Runaway Lives

Four programmes in which Richard Holmes follows in the footsteps of some of the great literary elopements.


01Shelley And Mary And Clare20000304

In 1814 the young romantic poet Shelley, with a desirable girl on each arm, ran away from his wife and baby to the Swiss Alps and lakes, in search of liberty and love.

02Robert Louis Stevenson And Fanny Osbourne20000311

In August 1879 Stevenson, future author of `Treasure Island', crossed the Atlantic to arrive at the Californian home of the woman he had fallen in love with in France three years earlier.

The journey nearly killed him, but Fanny was not certain she liked him any more.

03D H Lawrence And Freida Von Richthofen20000318

A young D H Lawrence fled a teaching job, an engagement and memories of his recently dead mother to run off with a sex-crazed and very liberated German woman.

They crossed the Austrian Alps to reach reach Lake Garda in Italy.

Would the warm south work its magic?

04 LASTOscar Wilde20000325

After his release from Reading Gaol on homosexuality charges, Wilde fled to Dieppe in northern France.

He hoped to rebuild his life and to see his wife and beloved children again - if only he could avoid Lord Alfred Douglas.