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Publisher's Summary

The full-cast BBC Radio adaptation of C. P. Snow's epic series about the English establishment across the 20th century.

In 1920s Leicester, Lewis Eliot must escape the drudgery of a council clerk's office and his provincial lower class background to begin his decades-long rise to power. As the years pass, and Lewis progresses to successful London lawyer, to Cambridge don, to wartime service in Whitehall, to senior civil servant and finally retirement, he faces in his own life and the lives of those around him collapsing marriages, terrible illness, the politics of academia, Nazism, nuclear weapons, the price of power and the ever-present realities of war. 

The New York Times praised the book series, saying, 'through [them] as in no other work in our time we have explored the inner life of the new classless class that is the 20th century Establishment.' John Betjeman claimed the books were 'as full of life as life itself'. The Strangers and Brothers series captures perfectly the ever-present battle between political and personal integrity Lewis must face, as well as all the upheaval and social change of the two world wars and the decades that followed. 

This adaptation stars David Haig and Adam Godley as Lewis Eliot, Bill Wallis as George Passant, Juliet Aubrey as Margaret Davidson, Stephen Moore as Herbert Getliffe, and Danny Webb as Percy Hall, with a full cast including Jeremy Swift, David Tennant, Anne-Marie Duff, Iain Glen, Claire Skinner and Tim McInnerny. 

Directed by Jeremy Howe and Sally Avens.

Dramatised by Jonathan Holloway.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4, January - June 2003

Full cast:

Narrator/Lewis Eliot - David Haig

Young Lewis Eliot - Adam Godley

George Passant - Bill Wallis

Marion - Laura Doddington

Sheila Knight - Anastasia Hille

Herbert Getliffe - Stephen Moore

Percy Hall - Danny Webb

Charles March - Jamie Glover

Leonard March - John Standing

Katherine March - Carla Simpson

Ann Simon - Emma Woolliams

Mrs Getliffe - Suzanna Hamilton

Revd Knight - Brett Usher

Young Francis Getliffe -Andy Taylor

Winslow - Clive Merrison

Young Brown - Philip Franks

Roy Calvert - Adam Levy

Young Jago - David Calder

Nightingale - Jeremy Child

Chrystal - Matthew Marsh

Crawford - Hugh Quarshie

Mrs Jago - Joanna Monroe

Sir Horace Timberlake - Ian Hogg

Young Hector Rose - Rupert Vansittart

Houston Eggar - Peter Marinker

Willy Romantovski - Kenneth Collard

Gilbert Cooke - Anthony Calf

Margaret Davidson/Margaret Eliot - Juliet Aubrey

Rosalind - Anne-Marie Duff

Betty Vane - Carla Simpson

Martin Eliot - Tim McInnerny

Walter Luke - Jeremy Swift

Irene - Claire Skinner

David Rubin - Rolf Saxon

Sawbridge - Adrian Scarborough

Edgar - Andrew Wincott

Captain Smith - Sean Baker

Sir Hector Rose - John Carlisle

Sir Thomas Beville - Robert Laing

Austin Davidson - David Collings

Jago - Sean Barrett

Dawson Hill - Peter Blythe

Skeffington - David Acton

Francis Getliffe - Geoffrey Whitehead

Brown - Jonathan Coy

Donald Howard - David Tennant

Roger Quaife - Iain Glen

Lord Collingwood - Ronald Pickup

Caro Quaife - Julia Watson

Lord Gilbey - John Woodvine

Diana Skidmore - Avril Clark

Phillips - Richard Firth

Osbaldiston - David Leonard

Brodzinski - Christopher Rozycki

Ellen Smith - Emma Bown

Monteith - Paul Venables

Trafford - Stephen Critchlow

©2022 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd (P)2022 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

Critic Reviews

"A vivid portrait of British academic, political and public life." (Guardian)

"A very considerable achievement.... It brings into the novel themes and locales never seen before (except perhaps in Trollope)." (Anthony Burgess)

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