Life is made up of individuals meeting one another.
Often it is the most fleeting of these encounters that, in the fullness of time, turn out to be the most noteworthy.
The selection for Radio 4's Book of the Week will feature encounters between an exuberant Salvador Dali and a bemused Sigmund Freud, then Freud and a perturbed Gustav Mahler; Helen Keller is enchanted by Martha Graham's demonstration of what it is to jump and Martha Graham's stern presence subdues the young Madonna.
Others included are Elizabeth Taylor on set with James Dean, James Dean showing off his new car to Alec Guinness as well as Noel Coward being singularly unimpressed by Paul McCartney, and an unknown Adolf Hitler narrowly avoiding a fatal accident.
Ingenious in its construction, witty in its narration, panoramic in its breadth, 'One on One' offers a delightful series of snapshots of the 20th century.
Abridged and Produced by Jill Waters
A Waters Company Production for BBC Radio 4.
A series of historic encounters, each sparking off the other and linked by happenstance.