Greece on Air: Engagements with Ancient Greece on BBC Radio, 1920s–1960s

Wrigley, Amanda (2015). Greece on Air: Engagements with Ancient Greece on BBC Radio, 1920s–1960s. Oxford University Press.



This book discusses creative and public engagements with ancient Greek literature, history, and thought via BBC Radio from the birth of domestic broadcasting in the 1920s up to the 1960s. The astonishing range of programmes broadcast includes some of the most interesting, imaginative, and political engagements with ideas from and about ancient Greece, from creative re-imaginings of ancient historical texts written and broadcast as Second World War propaganda, scores of performances of Greek tragedy and comedy, talks for schoolchildren and the general public, and re-writings of Homeric poetry especially for radio performance. These radio engagements with Greek literature, history, and thought made ideas from and about ancient Greece both practically and imaginatively accessible to far larger and more diverse audiences than has previously been taken into account in writings on classical receptions. Radio audiences were counted in tens or hundreds of thousands, and—not infrequently—millions. The book makes use of the rich range of archival evidence that exists not only for production processes, which illuminates the creatively symbiotic relationship between radio and the spheres of education, publishing, and the stage, but also the experience of individual listeners, which adds a rich and important dimension to current debates in classical reception studies. This book establishes the radio medium as a cultural sphere of great significance for a full understanding of ancient Greece in the public imagination in twentieth-century Britain.

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