Invitations of whatever kind invariably create a range of emotions and challenges, both for those who issue them and those who receive them.
Here the author and critic Ian Sansom, incoming Professor of English at the University of Warwick, explores the concept of invitation from a wide range of angles including the social, philosophical, literary, musical and religious. He is inspired by a very special invitation he received earlier this year announcing " - the Master of the Household had received Her Majesty's command to invite me to a Reception to be given at Buckingham Palace by The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh...."
Sansom says he finds an invitation "a complex site for the staging of human desire and human power". Here he explores the minefield that is the etiquette around social and official invitations. He also visits St Paul's Cathedral to stand before the Divine Invitation embodied in one of the most famous paintings in the world.
Did Sansom accept The Invitation to the Palace? You'll have to listen to the programme to find out.
Producer: Martin O'Brien.
Author Ian Sansom explores the meaning and mystery of invitation giving and receiving.