Christopher "Kit" Marlowe (baptised 26 February 1564?30 May 1593) was an English dramatist, poet, and translator of the Elizabethan era. The foremost Elizabethan tragedian before William Shakespeare, he is known for his magnificent blank verse, his overreaching protagonists, and his own untimely death.
The Jew of Malta (1589) is an original story of religious conflict, intrigue, and revenge, set against a backdrop of the struggle for supremacy between Spain and the Ottoman Empire in the Mediterranean. The Jew of Malta is considered to have been a major influence on William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice.
The play contains a prologue in which the character Machiavel, a Senecan ghost based on Niccolò Machiavelli, introduces "the tragedy of a Jew."
Meno is a Socratic dialogue written by Plato. Written in the Socratic dialectic style, it attempts to determine the definition of virtue, or arete, meaning in this case virtue in general, rather than particular virtues, such as justice or temperance. The goal is a common definition that applies equally to all particular virtues. Socrates moves the discussion past the philosophical confusion, or aporia, created by Meno's paradox (aka the learner's paradox) with the introduction of new Platonic ideas: the theory of knowledge as recollection, anamnesis, and in the final lines a movement towards Platonic idealism..
In Plato's ION, Socrates questions Ion, whether he should really claim laud and glory for his 'rhapsodic' recitals of Homer's poetry.
Rossetti, Christina G.
Volunteers bring you 13 recordings of Spring by Christina Georgina Rossetti. This was the Fortnightly Poetry Poetry project for March 25, 2012.
Christina Georgina Rossetti was an English poet who wrote a variety of romantic, devotional, and children's poems. She is best known for her long poem Goblin Market, her love poem Remember, and for the words of the Christmas carol In the Bleak Midwinter.
Aphorisms from the Stoic Greek.
Aristotle’s Poetics from the 4th century B.C. aims to give a short study of storytelling. It discusses things like unity of plot, reversal of situation, and character in the context of Greek tragedy, comedy and epic poetry. But it still applies today. It is especially popular with screenwriters as seen in many script gurus’ how-to books.
Volunteers bring you 16 recordings of Are The Children at Home? by Margaret Elizabeth Sangster. This was the Fortnightly Poetry project for August 5, 2012.
Margaret Elizabeth Sangster was an American poet, author, and editor. She was popular in the late 19th and early 20th century. Among Sangster's prose works are several volumes of stories for children, and of these, Little Jamie was written when she was seventeen years old. Hours with Girls and Winsome Womanhood were her most popular works. Her volumes of poetry include, Poems of the Household, Home Fairies and Heart Flowers, On the Road Home and Easter Bells.
Jordan, William George
Change your life by changing your thoughts. The Majesty of Calmness is your guide to attracting prosperity, manifesting opportunities, and managing stress—all while discovering the values most precious to you.
Wells, H. G.
Wells considered this book one of his most important, a natural follow-up to such works as his Man of the Year Million and The Time Machine. His goal was to get people to think and act in new ways. The book starts with a look at how humans get along socially and how they carry out their business ventures. It then discusses how these elements influence others, such as politics, the world of work, and education. H. G. tried to make clear how the current social order was disintegrating without preparing another to take its place. He then traced the roots of democracy, which in its present state he saw as unworkable. Instead, he proposed a new republic. He also critiqued modern warfare.
“This book is a prolonged effort to establish a distinction between what is called mind and what is called matter. Nothing is more simple than to realise this distinction when you do not go deeply into it; nothing is more difficult when you analyse it a little. At first sight, it seems impossible to confuse things so far apart as a thought and a block of stone; but on reflection this great contrast vanishes, and other differences have to be sought which are less apparent and of which one has not hitherto dreamed.” (from The Mind and the Brain)
Volunteers bring you 12 recordings of Past Days by Emily Brontë . This was the Weekly Poetry project for November 28th, 2010
Anne Brontë was a British novelist and poet, the youngest member of the Brontë literary family. She wrote a volume of poetry with her sisters (Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell, 1846) and in short succession she wrote two novels. Agnes Grey, based upon her experiences as a governess, was published in 1847. Her second and last novel, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall appeared in 1848. Anne's life was cut short with her death of pulmonary tuberculosis when she was 29 years old. She published under the androgynous pen name Acton Bell.
Please note, at the time of this poetry project, the Gutenburg index was mis-interpreted and this poem was mistakenly attributed to Emily Brontë / Ellis Bell. The recorded LibriVox introductions will reflect this mistake.
