In Their Own Words – British Novelists (3×60′) – This is the story of the British novel in the 20th century told by those who know it best – the authors themselves. Plundering the BBC archive, In Their Own Words reveals Britain’s greatest novelists talking candidly about their life and work.
The full extent of this resource is surprising and takes us from late Victorian writers like GK Chesteron, HG Wells and EM Forster (all of whom recorded for the BBC in the Twenties and Thirties) through to Salman Rushdie, Angela Carter and Martin Amis.
It includes the only recording of Virginia Woolf in existence, as well as surprising set-pieces: William Golding addressing a room of primary school pupils about Lord Of The Flies; JG Ballard, author of Crash, celebrating the beauty of the motorcar; and Kingsley Amis and John Braine in a smoke-filled Soho restaurant discussing the impact of the Second World War on the British novel.
The BBC archive website is also working with British Novelists In Their Own Words to create a new online collection to bring together the full versions of many of the interviews used in the series. Audiences will be able to watch extended interviews with the greats of modern literature, on-demand, in this permanent web resource, from the day the programme transmits by visiting bbc.co.uk/archive.
The Open University is creating an interactive timeline to complement the series and enable viewers to navigate their way through literary history, which will go live immediately prior to transmission. at open2.net/intheirownwords.
Channel: BBC4 / The Open University
Producer: BBC Productions
Source: BBC Press Office