Omnibus

show more detailshow less detail

Episodes

EpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
Comments
01British Liberalism: The Grand Tour20151211

Anne McElvoy tours British liberalism from the 'Glorious' Revolution to the Edwardian era.

Anne starts in Oxford in 1683, with the story of the last large-scale book burning in Britain. She traces how dissident philosopher John Locke took on the whole principle of the arbitrary power of the monarchy.

As Anne discovers with the help of Justin Champion and Hannah Dawson, dissident texts were burned and Locke was repeatedly driven out of the country and hunted by the King's agents. Yet all the time he was developing his ideas on the proper limits of power, and on religious toleration.

When James II was ousted in 1688, Locke returned to London in triumph, and his ideas have helped to shape how we live ever since.

But, as Anne explores in later episodes, the story of British liberalism is not one of straightforward victories. Locke explicitly excluded non-Anglicans from his vision of liberty. And what about black people, or women?

Over the course of the first five programmes, Anne traces the development of the ideas we now call liberalism through the lives and works of Adam Smith, Mary Wollstonecraft, Thomas Clarkson, John Bright and John Stuart Mill.

She explores how a rebellion led by black Jamaicans led to a massacre - and how demands that the British Governor of Jamaica be put on trial divided Victorian intellectuals against each other.

And she ends the first week of programmes with the apotheosis of one kind of liberalism in the era of William Gladstone, even as a different version of his creed was taking shape.

Producer: Phil Tinline.

01Charisma: Pinning Down the Butterfly20150828

01Charisma: Pinning Down the Butterfly20150828

Francine Stock's history of the alluring yet elusive quality that is charisma.

This omnibus edition of the first five episodes moves from St Paul's coining of the word in the 1st century of the Christian Era right up the contemporary era, when charisma continues to be a powerful influence, not always for the good, in the fields of politics, banking and terrorism.

Along the way, she takes in early medieval mystics such as Margery Kempe and Joan of Arc; the Elizabethan belief in the so-called "Royal Touch" and its different manifestations today; the powerful healing claims of Franz Mesmer; and radical charismatic leaders from Garibaldi to Osama Bin Laden.

Reader: Simon Russell Beale

Producer : Beaty Rubens.

01Charisma: Pinning Down the Butterfly20150828

Francine Stock's history of the alluring yet elusive quality that is charisma.

This omnibus edition of the first five episodes moves from St Paul's coining of the word in the 1st century of the Christian Era right up the contemporary era, when charisma continues to be a powerful influence, not always for the good, in the fields of politics, banking and terrorism.

Along the way, she takes in early medieval mystics such as Margery Kempe and Joan of Arc; the Elizabethan belief in the so-called "Royal Touch" and its different manifestations today; the powerful healing claims of Franz Mesmer; and radical charismatic leaders from Garibaldi to Osama Bin Laden.

Reader: Simon Russell Beale

Producer : Beaty Rubens.

01Plants: From Roots To Riches20141010

The first of five omnibus editions of Prof Kathy Willis' timely new history of our changing relationship with plants.

From the birth of modern plant classification, harnessing botany and imperial progress in furthering Britain's destiny as the major civilising power in the world , to estabishing the laws of what grows where and why, Professor Kathy Willis, Director of Science at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, examines new attitudes to plants during the 18th and early 19th century.

From plants as tools to exploit to flowers as objects of beauty, Kathy Willis draws upon Kew's archives and its herbarium collection of pressed plants that was to play a pivotal role in establishing insights into plant relationships and their distribution around the world. It was to help establish the first accurate maps of the world's flora by the mid 19th century.

Producer: Adrian Washbourne

Presenter: KATHY WILLIS is director of science at Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. She is also professor of long-term ecology and a fellow of Merton College, both at Oxford University. Winner of several awards, she has spent over 20 years researching and teaching biodiversity and conservation at Oxford and Cambridge.

02British Liberalism: The Grand Tour20151218

Anne McElvoy traces liberalism's development since the Suffragists.

Producer: Phil Tinline.

02Charisma: Pinning Down The Butterfly20150904

The second omnibus of Francine Stock's major history of the alluring yet elusive quality that is charisma.