The Dedication of the National Cemetery at Gettysburg, in November, 1863, followed a few short months after the roiling, acrid clouds of gun smoke dissipated, leaving a little crossroads town in Pennsylvania heir to the human tragedy of over 7,000 corpses and 21,000 men suffering wounds. It was a most unnatural disaster.
On November 19, the chief executive made the trip to the still-dazed, shot-torn community to deliver, almost as an afterthought (for he was not the keynote speaker), an address that clarified his belief that the Negro race should be liberated from their slavery, and that despite the loss of so much blood and life, the Union should hold to the goal of completing this emancipation.
That he knew the eyes of the nation would rest of him was evident; this address was the first speech since his inauguration that he prepared in advance. But these carefully crafted words - only 269 of them - became a vital part of our nation's identity, and are a signature to the bedrock of our beliefs.
This is an incomplete dialogue from the late period of Plato's life. Plato most likely created it after Republic and it contains the famous story of Atlantis, that Plato tells with such skill that many have believed the story to be true. Critias, a friend of Socrates, and uncle of Plato was infamous as one of the bloody thirty tyrants.
As Russia goes to war against Japan, Tolstoy urges those at all levels of society, from the Tsar down to the common soldier, to consider their actions in the light of Christ's teaching. "However strange this may appear, the most effective and certain deliverance of men from all the calamities which they inflict upon themselves and from the most dreadful of all—war—is attainable, not by any external general measures, but merely by that simple appeal to the consciousness of each separate man which, nineteen hundred years ago, was proposed by Jesus—that every man bethink himself, and ask himself, who is he, why he lives, and what he should and should not do."
Volunteers bring you 16 recordings of Chorus of Women by Aristophanes. This was the Weekly Poetry project for October 21, 2012.
Aristophanes was a comic playwright of ancient Athens. This poem is from the Thesmophoriazusae; meaning Women Celebrating the Festival of the Thesmophoria, sometimes also called The Poet and the Women)
Volunteers bring you 15 recordings of The Hill by Rupert Brooke. This was the Weekly Poetry project for May 15, 2011.
Rupert Chawner Brooke was an English poet known for his idealistic war sonnets written during the First World War (especially The Soldier). He was also known for his boyish good looks, which prompted the Irish poet William Butler Yeats to describe him as "the handsomest young man in England".
Thomas Troward was a divisional Judge in British-administered India. His avocation was the study of comparative religion. Influences on his thinking, as well as his later writing, included the teachings of Christ, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. After his retirement from the judiciary in 1896, Troward set out to apply logic and a judicial weighing of evidence in the study of matters of cause and effect.
The philosopher William James characterized Troward’s Edinburgh Lectures on Mental Science as "far and away the ablest statement of philosophy I have met, beautiful in its sustained clearness of thought and style, a really classic statement."
According to Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) archivist Nell Wing, early AA members were strongly encouraged to read Thomas Troward's Edinburgh Lectures on Mental Science. In the opening of the 2006 film The Secret , introductory remarks credit Troward's philosophy with inspiring the movie and its production.
Faith and reason, love and virtue, morality and mortality! In these two short volumes the famous novelist, essayist, and playwright, Upton Sinclair, confided his most prized worldly wisdom for generations to come. His kind and witty personal advice both provokes and enlightens page by page.
Bennett asks us to consider our brains as the most wonderful machine, a machine which is the only thing in this world that we can control. As he writes: "I am simply bent on calling your attention to a fact which has perhaps wholly or partially escaped you -- namely, that you are the most fascinating bit of machinery that ever was."
As ever, his prose is honeyed, his thoughts inspired, and his advice as relevant today as when it was written.
Volunteers bring you 15 recordings of Petals by Amy Lowell. This was the Weekly Poetry project for November 27, 2011.
Amy Lawrence Lowell (February 9, 1874 – May 12, 1925) was an American poet of the imagist school from Brookline, Massachusetts who posthumously won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1926. Lowell was born into Brookline's prominent Lowell family, sister to astronomer Percival Lowell and Harvard president Abbott Lawrence Lowell.
She never attended college because her family did not consider that proper for a woman, but she compensated with avid reading and near-obsessive book collecting. She lived as a socialite and travelled widely, turning to poetry in 1902 after being inspired by a performance of Eleonora Duse in Europe. In the post-World War II years, Lowell, like other women writers, was largely forgotten, but with the renaissance of the women's movement in the 1970s, women's studies brought her back to light. According to Heywood Broun, however, Lowell personally argued against feminism. Her poem, “Petals” is published in her collection A Dome of Many-Colored Glass (1912).
