Miss Frances, the youngest Ward sister, "married, in the common phrase, to disoblige her family, and by fixing on a lieutenant of marines, without education, fortune, or connexions, did it very thoroughly. She could hardly have made a more untoward choice." Some years later, pregnant with her ninth child, Mrs. Price appeals to her family, namely to her eldest sister and her husband, Sir Thomas Bertram, for help with her over-large family. Sir Thomas provides assistance in helping his nephews into lines of work suitable to their education, and takes his eldest niece, Fanny Price, then ten years old, into his home to raise with his own children. It is Fanny's story we follow in Mansfield Park.
Edith Wharton became the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction with this 1920 novel about Old New York society. Newland Archer is wealthy, well-bred, and engaged to the beautiful May Welland. But he finds himself drawn to May's cousin Ellen Olenska, who has been living in Europe and who has returned following a scandalous separation from her husband.
Volunteers bring you 27 recordings of The Lovers by Emily Dickinson. This was the Weekly Poetry project for May 27, 2012.
The verses of Emily Dickinson belong emphatically to what Emerson long since called "the Poetry of the Portfolio,"—something produced absolutely without the thought of publication, and solely by way of expression of the writer's own mind. Such verse must inevitably forfeit whatever advantage lies in the discipline of public criticism and the enforced conformity to accepted ways. On the other hand, it may often gain something through the habit of freedom and the unconventional utterance of daring thoughts. In the case of the present author, there was absolutely no choice in the matter; she must write thus, or not at all. A recluse by temperament and habit, literally spending years without setting her foot beyond the doorstep, and many more years during which her walks were strictly limited to her father's grounds, she habitually concealed her mind, like her person, from all but a very few friends; and it was with great difficulty that she was persuaded to print, during her lifetime, three or four poems. Yet she wrote verses in great abundance; and though brought curiously indifferent to all conventional rules, had yet a rigorous literary standard of her own, and often altered a word many times to suit an ear which had its own tenacious fastidiousness.
Gaskell, Elizabeth Cleghorn
Set in Victorian England, North and South is the story of Margaret Hale, a young woman whose life is turned upside down when her family relocates to northern England. As an outsider from the agricultural south, Margaret is initially shocked by the aggressive northerners of the dirty, smoky industrial town of Milton. But as she adapts to her new home, she defies social conventions with her ready sympathy and defense of the working poor. Her passionate advocacy leads her to repeatedly clash with charismatic mill owner John Thornton over his treatment of his workers. While Margaret denies her growing attraction to him, Thornton agonizes over his foolish passion for her, in spite of their heated disagreements. As tensions mount between them, a violent unionization strike explodes in Milton, leaving everyone to deal with the aftermath in the town and in their personal lives.
Elizabeth Gaskell serialized North and South between September 1854 and January 1855 in Charles Dickens’s magazine Household Words. Upon its publication, Gaskell established herself as a novelist capable of serious discourse on social responsibility and advocacy for change in defiance of established authority.
Burroughs, Edgar Rice
John Carter is mysteriously conveyed to Mars, where he discovers two intelligent species continually embroiled in warfare. Although he is a prisoner of four-armed green men, his Civil War experience and Earth-trained musculature give him superior martial abilities, and he is treated with deference by this fierce race. Falling in love with a princess of red humanoids (two-armed but egg-bearing), he contrives a daring escape and later rescues the red men from the hostility of another nation of their own race. In this struggle he enlists the aid of his former captors, whom he gradually civilizes, teaching them first the practical advantages of kindness to their beasts of burden and then of casting aside centuries of communal living in favor of the nuclear family. At last he even starts them on the path to mastering the arts of friedship and diplomacy. When the failure of the atmosphere-generator threatens the planet's inhabitants with extinction, Carter's luck, memory, and sheer determination make possible the salvation of the planet, but Carter himself falls unconscious before he knows the success of his efforts. The novel ends with his sudden involuntary return to Earth.
An old theatre under new management; a diva who thinks she can sing; a young ingenue who really can; a masked man who wreaks havoc if he doesn't get his own way. Secrets, intrigues, falling chandeliers! The Phantom of the Opera is here!
