Thomas Paine meets William Blake

Here’s a marvellous dramatisation of a fictional meeting between Tom Paine and William Blake, from Jack Shepherd’s play In Lambeth, aired on BBC2 in 1993. It’s acted brilliantly, with Mark Rylance as William Blake, Lesley Clare O’Neill as Catherine Blake, and Bob Peck as Tom Paine. I love the way Peck combines Paine’s native Norfolk accent with the American accent he would have picked up in the 1770s and 1780s.

The whole thing is 40 minutes long, spread over five YouTube clips (below). There’s more to the original than these clips, actually. Nudity at the start was removed for the upload to YouTube, and I’m pretty sure that when I first saw this on TV in 1993, Blake told Paine that he couldn’t have revolution until there’d been revelation, which I didn’t hear on the YouTube clips.

If you only listen to a bit, choose the end of part 3, from 7:15 to the end (9:40).

Leave a comment


  1. Its great play and i was lucky enough to see it on TV. The first part missing from Youtube is available on Daily Motion incidentally. Its a pity that the BBC has not reshown it on BBC4 or put it out on DVD.

  2. Great! Can you give me the link on Daily Motion, please? I’ve searched and can’t find it.

  3. Because of utube’s nudity ban I wasn’t able to upload the first part of this excellent drama.. but If anyone wants a complete copy of this BBC drama about William Blake nd Thomas Paine… I can upload it to a file transfer site to make it available for download…..

    .IF you can provide a link to a free file transfer site.. or anywhere else I can upload the complete drama . to share it..

    I would be happy to make it available to as many people as possible.. so please share… and feel free to upload it onto the internet..

    I could also recommend another old BBC classic – Jeremy Irons – The Dream (1989)

    It is available on utube

    • Ayin

       /  May 1, 2017

      Keith, can you upload it by using wetransfer? thanks in advance!


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