01Five Hundred Years Of Friendship20140328The changing meaning of friendship over the centuries: the weekly omnibus edition of Dr Thomas Dixon's timely history.
From social networks involving perhaps 150 friends around the well or at the bake-house, to contemporary Social Networks which might extend over the globe and include a thousand Friends, Thomas Dixon's history considers both the differences and similarities between friendships as we experience them today and as people lived them out in the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
This first of three omnibus editions takes on board questions of the function of friendship - emotional or instrumental; the Biblical contradictions about friendships - universal or individual; the impact of commerce and politics on friendship; and whether men and women can really be friends without a sexual element.
Producer: Beaty Rubens.
02Five Hundred Years Of Friendship20140404Dr Thomas presents this omnibus edition of his history about the changing meaning and experience of friendship over the centuries
He explores working class Friendly Societies - pre-Welfare State, grassroots insurance schemes - in the 18th and 19th centuries; children's friendships and the invention of the idea of the best friend; the idea of dogs being "man's best friend"; the Victorian borderland between platonic and homosexual love; and the tragic impact of the First World War on male friendships.
Producer: Beaty Rubens.
03 LASTFive Hundred Years Of Friendship20140411Thomas Dixon concludes his major new history of friendship in a final omnibus edition covering the 20th and the beginning of the 21st centuries.
Historian Thomas Dixon considers the First World War, the Depression and growing urbanisation, the Second World War, the sexual revolution and the arrival of new technology in this closing omnibus edition of Five Hundred Years of Friendship.
Baroness Shirley Williams, Penelope Lively, Professor Barbara Taylor, Matthew Sweet and a group of Birmingham schoolgirls all share their thoughts and stories of friendships past, present and future.
Producer: Beaty Rubens.