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Each programme tells the story of an item belonging to a famous individual, which when found after their death, sheds new light on either them or their work.

As a biographer, a new discovery can be both a blessing and a threat.

Episodes

SeriesEpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
Comments
0101Frances Nelson's Letters20040101

Each programme tells the story of an item belonging to a famous individual, which when found after their death, sheds new light on either them or their work.

As a biographer, a new discovery can be both a blessing and a threat.Historian Hannah Greig meets Colin White at the National Maritime Museum to find out why the discovery of letters written by Frances Nelson, identify for the very first time how she tried to save her marriage to Horatio Nelson

0102Bronte's Letters20040108

Writer Michele Roberts has used the letters Charlotte Bronte wrote to her Belgian tutor Monsieur Heger in her own work but until this programme had never seen the letters first hand. Michele asks Bronte biographer Lucasta Miller, why the publication of these letters in 'The Times' at the start of the 20th Century, completely shattered Charlotte's image for many people.

0103Turner's Sketchbooks20040115

Sister Wendy Beckett goes to Tate Britain to delve into Turner's sketchbooks which were found after his death, and talks to Turner biographer James Hamilton, about the richness of his sketch work and his surprising interest in erotic imagery.

0104 LASTRupert Brooke's Letters20040122

Biographer Kathryn Hughes goes to the British Library to talk to Andrew Motion about a cache of letters written by Rupert Brooke and a memoir by his lover, Phyllis Gardner.

0201Isadora Duncan's Dance Manual20040312

Jane Pritchard, arcHIVist at the Rambert Dance Company, talks to biographer Peter Kurth about a rare dance manual hand written by Isadora Duncan.