Scott, Walter, Sir
Follows the fortunes of the son of a noble Saxon family in Norman England as he woos his lady, disobeys his father, and is loved by another. Set in late 12C England and in Palestine with Richard Cœur-de-Lion at the Crusades, it's another ripping historical yarn by Scott
Montgomery, Lucy Maud
This is the continuing story of Anne Shirley and the third book in the Anne of Green Gables series. In it Anne attends Redmond College where she is studying for her BA. She has many trials and tribulations along the way, including some romance. In Anne of the Island the reader is also introduced to many new characters, that in the true sense of Anne are also "kindred spirits".
Montgomery, Lucy Maud
Anne is off to Redmond College! She will spend the next four years .
Montgomery, Lucy Maud
Anne of the Island is the third book in the Anne of Green Gables series, written by Lucy Maud Montgomery about Anne Shirley. Anne of the Island was published in 1915, seven years after the bestselling Anne of Green Gables. In the continuing story of Anne Shirley, Anne attends Redmond College in Kingsport, where she is studying for her BA.
Forster, E. M.
The 1908 novel A Room With a View is the story of Lucy Honeychurch, a young English girl traveling to Italy for the first time. While staying in Florence, Lucy meets the unconventional George Emerson, with whom she shares a single passionate kiss, much to the horror of her chaperone, her spinsterish cousin Charlotte. Back in England, Lucy finds she must choose between George and her rather stuffy fiance Cecil Vyse. Forster's wonderfully comic romance satirizes turn-of-the-century English culture (as did his other major novel of the period, Howards End).
Forster, E. M.
When Lucy Honeychurch travels to Italy with her cousin, she meets George Emerson, a bohemian and an atheist who falls in love with her. Upon her return to England, she is forced to choose between free-spirited George and her more conventional fiancé, Cecil Vyse. The story is both a romance and a critique of English society at the beginning of the 20th century.
Orczy, Emmuska, Baroness
The classic story of Sir Percy Blakeney and his alter ego, the Scarlet Pimpernel. A great adventure, set during the French Revolution.
Edith Wharton's 1911 novel Ethan Frome tells the story of a tragic love triangle. Set in the highly symbolic wintry landscape of Starkfield, Massachusetts, the narrative centers on the title character's fraught relationships with his "sickly, cantankerous" wife Zeena and his young, beautiful cousin Mattie Silver.
Montgomery, Lucy Maud
Anne's House of Dreams is book five in the series, and chronicles Anne's early married life, as she and her childhood sweetheart Gilbert Blythe begin to build their life together.
Alcott, Louisa May
This story follows the lives of four sisters Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy. Set in the tumultuous days of the American Civil war, readers grow to love the four sisters as they grow and mature into young women. This book has characters any girl can relate to because each of the four March sisters has a unique and different personality. A story that the young and old have enjoyed for years, this book truly is a classic.
The Sea-Wolf is a novel written in 1904 by American author Jack London. An immediate bestseller, the first printing of forty thousand copies was sold out before publication. Of it, Ambrose Bierce wrote "The great thing—and it is among the greatest of things—is that tremendous creation, Wolf Larsen... the hewing out and setting up of such a figure is enough for a man to do in one lifetime."
Browning, Elizabeth Barrett
Sonnets from the Portuguese, written ca. 1845–1846 and first published in 1850, is a collection of forty-four love sonnets written by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. The poems largely chronicle the period leading up to her 1846 marriage to Robert Browning. The collection was acclaimed and popular even in the poet's lifetime and it remains so today. Elizabeth was initially hesitant to publish the poems, feeling that they were too personal. However, Robert insisted that they were the best sequence of English-language sonnets since Shakespeare's time and urged her to publish them. To offer the couple some privacy, she decided that she might publish them under a title disguising the poems as translations of foreign sonnets. Therefore, the collection was first to be known as Sonnets from the Bosnian, until Robert suggested that she change their imaginary original language to Portuguese, probably after his nickname for her: "my little Portuguese."
