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Every episode of the documentary written by Anthony Thwaite that sets out to explore the evolution of English poetry from the 14th century to modern times. A number of high profile actors including Peggy Ashcroft, Anthony Hopkins, Lee Remick and Julian Glover read from some of the classic poems in discussion. The episodes are: 'Chaucer to Ted Hughes', 'Old English', 'Chaucer 1340-1400', 'Medieval to Elizabethan 1400-1600', 'Shakespeare 1564-1616', 'Metaphysical and Devotional 1590-1670', 'Milton 1608-1674', 'Restoration and Augustan 1660-1745', 'Romantic Pioneers 1750-1805', 'William Wordsworth 1770-1850', 'Young Romantics 1800-1824', 'Victorians 1837-1901', 'American Pioneers 1849-1910', 'Romantics and Realists 1870-1920', 'Earlier Twentieth Century 1914-1939' and 'Later Twentieth Century 1934-1984'.
Writer: Anthony Thwaite
Performer: Peggy Ashcroft
Performer: Anthony Hopkins
Performer: Lee Remick
Performer: Julian Glover