After his dramatic election, Ross Poldark is now the MP for Truro. Time to head to the House of Commons, where he makes his maiden speech. But how will his absence in London affect his already rocky marriage to Demelza?
In the first of five episodes of the weekday series about the NHS, Sally Sheard considers how a 1950s lung cancer epidemic brought the issue of disease prevention to the fore. Also this week, in Out Of Tredegar (BBC Radio 4, Friday 29 June, 11am), Michael Sheen explores how the early life of Aneurin Bevan, the post-war architect of the NHS, shaped his thinking about Britain’s health needs.
As part of programming marking its 70th anniversary, this weekday series focuses on key stories from the history of the NHS. The opening episode takes us to the Royal Papworth Hospital, where the country’s first successful heart transplant took place in 1979.
King Louis XIV is not happy. You can tell by the way he keeps ordering executions and by the way he clamps down on those who rioted in Paris. Even Philippe, not a man known for restraint, thinks his brother is in danger of going a bit over the top.
In the first of five weekday talks from academics new to radio, Sophie Coulombeau, from Cardiff University, tells the story of Reverend John Trusler. He was an eccentric Anglican minister whose madcap entrepreneurial schemes met with, at best, mixed success. But does his example help us to rehabilitate the idea of ‘failure’?
Is war an essential part of being human? So asks eminent historian Margaret MacMillan, whose five Reith Lectures explore ideas around conflict and our attitudes to those who fight. She begins by considering the moment when past wars first broke out. How are they brought about? And how do they prompt changes in society?
The historian Tom Holland hosts this week’s edition of the history magazine series. Tune in to find out how actor Tonderai Munyevu got on when he joined members of the British Pilgrimage Trust for a day on the South Downs. Plus, historian Helen Castor looks back 50 years to the first season when foreign players competed in county cricket.
What should we make of the British empire? Writer and historian Jan Morris is in two minds over this question, hence the title of this 30-minute programme. While the empire gave many of its more principled colonial administrators a sense of duty, service and purpose, it was also exploitative and shot through with cruelty.
Melvyn Bragg and learned guests discuss the Mexican-American war of 1846–48. It was a conflict that saw the US gain huge swathes of territory and led to further conflict within Mexico. It also had a profound impact on the lives of Native Americans and raised questions about slavery that would not be resolved until the civil war.
In the final episode of the series about the country’s manmade waterways, Dan Jones explores the Kennet and Avon Canal. Designed by Scottish engineer John Rennie, it was a project that incorporated many innovations and gave us the extraordinary Caen Hill Locks – a sequence of 29 locks in Wiltshire.