Beth Danson was about twenty-five and, besides her deep auburn-brown hair and lovely face, she boasted an equally attractive body. He found himself captivated by the warm thrust of her breasts beneath the silk blouse. The clear milk of her flesh, at the “V” of her throat excited him in a strange way. When he thought of her as his wife, it was frightening. It was as though someone had tossed him a woman and expected him to just fall into the routine of marriage. It wouldn’t be hard to come to love this woman, but it would take awhile. Hell, he didn’t know her. She was a complete stranger who had suddenly told him they were married. There was nothing familiar about her; even the fingers that were softly working over his face were alien.
Love and Freindship [sic] is a juvenile story by Jane Austen, dated 1790, when Austen was 14 years old. Love and Freindship (the misspelling is one of many in the story) is clearly a parody of romantic novels Austen read as a child. This is clear even from the subtitle, "Deceived in Freindship and Betrayed in Love," which neatly undercuts the title.
Written in epistolary form, it resembles a fairy tale as much as anything else, featuring wild coincidences and turns of fortune, but Austen is determined to lampoon the conventions of romantic stories, right down to the utter failure of romantic fainting spells, which always turn out dreadfully for the female characters.
In this story one can see the development of Austen's sharp wit and disdain for romantic sensibility, so characteristic of her later novels.
In this, the last of the Three Musketeers novels, Dumas builds on the true story of a mysterious prisoner held incognito in the French penal system, forced to wear a mask when seen by any but his jailer or his valet. If you have skipped the novels between The Three Musketeers and this, a few notes will bring you into the story:
On one side – Aramis, now a bishop and secretly the Captain-General of the Jesuit Order, who believes he has found a path to a higher honor – the papacy. Monsieur Fouquet, the vastly rich minister of finance, Aramis’ ally. Philippe, the identical twin of King Louis XIV, who grew up in ignorance of his pedigree, and whose surrogate parents were murdered on the king’s order and himself sent into the notorious Paris prison, the Bastille, there held in solitary confinement.
On the other side – King Louis XIV, selected as the twin who would be king by his mother, and who intends that his brother will never challenge him. Monsieur Colbert, first minister, who is jealous of Fouquet and plots his downfall.
Unaligned and in danger of collateral damage – d’Artagnan, now captain of the King’s Musketeers and so the king’s chief defender, who suspects plots running beneath the surface and who is trying to unearth them. Athos, now the Comte (Count) de la Fer and one of the most respected noblemen of France. Raoul, Athos’ son and vicomte (viscount), desperately in love with Mademoiselle de la Valliere, who the king has taken as his mistress. Porthos, grown extremely stout and happy as the Baron du Vallon.
Aramis discovers the hidden Philippe and hatches a plot to substitute him for the sitting king, putting Louis in Philippe’s cell in the Bastille. This even succeeds… for a short while. But Aramis has not reckoned with a man whose loyalty to the throne exceeds his own welfare and who disastrously reverses the plot. Now it is time for the plotters to scurry to cover, there to figure some way to recover their lost ambitions.
Tennyson, Alfred, Lord
The Princess is a serio-comic blank verse narrative poem, written by Alfred Tennyson, published in 1847. The poem tells the story of an heroic princess who forswears the world of men and founds a women's university where men are forbidden to enter. The prince to whom she was betrothed in infancy enters the university with two friends, disguised as women students. They are discovered and flee, but eventually they fight a battle for the princess's hand.
Night and Day (1919) is a novel by Virginia Woolf. Set in Edwardian London, Night and Day contrasts the daily lives of two friends, Katharine Hilbery and Mary Datchet. The novel examines the relationships between love, marriage, happiness, and success. (Wikipedia)
Let's continue the D'Artagnan Romances that we've already started with The Three Musketeers.
Adam Bede, the first novel written by George Eliot (the pen name of Mary Ann Evans), was published in 1859. It was published pseudonymously, even though Evans was a well-published and highly respected scholar of her time. The novel has remained in print ever since, and is used in university studies of 19th century English literature.
