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Magnificence

Episode 21 of 30

Duration:
15 minutes
First broadcast:
Monday 26 October 2009

Historian Amanda Vickery presents a series which reveals the hidden history of home over 400 years. She draws on first-hand accounts from letters and diaries, many of which have never been heard before. Including songs which have been specially recorded for the series.

These days we take it for granted that the home is a place of refuge in which we express our true self; that idea was an invention of the 18th century. Prof Vickery explores the invention of taste, and the role of interior decor in creating both social prestige and a successful marriage.

The story of a celebrity divorce - a huge scandal, because the husband was the prime minister. The question then, as now, was what was the woman going to walk away with?

Readers: Deborah Findlay, John Sessions, Madeleine Brolly and Simon Tcherniak.

Singers: Gwyneth Herbert and Thomas Guthrie, with David Owen Norris at the keyboard.

A Loftus production for BBC Radio 4.

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