Radio 3 Essay

Radio 3 Essay

Authored essays from leading writers on arts, history, philosophy, science, religion and beyond, themed across a week. Each episode is full of insight, opinion and intellectual surprise from one expert voice. The Essay is broadcast on BBC Radio 3 Monday to Friday 10.45pm. We aim to include as many episodes of The Essay in the podcast as we can but you'll find that some aren't included for rights reasons.

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Recent episodes (10)

  • The Fall and Rise of the British Castle 30 Jan 15

    Fri, 30 Jan 15

    Duration:
    14 mins

    The grim, concrete forts and pillboxes of the east coast of England may seem a far cry from the romantic ruins of Britain's medieval castles. But as writer Ken Worpole argues, they have earned their place in the East Anglian landscape, and should be both preserved, and treasured as reminders of the past, just as much as ivy-clad castles and ruins from the high Middle Ages.

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  • The Fall and Rise of the British Castle 29 Jan 15

    Thu, 29 Jan 15

    Duration:
    14 mins

    Often the visitor to a medieval castle in Britain is confronted with a mass of information and interpretation about the military activities of the men who inhabited these spaces, but very little about the women. Archaeologist Roberta Gilchrist is keen to correct this imbalance, arguing that traditional interpretations of castles ignore the gendered spaces - the gardens, the apartments, the kitchens where female servants cooked, or indeed the adjoining parklands where aristocratic women occasionally hunted.

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  • The Fall and Rise of the British Castle 28 Jan 15

    Wed, 28 Jan 15

    Duration:
    14 mins

    The walls of Kenilworth Castle, situated at the heart of England, might have seemed practically impregnable to the men defending them. And yet, as Benjamin Wild argues, the mightiest of fortresses was of little more account than a mere folly when men pursued force and fanfare at the expense of political relationships. In 1266 a somewhat humiliated Henry III laid siege to this red sandstone structure, determined to reassert his authority over his upstart subjects.

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  • The Fall and Rise of the British Castle 27 Jan 15

    Tue, 27 Jan 15

    Duration:
    14 mins

    It is generally conceded that, following his triumphant conquest of Wales, Edward I ordered the construction of some of the finest castles in Britain. But who exactly designed them, and who managed this massive project? Architectural historian Nicola Coldstream explores the careers of two medieval masons - Master James of Savoy and Master Hugh of Chester.

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  • Venice Unravelled_Episode 5of5_Water Level

    Tue, 27 Jan 15

    Duration:
    14 mins

    Writer Polly Coles on how Venetians adapted to live in 21st Century Venice

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  • The Book That Changed Me - Sir Paul Nurse 23 Jan 15

    Fri, 23 Jan 15

    Duration:
    14 mins

    Nobel Prize-winning geneticist Sir Paul Nurse explains how Karl Popper's "Conjectures and Refutations" helped rescue his career as a research scientist.

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  • The Fall and Rise of the British Castle

    Fri, 23 Jan 15

    Duration:
    14 mins

    Five writers reflect on the continuing power of castles, which still dominate not only large sections of the British landscape, but also the imagination. Tonight, historian Jeremy Black gives an overall view of the castle as an instrument of control, built to withstand siege warfare - a lesson which, by the 18th century, had been all but forgotten.

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  • The Book That Changed Me - Lolita Chakrabarti 22 Jan 15

    Thu, 22 Jan 15

    Duration:
    15 mins

    Actor and playwright Lolita Chakrabarti explains how "A Tale of Two Cities" by Charles Dickens affected her at a pivotal moment in her life.

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  • The Book That Changed Me - Jon Ronson 21 Jan 15

    Wed, 21 Jan 15

    Duration:
    14 mins

    Journalist and writer Jon Ronson explains how "What a Carve Up!" by Jonathan Coe led him to understand how politics affects everyday life.

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  • The Book That Changed Me - Jude Kelly 20 Jan 15

    Tue, 20 Jan 15

    Duration:
    14 mins

    Jude Kelly, the artistic director of Southbank Centre in London, describes how "Little Women" by Louisa May Alcott mirrored her own experiences growing up in Liverpool.

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