A collective of bibliophiles talking about books. Book Fox (vulpes libris): small bibliovorous mammal of overactive imagination and uncommonly large bookshop expenses. Habitat: anywhere the rustle of pages can be heard.
The quality of mercy is not strained
And neither’s Brass, though after all these years.
It helps if you’ve seen When the Boat Comes In,
But it’s not a requirement, never fear.
In Utterley, where workers wring their caps,
There’s nearly always trouble at t’mill;
‘Twas topical in nineteen-eighty-three,
And I must say it’s bloody funny still.
Up at the big house, Bradley Hardacre
(The self-made man, the profiteer, the rogue)
Dunks Mother’s Pride in claret, slurps his soup,
And veers into nostalgic monologue.
The lady of the manor drowns in gin;
The sons and daughters, all equally vile,
Play out their various period fantasies
At Daddy’s generous expense. Meanwhile,
Down at the cottage hospital (which was
The cottage workhouse at a former stage),
A young sub-Finlay doctor fails to heal
The victims of a cruel industrial age.
If you like North and South, or Middlemarch,
Then you’re a damn sight more cultured than me.
I’ll stick with Brass, and marvel once again
As Timothy West chews the scenery.
Written by Julian Roach and John Stevenson. Starring Timothy West, Caroline Blakiston, James Saxon, Gail Harrison, Emily Morgan, Robert Reynolds, Geoffrey Hinsliff, Barbara Ewing, Shaun Scott and Gary Cady. First broadcast 1983-1984, 1990. Available on DVD from Network.