Heft Like the Herdwick. By Red Sky Writers. Rob and Sally are out boating on the lake, it is the end of the summer Candle Night Festival, a village tradition. They have been helping to supervise children floating candle lit lanterns on the lake. Then they snag on something as they try to drop anchor. Red Sky Writers is a group of nine women led by writer Zosia Wand and is based in South Cumbria.
Cider With Rosie. By Laurie Lee. The classic tale ‘Cider With Rosie’, which many students read for their GCSE English Literature exam, is based on a true tale in the life of the late Laurie Lee. The story is set in 1917 and draws upon the innocence of rural Cotswold life at the beginning of the last century.
As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning. By Laurie Lee. A special adaptation of Lee’s celebrated journey from his Cotswolds home to southern Spain in the mid-1930s. The 19-year-old Laurie sets out on the open road with a vague idea of reaching London and his American girlfriend.
Master Of The Storm. By James Flint (Sponsored by BMW). This is the story of a man who finds himself arriving at exactly the same service station over and over again. He leaves, he drives away, but every time he tries to exit the motorway he discovers that he’s back in the same Happy Break. Who is he? Where has he come from? What is he running from? What exactly damaged the wing in his car while he was tuning the radio? And who is the hitchhiker he stops to pick up?
Beautiful Ride. By Don Winslow (Sponsored by BMW). Back then he was looking at a fat IPO and a boat. Back then he was rich. Back then he had a condo overlooking the ocean, a wife, and had just bought the BMW Z4 convertible. Cobalt blue, like the ocean on a clean, clear day in early spring. Now what he has left is the car. Ted’s a real estate investor in Laguna Beach, California. He’s been kicked out by his soon-to-be ex wife, his assets have been frozen by the IRS, he’s holding on to his Beemer, but the car company’s repo men want it back, and he’s living in a tent. He’s falling through the cracks of the ‘Gold Coast’ life, until he turns to money-laundering to get back in the game. Then things get worse…
Cold, Cold Heart. By Karin Slaughter (Sponsored by BMW). For twenty years, Pam did her duty as loyal, compliant wife. She and John shared their friends, their careers, and a son – for richer for poorer, for better for worse. Until the day tragedy struck their family and John betrayed his wife in the most public of ways, walking away to a lucrative new life. For three years John becomes richer while Pam becomes poorer; John’s life becomes increasingly better while Pam’s becomes worse. But then a reversal of fortune brings them back together, and Pam gets the chance for a revenge John could never have dreamed of …
The Debt. By Simon Kernick (Sponsored by BMW). Boxer, Billy, needs to pay off his errant cousin’s vast gambling debts to local loan shark, Jim ‘The Crim’ Sneddon. However, he’s short and is forced at gunpoint to use his pride and joy, a brand new BMW 7 Series to make up the total. He is determined to get it back. But, to do so he has to fight his way past Jim ‘The Crim’s’ goons, an errant MP and a Slovakian hostess.
Grigorii Efimovich Rasputin: Almost the Truth. By Wally K Daly. A dramatization on the life of Rasputin who was a Russian mystic with an influence in the later days of Russia’s Romanov dynasty. Rasputin played an important role in the lives of the Tsar Nicholas 2nd, his wife the Tsarina Alexandra, and their only son the Tsarevich Alexei, who suffered from haemophilia coming from Queen Victoria.
War And Peace. Epic historical novel by Leo Tolstoy, originally published as Voyna i mir in 1865-69. This panoramic study of early 19th-century Russian society, noted for its mastery of realistic detail and variety of psychological analysis, is generally regarded as one of the world’s greatest novels. War and Peace is primarily concerned with the histories of five aristocratic families–particularly the Bezukhovs, the Bolkonskys, and the Rostovs–the members of which are portrayed against a vivid background of Russian social life during the war against Napoleon (1805-14). The theme of war, however, is subordinate to the story of family existence, which involves Tolstoy’s optimistic belief in the life-asserting pattern of human existence. The heroine, Natasha Rostova, for example, reaches her greatest fulfilment through her marriage to Pierre Bezukhov and her motherhood. The novel also sets forth a theory of history, concluding that there is a minimum of free choice; all is ruled by an inexorable historical determinism.
There are 2 versions of War and Peace available.
v1 From 1997. Stars Simon Russell Beale, Leo Mckern and Amanda Redman and directed by Janet Whitaker.
v2 Is a 2015 adaptation available in 10 episodes by Marcy Kahan and Mike Walker and stars Rachel Atkins , David Brooks , Anthony Ofoegbu. Carolyn Jones. Gerard McDermott and Christopher Wright.
Dracula. By Bram Stoker. This version of Dracula is closely based on Bram Stoker’s classic novel of the same name. A young lawyer (Jonathan Harker) is assigned to a gloomy village in the mists of eastern Europe. He is captured and imprisoned by the undead vampire Dracula, who travels to London, inspired by a photograph of Harker’s betrothed, Mina Murray. In Britain, Dracula begins a reign of seduction and terror, draining the life from Mina’s closest friend, Lucy Westenra. Lucy’s friends gather together to try to drive Dracula away.
