Rousseau, on the run from France and Switzerland, travelled to England; staying at a rural retreat in the Derbyshire peaks he became semi-paranoid, and began imagining plots everywhere. Nietzsche lived in Basel for almost a decade at the outset of his career – he was appointed a full professor at the age of only 24. A young and impressionable Karl Marx interacted with radicalized artisans in Paris; the city in which he also befriended his life-long partner, Friedrich Engels.
The series offers an original and absorbing route into exploring the ideas and lives of these great thinkers, positioning them in both time and place. Each is presented by Jonathan Rée, an academic philosopher with considerable broadcast experience, and includes readings from the subject's major works and makes imaginative use of music to create a sense of place.