Secondary Catalogue

Series: Literary Contexts


1984 in Context

The period leading up to and following World War II saw both communist and fascist leaders rise to power in Europe. Economic depression and the propaganda prevalent during WWII shaped perspectives on life in Britain during the Cold War period....Show More
A Christmas Carol in Context

A Christmas Carol in Context

Victorian England was heavily shaped by the Industrial Revolution. While some prospered in this society, many others lived gruelling industrial lives from which Christmas offered only a brief reprieve. This programme explores the influences on...Show More
Billy Elliot in Context

Billy Elliot in Context

England in the mid-80s was a time of widespread industrial action and social unrest. Striking miners picketed for their jobs, while the gay community fought for their rights. This video explores the historical events and changing social attitudes...Show More
Blood Brothers in Context

Blood Brothers in Context

Willy Russell’s ‘Blood Brothers’ chronicles the social circumstances that lead two brothers to tragedy. Although set in the 1960s and 70s, the musical reflects the social issues and attitudes of the time the play was written in the early...Show More

Fahrenheit 451 in Context

During and after the Second World War, political and nationalistic sentiments saw the burning and removal of books as part of reality. Post-WWII, economic prosperity in the US saw print media give way to new technologies and trends. This video...Show More
Jane Eyre in Context

Jane Eyre in Context

The lives of women in Victorian Britain were marked by limited opportunities and strict expectations regarding their behaviour. Poor understanding of mental illness and strong beliefs surrounding religious morality influenced society’s...Show More

Rear Window in Context

The 1930s and ‘40s saw a wave of European film directors emigrate to the US. In the same period, anti-communist hysteria due to Cold War tensions swept across the US and paranoia became commonplace. This video delves into the historical context...Show More
Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde in Context

Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde in Context

The 19th century was a time of shifting morals, behaviours and beliefs. People led secret double lives, leading authors and scientists alike to become fascinated with human psychology. This programme investigates the inspiration behind and Gothic...Show More
The History Boys in Context

The History Boys in Context

Alan Bennett’s 'The History Boys' is set in 1983, a time when England was rife with class conflict and political reform. This video examines the events and tensions that inform Bennett’s play, from the changing roles of teachers to the social...Show More
The Sign of Four in Context

The Sign of Four in Context

Police approaches towards the investigation of crimes changed greatly in the 19th century. In London, there was an explosion in the number of detectives and true crime stories experienced a surge in popularity. This programme delves into the...Show More