A1 – listening – The National Portrait Gallery

Hi, everyone!

This is the recording from unit 7A. The pictures are from the National Portrait Gallery, in London.

Click on the pictures to visit the museum.


NPG 4690; King Henry VIII by Unknown artist

1. Henry VIII was born in 1491. He was King of England from 1509 to 1547 and is famous for separating the Church of England from the Roman Catholic Church, and for his six wives. When he was young, as in this picture, he was very strong and good-looking. He was an excellent sportsman, and was also a good musician and poet. However, in his old age he was very fat and always in pain.

NPG 1725; The Brontë Sisters (Anne Brontë; Emily Brontë; Charlotte Brontë) by Patrick Branwell Brontë

2. The Bronte sisters, Charlotte, Emily, and Anne, were born between 1816 and 1820 in a small village in the north of England. They were all writers, but only Charlotte, with her novel Jane Eyre, was famous in her lifetime. Their brother Branwell, the painter of this portrait, was originally in the picture between Emily and Charlotte. He wasn’t happy with his self-portrait and now the painting shows only the three sisters.

3. Helena Bonham Carter, the actress, was born in London in 1966. Her mother is half Spanish and her father, who died in 2004, was the grandson of Herbert Asquith, the NPG P717(2); Helena Bonham Carter by John SwannellBritish Prime Minister from 1908 to 1916. Her first big role was as Lucy Honeychurch in A Room with a View, and her other roles include The Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland, Bellatrix Lestrange in the Harry Potter films, and Queen Elizabeth in The King’s Speech. She has two children with her partner Tim Burton, a film director.

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