Hugh Aldersey-Williams explores 'the curious lives of the elements' through history, literature, science and art.
Some elements heal and some harm: chlorine has saved lives, fluorine, bromine and iodine have all played medicinal roles with varying degrees of effectiveness; but it was to another element that Agatha Christie turned when needing a fictional instrument of murder.
Reader : Michael Maloney
Abridged and produced by Jill Waters
A Waters Company production for BBC Radio 4.