A Pair of Blue Eyes audiobook by Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) The book describes the love triangle between a young woman, Elfride Swancourt, and her two suitors from very different backgrounds. Stephen Smith is a socially inferior but ambitious young man who adores her and with whom she shares a country background. Henry Knight is the respectable, established, older man who represents London society.(Summary by Wikipedia)   A Pair of Blue Eyes First edition title page Author Thomas Read more [...]
Sylvia's Lovers audiobook by Elizabeth Gaskell (1810-1865) The novel begins in the 1790s in the coastal town of Monkshaven. Sylvia Robson lives with her parents on a farm, and is loved by her rather dull Quaker cousin Philip. She, however, meets and falls in love with Charlie Kinraid, a sailor on a whaling vessel, and they become engaged, although few people know of the engagement. But Charlie gets press-ganged and has to leave without a word. (Summary from Wikipedia)   Read more [...]
Mary Barton audiobook by Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell Mary Barton is the first novel by English author Elizabeth Gaskell, published in 1848. The story is set in the English city of Manchester during the 1830s and 1840s and deals heavily with the difficulties faced by the Victorian lower class. The novel begins in Manchester, where we are introduced to the Bartons and the Wilsons, two working class families. John Barton reveals himself to be a great questioner of the distribution of wealth and Read more [...]
Wives and Daughters audiobook by Elizabeth Gaskell (1810-1865) Elizabeth Gaskell's last novel was serialized in Cornhill Magazine from 1864 to 1866, and completed by her editor posthumously. It looks at English life in the 1830s through the experiences of Molly Gibson, the daughter of a widowed doctor growing up in the provincial town of Hollingford. When Mr. Gibson decides to marry again, Molly is forced to contend with a pretentious stepmother, but consoled by a close friendship with Cynthia, Read more [...]
The Forsyte Saga, first published under that name in 1922, is a series of three novels and two interludes (intervening episodes) published between 1906 and 1921 by Nobel Prize-winning English author John Galsworthy. They chronicle the vicissitudes of the leading members of an upper class British family, similar to Galsworthy's own.Only a few generations removed from their farmer ancestors, the family members are keenly aware of their status as "new money". The main character, Soames Forsyte, sees Read more [...]
A Room with a View (dramatic reading) by E.M. Forster (1879-1970) A Room with a View is a 1908 novel by English writer E. M. Forster, about a young woman in the repressed culture of Edwardian era England. Set in Italy and England, the story is both a romance and a critique of English society at the beginning of the 20th century. (Summary by Wikipedia) Cast: Lucy Honeychurch/Narrator: Arielle Lipshaw Charlotte Bartlett: Elizabeth Klett Mr. Emerson: asterix George Emerson: nomorejeffs Mr. Read more [...]
Where Angels Fear to Tread audiobook by E. M. Forster (1879-1970) On a journey to Tuscany with her young friend and traveling companion Caroline Abbott, widowed Lilia Herriton falls in love with both Italy and a handsome Italian much younger than herself, and decides to stay. Furious, her dead husband's family send Lilia's brother-in-law to Italy to prevent a misalliance, but he arrives too late. Lilia marries the Italian and in due course becomes pregnant again. When she dies giving birth to Read more [...]
Howards End audiobook by E. M. Forster (1879-1970) The Schlegels frequently encounter the Wilcoxes. The youngest, Helen, is rejected by the younger Wilcox brother, Paul. The eldest, Margaret, becomes friends with his mother Ruth Wilcox. Ruth's most prized personal possession is her family house at Howards End. She wishes that Margaret could live there, as she feels that it might be in good hands with her. Ruth's own husband and children do not value the house and its rich history, because such Read more [...]
Madame Bovary audiobook by Gustave Flaubert Published in book form in April 1857, the novel focuses on a doctor's wife, Emma Bovary, who has adulterous affairs and lives beyond her means in order to escape the banalities and emptiness of provincial life. Though the basic plot is rather simple, even archetypal, the novel's true art lies in its details and hidden patterns. Flaubert was notoriously perfectionist about his writing and claimed to always be searching for le mot juste (the right word). Read more [...]
This Side of Paradise audiobook by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940) This Side of Paradise is the debut novel of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Published in 1920, and taking its title from a line of the Rupert Brooke poem Tiare Tahiti, the book examines the lives and morality of post-World War I youth. Its protagonist, Amory Blaine, is a wealthy and attractive Princeton University student who dabbles in literature and has a series of romances that eventually lead to his disillusionment. In his later novels, Read more [...]
