BBC Radio 4 productions of JG Farrell’s celebrated historical novels—plus bonus material.

Acclaimed author JG Farrell came to fame with his Empire Trilogy, exploring the collapse of British colonialism and its repercussions in three different countries. The first book in the series, Troubles, won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize and the Lost Man Booker Prize, while the second, The Siege of Krishnapur, was awarded the Booker Prize for Fiction. Included here are three BBC Radio adaptations of the trilogy, plus an edition of Witness History exploring Farrell’s tragic accidental death.

Troubles – 1919, and Major Brendan Archer travels to Kilnalough in Ireland to visit his accidental fiancée, Angela. Arriving at her father’s once-grand hotel, the Majestic, he finds it a dilapidated wreck, overrun by vegetation and hordes of feral cats. And outside its walls, a violent storm is brewing—one that will sweep him, and the Majestic, away… Jim Norton reads Farrell’s tragicomic novel set during Ireland’s struggle for independence.

The Siege of Krishnapur – It is 1857 and British rule in India is under threat. At first the colonists are confident that their ’superior culture’ will prevail, but when the Indian mutineers attack the Residency in Krishnapur, the Collector is unsure whether his defences can hold out… This thrilling adaptation of JG Farrell’s masterpiece stars Alex Jennings, Shiv Grewal and Jasmine Hyde.

The Singapore Grip – 1937. Young Matthew Webb arrives in Singapore to join the family rubber business, and becomes embroiled in a love triangle with two beautiful women. But as the Japanese invasion grows closer, Matthew’s comfortable expat world is about to crumble… Robert Glenister, Jonathan Cake and Samantha Spiro star in this gripping dramatisation of Farrell’s satirical tale of the fall of Singapore.

Witness: History: The Death of JG Farrell – The Booker Prize-winning author drowned off the south-west coast of Ireland in 1979, aged just 44. Vincent Dowd talks to those who knew him, and hears an eyewitness account of his death.