Climbing The Bookshelves

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Episodes

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0120090928

Shirley Williams reads from her autobiography.

Williams' early life and the enormous influence of her mother, Vera Brittain, and her father, George Caitlin - not to mention the permanent house guest, Winifred Holtby.

Abridged by Polly Coles.

A Pacificus production for BBC Radio 4.

Williams' early life and the influence of her parents.

02 *20090929

Shirley Williams reads from her autobiography.

During the Second World War, Williams and her brother are sent to America as evacuees.

When she returns, she is one of the first young people to visit war-shattered Germany.

Abridged by Polly Coles.

A Pacificus production for BBC Radio 4.

03 *20090930

In 1964, Williams is elected as Labour MP for Hitchin.

She examines the difficulties facing a woman MP, many of which continue even today.

Abridged by Polly Coles.

A Pacificus production for BBC Radio 4.

04* *20091001

Shirley Williams reads from her autobiography.

The launch of the Social Democratic Party in 1981.

Determined not to be seen as merely a London initiative, the four new leaders went on a whirlwind tour of the country.

It looked like the dawning of a new political age.

Abridged by Polly Coles.

A Pacificus production for BBC Radio 4.

05 LAST *20091002

Despite its initial huge promise, the SDP finally wound down and merged with the Liberal Party in 1988 to form the Liberal Democrats.