Ian Leslie presents the show which brings to light the often surprising first literary attempts of the world's best known writers.
In this episode we get a valuable insight into the origins of Henry Longfellow's poetic success - in the guise of a letter of complaint to a boiler repair company.
We also hear the troubled, adolescent Mary Shelley craft disturbing notes to accompany floral tributes, marvel at the deliciously spooky auction catalogue copy written by M.R. James, and hear a slightly disturbing Christmas cracker joke by Fredrik Ibsen.
Producer: Claire Broughton
A Hat Trick production for BBC Radio 4.