Dawn O'Hara, The Girl Who Laughed audiobook by Edna Ferber (1885-1968) Dawn O'Hara, the Girl Who Laughed was Edna Ferber's first novel. Dawn, a newspaperwoman working in New York, finds herself back home in Michigan on doctor's orders. Years of living in boarding-houses and working to pay for the care of her brilliant but mentally ill husband, Peter Orme, have taken their toll. At twenty-eight, Dawn feels like an old woman with no future. But, the loving care of her sister Norah and her family Read more [...]
Daniel Deronda audiobook by George Eliot (1819-1880) In this enduring Victorian classic written in 1876, two stories weave in and out of each other: The first is about Gwendolen, one of Eliot's finest creations, who grows from a self-centered young beauty to a thoughtful adult with an expanded vision of the world around her. The second is about Daniel Deronda, adopted son of an aristocratic Englishman who becomes fascinated with Jewish traditions when he meets an ailing Jewish philosopher named Read more [...]
Camille audiobook by Alexandre Dumas The Lady of the Camellias (French: La Dame aux cam?lias) is a novel by Alexandre Dumas, first published in 1848, that was subsequently adapted for the stage. The Lady of the Camellias premiered at the Theatre de Vaudeville in Paris, France on February 2, 1852. An instant success, Giuseppe Verdi immediately set about to put the story to music. His work became the 1853 opera La Traviata with the female protagonist "Marguerite Gautier" renamed "Violetta Val?ry".     Read more [...]
Sister Carrie audiobook by Theodore Dreiser (1871-1945) Theodore Dreiser was an American author of the naturalist school, known for dealing with the gritty reality of life. Sister Carrie (1900) is his first novel and tells the story of a young country girl who moves to the big city (Chicago) where she starts realizing her own American Dream by first becoming a mistress to powerful men and later as a famous actress. Dreiser and his wife significantly altered the original manuscript to make Read more [...]
Hard Times audiobook by Charles Dickens (1812-1870) Hard Times, the shortest of Dickens's full-length novels, is set in the fictitious Victorian-England city of Coketown, where facts are the rule and all fancy is to be stamped out. The plot centers around the men and women of the town, some of whom are beaten down by the city's utilitarian ideals and some of whom manage to rise above it. The novel was written in 1854 and was a scathing attack on then-current ideas of utilitarianism, which Dickens Read more [...]
Maggie: A Girl of the Streets audiobook by Stephen Crane (1871-1900) Stephen Crane's first novel, Maggie: A Girl of the Streets has been called "the first dark flower of American Naturalism" for its distinctive elements of naturalistic fiction. The chief character, Maggie, descends into prostitution after being led astray by her lover. Rather than focusing on those that make up the very rich or middle class, the novel highlights the deplorable living conditions of the working class during the Read more [...]
The Prairie audiobook by James Fenimore Cooper (1789 - 1851) The story opens with Ishmael, his family, Ellen and Abiram slowly making their way across the virgin prairies of the Midwest looking for a homestead, just two years after the Louisiana Purchase, and during the time of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. They meet the trapper (Natty Bumppo), who has left his home in New York state to find a place where he cannot hear the sound of people cutting down the forests. In the years between his Read more [...]
Nostromo audiobook by Joseph Conrad (1857--1924) Se?or Gould is a native Costaguanan of English descent who owns the silver-mining concession in Sulaco. He is tired of the political instability in Costaguana and its concomitant corruption, and puts his weight behind the Ribierist project, which he believes will finally bring stability to the country after years of misrule and tyranny by self-serving dictators. Instead, the silver mine and the wealth it has generated become a magnet for local Read more [...]
A Traveller in War-Time audiobook by Winston Churchill (1871-1947) This is a collection of a series of journalistic articles written during his travels throughout WWI era Europe that Churchill — the American author, not the famed British statesman — published in 1917; the book version came out in 1918. The writing is sharp, straightforward, and rarely sentimental, with loads of local color and occasional humor. (Summary by BellonaTimes)     Read more [...]
The Flying Inn audiobook by G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936) The Flying Inn is a novel first published in 1914 by G.K. Chesterton. It is set in a future England where a bizarre form of "Progressive" Islam has triumphed and largely dominates the political and social life of the country. Because of this, alcohol sales are effectively prohibited. The plot centers around the adventures of Humphrey Pump and Captain Patrick Dalroy, who roam the country in their cart with a barrel of rum in an attempt to Read more [...]