The Monocle Culture Show

Why would you read a manuscript?

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28 November 2016

Episode 268

30 minutes

It’s not often that you get your hands on a manuscript, whether it’s the first draft of a novel or an ancient text etched on vellum. On the show today we get to know stories in their original formats and discover what can be learned by experiencing them first hand.

28 November 2016

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Chapter 1

10 minutes

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Chapter 1

‘Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts’

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We pay the Parker Library at Cambridge University a visit to discover some of the UK’s oldest manuscripts. Here we meet fellow librarian Christopher De Hamel, who explains his passion for old books and why the journey that an ancient text has been on is almost as interesting as what is written on the page.

10 minutes

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Chapter 2

9 minutes

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Chapter 2

Walter Donohue, Faber & Faber

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Walter Donohue is an experienced editor at one of the UK’s best publishing houses. Robert Bound speaks to him about the feeling he gets when a new manuscript – whether from an established name or a first-time novelist – lands on his desk.

9 minutes

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Chapter 3

7 minutes


Photo: Éditions des Saints Pères

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Chapter 3

Reprinting the classics

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Editions des Saint Pères is a Parisian publishing house that’s reprinting the original manuscripts of classic novels. So far it has made beautifully bound books of the scribblings of Voltaire, Carroll and Cocteau and it is about to publish the first draft of Charlotte Brontë’s ‘Jane Eyre’. Co-founder Jessica Nelson speaks to Holly Fisher about what you get from a book in its original format.

7 minutes

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