The Wit and Humor of America is a 10 volume series. In this, the sixth volume, 55 short stories and poems have been gathered from 42 authors. This volume is sure to delight listeners.
Service, Robert W.
Volunteers bring you 8 recordings of The Passing of the Year by by Robert W. Service. This was the Fortnightly Poetry project for December 18, 2011.
Robert William Service was a poet and writer who has often been called "the Bard of the Yukon". This poem taken from Rhymes of a Rolling Stone, published in 1912.
Before the beginning of World War II, during the time of the Modernist movement in philosophy, George Santayana wrote these five descriptive essays. He examined John Locke’s sensationalism, British Idealism, the “Theory of Relativity”, Freud’s psychology, and Julien Benda’s preachment on the relations between God and the world.
A series of lectures on landscape painting delivered at Oxford in 1871, by artist, critic, and social commentator, John Ruskin.
Volunteers bring you 17 recordings of My Comforter by anonymous. This was the Weekly Poetry project for November 25, 2012.
This work may not be by Plato, or his entirely, but Jowett has offered his sublime translation, and seems to lean towards including it in the canon. Socrates tempted by irony to deflate the pretentious know-it-all Hippias, an arrogant polymath, appears to follow humour more than honour in this short dialogue.
Marius the Epicurean is a philosophical novel written by Walter Pater, published in 1885. In it Pater displays, with fullness and elaboration, his ideal of the aesthetic life, his cult of beauty as opposed to bare asceticism, and his theory of the stimulating effect of the pursuit of beauty as an ideal of its own. The principles of what would be known as the Aesthetic movement were partly traceable to this book; and its impact was particularly felt on one of the movement's leading proponents, Oscar Wilde, a former student of Pater at Oxford.
“Who can help laughing when an ordinary journalist seriously proposes to limit the subject-matter at the disposal of the artist?”
“We are dominated by journalism.... Journalism governs for ever and ever.”[/i]
One of the nastiest of the British tabloids was founded a year too late to join in the moral panic generated to accompany Oscar Wilde’s court appearances in 1895. Yet there was no shortage of hypocritical journalists posing as moral arbiters to the nation, then as now.
This compendium work - skilfully assembled by the editor, Stuart Mason - ends with transcript of Wilde’s first appearance in the Old Bailey, when he was cross-examined on the alleged immorality of his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray. The disastrous outcome of these trials provides an ironic conclusion to the earlier knockabout exchanges between Oscar and his reviewers. In these he is at his flamboyant best, revelling in the publicity he pretends to disdain. His brave performances in the dock did nothing, however, to save him from hard labour, the treadmill and complete physical and moral breakdown which the law found it necessary to inflict on him.
In contrast to the hacks and lawyers, two refreshingly open-minded Americans write perceptively about the novel, as does Walter Pater, the grand old man of Aestheticism.
This solo Librivox project complements a new dramatised reading of The Picture of Dorian Gray, currently in preparation, featuring the present reader as Narrator.
Volunteers bring you 16 recordings of In Harmony with Nature. by Matthew Arnold. This was the Weekly Poetry project for July 8, 2012.
Matthew Arnold was a British poet and cultural critic who worked as an inspector of schools. He was the son of Thomas Arnold, the famed headmaster of Rugby School, and brother to both Tom Arnold, literary professor, and William Delafield Arnold, novelist and colonial administrator. Matthew Arnold has been characterized as a sage writer, a type of writer who chastises and instructs the reader on contemporary social issues.
Arnold is sometimes called the third great Victorian poet, along with Alfred, Lord Tennyson and Robert Browning.
Gordon, S. D
So far as I can find out, I have no theory about Jesus to make these talks fit into. I have tried to find out for myself what the old Book of God tells about Him. And here I am trying to tell to others, as simply as I can, what I found. It was by the tedious, twisting path of doubt that I climbed the hill of truth up to some of its summits of certainty. I am free to confess that I am ignorant of the subject treated here save for the statements of that Book, and for the assent within my own spirit to these statements, which has greatly deepened the impression they made, and make. There is no question raised here about that Book itself, but simply a taking and grouping up together of what it says.
Chesterton, G. K.
Volunteers bring you 9 recordings of The Song Against Songs by G. K. Chesterton. This was the Fortnightly Poetry project for October 16, 2011.
Chesterton was a large man, standing 6 feet 4 inches (1.93 m) and weighing around 21 stone (130 kg; 290 lb). His girth gave rise to a famous anecdote. During World War I a lady in London asked why he was not 'out at the Front'; he replied, 'If you go round to the side, you will see that I am.' On another occasion he remarked to his friend George Bernard Shaw: "To look at you, anyone would think a famine had struck England". Shaw retorted, "To look at you, anyone would think you have caused it". P. G. Wodehouse once described a very loud crash as "a sound like Chesterton falling onto a sheet of tin."(
Service, Robert W.
