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Famous Authors

Historical documentaries featuring famous authors by renowned Director Malcolm Hossick.

Famous Authors  
  • The Life and Work of Victor Hugo
    Tuesday, June 25
    9:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    Victor Hugo was born the son of a General under Napoleon Bonaparte. At an early age he began writing and his career as a poet, playwright, novelist and even politician has rarely been equalled. His fearless stance for the rights of the common man endeared him to the French people but caused governments to drive him into exile. He lived for nineteen years in the English Channel islands. The film covers his life and background and ends with an overview of his work.
  • The Life and Work of Henrik Ibsen
    Tuesday, June 25
    9:37 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    Henrik Ibsen was born in the small coastal town of Skien in Norway. His family were middle class burghers. He worked as an apprentice to an apothecary before going to Oslo to study. He began writing plays which found little favour in Norway. He lived and wrote for about 30 years in Italy and Germany and became recognised worldwide as the greatest dramatist of his age and the Father of modern drama. The film traces his life and is followed by a brief overview of his works.
  • The Life and Work of Samuel Johnson
    Tuesday, July 2
    9:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    Samuel Johnson was one of the most interesting figures of literature in 18th c England. He founded a literary magazine The Rambler and compiled the first major dictionary of English. He is best remembered as the subject of a biography by his friend Boswell. This film by Malcolm Hossick explores his life and the influence he had on the thought and manners of his age. It is followed by an overview of his work.
  • The Life and Work of James Joyce
    Tuesday, July 2
    9:28 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    James Joyce was born in Dublin. He was sent first to a Jesuit school but had to leave after three years because his father could no longer afford the fees. He went to another Jesuit school in Dublin and then to University College there. He went to Paris in 1902 and rarely returned to Ireland. His writing was difficult to publish and he had a very tricky character but with his unique style he became one of the most influential writers of the twentieth century. The film covers his life and background and is followed by an overview of his works.
  • The Life and Work of Franz Kafka
    Tuesday, July 9
    9:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    Franz Kafka was born in Prague, still under the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He was well educated and from an early age he determined to become a writer. He worked in an insurance company and in his ample free time wrote a number of remarkable novels and short stories. His heroes are all struggling to find themselves against a background of the totalitarian state or tribe or religion, and his name has become synonymous with the idea of modern man and his struggle to maintain his individuality. The film traces his unusual life and is followed by a brief overview of his works.
  • The Life and Work of John Keats
    Tuesday, July 9
    9:29 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    The English poet Keats was born into comfortable circumstances in 1795. He had a good education. His father died in an accident when he was in his early teens and he took up the profession of surgeon. He was however writing poetry and he was soon recognised by his discerning friends as someone quite exceptional. He died of tuberculosis at the age of 26. the film traces his brief life and is followed by an overview of his delightful work.
  • The Life and Work of D.H. Lawrence
    Tuesday, July 16
    9:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    Lawrence was born into the family of a coal miner in 1885. His remarkable achievement in becoming one of the most successful novelists of his day is explored in this film by Malcolm Hossick. Not only did he make it as a writer but in his honesty and open mindedness he had a huge effect on the way novels are written in general. The film is followed by a brief overview of his work. Lawrence was born in Eastwood, Nottinghamshire. His father was a coalminer and his mother a schoolteacher. He went to Nottingham University College. He began a teaching career in London but in 1812 became a full-time writer. He went off with the aristocratic German wife of his professor at Nottingham. After a turbulent but ultimately successful career which included taking up painting,he died of tuberculosis when he was forty-five. The film covers his life and background.
  • The Life and Work of Herman Melville
    Tuesday, July 16
    9:29 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    The film follows the life of Melville was born in New York, USA. His father was a prosperous business man but the economic climate changed and the business failed. The family moved to his mother's home in New Albany and he went to Albany Academy. At twenty he went to sea and returned to write very popular books about his adventures. His success did not last and he died in obscurity. His work was rediscovered in the early 20th century. The film is followed by a brief overview of his work.
  • The Life and Work of Michel Eyquem De Montaigne
    Tuesday, July 23
    9:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    Montaigne was a French aristocrat born in the midde of the 16th century a while before Shakespeare. . He wrote essays about his views on life and in particular about himself. They are wise and amusing and just as pertinent today as they were in this own times. This film by Malcolm Hossick follows his unusual and fascinating life. The programme begins by giving a sense of Montaigne's views on life suggesting why they are so prescient for today. It follows his unusual education and gives a background of the history of France of which he was for a time actually an intimate part. His brief friendship with a man called La Boetie colours his understanding of mankind and probably plays a part in his deciding to write down all he could think of about himself which forms what we know of as his essays. The film ends with some of the topics which so engaged him and which make him such a charming candidate for our attention in the twenty first century!
