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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

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Summary: Read by noted actors Michael Gough, Edward Fox, and Eileen Atkins, T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land powerfully expresses the disillusionment and disgust of the post-World War I era in Europe. In this program, Professor Frank Kermode, of Cambridge University; Eliot biographer Peter Ackroyd; and poets Sir Stephen Spender and Craig Raine examine the complex nature of Eliot's influential poem, analyze...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2005

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Summary: With the end of the Second World War, the cultural period W. H. Auden named the Age of Anxiety had begun-a time characterized by an intensifying fear of nuclear Armageddon as the Iron Curtain fell across Europe and the Cold War spread across the globe. This program examines the evolution of the British novel during the period 1945-69, spotlighting J. R. R. Tolkien, William Golding, Iris...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2011

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Summary: The years between the World Wars generated self-doubt and ideological crisis as Britain contemplated the devastation of World War I and the decline of empire that would transform the British novel. "The cataclysm has happened, we are among the ruins," wrote D. H. Lawrence in Lady Chatterley's Lover. This program examines the evolution of the British novel during the period 1919-39, spotlighting...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2011

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Summary: Lawrence's letters, essays, and autobiographical sketches provide the sound track of this biography of the man who is arguably the greatest and certainly the most controversial English novelist of our century, while the artifacts and scenes of his life provide the visuals. The ideas that permeate Lawrence's work are shown here as they develop through the dominant figures in his life-the father...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2008

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Summary: Anthony Burgess examines Orwell's achievement, starting with the accuracy of his predictions for the future. Burgess shows how the novel 1984 sprang from the main concerns of Orwell's earlier work and suggests that Orwell identified areas in which human freedom has always been, and continues to be, threatened.

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2007

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Summary: The most charming small mammals you'll ever meet team up with the world's most exasperating amphibian to pursue their merry adventures in this adaptation based on Kenneth Grahame's beloved children's classic The Wind in the Willows. This dramatization dispenses with animation and relies instead on the striking animal instincts of some very talented actors: Matt Lucas as gadget-crazed Mr. Toad;...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2006

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Summary: A prolific virtuoso of poetic forms and techniques, W. H. Auden achieved literary fame on both sides of the Atlantic. This program traces his life's story and provides a sampling of his very best works, including "Musee des Beaux Arts," "In Memory of W. B. Yeats," "Epitaph on a Tyrant," "Leap Before You Look," and "The Shield of Achilles.

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2005

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Summary: William Golding's power to create contemporary myth is unparalleled in modern literature. In this program, Golding, his daughter, and others discuss his life as a child, father, and naval officer in World War II. They also summarize his views on human nature. Excerpts from several works-including The Inheritors and Pincher Martin-are used to illustrate those who inhabit Golding's fiction as...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2010

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Summary: In this program, Forster's biographer, friends, and literary critics paint a detailed portrait of this widely successful and accessible author. Forster's humanistic views promoting equality among races, classes, and nationalities are revealed in readings from his masterpiece, A Passage to India. Room with a View and Where Angels Fear to Tread-largely set in Italy-compare repressive middle-class...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2009

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Summary: With his 1956 play Look Back in Anger, British dramatist John Osborne renewed the emotional and rhetorical intensity of English theater. Unfortunately, misunderstanding and controversy surrounded most of his career. This program reconstructs Osborne's life and artistic journey using rarely seen archival films and firsthand accounts from the author's inner circle. A veritable who's who of the...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2006

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Summary: As a poet, T. S. Eliot did not just modernize, he revolutionized. As critic and publisher, he informed literary theory and promoted a generation of major young writers. This richly resourced program provides a concise biography of Eliot, tracing the key events of his life and highlighting his many contributions to English literature. The program features readings and excerpts from his major...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2005

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Summary: Stranded on an island by a plane crash that leaves all the adults dead, a group of schoolboys establish a primitive society in order to survive. However, their tribal community, begun on moral terms, decays into savagery and ends in a brutal murder. This allegorical novel, now a classic of 20th-century literature, probes the dark side of human nature that lurks beneath the thin veneer of...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2005

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Summary: This program looks back at the life and work of Aldous Huxley. Best known for Brave New World, Huxley left behind a large body of work, from his early novels which helped set the mood of the Roaring Twenties, to his essay "The Doors of Perception," which became the manifesto of the 1960s drug culture. The program evaluates Huxley's legacy with the poet Stephen Spender, close friends Yehudi...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2008

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Summary: To understand the lyricism and rhythmic quality of James Joyce's work, take a stroll through the music-filled streets of Dublin-made possible by this charming and informative program. Set on "Bloomsday 2004," the 100th anniversary of Leopold Bloom's fictional excursion, the video immerses viewers in turn-of-the-century Dublin, popular Irish tunes of the era, and the various ways in which Joyce...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2006

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Summary: In hindsight, Dylan Thomas' precocious use of romantic but morbid imagery-epitaphs, worms, an early death-proved a self-fulfilling prophecy. This program traces the poet's life and works, artfully blending manuscripts, first editions, family photos, and location footage with interviews and readings of his poems and letters. Highlights include Thomas reading many of his poems, such as "Do Not Go...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2005

View online at AVOD

Summary: Born in Dublin, James Joyce first chose a medical career, then wandered through the singing, acting, and teaching professions before finally settling his fortunes on writing. His most controversial work, Ulysses, shocked early 20th-century readers and was banned in Britain and the U.S. until 1936. In this program, critics and those who knew Joyce trace events in his life through passages in...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2010

View online at AVOD

Summary: This program paints an intimate and fascinating portrait of Sean O'Casey: a controversial playwright, a prolific memoirist, and one of the great figures of the Irish literary renaissance. Narrated and directed by Shivaun O'Casey, his daughter, the program profiles the renowned writer's life of hardship and triumph, idealism and disenchantment. Topics under discussion include O'Casey's grim...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2005

View online at AVOD

Summary: Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, The Waves, Orlando. All of these titles, written by novelist and essayist Virginia Woolf, stand at the forefront of 20th-century literature. In this program, those who knew Woolf trace her life and prolific career from her childhood in London to her final days as a victim of mental illness and eventual suicide. As a leading member of the Bloomsbury group,...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2005

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Summary: Born in Iran when it was still Persia and raised in colonial Zimbabwe, Doris Lessing has transformed her remarkable life into a literary tour de force. Her oeuvre comprises novels, poetry, short stories, plays, essays, a two-volume autobiography, and even a couple of operas-testimony to a drive that she herself calls compulsive. In this program, Ms. Lessing talks with Bill Moyers about her life...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2005

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Summary: No other poet in modern history matched the rhythmic drive and verbal flamboyance of the Welshman, Dylan Thomas, destroyed by alcoholism at age 39. In this program, poet Danne Abse, Thomas's wife Caitlin, and others speak frankly about his dissolute lifestyle and its influence on his writing. Readings from poems including "Return Journey," "Ceremony after a Fire Raid," "Old Garbo," and "Poem in...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2010

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Summary: Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney has been judged by Robert Lowell to be the most important Irish poet since Yeats. This classic program looks back over Heaney's career at the time his best-selling collection Seeing Things-a return to the rural childhood territory of his very first book-was published, offering a rare opportunity to hear the poet read and discuss his work. Through poems including...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2005

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Summary: A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction. So spoke Virginia Woolf in 1929 as she discussed the problems of the writer and of women in general. Woolf's talk represents perhaps the most persuasive of all her writings on liberty, literature, and the role of women in her society. Woolf spoke not only about writing, but about writing as a woman-speaking in an age when...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2005

View online at AVOD