Volunteers bring you 5 recordings of To the Man of the High North by Robert Service. This was the Fortnightly Poetry project for November 28, 2010.
Robert William Service (January 16, 1874 – September 11, 1958) was a poet and writer, sometimes referred to as "the Bard of the Yukon".
His writing was so expressive that his readers took him for a hard-bitten old Klondike prospector, not the later-arriving bank clerk he actually was.
In addition to his Yukon works, Service also wrote poetry set in locales as diverse as South Africa, Afghanistan, and New Zealand.
The Wit and Humor of America is a 10 volume series. In this, the eighth volume, 40 short stories and poems have been gathered from 35 authors. This volume is sure to delight listeners.
Volunteers bring you 20 recordings of Best Way to Read a Book by Edgar A. Guest. This was the Fortnightly Poetry project for September 12th, 2010.
Lowell, James Russell
Volunteers bring you 11 recordings of Impartiality by James Russell Lowell. This was the Weekly Poetry project for January 16, 2011.
James Russell Lowell was an American Romantic poet, critic, editor, and diplomat. He is associated with the Fireside Poets, a group of New England writers who were among the first American poets who rivaled the popularity of British poets. These poets usually used conventional forms and meters in their poetry, making them suitable for families entertaining at their fireside.
Volunteers bring you 11 recordings of Echoes of Love’s House by William Morris. This was the Weekly Poetry project for January 9th, 2011.
William Morris was an English textile designer, artist, writer, and socialist associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and the English Arts and Crafts Movement. Morris wrote and published poetry, fiction, and translations of ancient and medieval texts throughout his life.
Today, Morris's poetry is little-read. His fantasy romances languished out of print for decades until their rediscovery amid the great fantasy revival of the late 1960s following the phenomenal success of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. But his textile and wallpaper designs remain a staple of the Arts and Crafts Revival of the turn of the 21st century, and the reproduction of Morris designs as fabric, wrapping paper, and craft kits of all sorts is testament to the enduring appeal of his work. The William Morris Societies in Britain, the US, and Canada are active in preserving Morris's work and ideas.
Fishing with a Worm by Bliss Perry includes the poignant and philisophical observations of a fly fisherman lured by the worm. Bliss Perry was a professor of literature at Princeton and Harvard Universities and spent time in Vermont writing and fly fishing.
Volunteers bring you 9 recordings of At the End of the Feast by Anonymous.
A traditional English Christmas Carol, first published in New Christmas Carols in 1642.
This poem was the Weekly Poetry Project for the week beginning December 25th 2011.
Starrett, Helen Ekin
Helen Ekin Starrett, journalist, mother of two daughters, grandmother of seven granddaughters and teacher to many young girls at the Starrett School for Girls offers lessons in life and religion to girls about to "pass out from the guardianship of home into life with its duties and trials".
Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
Volunteers bring you 22 recordings of Travels by the Fireside by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. This was the Fortnightly Poetry project for May 6, 2012.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was an American poet and educator. He predominantly wrote lyric poems which are known for their musicality and which often presented stories of mythology and legend. He became the most popular American poet of his day and also had success overseas. He has been criticized, however, for imitating European styles and writing specifically for the masses.
"I doubt that anyone who reads [Born Again] will ever forget it: it is quite singularly bad, with long undigestible rants against the evils of the world, an impossibly idealistic Utopian prescription for the said evils, and - as you will have gathered - a very silly plot." - oddbooks.co.uk
Alfred Lawson was a veritable Renaissance man: a professional baseball player, a luminary in the field of aviation, an outspoken advocate of vegetarianism and economic reform, and the founder of a pseudo-scientific crackpot philosophy called Lawsonomy. Born Again, his only novel, is a bizarre, delirious, and delightfully silly utopian science-fiction novel that lays the groundwork for the philosophy that would later dominate Lawson's life. It tells the story of John Convert, a wayward, seafaring soul (based loosely on Lawson, minus the conveniently symbolic initials) who is tossed overboard by his crewmen after a physical altercation. Convert awakens on an island inhabited by a race of superhuman giants -- called the Sagemen -- who slumber in their subterranean city. He then meets Arletta, a giantess who takes Convert on a journey that will change his life in ways too fantastically strange to imagine.
The power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man. Population, when unchecked, increases in a geometrical ratio. Subsistence increases only in an arithmetical ratio. A slight acquaintance with numbers will show the immensity of the first power in comparison with the second (Malthus).
