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Al Murray on Thackeray, and a History of Women's Writing Part Two

30 minutes
First broadcast:
Sunday 17 July 2011

Mariella Frostrup presents the second part of her series examining the history of women's writing in the last hundred years. This week in A Book of One's Own she explores fiction of the 1930s and 40s - a time when the vote had been won but sexual inequality was still rife - with the help of writers and critics including Hermione Lee, Virginia Woolf's biographer, and feminist publisher Carmen Calil.

With the bicentenary of William Makepeace Thackeray's birth fast approaching we ask comedian Al Murray to tell us about his great, great, great grandfather and why he thinks Vanity Fair is still as relevant today as it was when it was first written in 1848.

Plus, we find out about a new charitable scheme which is giving away books for free.

Producer: Ella-mai Robey.



    Al Murray’s (Thackeray’s great, great, great grandson) picks:

    Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
    Publisher: Wordsworth Editions Ltd

    Going to See a Man Hanged – William Makepeace Thackeray
    Publisher: unknown


    Thackeray – DJ Taylor
    Publisher: Vintage


    Women writers:

    A Room of One’s Own – Virginia Woolf
    Publisher: Penguin Classics

    Someone at a Distance – Dorothy Whipple
    Publisher: Persephone Books Ltd

    Driftwood – Dorothy Whipple
    Publisher: Richardson

    Invitation to the Waltz – Rosamond Lehmann
    Publisher: Virago Press Ltd

    South Riding – Winifred Holtby
    Publisher: BBC Books

    The contributors’ books:

    Virginia Woolf – Hermione Lee
    Publisher: Vintage

    A Very Great Profession: The Woman's Novel 1914-39 – Nicola Beauman
    Publisher: Persephone Books Ltd

  • Books For Free

    For more information on the Books for Free scheme:

    Books For Free


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