Documentary series on modern children's literature. 1 of 6: Author of `The Phoenix and the Carpet' ans `The Railway Children', Edith Nesbit was the first modern children's writer. In a genre previously dominated by adult voices, Nesbit's stories broke the mould of Victorian sentimentality and were written from a child's perspective, changing the path of children's literature forever. Actress and Nesbit admirer Jenny Agutter and biographer Julia Briggs participate.
Documentary on modern children's literature. 2 of 6: Since its publication in 1908, Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows has been read by, and to, generations of children. The timeless adventures of Ratty, Mole and Mr Toad have inspired successful stage, radio and film adaptations. This programme reveals that the uncomplicated, sun-lit riverbank, where there was always a happy ending, was a stark contrast to Grahame's own life, which was beset by thwarted ambition and personal tragedy.
Documentary series on modern children's literature. 3 of 6: The testimony of friends, relatives and admirers contributes to a portrait of the author of `Swallows and Amazons', exploring Ransome's complex personality and the troubled relationships with his family.
Documentary series examining prominent children's writers. 4 of 6: The Lord of the Rings is now recognised as a literary classic, the language and spirit of its `Middle Earth' embraced by readers worldwide. Interweaving readings, interviews with contemporaries and biographers, with rare footage of the author, the film reveals a private, academic man at odds with the celebrity and cult status his books attained.
Documentary series examining the lives of prominent children's authors. 5 of 6: Dr Suess was the pseudonym of author-illustrator Ted Geisel. Although his first marriage ended in tragedy and he never had children himself, Giesel lived to see books such as `Green Eggs and Ham' and `The Cat in a Hat' become international children's classics.
Documentary series focusing on the lives of modern children's writers. 6 of 6: Features Roald Dahl, wartime pilot, sometime spy and creator of `The BFG', `James and the Giant Peach' and `Charlie and the Chocolate Factory'.