BBC Radio 4; February 2001
Producers: Peter Leslie Wild and Vanessa Whitburn
In April 1851, eight years before publishing his theory of evolution, Charles Darwin struggles to come to terms with the death of his beloved 10 year old daughter Annie. A hundred and fifty years later, society still bears the marks of that struggle. Historian Kate Williams, fighting for promotion in a provincial University, is working to unravel the mystery of Darwin’s extraordinary 20 year delay in publishing his magnum opus. But as she grapples with the project, her own life begins to tail-spin: competition and betrayal at work, conflict and distrust at home, and illness in the family. Worst of all, her research – once a haven of tranquility – suddenly develops a life (and a voice) of its own, refusing to submit to her will, threatening her career and upsetting her outlook on the world. The Rainbow Bridge is an exploration of the profound legacy of Darwinian thought on modern society.
Starring Julia Hills, David Hargreaves, Janet Maw and David Schofield, The Rainbow Bridge was commissioned as a 10-part serial for Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour.
Listen to the series