Peter Holman explores an 18th-century tale of personal rivalry, character assassination and ruthless social climbing, bringing to life the characters of musical historians Burney and Hawkins. The programme focuses on what they thought about music of their time and earlier, and how Burney sabotaged his rival's work.
When Charles Burney published the first volume of his History of Music - the work he believed would open his way into respectable society - another such book had just appeared on the market. Written by Sir John Hawkins, a well-established man of letters, it offered serious competition to Burney's work, and could not be allowed to succeed.
With Simon Callow as Burney, John Fortune as Hawkins plus contributions from Alvaro Ribeiro, who edited Burney's letters, social historians Rosemary Sweet and William 'Bill' Weber, as well as writer Kate Chisholm.