Chapters And Verses

A week-long series celebrating the literary treasures of the British Library.


01In Memoriam20000731

In extraordinary memorial to the life and final days of Shelley, this volume contains not only letters, etchings and drawings, but locks of hair and fragments of the poet's cremation.

Reader: Janice Acquah

02Penury And Ink20000801

A riffle through the arcHIVe of the Royal Literary Fund, which was founded in 1788 to aid writers in distress and is still going strong today.

Former RLF arcHIVist Nigel Cross and writer Margaret Drabble explore its little-known arcHIVe.

Readers: Ioan Meredith, Richenda Carey and Tom George

03Hyde Park Gate News20000802

In 1891, the young Virginia Woolf and two of her older sisters started a family newspaper full of stories about their lives in LONDON and Cornwall.

Biographer Hermione Lee and curator Sally Brown examine this vivid picture of Victorian family life.

Readers: Gemma Saunders, Tom George and Beth Chalmers

04The Blue Pencil20000803

A look at the arcHIVes of the Lord Chamberlain's office, which was responsible for examining and licensing plays.

Peter Nichols, whose play `A Day in the Death of Joe Egg' came under the censor's blue pencil in 1967, sees the official correspondence for the first time.

05 LASTPoetry By Design20000804

Art historian Nicholas Friend, biographer Fiona Maccarthy and curator Christopher Fletcher pore over a manuscript of William Morris's earliest poetry and doodles which gives surprising insight into his later life.

Reader: Andrew Wincott