My favorite crazy antiquarian is features in a BBC Radio special broadcast created by David Wallace. “Leland’s Travels” will be carried live on Sunday, 26 April, at 9.30 pm (4.30 pm US east coast) on BBC Radio 3.
Our documentary feature “Leland’s Travels” broadcasts this Sunday, 26 April, at 9.30 pm (4.30 pm US east coast) on BBC Radio 3. It features Helen Cooper in Guy of Warwick’s cave and chantry (now a Masonic lodge), James Carley amid ruins in Glastonbury (and Wells), James Simpson ditto in Bury St Edmund’s (and at the BL), Brian Cummings in Barnes (St Paul’s school), Bill Shiels in York Minster and Jennifer Summit in Titchfield, Hants (once home to Premonstratensian canons; redecorated by Henry Wriosthesley, torturer of Ann Askew). A new setting of the rebel hymn of the pilgrimage of grace is sung by the massed voices of Newman House, Gower Street. The part of John Leland is played by Jeremy Northam. The program may be heard live on the web and downloaded for one week thereafter.Do not miss this!
I have always had a place for leland in my heart; I devoted a small portion of the Intro. to my dissertation to him, and more than anything, I love that he forged a document that supposedly gave him royal authority to retrieve books and manuscripts from the monasteries after the Dissolution. I have always had a weakness for those who attempt to compile the compendiums of "everything," like Leland, also like Wanley, who wanted to write the most comprehensive library catalogs ever [which is what my first published article was about: "Thomas Smith, Humfrey Wanley, and the 'little-known country' of the Cotton Library," British Library Journal, 2005]. I love that Leland went a little mad and had to be taken care of by his brother; it was because of his story that I ended up beginning my dissertation with Borges's short story, "The Library of Babel."
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