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Diamonds and Coal

30 minutes
First broadcast:
Sunday 26 June 2011

In this week's Something Understood, Llewelyn Morgan considers how the diamond, a beautiful yet tarnished jewel, is capable of provoking complex responses within us.

With readings from Christina Rosetti, Marco Polo and William Pitt, music from Joan Baez, Bela Bartok and Joni Mitchell, and an interview with bookseller Farrukh Hussain, he examines how this precious stone can bring out the best and worst in us.

Producer: Katie Burningham
A Falling Tree Production for BBC Radio 4.

Music Played

6 items
  • Image for Gustav Holst

    Gustav Holst Venus, The Bringer of Peace

    Performer: London Symphony Orchestra

    Holst: The Planets, Delta Music GmbH, B001PD0FRO, 2

  • Image for Joan Baez

    Joan Baez Diamonds and Rust

    The Best of Joan C. Baez, A&M, 213 234, 1

  • Image for Lily Allen

    Lily Allen The Fear

    It’s Not Me, It’s You, Parlophone, 6942752, 2

  • Image for Jean Mouton

    Jean Mouton Ave Maria Gemma Virginium

    Artist: Theatre Of Voices

    Josquin Desprez: Missa de Beata Virgine. Jean Mouton: Motets, Harmonia Mundi, B001LAZ9RW, 10

  • Image for Béla Bartók

    Béla Bartók Third Door (The Treasury)

    Artist: Berliner Philarmonik

    Bartok: Bluebeard’s Castle, EMI / Angel Records, B000002RWP, 4

  • Image for Vashti Bunyan

    Vashti Bunyan Diamond Day

    TV Ad Songs, Virgin, 914, 2

  • Readings

    Title: The Moonstone
    Author: Wilkie Collins
    Publisher: Penguin Classics
    ISBN: 978-0140434088

    Title: A Diamond or a Coal
    Book: Selected Poems: Rossetti
    Author: Christina Rossetti
    Publisher: Penguin
    ISBN: 978-0140424690

    Title: The Travels
    Author: Marco Polo
    Publisher: Penguin
    ISBN: 9780140440577

    Title: Choosing a Diamond
    Book: Trace Elements from a Recurring Kingdom: The First Five Books
    Author: William Pitt Root
    Publisher: Confluence Press
    ISBN: 978-1881090113

    Title: The Life of Hiuen-Tsiang: By the Shaman Hwui Li
    Author: Samuel Beal
    Publisher: Adamant Media Corporation
    ISBN: 421258293


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