The Purple Land



Published in 1885, The Purple Land was the first novel of William Henry Hudson, author of Green Mansions.

The Anglo-Argentine naturalist distinguished himself both as one of the finest craftsmen of prose in English literature and as a thinker on ecological matters far ahead of his time.

In Davies' hands this 'road novel' becomes a fast paced romp in the tradition of Tom Jones, with a dash of Don Quixote for good measure.

It is an exuberant, wryly comic account of a young Englishman's imprudent adventures, set against a background of political strife in nineteenth-century South America.

Eloping with an Argentine girl, young Richard Lamb makes an implacable enemy of his teenage bride's father.

Leaving her behind, he goes ignorantly forth into the interior of the country to seek his fortune.

Whilst doing so he learns to hunt, ride, herd, love - even kill.

On his way to becoming a man.

Hemingway alluded to this book in his masterpiece "The Sun Also Rises", claiming that "The Purple Land" is 'dangerous reading if read too late in life'.

Hopefully - it doesn't make for dangerous listening!


Richard - David Tennant

Paquita - Denise Gough

Marcos/Major Domo - Danny Webb

Toribia/Grandmother - Carol McReady

Isidora - Lizzie McInnerney

Herdsman/Allday - Nigel Cooke

Paquita's father/Winchcombe - Richard Durden

Monica/Donna Mercedes - Jacey Salles

Cloud/Blanco Major - Nicholas Murchie

Epifanio/Chillingwoth....Chuk Iwuji

Juez/Bartender/Blass - Trevor Martin

Cleta/Mother - Jane Slavin

Herdsman's Daughter/Margerita - Beth Cooke

Anita - Grace Horbury

Herdsman's Boy - Danny Concha

Music Composed and performed by

Ross Hughes

Esben Tjalve

Trumpet - Daniel Weitz

Script Editor - Eileen Horne

Producer/Director: Clive Brill

A Pacificus production for BBC Radio 4.

Andrew Davies' rip-roaring treatment of WH Hudson's South American classic.