A 2012 version of Dracula is available in ‘The Gothic Imagination’ series on Page 65.
Kaffir Lilies. By Sue Eckstein. When the dashing young Charles Middleton arrives in Nigeria in 1929, he strikes up an immediate friendship with Louisa, a married woman. Louisa begins to believe that Charles must be in love with her – but his diary entries tell a different story.
More Peter Tinniswood on the Peter Tinniswood Page.
Marcia Sproule.By Christopher Fitz-Simon. With the Luftwaffe bombing Belfast and evacuees fleeing westwards in her direction, Marcia’s key concern is to ensure she is assigned “a better class of family”. But in war, things rarely turn out as planned.
Emma. Jane Austen published “Emma” in 1816, the last of her works to appear in print during her lifetime. “Emma” is Austen’s longest novel, featuring the match-maker Emma Woodhouse, though her meddling goes all wrong. Of course, the tales of loves mismatched all end happily.
Love For Lydia. By H.E Bates. She’s a beautiful, wealthy jazz-age flapper who breaks the hearts of every man who makes the mistake of falling in love with her. Based on an autobiographical novel by H.E. Bates, this engrossing drama follows Lydia from bashful teen to alluring temptress in England during the 1920s and 30s.
Silas Marner: The Weaver of Raveloe. By George Elliot. Set in the early years of the nineteenth century Silas Marner is a member of a small Calvinist congregation in Lantern Yard, a slum street in an un-named city in Northern England. He is falsely accused of stealing the congregation’s funds while sitting with a very ill elder of the group. Two clues are given against him: a pocket-knife and the discovery of the bag formerly containing the money in his own house. Silas says that he last used the knife to cut some string for his friend William, who leads the campaign against him. Silas is proclaimed guilty and the woman he was to marry casts him off, and later marries William. With his life shattered and his heart broken, he leaves Lantern Yard and the city.
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson is an adventure novel by author Robert Louis Stevenson, narrating a tale of “buccaneers and buried gold”. First published as a book in 1883, it was originally serialised in the children’s magazine Young Folks between 1881-82 under the title The Sea Cook, or Treasure Island. Traditionally considered a coming of age story, it is an adventure tale of superb atmosphere, character and action, and also a wry commentary on the ambiguity of morality-as seen in Long John Silver -unusual for children’s literature then and now. It is one of the most frequently dramatised of all novels, and its influence on popular lore about pirates can not be overestimated.
Ben Hur by Lew Wallace is the fictional story of Judah Ben-Hur, a Judean aristocrat who, during the reign of the Roman Emperor Tiberius, is enslaved through the betrayal of his Roman friend Messala. Embittered and vengeful after regaining his freedom, he is redeemed after encountering Jesus and witnessing his crucifixion. Originally a Lew Wallace novel of 1880, the story has been adapted for stage, screen and radio numerous times.
Star Man. By Alastair Jessiman. On a visit home to Glasgow for his father’s funeral, Tom’s thoughts go back to 1974. As a 15-year-old schoolboy, he was fascinated by stars – astronomical stars in the night sky, glamorous rock-stars like David Bowie, and would-be local stars like the charismatic and sexually ambiguous Danny, who he meets one day on the bus.
Arms And The Man. By George Bernard Shaw. It is 1885, and there is trouble in the Balkans. The Serbians and the Bulgarians are at war. Raina Petkoff is convinced her fiancé, Major Sergius Saranoff, will glorify himself in the war and become her hero – but after a dramatic encounter with a down-to-earth Serbian officer who hides in her room, she is brought face to face with the mundane truth about the conflict rather than its glories. The ideals and realities of war, hypocrisy and nationalism are all entertainingly explored in this rare romantic comedy by one of our most acerbic writers.
Two versions are available:
v1 Produced by John Tydeman and starring Andrew Sachs – 1984.
v2 Adapted by David Timpson and starring Rory Kinear – 2010.
There are a few seconds missing from the end of episode 1, but I don’t think it affects the story too much. I will keep an eye out for it.
One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. By Ken Kesey. Randle Pactrick McMurphy, a petty serial criminal who has been sentenced to a fairly short prison term, decides to have himself declared insane so he’ll be transferred to a mental institution, where he expects to serve the rest of his time in (comparative) comfort and luxury. McMurphy’s ward in the mental institution is run by an unyielding tyrant, Nurse Ratched, who has cowed the patients-who are mostly there by choice-into dejected institutionalised submission. McMurphy becomes ensnared in a number of power-games with Nurse Ratched for the hearts and minds of the inmates. All the time, however, the question is in the mind as to just how sane any of the players in this actually are. Eventually McMurphy is lobotomized after he explodes into a violent rage when one of Nurse Ratched’s psychological power games results in the death of a patient.