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The best of BBC Radio 3's flagship arts and ideas programme Free Thinking - featuring in-depth interviews and debates with artists, scientists and public figures.


The Essay - Politician and Pioneer: Writing the Life of Arthur Kavanagh

November 10th, 2015

Episode 1051 of 1341 episodes

The colourful life of Arthur Macmurrough Kavanagh overturns everything we think we know about disabled people’s lives in the 19th century. Born without hands and feet, he was an adventurous traveller and a Member of Parliament, a tiger-hunting landowner whose attempts to resist the rising tide of Irish nationalism were ultimately defeated, and whose amazing career has been largely forgotten. But how did his first biographer meet the challenge of writing his life? Clare Walker Gore of the University of Cambridge discusses The Life of Arthur Macmurrough Kavanagh and what this fascinating biography contributes to our understanding of disabled people in the 19th century. The New Generation Thinkers are the winners of an annual scheme run by the BBC and the Arts and Humanities Research Council to find academics at the start of their careers who can turn their research into fascinating broadcasts. The Essay was recorded in front of an audience at the Free Thinking Festival at Sage Gateshead. If you want to hear Clare Walker Gore answer questions about her research you can download The Essay and conversation as an Arts and Ideas podcast.

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