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Pride and Prejudice Austen, JanePride and Prejudice is the most famous of Jane Austen’s novels, and its opening is one of the most famous lines in English literature - “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” Its manuscript was first written between 1796 and 1797, and was initially called First Impressions, but was never published under that title. Following revisions it was published on 28 January 1813 by the same Mr. Egerton of the Military Library, Whitehall, who had brought out Sense and Sensibility. Like both its predecessor and Northanger Abbey, it was written at Steventon Rectory.
Leaves of Grass Whitman, Walt American poet Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, is a collection of poems notable for its frank delight in and praise of the senses, during a time when such candid displays were considered immoral. Where much previous poetry, especially English, relied on symbolism, allegory, and meditation on the religious and spiritual, Leaves of Grass exalted the body and the material world. Whitman was inspired to begin Leaves of Grass after reading an essay by Ralph Waldo Emerson which expressed a need for a uniquely American poet. When the book was first published, Whitman sent a copy to Emerson, whose praiseful letter of response helped launch the book to success. Whitman’s hero, Abraham Lincoln, read and enjoyed an early version of Leaves of Grass. Despite such high recommendations, Whitman faced charges of obscenity and immorality for his work, but this only led to increased popularity of the book. Whitman continually revised and republished Leaves of Grass throughout his lifetime, notably adding the “Drum-Taps” section after Lincoln’s assassination. The book grew from 12 poems in its first publication, which Whitman paid for and typeset himself, to nearly 400 poems in its final, “Death Bed Edition.” This recording is of the final edition.
War and Peace, Book 05: 1806-1807 Tolstoy, LeoWar and Peace is an epic novel by Leo Tolstoy, first published from 1865 to 1869 in Russki Vestnik, which tells the story of Russian society during the Napoleonic Era. It is usually described as one of Tolstoy's two major masterpieces (the other being Anna Karenina) as well as one of the world's greatest novels. War and Peace offered a new kind of fiction, with a great many characters caught up in a plot that covered nothing less than the grand subjects indicated by the title, combined with the equally large topics of youth, age and marriage. While today it is considered a novel, it broke so many novelistic conventions of its day that many critics of Tolstoy's time did not consider it as such. Tolstoy himself considered Anna Karenina (1878) to be his first attempt at a novel in the European sense.
Emma (version 2) Austen, JaneEmma is a comic novel by Jane Austen, first published in 1816, about the perils of misconstrued romance. The main character, Emma Woodhouse, is described in the opening paragraph as "handsome, clever, and rich" but is also rather spoiled. Prior to starting the novel, Austen wrote, "I am going to take a heroine whom no-one but myself will much like."
Works of Edgar Allan Poe, The, Raven Edition, Volume 2 Poe, Edgar AllanMonday, January 19, 2009 marked Edgar Allan Poe's 200th birthday. Though these tales need no introduction, the rationale for starting with volume two is threefold: many of the best-loved (and best) tales are included, the vast majority run from 15 to 30 minutes, and the other volumes can then be recorded without repetition, if there is interest in doing so.
Uncle Tom's Cabin Stowe, Harriet BeecherUncle Tom's Cabin; or, Life Among the Lowly is a novel by American author Harriet Beecher Stowe which treats slavery as a central theme. Stowe was a Connecticut-born teacher at the Hartford Female Academy and an active abolitionist. The novel is believed to have had a profound effect on the North's view of slavery. First published on March 20, 1852, the story focuses on the tale of Uncle Tom, a long-suffering black slave, the central character around whose life the other characters—both fellow slaves and slave owners—revolve. The novel depicts the harsh reality of slavery while also showing that Christian love and faith can overcome even something as evil as enslavement of fellow human beings.
Wealth of Nations, Book 4, The Smith, AdamAn Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations is the magnum opus of the Scottish economist Adam Smith, published on March 9, 1776 during the Scottish Enlightenment. It is a clearly written account of political economy at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, and is widely considered to be the first modern work in the field of economics.
Northanger Abbey Austen, JaneNorthanger Abbey is a hilarious parody of 18th century gothic novels. The heroine, 17-year old Catherine, has been reading far too many “horrid” gothic novels and would love to encounter some gothic-style terror — but the superficial world of Bath proves hazardous enough.
Pickwick Papers, The Dickens, CharlesThe Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club, better known as The Pickwick Papers, is the first novel by Charles Dickens. Written for publication as a serial, The Pickwick Papers consists of a sequence of loosely-related adventures. Its main literary value and appeal is formed by its numerous unforgettable heroes. Each personage in The Pickwick Papers (just as in many other Dickens' novels) is drawn comically, often with exaggerated features of character.
Lines on The Mermaid Tavern Keats, JohnVolunteers bring you 14 recordings of Lines on The Mermaid Tavern by John Keats. This was the Fortnightly Poetry project for August 15th, 2010.
Three Hundred Aesop's Fables AesopAesop's Fables or the Aesopica are a collection of fables credited to Aesop, a slave and story-teller believed to have lived in ancient Greece between 620 and 560 BCE. The fables remain a popular choice for moral education of children today. Many of the stories, such as The Fox and the Grapes (from which the idiom "sour grapes" derives), The Tortoise and the Hare, The North Wind and the Sun, The Boy Who Cried Wolf and The Ant and the Grasshopper are well-known throughout the world.
Five Beloved Stories by O. Henry Henry, O.O. Henry wrote over 600 short stories. Naturally I have my personal top 20 stories that just seem to stand out because of their form, writing style and ability to convey real personalities in a very few words. From these 20 I've chosen five that seem outstanding examples of the short story art form. Stories like The Gift of the Magi; The Cop and the Anthem; Man about Town; A Cosmopolite in a Cafe and Mammon and the Archer. So this is a collection of just five O.Henry stories that many people, including me, have loved and remembered over the years. And this time, thanks to LibriVox, I have the enormous pleasure of not just reading them to myself, but also the joy of reading them aloud! What fun, eh?
1601: Conversation, as it was by the Social Fireside, in the Time of the Tudors Twain, Mark"1601," wrote Mark Twain, "is a supposititious conversation which takes place in Queen Elizabeth's closet in that year, between the Queen, Ben Jonson, Beaumont, Sir Walter Raleigh, the Duchess of Bilgewater, and one or two others ... If there is a decent word findable in it, it is because I overlooked it." 1601 depicts a highfalutin and earthy discussion between the Queen and her court about farting and a variety of sexual peccadillos, narrated disapprovingly and sanctimoniously by the Queen's Cup-Bearer, an eyewitness at "the Social Fireside." [Summary by Denny Sayers]
Repairman, The Harrison, HarryThis is a collection of 3 of Harry Harrison marvelous early stories that were published in Galaxy, Analog and Fantastic Universe. The Repairman (1958) is a straight fun SF story of a man getting a job done. It is most typical of his later style in series like the Stainless Steel Rat; Toy Shop (1962), a short piece exploring bureaucratic blindness and one ingenious way around it and The Velvet Glove (1956), my favorite for its writing style, fun perspective, sly social commentary on the scene in 1956 and just plain delightful imagination. And he manages to pack excitement and mystery in at the same time.