Henry James

The Henry James BBC Radio Drama Collection
  • The Henry James BBC Radio Drama Collection

    • Henry James

    • Full Cast (Read by)

    • Henry Goodman (Read by)

    • Jodie Comer (Read by)

    • John Lynch (Read by)

    • Julie Hesmondhalgh (Read by)

    • Lee Ingleby (Read by)

    • Siân Phillips (Read by)

    • Toby Jones (Read by)

    The definitive collection of full-cast BBC radio dramatisations of Henry James’ classic novels – plus a bonus documentary about his life and work

    One of the greatest and most influential American novelists, Henry James is loved for his compelling storytelling, vividly realised characters and perceptive exploration of the shifting relationships between Europeans and Americans. But he also possessed extraordinary insights into the secrets of the human heart, as shown in the ten dramas in this collection.

    Roderick Hudson explores how love and obsession intermingle as old and new worlds collide; The American mixes humour and heartache in a tale of a self-made millionaire and an aristocratic young Frenchwoman; and desire and propriety clash in Daisy Miller when Frederick Winterbourne meets the beautiful, free-spirited Daisy. Pursued by two suitors, Isabel Archer longs for freedom in The Portrait of a Lady; while a literary editor insinuates himself into the lives of an elderly spinster and her niece in The Aspern Papers.

    What Maisie Knew is James’ classic tale of divorce seen through a child’s eyes; while Gothic ghost story The Turn of the Screw tells the terrifying tale of a governess who tries to protect two young children from the forces of evil. The Wings of the Dove is a heartbreaking story of a doomed love triangle; dark comedy The Ambassadors features yearning and betrayal in aristocratic Paris; and The Golden Bowl explores two marriages and the secret that threatens to tear them apart.

    The casts of these sweeping radio dramas include Kate Hudson, Kate Phillips, Emma Cunniffe, Jodie Comer, Henry Goodman and Toby Jones, with John Lynch as Henry James. Also featured is a bonus programme, The Master, in which Sarah Churchwell discusses James’ life and novels with author Colm Tóibin and biographer Hermione Lee.

Henry James was born on 15 April 1843 in New York to a wealthy and intellectual family and as a youth travelled widely and studied in Europe. He briefly studied law at Harvard before he took up writing full-time. His first novel, Watch and Ward, was published in 1871 and many followed including Roderick Hudson (1875), Portrait of a Lady (1881), The Awkward Age (1899), The Wings of the Dove (1902), The Ambassadors (1903) and The Golden Bowl (1904). He also wrote short stories, reviews, biographies, plays and travel books. After a brief period in Paris, James moved to London.He later settled in Rye in Sussex and became a British citizen in 1915. Henry James died on 28 February 1916.