  • The Life and Work of Eugene O'neill
    Tuesday, July 23
    9:31 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    O'Neill was born in 1888 into a theatrical family. He got a good education but led a turbulent existence until he finally began to have some success with the plays he wrote for the tiny theatre in Providence Massachusetts. The film follows his early life and the influence he has had on world theatre through his work. It is followed by a brief overview of his work. O'Neill's father was a successful actor and as a child he was loved and cared for. He spent his youth rebelling against everything and finally settled down to become America's first serious dramatist of international stature. He won the Nobel prize for literature in 1936. The film covers his life and background.
  • The Life and Work of George Orwell
    Tuesday, July 30
    9:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    This film by Malcolm Hossick follows the life and work of George Orwell. Orwell was born in India and educated at Eton College. In 1922 he went out to Burma as a police officer. He returned to England in 1927 and determined to be a writer. He was interested in politics and the lot of the poor in society and his works reflect this interest. Just as he was becoming a successful novelist he died of tuberculosis. Many rate him as one of the most influential writers of the 20th century. The film is followed by a brief summary of his works.
  • The Life and Work of Marcel Proust
    Tuesday, July 30
    9:30 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    Proust wrote a remarkable and very long novel called La Recheche de Temps Perdue, translated usually as Remembrance of Things Past. It's size and reputaiton for density and incomprehensibility mean that not many folk take it on. This is a great pity as once you have started reading it is hard not to be drawn into Proust's world. This is because you will find yourself there in it's huge cast of sensitively drawn characters. The film explores how he did it and is followed by an overview of his work. Proust was born the son of a wealthy Parisian doctor and had an easy entry into the higher echelons of French society. His knowledge of this world was the background to the astonishing series of novels called A La Recherche du Temps Perdu (Remembrance of Things Past). He did not have an early success but by the end of his life it was recognised that his work - sensitive, searching, amusing and amazingly perceptive about how humans work - was in a class of its own. The film traces his unusual life and ends with an overview of his works.
  • The Life and Work of Walter Scott
    Tuesday, August 6
    9:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    Scott was a prolific and passionate storyteller who saw an understanding of the past as the key to getting along in the present. His canvas was usually the history of Scotland but his means were such that he found an audience throughout the literary world. He was as much loved in foreign translations as he was in english. The film covers his eventful life and is followed by an overview of his extensive output. Scott was born in Edinburgh in 1771. His father was a successful lawyer. In childhood he contracted polio which lamed him for life. He was not a very successful pupil at Edinburgh High School but went to the university to qualify as a lawyer. Writing poetry and novels soon became the activity for which he became world famous. He died in his beloved home of Abbotsford in the Scottish Borders in 1832. The film covers his life and background.
  • The Life and Work of William Shakespeare
    Tuesday, August 13
    9:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    The film follows the life and times of the great English dramatist William Shakespeare. It emphasises the classical education he had in the works of the ancient Greeks and Romans as well as his experience of country life which he used so fruitfully in his work. The quality and variety of life in Elizabethan London played a great part in his development and the rise of theatres and a rich cultural life in general is explored. In the end however Shakespeare's own unmatched talent in writing about and expressing the astonishing complexity of human life is what marks him out as probably the greatest writer of all time. Shakespeare was born in the country town of Stratford-upon-Avon.He was educated at the local grammar school. He went to London in 1588 to begin a life in the theatre. He was immensely successful and he is now recognised as the greatest dramatist of all time. The film covers his life and background and ends with an overview of his work.
  • The Life and Work of George Bernard Shaw
    Tuesday, August 20
    9:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    Shaw was born into a protestant family in Catholic Dublin. His family was slowly sliding down the social ladder. He left school at 15 to become a clerk. Then aged twenty three he went off to London to become a writer. Blessed with a brilliant wit and a capacity for hard work he became the most prominent dramatist of his age. The film covers his life and background. Shaw was born into a protestant family in Catholic Dublin. His family was slowly sliding down the social ladder. He left school at 15 to become a clerk. Then aged twenty three he went off to London to become a writer. Blessed with a brilliant wit and a capacity for hard work he became the most prominent dramatist of his age. The film covers his life and background.
  • The Life and Work of Sir Bysshe Shelly
    Tuesday, August 20
    9:30 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    Shelley was born in 1792 in a house in Surrey on the estate of his grandfather Sir Bysshe Shelley. He was educated at Syon House Academy in London and at Eton. In 1810 he went to University College Oxford and published his first poems. He was expelled from Oxford and lived variously in England and Italy where he died in a sailing accident off Leghorn in 1822 when he was thirty. He was much engaged by social politics and this is reflected unusually in his work. The film covers his life and background.
  • The Life and Work of John Steinbeck
    Tuesday, August 27
    9:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    John Steinbeck was one fo the most popular writers of the 20th century and several of his books were made into films.This film in the Famous Author series by Malcolm Hossick explores his eventful life. It is followed by a brief overview of his works.

