George Eliot's World
George Eliot's novels, letters and journals read by Fiona Shaw, Ellie Kendrick and Philip Bretherton with music including works by Liszt, Handel, Clara Schumann and Tchaikovsky.
This special edition of Words and Music is inspired by the novels, letters and journals of George Eliot, as well as responses to her and her work from the likes of Henry James and Virginia Woolf. The readers are Fiona Shaw, Ellie Kendrick and Philip Bretherton and the music is what she might have chosen to listen to work by Clara Schumann, Bach, Liszt, Haydn, Handel and Purcell.
George Eliot played the piano all her life, was passionate about music and alludes to it many times in her novels and diaries. In her journal she talked of ‘music that stirs all one’s devout emotions blends everything into harmony – makes one feel part of one whole, which one loves all alike, losing the sense of a separate self’.
She knew and was friends many composers including Richard Wagner, Franz Liszt and Anton Rubenstein. In 1854 Eliot was travelling across Europe and met a famous pianist and composer in Weimar. It was Clara Schumann, described by Eliot as ‘an interesting, melancholic creature’. In Eliot’s novel, Daniel Deronda, she quotes from Rossini’s Otello, where he set to music Dante’s words:
Nessun maggior dolore
Che ricordarsi del tempo felice
There is no greater sorrow than to recall happiness in the midst of misery.
Producer: Fiona McLean
Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes
Daniel Deronda, read by Ellie Kendrick
Woman in France, read by Fiona Shaw
from Silas Marner, read by Fiona Shaw
from Middlemarch, read by Ellie Kendrick
Simone de Beauvoir
Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter, read by Fiona Shaw
from The Mill on the Floss, read by Ellie Kendrick
Letter to Maria Congreve, read by read by Fiona Shaw
Mr Gilfils Love Story, read by Ellie Kendrick
Letter to his father, read by Philip Bretherton
On George Eliot, read by Ellie Kendrick
on George Eliot, read by Philip Bretherton
from her Journal, read by Ellie Kendrick
from Self and Life, read by Ellie Kendrick
Edmund Gosse on seeing George Eliot, read by Philip Bretherton
from Daniel Deronda, read by Fiona Shaw
On Finishing Middlemarch, read by Fiona Shaw