Ben Jonson

Vivat Rex: Volume 2
  • Vivat Rex: Volume 2

  • Richard Burton narrates the second volume of this famous dramatic chronicle of the English Crown, a treasure of the BBC radio archive published on audio for the very first time.

    Vivat Rex is the landmark drama series first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 1977. Over the course of 26 instalments, each one narrated by Richard Burton with a full cast, the fortunes of the English Crown are followed through 225 years of British history, from Edward II’s accession in 1307 to the birth of Elizabeth I.

    Each drama is adapted by Martin Jenkins from the works of Shakespeare, Marlowe and their Elizabethan contemporaries.This second volume features the final 13 instalments, beginning with Martin Jarvis as Henry V and concluding with the birth of Elizabeth I. Vivat Rex includes a stirring musical score by Christopher Whelen.

Ben Jonson was born in 1572, the posthumous son of a minister and was educated at Westminster School thanks to an unknown patron. In 1597, after brief careers as a bricklayer and soldier, he began to work for Henslowe's company as a player and playwright. In addition to the comedies Jonson also produced two tragedies. In 1616 he was granted a royal pension and was made, in effect, Poet Laureate. He died on 6 August 1637. Michael Jamieson has taught at the University of Rome and the University of California. He has published a study of As You Like It and articles on Elizabethan acting and on modern theatres for Shakespeare.

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