 

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  • The Life and Work of Henry James
    Tuesday, June 18
    9:29 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    Begins with James' comfortable boyhood in New York, during which his father moved James and his brother around and back and forth from Europe frequently for the sake of education. He eventually went to Harvard to study law and began writing, but felt uncomfortable with American culture and left for England, where he spent most of the rest of his life.
  • The Life and Work of Ernest Hemingway
    Tuesday, June 18
    9:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    Traces the life and literary career of Ernest Hemingway, using portraits and views of places associated with his life. "Enigmatic and intriguing, Hemingway is one of America's favorite authors. His dramatic understatement, dialogue and use of heroes made for great human interest.
  • The Life and Work of Nathaniel Hawthorne
    Tuesday, June 11
    9:30 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    Nathaniel Hawthorne was an American novelist and short story writer who enjoyed considerable success with his romantic tales usually set in in the puritanical world of his home state Massachusetts. He travelled extensively in England and Italy and reflected American views on the old world of Europe. This video explores his roots in puritanical culture, his growth at Bowdoin College, his explosion in the literary world, his political appointments and his journey abroad.
  • The Life and Work of Thomas Hardy
    Tuesday, June 11
    9:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    Thomas Hardy was born into the family of a practical country builder in mid 19th century England. He got a good education in the local town of Dorchester on the south coast and after beginning as an architect he soon developed into one of the most prolific and popuar novelists of his times. the film follows his nteresting life and is followed by a concise overview of his works.
  • Greek Dramatists
    Tuesday, June 4
    9:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    The dramatists of ancient Greece, Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides had a huge influence on their own times but they are arguably just as significant today. In this film Malcolm Hossick uncovers how they worked and why their ideas and methods were so revolutionary.
  • The Life and Work of Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
    Tuesday, May 28
    9:29 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 - 1832) was born in Frankfurt on Main, Germany, into a well-to-do family. He made some attempts to become a lawyer but eventually began writing poetry and novels. He was immediately successful. He joined the court of the Duke of Weimar and from there became accepted as the greatest writer of his age. The film covers his life and background and ends with an overview of his work.
  • The Life and Work of F. Scott Fitzgerald
    Tuesday, May 28
    9:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    F. Scott Fitzgerald was born in St Paul Minnesota into a fairly well-off family. He began his first novel while at Princeton University and very shortly after leaving it was accepted by Scribners and successfully published. He went on to be the prophet of the Jazz age of the twenties but his popularity declined. He is now recognised as one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century. This film by Malcolm Hossick covers his life and background and ends with an overview of his work.
  • The Life and Work of William Faulkner
    Tuesday, May 21
    9:31 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    Introduces the major themes of Faulkner's poems, plays, short stories, and novels. The film contextualizes life in the American south in the first half of the 20th century; Faulkner's southern upbringing, family history, and race relations in the wake of the Civil War were a major influence on his fiction. In 1924, Faulkner left his small town of Oxford and spent six months in New Orleans, where he was finally able to see the conditions of his upbringing from a distance and become acquainted with a literary circle with Sherwood Anderson at the center, jump-starting his serious fiction writing.
  • The Life and Work of George Eliot
    Tuesday, May 21
    9:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    George Eliot was born Mary Anne Evans in 1819 near the small town of Nuneaton in Warwickshire. Her father ran the estate of the local landowner. She had an excellent education in local schools and took up journalism. She began writing novels when she was over 30 and became one of the most celebrated and influential writers of her age. The film by Malcolm Hossick traces her life and her remarkable achievements in fields until then dominated by men. It is followed by a brief overview of her work.
  • The Life and Work of Edgar Allan Poe
    Tuesday, May 14
    9:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston the son of actors David and Elizabeth Poe. His father disappeared when he was three and his mother died a year later. He was adopted by a Richmond, Virginia family called Allan. When he was 17 he was disowned by his foster parents. He was determined to be a writer and through many difficulties he succeeded ibecoming one of the first great imaginative writers in the United States. This film by Malcolm Hossick covers his extraordinary life and goes some way to explaining his remarkable and continuing success. It is followed by a brief overview of his work.
  • The Life and Work of John Donne
    Tuesday, May 7
    9:00 am on UEN-TV 9.1
    John Donne was born into a fascinating and creative period of human history. He got the best education on offer in the England of Queen Elizabeth and hardly out of his teens he was recognised as a poet of astonishing ability. In a period when the pace was set by no less a mortal than Shakespeare Donne had a unique way with words and ideas which delighted and amazed his brightest contemporaries. But it was an age of terrible religious division and as a Roman Catholic by birth he was at once at odds with the prevailing Protestant faith. It was a problem that coloured his whole life and this film by Malcolm Hossick covers the course of his work and the struggles he had to make his way. It includes several of his delightful poems and we see how in spite of his travails Donne's positive spirit rose above them all.