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H.G. Wells Radio Broadcasts: The Spoken Word (audio CD)

Published Date:
British Library Publishing
Bibliographic Details:
One CD with booklet, running time: 73 minutes & 30 seconds
British Library Sound Archive
Free UK P&P for orders over £15

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This CD makes available for the first time all the surviving BBC radio broadcasts of H.G. Wells. The earliest dates from 1931, by which time Wells was already in his 60s and a renowned public figure, recognised not only for his science fiction, but also his far sighted commentary on social and political affairs. Like his contemporary Bernard Shaw, Wells was invited regularly into the radio studio to air his views on a wide range of issues.

Listen to a sample track using Windows Media Player:
H. G. Wells talks in the series 'As I see it', broadcast in 1937

Track listing:
1. Russia in the melting pot
Cat No: BBC Sound Archives 127 (1)
Acc No: 1SE 60794
Date of broadcast: 13.07.1931
Duration: 2.43

2. Modern Conditions
Cat No: BBC Sound Archives 127 (1)
Acc No: 1SE 60794
Date of recording: 14.05.1932
Duration: 1.23

3. Talk on communications
Cat No: BBC Sound Archives 127 (1)
Acc No: 1SE 60794
Date of recording: 19.11.1932
Duration: 2.46

4. Whither Britain?
Cat No: BBC Sound Archives 205 (1)
Acc No: 1SE0060800 1SE0060801
Date of broadcast: 09.01.1934
Duration: 5.45 + 2.53 = 8.38

5. On diabetics
Cat No: Leech collection 30B 6013
Acc No: NP 10708 or 2CDR 0000538
Date of recording: unknown
N.B. Wells founded Diabetics UK in 1934 [hence its place in the track order]
Duration: 2.15 [extract]

6. I knew a man
Cat No: BBC Sound Archives LP 784
Acc No: received from BBC 16.01.06
Date of recording: 04.10.1935
Duration: 4.50

7. As I see it
Cat No: BBC Sound Archives 20636 (1)
Acc No: 1LP0167029 or 1LP0167030
Date of recording: 21.12.1937
Duration: 13.20

8. The Future of Europe. Speech at Foyle's Literary Luncheon
Cat No: BBC Sound Archives 23116 (1)
Acc No: not held [obtained from BBC]
Date of recording: 23.11.1939
Duration: 9.00

9. The World goes by
Cat No: BBC Sound Archives LP 2391
Acc No: not held
Date of recording: 24.01.1940
Duration: 7.04

10. Reshaping Man's Heritage
Cat No: BBC Sound Archives 5265 (1)
Acc No: 1LP0166757 or 1LP0166758
Date of recording: 15.01.1943
Duration: 5.30 + 6.35 = 12.05

11. Science and the citizen
Cat No: BBC Sound Archives 5516 (1)
Acc No: 1LP0166767 or 1LP0166768
Date of recording: 21.03.1943
Duration: 9.33

`the information contained on the recordings [is] wonderful. I heartily congratulate the British Library on the achievement of this publication, and the BBC on its intelligence in permitting the production of this CD. It is a valuable resource to researchers of H. G. Wells but also of those interested in social and political history of 1929 to 1943.`

Dr John S. Partington
Editor, The Wellsian

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by William Cockayne on 31 May 2010 at 06:13
I bought this collection for use in our courses at Stanford. Beyond the pure novelty of hearing Wells, the messages he attempts to convey to mid-war England is truly interesting.
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