Whose Book Is it Anyway?

Anne McElvoy explores some historic tussles over who read what, when, how and why. Bodleian scholar Dennis Duncan reveals how disputatious monks took the book out of the monastery; the novelist and New Generation Thinker Sophie Coulombeau uncovers public frothing over political pamphlet reading in pubs in the 18th century; 19th century literature expert Katie McGettigan celebrates a loophole in copyright law which resulted in American literature dominating British bookshelves; Katherine Cooper from Newcastle and another New Generation Thinker reveals the role of women in expanding the horizons of literature in the 20th century and Matthew Rubery, author of The Untold Story of the Talking Book, reflects on the way technology spread reading across society and he gives us a demonstration of the Optophone - an early machine to bring books to the blind.

Pres: Anne McElvoy
Guests: Katherine Cooper, University of Newcastle
Sophie Coulombeau, University of York; author of 'Rites'
Dennis Duncan, The Bodleian Centre for the Study of the Book
Katie McGettigan, Royal Holloway University, London
Matthew Rubery, Queen Mary University, London; author of 'The Untold Story of the Talking Book' forthcoming

The Optophone appears courtesy of Blind Veterans UK.
New Generation Thinkers is a scheme run by BBC Radio 3 and the Arts and Humanities Research Council to find academics who can turn their research into radio programmes.
You can find more programmes in the BBC #LoveToRead campaign http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04b5zz8/members
And hear more over the #LovetoRead weekend 5-6 November.

(Image: Close-up of an Optophone - an early 20th century device which uses sound to enable visually impaired people to read).

Release date:

Available now

45 minutes

Last on

Tue 1 Nov 2016 22:00

Credits

Role Contributor
PresenterAnne McElvoy
Interviewed GuestDennis Duncan
Interviewed GuestSophie Coulombeau
Interviewed GuestKatie McGettigan
Interviewed GuestKatherine Cooper
Interviewed GuestMatt Rubery
ProducerJacqueline Smith

Featured in...

CLICK to LISTEN & SEE all programmes from the Free Thinking Festival 2018: The One and the Many

Free Thinking Festival

This year we examine the fast-changing relationship between the individual and the crowd.

The Arts and Ideas Podcast

Arts and Ideas

You can download all the past episodes of Radio 3's Free Thinking

CLICK to LISTEN & SEE all programmes, images, clips & features from 2017's festival

CLICK to LISTEN & SEE all programmes, images, clips & features from this year's festival

Free Thinking Festival 2017: The Speed of Life