landmarks as the Hill of Howth,...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2005

View online at AVOD

Summary: Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Bronte were a trio whose writings rocked Victorian England and yet who lived, suffered, and died far from mainstream British society. Featuring dramatizations, excerpts from their letters, and period illustrations, this elegiac program explores the England that they knew and portrayed, their familial relationships, and the men-both real and invented-who loomed large...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2005

View online at AVOD

Summary: Joseph Conrad's compelling novella, marked by an ominous tone and a sense of unspeakable menace, is a literary introduction to the savage 20th century. In this program, noted Conrad scholars Bruce Harkness, Frederick Karl, Jerome Meckier, and Dwight Purdy examine the author's life within the context of his times: the pervasive influence of his Polish background, the impact of the sense of...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2005

View online at AVOD

Summary: Filmed at the major locations of the poet's life, this program traces Wordsworth's development by focusing on his famous "spots of time," touchstones of place and experience immortalized in his autobiographical poem, The Prelude. Along with readings and dramatizations of works, key ideas in Wordsworth's poetry are analyzed in the context of 18th-century thought by such leading scholars as...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2005

View online at AVOD

Summary: This installment of the Famous Authors series offers overviews of Jane Austen’s life and works. The video profiles Austen’s family and their connections to England’s society. Austen, born in 1775 and raised in the rectory of Steventon, had five brothers and a sister, all known for their cleverness and humor. She had no formal education but was well-read and came to admire Fanny Burney,...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2005

View online at AVOD

Summary: Her father was philosopher William Godwin. Her mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, was feminism's founder. By pedigree and experience, Mary Shelley was uncannily equipped to write the gothic masterpiece, Frankenstein. This program offers a fresh exploration of her novel, focusing on how Shelley's personal life influenced the book and mirrored it afterwards. Along with reenactments of scenes from her...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2006

View online at AVOD

Summary: The Earnshaw children expect gifts from their father when he returns to Wuthering Heights after a trip, but are instead greeted with the arrival of Heathcliff, an adopted young Gypsy boy. Quiet and mysterious, Heathcliff is befriended by his new step-sister Cathy Earnshaw, and the two become inseparable. In adulthood their bond deepens to love, but a forced absence opens Cathy to the affections...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2009

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Summary: How did Anthony Trollope, master of the English novel of manners, achieve his prodigious output, and how did the loves of his life-his wife, Rose, and a young American named Kate Field-influence his writing? This illuminating Trollope biography reveals the inner man through reenactments of milestone moments, film clips from He Knew He Was Right and Barchester Towers, and dramatized readings...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2006

View online at AVOD

Summary: Imagery and narrative style are examined in this critical analysis of Emily Bronte's classic novel of passion and death on the Yorkshire moors. Imagery in the novel springs directly from the wild landscape of Haworth-Bronte's birthplace. "The eternal rocks beneath" are compared to Catherine's love for Heathcliff; moths on the heather and flowering harebells reflect Catherine's peaceful resting...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2005

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Summary: David Lean's sensitive rendering of the story is memorable, beautiful, and superbly performed by a cast including Alec Guinness, Robert Newton, Anthony Newley, and Diana Dors.

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2006

View online at AVOD

Summary: She disobeyed the social mores of her time, defied the critics bent on her destruction, and maintained her reputation by her brilliant books. Along with Charles Dickens, she was one of the two most successful novelists in Victorian England. This program offers a concise biography of George Eliot, exploring the complexities and contradictions of her personal character and the achievements of her...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2005

View online at AVOD

Summary: At the age of 19, Anne Elliot fell deeply in love with the handsome young naval officer Frederick Wentworth...but with neither fortune nor rank to recommend him, she was persuaded by a family friend to break off her engagement. Eight years later, Anne-still unmarried and now in financial peril-has lived to regret that decision; she never stopped loving Frederick, and when he returns from sea...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2007

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Summary: How did three women-who lived in almost total isolation from others and sought with every means at their disposal to avoid human contact-except with one another-manage to write some of the greatest fiction in the English language, and some of the most insightful into the human heart? This program goes far towards finding the explanation, as it shows how their writings were woven out of the...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2008

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Summary: Through the character Jane, orphan and governess, Charlotte Bronte introduced a style of heroine that markedly departed from the previous norm in Victorian literature. In this program, Dr. Tom Winnifrith-Bronte expert and author of The Brontes-and Dr. Sally Poulson of the University of Warwick discuss a variety of topics, including whether Jane Eyre is feminist literature, the theme of the...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2006

View online at AVOD

Summary: Simply stated, William Blake "regarded himself as marked out by fate," says Blake biographer Peter Ackroyd. In this outstanding program, Ackroyd, art historian William Vaughan, Tate Britain's Michael Phillips, and poets Tom Paulin, Kathleen Raine, and Adrian Mitchell discuss Blake's works and examine the events and attitudes that shaped the self-styled prophet of Albion. Excerpts from Blake's...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2005

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Summary: Catherine Morland has a too-ordinary life and a feverish imagination. When she gets invited to Bath, she is immersed in a world of elaborate balls and handsome men-and when Henry Tilney takes her to his family estate, she becomes mired in a world of fact and fantasy. Is there a dark mystery behind the locked doors of Northanger Abbey? And why is her budding romance suddenly cut short? Felicity...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2011

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Summary: In this dramatization of one of Jane Austen's most complex plots, Billie Piper (Doctor Who, The Ruby in the Smoke) stars as Fanny Price, a young girl plucked from poverty and taken to live with prosperous relatives at Mansfield Park. Fanny navigates a labyrinth of intrigue and affairs among the occupants of the house, while her cousin Edmund Bertram (Blake Ritson, Inspector Lynley Mysteries)...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2011

View online at AVOD

Summary: In this introduction to Robert Louis Stevenson's life and work from the Famous Author's series, the audience gets a look at the Scotland of the nineteenth century and the members of Stevenson's family. By the time Stevenson went to university, he'd committed to becoming a writer and sought out a bohemian, literary life, which upset and intermittently estranged his father. After he suffered some...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2011

View online at AVOD

Summary: This program from the Famous Authors series introduces the rich imaginative life of Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Brontë, exposed to the world of literature by their father Patrick Brontë priest, examiner, and writer. The family struggled with poverty, and the family home Haworth and moorland provided inspiration for the daughters. Charlotte and Emily were educated at Cowan Bridge School, later...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2011

View online at AVOD

Summary: This overview of Charles Dickens' life and work from the Famous Authors series discusses the author's happy childhood, during which he was close to his father and went to school. However, financial troubles later forced the family to move to London, and Dickens began absorbing the bustling city couched in fog where his novels would be set. Due to his father's debt, he could no longer attend...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2011

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Summary: Tucked away in arguably the most lovely corner of Great Britain, a poetic revolution took place around the turn of the 19th century that did much to define the nature of modern poetry. Using the atmospheric scenery of the Lake District as a backdrop, this program focuses on the literary development of William Wordsworth and Samuel Coleridge. Expert commentary is provided by some of the greatest...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2006

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Summary: This introduction to the life and literature of Oscar Wilde from the Famous Authors series begins by introducing Wilde's passionately political, literary, and flamboyant parents and nineteenth century Dublin, the earliest and strongest influences on the writer. Wilde went on to study classics at Oxford and develop his talents. The film discusses Walter Pater's large influence on Wilde's...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2005

View online at AVOD

Summary: Illustrated with clips from movie and television adaptations of her novels, this program takes a visually rich approach to understanding the woman behind such classics as Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, and Emma. An extensive biographical and psychological profile of the author provides insight into what life was like for a woman in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Filmed at key...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2006

View online at AVOD