Whitehead, Alfred North
In The Concept of Nature, Alfred North Whitehead discusses the interrelatedness of time, space, and human perception.
The idea of objects as 'occasions of experience', arguments against body-mind duality and the search for an all-encompassing 'philosophy of nature' are examined, with specific reference to contemporary (Einstein, with whose theory of relativity he has some complaints) and ancient (Plato, Aristotle) approaches.
Spinoza, Benedict de
The Ethics is a philosophical book written by Baruch Spinoza. It was written in Latin. Although it was published posthumously in 1677, it is his most famous work, and is considered his magnum opus.
In The Ethics, Spinoza attempts to demonstrate a "fully cohesive philosophical system that strives to provide a coherent picture of reality and to comprehend the meaning of an ethical life. Following a logical step-by-step format, it defines in turn the nature of God, the mind, human bondage to the emotions, and the power of understanding -- moving from a consideration of the eternal, to speculate upon humanity's place in the natural order, freedom, and the path to attainable happiness."(Wikipedia)
The Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding is a shortened and simplified version of Hume's masterpiece A Treatise of Human Nature. It sought to reach a wider audience, and to dispel some of the virulent criticism addressed toward the former book. In it, Hume explains his theory of epistemology, and argues against other current theories, including those of John Locke, George Berkeley, and Nicolas Malebranche.
Bushido: The Soul of Japan written by Inazo Nitobe was one of the first books on samurai ethics that was originally written in English for a Western audience, and has been subsequently translated into many other languages (also Japanese). Nitobe found in Bushido, the Way of the Warrior, the sources of the virtues most admired by his people: rectitude, courage, benevolence, politeness, sincerity, honor, loyalty and self-control, and he uses his deep knowledge of Western culture to draw comparisons with Medieval Chivalry, Philosophy, and Christianity.
This dialogue brings Socrates face to face with the famous sophist Gorgias and his followers. It is a work likely completed around the time of "Republic" and illuminates many of the spiritual ideas of Plato. The spirituality, as Jowett points out in his wonderful introduction, has many ideas akin to Christianity, but is more generous as it reserves damnation only for the tyrants of the world. Some of the truths of Socrates, as presented by Plato, shine forth in this wonderful work on sophistry and other forms of persuasion or cookery.
"Our intention is, that Timaeus, who is the most of an astronomer amongst us, and has made the nature of the universe his special study, should speak first, beginning with the generation of the world and going down to the creation of man..."
'Timaeus' is usually regarded as one of Plato's later dialogues, and provides an account of the creation of the universe, with physical, metaphysical and ethical dimensions, which had great influence over philosophers for centuries following. It attributes the order and beauty of the universe to a benevolent demiurge - a 'craftsman' or god - fashioning the physical world after the pattern of an ideal, eternal one.
The dramatic setting of the dialogue is the day after a discussion in which Socrates has described his ideal state - as in the 'Republic'. A conversation between Socrates, Critias, Hermocrates and Timaeus, including Critias' account of Solon's journey to Egypt (where he hears the story of Atlantis), soon gives way to the monologue by Timaeus that forms the bulk of the work.
'Timaeus' is translated by Benjamin Jowett and his comprehensive introduction to and analysis of the work precedes the text itself, which he describes as "the growth of an age in which philosophy is not wholly separated from poetry and mythology".
“For there is no light of justice or temperance, or any of the higher ideas which are precious to souls, in the earthly copies of them: they are seen through a glass, dimly…”
Socrates and his earnest friend Phaedrus, enjoying the Athenian equivalent of a lunchtime stroll in the park, exchange views on love and on the power of words, spoken and written.
Phaedrus is the most enchanting of Plato’s Erotic dialogues (capitalised in honour of the god). The barefoot philosopher urges an eager young acquaintance – who has allowed his lover’s oratorical skills to impress him overmuch – to re-examine the text of Lysias’s speech in the light of his own exalted (and Platonic) vision of Love.
Not long ago this early example of literary dismantling was itself deconstructed by a contemporary sage - Jacques Derrida.
The present reader tries to present Socrates as he conceivably was: the chortling, pot-bellied ex-soldier, a flirtatious yet charismatic talker with a serious passion for Truth.
Lao-Tze's Tao Teh King illuminates The Tao: a guiding principle of the universe and all within it. By exploring the nature of dualities and complements, Lao-Tze dissects strength and weakness; presence and absence; life and death. The Tao Teh King has served as a foundation for centuries of philosophy and wisdom.