Misfits In France

Series in which Julian Barnes and Hermione Lee explore the connections between a group of Victorian writers and artists who crossed the English Channel for different reasons.

Episodes

EpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
RepeatedComments
01Wilde About Dieppe2008102320090925
20130615 (BBC7)
20151031 (BBC7)
20151101 (BBC7)

Julian Barnes and Hermione Lee on Oscar Wilde and Walter Sickert's experiences in Dieppe.

Julian Barnes and Hermione Lee on Oscar Wilde and Walter Sickert's experiences in Dieppe.

Series in which Julian Barnes and Hermione Lee explore the connections between a group of Victorian writers and artists who crossed the English Channel for different reasons.

Examining the differing fortunes of Oscar Wilde and the painter Walter Sickert, who both flouted Victorian moral conventions, during their time in the French town of Dieppe.

At 4am on May 20th 1897, Sebastian Melmoth, better known as Oscar Wilde, arrived at Dieppe Docks seeking refuge following his release from Reading Gaol, but he quickly moved out of town.

Walter Sickert is known as a Camden Town painter but his painter friend Jaques Emile Blanche called him 'the Canaletto of Dieppe'. His long association with the resort began with childhood holidays and included an affair with one of the local fishwives.

Oscar Wilde....Simon Russell Beale

Walter Sickert....Stephen Critchlow

Arthur Symons....Jonathan Tafler.

Examining the differing fortunes of Oscar Wilde and the painter Walter Sickert during their time in the French town of Dieppe.

Wilde arrived at Dieppe in May 1897 in disgrace, following his release from Reading Gaol, but quickly moved on. Sickert enjoyed a long and happy association with the resort, beginning with childhood holidays there and including an affair with one of the local fishwives.

02Broken In Berneval, Soaked In The Sea2008103020091002
20130622 (BBC7)
20151107 (BBC7)
20151108 (BBC7)

The ex-pat life of a disgraced Oscar Wilde and fellow writers when they moved to Dieppe.

Series in which Julian Barnes and Hermione Lee explore the connections between a group of Victorian writers and artists who crossed the English Channel for different reasons.

Julian and Hermione travel to the north coast of France, where, in the late 1860s, the poet Algernon Swinburne spent time, as did the exiled Oscar Wilde some 30 years later. They examine French attitudes to the life and work of both men and the religious themes that link their writing.

In the summer of 1868, local fishermen saved a drunken Swinburne from drowning off the cliffs of Etretat. The bizarre lunch to celebrate his survival was attended by the teenage French writer Guy de Maupassant.

In 1897, an exiled Oscar Wilde held a fete for the locals in Berneval and invited friends including Ernest Dowson to distract him from working on his poem, The Ballad of Reading Gaol. But as Wilde became progressively more lonely, he started corresponding once more with Lord Alfred Douglas.

Oscar Wilde....Simon Russell Beale

Algernon Swinburne....Jonathan Tafler

Guy de Maupassant....Stephen Critchlow.

Julian and Hermione travel to the north coast of France, where, in the late 1860s, the poet Algernon Swinburne spent time, as did the exiled Oscar Wilde some 30 years later.

They examine French attitudes to the life and work of both men and the religious themes that link their writing.

In the summer of 1868, local fishermen saved a drunken Swinburne from drowning off the cliffs of Etretat.

The bizarre lunch to celebrate his survival was attended by the teenage French writer Guy de Maupassant.

In 1897, an exiled Oscar Wilde held a fete for the locals in Berneval and invited friends including Ernest Dowson to distract him from working on his poem, The Ballad of Reading Gaol.

But as Wilde became progressively more lonely, he started corresponding once more with Lord Alfred Douglas.

Algernon Swinburne and Oscar Wilde's experiences in France.

2/3.

Broken in Berneval, Soaked in the Sea

03 LASTImpressions Of Honfleur, Reunions In Rouen2008110620091009
20130629 (BBC7)

The series ends in Rouen, where Wilde rekindled his relationship with Douglas.

Series in which Julian Barnes and Hermione Lee explore the connections between a group of Victorian writers and artists who crossed the English Channel for different reasons.

The series ends in Rouen, where Oscar Wilde rekindled his relationship with Lord Alfred Douglas after a lonely summer in exile outside Dieppe. The museum in Rouen also holds a collection of paintings by Monet, Sisley and Walter Sickert's friend and patron - Jacques Emile Blanche.

Oscar Wilde....Simon Russell Beale

Claude Monet....Jonathan Tafler

Walter Sickert....Stephen Critchlow.

3/3. Impressions of Honfleur, Reunions in Rouen

The series ends in Rouen, where Oscar Wilde rekindled his relationship with Lord Alfred Douglas after a lonely summer in exile outside Dieppe. The museum in Rouen holds a collection of paintings by Monet, Sisley and Walter Sickert's friend and patron Jacques Emile Blanche.