The Essay – Wild Things II

Ep 1/5

Monday 27 February to Friday 2 March



Writer and poet Ruth Padel presents a series of essays exploring how history and literature have shaped our attitudes to five native wild animals.

On Monday, Ruth explores what the small wild pony means in the British landscape today.

On Tuesday, Ruth looks at what owls mean to us and what they can show about the British landscape. Owls are often associated with wisdom and magic, but why?

On Wednesday, Ruth presents an exploration of the wild salmon's extraordinary life and its impact on humans.

On Thursday, Ruth explores our feelings towards squirrels, both red and grey, through biology, history and literature. Are they bushy-tailed friends or creatures of destruction?

On Friday, the image of the snake is full of symbolism - with its connotations of venom and forked tongues. It has inspired poets as diverse as Keats and D.H. Lawrence with its ability to move without limbs. In this final essay, Ruth Padel asks how snakes fit into our physical and emotional landscape.

Presenter/Ruth Padel, Producer/Emma Kingsley

BBC Radio 3 Publicity