The Red and the Black

1981 BBC Radio dramatisation of the Stendhal novel
from archive.org

A BBC Radio dramatisation of Stendhal's masterpiece.

Both a sweeping chronicle of 19th-century France and a coming-of-age story of a young, idealistic social climber, The Red and the Black is one of the great works in world literature, and widely considered to be the first psychological novel.

It charts the misadventures and romantic escapades of Julien Sorel, a timber miller's son who idolises Napoleon and dreams of military glory. But post-Waterloo, the path to power does not lie with the army (the 'red'), but with the Church (the 'black'), so he decides to study for the priesthood. Then an opportunity arises to further increase his status as tutor to the mayor's children -- and when the mayor's wife, Mme de Renal, falls in love with him, he seduces her.

When their affair is discovered, he is forced to leave Verri?res and enter the seminary - only for his life to be transformed when his mentor, Abb? Pirard, finds him a job in Paris, as private secretary to the aristocratic Marquis de la Mole. Finally, Julien has an entree into high society - and when he wins the heart of the Marquis' beautiful, haughty daughter Mathilde, he seems to have the world at his feet. But as his past returns to haunt him, Julien commits a terrible crime that will seal his fate...

A gripping tale of love, ambition, morality and hypocrisy, this lively, fast-paced radio adaptation stars William Squire as the Narrator and Andrew Hall as Julien, with a cast including Margo Gunn, Deborah Paige and Edward de Souza.

Narrator - William Squire
Julien Sorel - Andrew Hall
Mme de Renal - Deborah Paige
Napoleon - Edward de Souza
Mme Derville - Marilyn Le Conte
M de Renal - John Franklyn-Robbins
Fouqu? - Norman Eshley
Elise/Adolphe - Debby Comming
Valenod/Guillaume - Esmond Rideout
Mme Valenod/Marquise de la Mole - Margaret Robertson
Abb? Chelan - Hedley Goodall
Amanda - Rosalind Adams
Abb? Pirard - Malcolm Hayes
Student/Bishop/Antoine - Andrew Hilton
Abb? Castenede - Roger Snowdon
Abb? Chas Bernard - Haydn Andrews
Examiner/Stewart - John Livesey
Marquis de la Mole - Cyril Shaps
Mlle Mathilde - Margo Gunn
Norbert - Sion Probert
Croisenois - Jon Glentoran
Caylus/Coachman - Stephen Garlick
Thayler/Lt Lievin - Anthony Hyde
Chevalier de Beauvoisis - Alexander John
Conde Altamira/Friar - Nicholas Courtney
Academician - Christopher Scott
Mathilde's cousin - Amanda Murray
Queen Marguerite - Theresa Streatfeild
Prince Korasoff - John Rye
Mme la Margchal - Pauline Letts
Gunsmith - John Webb
Jailer - David Timson
Magistrate - Alan Dudley
P?re Sorel - Jerold Wells

Written by Stendhal.
Translated by C.K. Scott Moncrieff.
Dramatised by D.G. Bridson.
Directed by Brian Miller.
First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 2nd August - 13th September 1981.

  1. The Small Town (60.5Mb)
  2. The Lover (50.8Mb)
  3. The Seminary (51.9Mb)
  4. The Secretary (49.2Mb)
  5. The Elect (48.1Mb)
  6. The Confession (51.9Mb)
  7. The Reckoning (50.2Mb)

MP3 files hosted by archive.org.