The Music Room


BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week


Dan Stevens reads William Fiennes' memoir of his magical childhood in a moated castle in which he grew up with his severely epileptic older brother.

Ep 1 - The five-year-old William is preoccupied with fishing for pike in the castle's moat. Richard's seizures become increasingly worse, and a severe form of epilepsy is diagnosed.

Ep 2 - Eight-year-old William makes a playground of the castle's attic spaces and is intrigued by a secret door. Richard experiences dark mood swings, but also finds a new pleasure when he takes up pipe smoking.

Ep 3 - Richard is captivated by a heron, but is also gripped by a furious black mood. Nine-year-old William and his friends play with antique swords and cannonballs.

Ep 4 - Richard's behaviour becomes increasingly problematic, but his interest in Hilaire Belloc's Cautionary Tales gives him and his family an unexpected moment of pleasure.

Ep 5 - William, now 17, prepares to leave home. Richard enjoys holidays with his parents and his days find a more even keel, but sadness looms.

Dan's role


Broadcast date

Ep 1 - Mon 13 Apr 2009 
Ep 2 - Tue 14 Apr 2009 
Ep 3 - Wed 15 Apr 2009 
Ep 4 - Thurs 16 Apr 2009 
Ep 5 - Fri 17 Apr 2009 


BBC Radio 4 - episode 1

BBC Radio 4 - episode 2

BBC Radio 4 - episode 3

BBC Radio 4 - episode 4

BBC Radio 4 - episode 5

Dan Stevens


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