This edition brings the power and appeal of charisma up to date by exploring its role in theatre and film stars such as Sarah Bernhardt; self-made businessmen such as W.K.Kellogg, Henry Ford and Steve Jobs; totalitarian leaders including Hitler, and new forms of political extremism such as the so-called Islamic State; civil rights leaders, Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama; and the volatile world of contemporary banking.

Francine Stock concludes the series by considering our continuing hunger for charisma, and signs off with this warning: "we get the charismatics we deserve."

Producer: Beaty Rubens.

02Plants: From Roots To Riches20141017

Prof Kathy Willis, Director of Science at the Royal Botanic Garden, Kew, with the omnibus edition of her history of our changing relationship with plants during the early 20th century.

Kathy Willis examines how the complete picture of photosynthesis led to new opportunities to manipulate plant growth; the ability of plants to exhibit multiple forms that shed light on why flowering plants evolved so quickly; the legacy of tree diseases during the 20th century; the hunt for wild ancestors of our domestic crops in order to maintain resilience within our future food supplies; and botanical medicines and the hunt for new medicinal cocktails at home and abroad.

Producer Adrian Washbourne.

03Plants: From Roots to Riches20141024

Prof Kathy Willis, Director of Science at the Royal Botanic Garden, Kew, with the omnibus edition of her history of our changing relationship with plants during the early 20th century.

Kathy Willis examines how the complete picture of photosynthesis led to new opportunities to manipulate plant growth; the ability of plants to exhibit multiple forms that shed light on why flowering plants evolved so quickly; the legacy of tree diseases during the 20th century; the hunt for wild ancestors of our domestic crops in order to maintain resilience within our future food supplies; and botanical medicines and the hunt for new medicinal cocktails at home and abroad.

Producer Adrian Washbourne.

04Plants: From Roots To Riches20141031

Prof Kathy Willis, Director of Science at Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, with an omnibus edition of her history of our changing relationship with plants from the early 20th century.

She examines new insights into plant hormones during the first few decades of the 20th century, the manipulation of which underpinned the perceived success of the so called Green Revolution; unlocking biodiversity through the creation of plant flora encyclopaedias - and their influence in conservation; the surprising benefits to emerge from the devastation wreaked by the great storm of 1987; what can be gained by preserving the diversity of plants through seed banking; the legacy of Arabidopsis - the first plant to have its entire genome sequenced.

Producer Adrian Washbourne.

05 LASTPlants: From Roots to Riches20141107

Professor Kathy Willis, director of science at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, with the final episodes of her new history of our changing relationship with plants

Kathy Willis examines how the technology that helped map whole genomes in plants and animals was to revolutionise the classification of flowering plants; the evolution of our rainforests as revealed by DNA fingerprinting; plants as essential regulators of our planet's atmospheric carbon and water cycles; how green spaces and ecosystems have a positive effect on our health and well being; the future role of plants as providers of food to feed the planet's growing population.

Producer Adrian Washbourne.

09A History Of Ideas20150417

A new history of ideas presented by Melvyn Bragg, but told in many voices.

Each week Melvyn is joined by four guests with different backgrounds to discuss a really big question. This week they're tackling the question 'What does it mean to be me?'.

Helping him answer it are the writer A. L. Kennedy, the neuropsychologist Paul Broks, the philosopher Jules Evans, and the ontologist Barry Smith. Between them they will investigate consciousness, delve into memory, examine ideas about the 'self' and veer into existentialism. Then each of them attempt to take us further into the subject, with programmes of their own. This Omnibus edition has all five programmes together.

10A History Of Ideas20150724

Economist Kate Barker, historian Justin Champion and philosophers Timothy Secret and Angie Hobbs discuss the history of ideas around how to live together. Melvyn Bragg presents.

11A History Of Ideas20150731

Melvyn Bragg hosts as theologian Giles Fraser, writer Lisa Appignanesi, classicist Edith Hall and psychotherapist Mark Vernon discuss the history of ideas around Love.

12A History Of Ideas20150807

Melvyn Bragg asks 'How can I know anything at all?' Bishop Berkley, Karl Popper, David Hume and Ludwig Wittgenstein provide the answers.