Anne McElvoy traces how the threat of Free Trade stung a placid aristocrat into action.
Alexander Masters on his book A Life Discarded
Amanda Foreman talks about her biography of Georgina, Duchess of Devonshire.
Andrew Motion talks to James Naughtie about his 10 years as Poet Laureate.
Antonia Fraser chooses J.M.W Turner's The Fighting Temeraire
Andrew and Fiona share their thoughts on making the programme
Benjamin Disraeli, who turned his skills as a novelist to politics.
Kenneth Clarke chooses the Victorian politician, Benjamin Disraeli.
David Cannadine explores how Disraeli merged fact and fiction in his life and work.
Helen Mark explores Sir Winston Churchill's family home of Chartwell in Kent.
William Crawley travels to Winston Churchill's grave in the Oxfordshire village of Bladon.
A humble wooden cabinet reveals secrets about how Churchill developed his oratorical style
Claire Tomalin talks about the poetry of Thomas Hardy
Matthew Parris talks to Dame Helen Ghosh about James Lees-Milne.
A report from California on water in LA, and domestic partnerships in San Francisco.
Poet Kit Wright chooses author and creator of the English dictionary, Dr Samuel Johnson.
Amanda Vickery and Jenny Uglow discuss the life of the Elizabeth Gaskell.
The early successes of Charles Dickens. Claire Tomalin's book about the great novelist.
Charles Dickens is well-received in America. Claire Tomalin's acclaimed biography.
A theatrical performance changes the course of Dickens's life.
Adulation and farewells for Britain's great novelist. Claire Tomalin's acclaimed biography
Gary Oldman on his career and award winning performance as Churchill
The Oscar-tipped actor on how he captured the war-time PM's distinctive delivery
Investigating Foreign Secretary William Hague's vision for the Arab world.
The life and work of Samuel Johnson, a giant of 18th century literature.
Scholar Jonathan Bate discusses his passion for music inspired by Shakespeare.
The Unauthorised Life has attracted attention due to revelations about Hughes' adultery.
James Naughtie and an audience of readers talk to comic fiction author Jonathan Coe.
Hunter Davies reflects on his life with Margaret Forster, a year after her death.
Melvyn Bragg talks to Joan Bakewell about his life and beliefs.