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
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
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.