300 episódios

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the history of ideas

In Our Time BBC

    • História
    • 4.8, 19 classificações

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the history of ideas

    Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

    Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

    In a programme first broadcast in 2018, Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss one of the jewels of medieval English poetry. It was written c1400 by an unknown poet and then was left hidden in private collections until the C19th when it emerged. It tells the story of a giant green knight who disrupts Christmas at Camelot, daring Gawain to cut off his head with an axe if he can do the same to Gawain the following year. Much to the surprise of Arthur's court, who were kicking the green head around, the decapitated body reaches for his head and rides off, leaving Gawain to face his promise and his apparently inevitable death the following Christmas.

    The illustration above is ©British Library Board Cotton MS Nero A.x, article 3, ff.94v95

    With

    Laura Ashe
    Professor of English Literature at Worcester College, University of Oxford

    Ad Putter
    Professor of Medieval English Literature at the University of Bristol

    And

    Simon Armitage
    Poet and Professor of Poetry at the Universities of Leeds and Oxford


    Producer: Simon Tillotson

    • 51 min
    Photosynthesis

    Photosynthesis

    In a programme first broadcast in 2014, Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss photosynthesis, the process by which green plants and many other organisms use sunlight to synthesise organic molecules. Photosynthesis arose very early in evolutionary history and has been a crucial driver of life on Earth. In addition to providing most of the food consumed by organisms on the planet, it is also responsible for maintaining atmospheric oxygen levels, and is thus almost certainly the most important chemical process ever discovered.

    With:

    Nick Lane
    Reader in Evolutionary Biochemistry at University College London

    Sandra Knapp
    Botanist at the Natural History Museum

    John Allen
    Professor of Biochemistry at Queen Mary, University of London.

    Producer: Thomas Morris

    • 47 min
    John Clare

    John Clare

    In a programme first broadcast in 2017, Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the Northamptonshire poet John Clare who, according to one of Melvyn's guests Jonathan Bate, was 'the greatest labouring-class poet that England has ever produced'. Clare worked in a tavern, as a gardener and as a farm labourer in the early 19th century and achieved his first literary success with Poems Descriptive of Rural Life and Scenery. He was praised for his descriptions of rural England and his childhood there, and his reaction to the changes he saw in the Agricultural Revolution with its enclosures, displacement and altered, disrupted landscape. Despite poor mental health and, from middle age onwards, many years in asylums, John Clare continued to write and he is now seen as one of the great poets of his age.

    With

    Sir Jonathan Bate
    Provost of Worcester College, University of Oxford

    Mina Gorji
    Senior Lecturer in the English Faculty and fellow of Pembroke College, Cambridge

    and

    Simon Kövesi
    Professor of English Literature at Oxford Brookes University

    Producer: Simon Tillotson.

    • 49 min
    Carl Friedrich Gauss (repeat)

    Carl Friedrich Gauss (repeat)

    In a programme first broadcast in 2017, Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Gauss (1777-1855), widely viewed as one of the greatest mathematicians of all time. He was a child prodigy, correcting his father's accounts before he was 3, dumbfounding his teachers with the speed of his mental arithmetic, and gaining a wealthy patron who supported his education. He wrote on number theory when he was 21, with his Disquisitiones Arithmeticae, which has influenced developments since. Among his achievements, he was the first to work out how to make a 17-sided polygon, he predicted the orbit of the minor planet Ceres, rediscovering it, he found a way of sending signals along a wire, using electromagnetism, the first electromagnetic telegraph, and he advanced the understanding of parallel lines on curved surfaces.

    With

    Marcus du Sautoy
    Professor of Mathematics and Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford

    Colva Roney-Dougal
    Reader in Pure Mathematics at the University of St Andrews

    And

    Nick Evans
    Professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of Southampton

    Producer: Simon Tillotson.

    • 49 min
    Frankenstein

    Frankenstein

    In a programme first broadcast in May 2019, Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Mary Shelley's (1797-1851) Gothic story of a Swiss natural philosopher, Victor Frankenstein, and the creature he makes from parts of cadavers and which he then abandons, horrified by his appearance, and never names. Rejected by all humans who see him, the monster takes his revenge on Frankenstein, killing those dear to him. Shelley started writing Frankenstein when she was 18, prompted by a competition she had with Byron and her husband Percy Shelley to tell a ghost story while they were rained in in the summer of 1816 at the Villa Diodati by Lake Geneva.

    The image of Mary Shelley, above, was first exhibited in 1840.

    With

    Karen O'Brien
    Professor of English Literature at the University of Oxford

    Michael Rossington
    Professor of Romantic Literature at Newcastle University

    And

    Jane Thomas
    Professor of Victorian and Early 20th Century Literature at the University of Hull

    Producer: Simon Tillotson

    This programme is a repeat

    • 55 min
    The Covenanters

    The Covenanters

    Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the bonds that Scottish Presbyterians made between themselves and their monarchs in the 16th and 17th Centuries, to maintain their form of worship. These covenants bound James VI of Scotland to support Presbyterians yet when he became James I he was also expected to support episcopacy. That tension came to a head under Charles I who found himself on the losing side of a war with the Covenanters, who later supported Parliament before backing the future Charles II after he had pledged to support them. Once in power, Charles II failed to deliver the religious settlement the Covenanters wanted, and set about repressing them violently. Those who refused to renounce the covenants were persecuted in what became known as The Killing Times, as reflected in the image above.

    With

    Roger Mason
    Professor of Scottish History at the University of St Andrews

    Laura Stewart
    Professor of Early Modern British History at the University of York

    And

    Scott Spurlock
    Professor of Scottish and Early Modern Christianities at the University of Glasgow

    Producer: Simon Tillotson

    • 53 min

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4.8 de 5
19 classificações

19 classificações

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