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Treasures of the British Library

  • Season 1
  • 6 episodes
  • Education
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Episode 2: Treasures of the British Library

Summary

Famous faces pick out what they believe are the most important items from the British Library's collection.
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Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Meera Syal delves into the vaults, pursuing six strands close to her heart. As she prepares to play the Nurse in Romeo and Juliet, she’s allowed to finger John Gielgud’s 80-year-old scrapbooks. In the sound library she hears recordings of the Black Country accent familiar from her youth, then pores over a precious manuscript for Persuasion and an “incredibly moving” letter written shortly before Jane Austen’s death.

Though her immersion feels fleeting, Syal is a warm and good-humoured guest and is delighted to shine a light on the struggles of ordinary Asian women – ayahs (nannies) and striking factory workers – in the past century.

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