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Reading Between the Lines

When does the ability to read between the lines become vital? From codes in Shakespeare to modern surveillance states, Mark Tully seeks out the secret messages of everyday life.

When does the ability to read between the lines become vital? From codes in Shakespeare to modern surveillance states, Mark Tully seeks out the secret messages of everyday life.

Shakespeare scholar Clare Asquith has witnessed the secret dissident propaganda that flourished in Soviet Russia and she has also written a book about hidden political and religious allegories in the plays of Shakespeare. Mark discusses her approach to reading between the lines and the techniques she has learnt to help her interpret literary codes.

In the light of this, he considers the symbols and subtexts that exist all around us - through culture, literature and music, touching on the work of Alban Berg, Sergei Prokoviev and Barrington Pheloung and the writing of Queen Elizabeth I, World War Two cryptographer Leo Marks and poet Theodore Weiss.

The readers are Claire Vousden and Vincent Ebrahim.

Presenter: Mark Tully
Producer: Frank Stirling

A Unique production for BBC Radio 4.

30 minutes

Music Played

  • Emerson String Quartet

    Lyric Suite for String Quartet (1926), II. Andante amoroso Emerson String Quartet (feat. Alban Berg)

    • Decca.
  • Royal Scottish National Orchestra

    Symphony no. 6 in E flat minor, Op. 111 (feat. Sergei Prokofiev)

    • Chandos.
  • The Police

    Every Breath You Take

    • Synchronicity.
  • Barrington Pheloung

    Inspector Morse Theme

    • VTCD-62.

Readings

Title: The Life That I Have

Author: Leo Marks

Published in Between Silk and Cyanide, by The Free Press (Simon and Schuster)

 

Title: Psalter 

Author: Elizabeth I

 

Title: Edouard Glissant and Post Colonial Theory 

Author: Celia Britton 

Published by University Press of Virginia

 

Title: The Dancing Men 

Author: Arthur Conan Doyle 

Published by Dover Publications

 

Title: Today Was The Absolute Worst Day Ever 

Author: Chaney Gorkin 

Unpublished, found on Twitter

 

Title: Between The Lines 

Author: Theodore Weiss 

Published by the Poetry Foundation

Broadcasts