Derek Smith recently uploaded the three episodes of An Exile in Paradise: The Adventures of Edward Lear to YouTube.
A three part series
In 1848 Edward Lear, writer and illustrator of nonsense verse, set out on an epic journey through Greece and Albania. But Lear was more than just a humorist, he was an excellent landscape artist, traveller and writer of travel books. With Lear’s writings and drawings as a guide, presenter Robert Horne followed Lear’s journey through the awe-inspiring scenery of the southern Balkans, where he encountered fascinating reminders of a turbulent past and the warmth of the modern inhabitants: the inspiration for all travellers.
Producer: Dr Quentin Russell
Director: Derek Smith
Executive Producer: Finian O’Sullivan
Programme 1: Into Ottoman Lands
In the attractive setting of Corfu, Robert Horne outlines Lear’s background and some surprising connections with Greece and Athens before embarking on the journey proper from Thessaloniki to the Albanian border, taking in the breathtaking beauty of the mountain lakes, Prespa and Ochrid.
Programme 2: The Devil Draws
As an artist Lear was attacked as Satan throughout Muslim lands, something that would not happen in modern Albania. Whilst exploring the remains of Albania’s rich heritage and the Ottoman past Robert Horne is intrigued by Albania’s recent history and how the eccentric rule of the communist dictator Enver Hoxha casts its shadow over the present.
Programme 3: Greece Coast to Coast
Lear was impressed by the legacy of the struggle of the local people against Ottoman oppression. Nowhere was this more exemplified than in the mountains of northern Greece. Robert finds that stories of those times are still celebrated, and Lear himself remembered, but the traditional way of life pursued in this breathtaking landscape is fighting to survive against encroaching modernity.