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An obsession with history killed a young Polish writer

Stanisława Przybyszewska wrote plays about the French Revolution and in particular about the revolutionary leader Maximilien Robespierre - to the detriment of her own health. Best-selling novelist Hilary Mantel claims a piece of literature can have a damaging hold over its author, and in the case of Przybyszewska, her portrayal of Robespierre, was a “creation of her own need".

First broadcast on The Reith Lectures, 27 June 2017.

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2 minutes