The story's plot follows four characters rural lives in the fictional community of Hayslope—a rural, pastoral and close-knit community in 1799. The novel revolves around a love triangle between beautiful but thoughtless Hetty Sorrel, Captain Arthur Donnithorne, the young squire who seduces her, Adam Bede, her unacknowledged lover, and Dinah Morris, Hetty's cousin, a fervent Methodist lay preacher.
Troyes, Chrétien de
A medieval romance in which Eric goes through many trials until he is sure of Enide's loyalty and true love.
This is the Arthurian legend of Tristan and Iseult. It is a tale of love, honour, intrigue, betrayal and jealousy, ending ultimately in tragedy. This story predates that of Lancelot and Guinevere, and is one of the most influential romances of the medieval period, inspiring many artists, from story-tellers to painters to composers.
O Pioneers! tells the story of the Bergsons, a family of Swedish immigrants in the farm country near the fictional town of Hanover, Nebraska, at the turn of the 20th century. The main character, Alexandra Bergson, inherits the family farmland when her father dies, and she devotes her life to making the farm a viable enterprise at a time when other immigrant families are giving up and leaving the prairie. The novel is also concerned with two romantic relationships, one between Alexandra and family friend Carl Linstrum and another between Alexandra's brother Emil and the married Marie Shabata.
Scaramouche is a romantic adventure and tells the story of a young aristocrat during the French Revolution. His successive endeavors as a lawyer, politician, actor, lover, and buffoon lead his enemies to call him "Scaramouche" (also called Scaramuccia, a roguish character in the commedia dell'arte), but he impresses many with his elegant orations and precision swordsmanship. The later film version includes one of the longest, and many believe, best swashbuckling sword-fighting scenes ever filmed.
The novel has a memorable start (Book I: The Robe, Chapter I, 'The Republican'): "He was born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad. And that was all his patrimony. His very paternity was obscure, although the village of Gavrillacs had long since dispelled the cloud of mystery that hung about it."
Tennyson, Alfred, Lord
Volunteers bring you 10 recordings of To...As when with downcast eyes by Alfred Lord Tennyson. This was the Weekly Poetry project for August 15th, 2010.
Charlotte Temple, a cautionary tale for young women, follows the unfortunate adventures of the eponymous heroine as she is seduced by a dashing soldier, Montraville. Influenced by both her lover and an unruly teacher at her boarding school, she is persuaded to run away to America, where she is eventually abandoned by Montraville after he becomes bored, leaving her alone and pregnant. First published in England in 1791, it went on to become America's bestselling novel, only being ousted by Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin.
Alcott, Louisa May
Jo's Boys is the third book in the Little Women trilogy by Louisa May Alcott, published in 1886. In it, Jo's "children", now grown, are caught up in real world troubles. All three books - although fiction - are highly autobiographical and describe characters that were really in Alcott's life. This book contains romance as the childhood playmates become flirtatious young men and women. The characters are growing up, going out into the world and deciding their futures.
Fitzgerald, F. Scott
The story is about Sally Carrol Happer, a young southern woman from the fictional city of Tarleton, Georgia, who becomes engaged one summer to Harry Bellamy, a man from an unspecified northern town. The following winter, on a visit to Harry's home town to meet Harry's family, Sally Carrol begins to have second thoughts...
Scott, Walter, Sir
The Talisman is a gripping tale set near the end of the Third Crusade. King Richard the Lionheart is grievously ill, and all around him the leaders from allied countries plot and scheme to gain personal power, putting the future of the crusade in jeopardy. Sir Kenneth of Scotland finds himself caught up in events, and finds both his honour and his life are now on the line. Can a cure be found for the King? Can Kenneth redeem his honour? – Written by Rowen.
Alcott, Louisa May
Opening several years after the close of "Eight Cousins", we find Rose coming home fresh from a voyage overseas, to find much changed about her. Now of a marriageable aged and heiress to a fortune, Rose finds joy,sorrow, and finally love await her -- as the Rose is finally ready to bloom into a good, strong, sweet and true woman.
This sequel to Eight Cousins was written by Louisa May Alcott, the author of many well beloved children's books including Little Women, An Old Fashioned Girl, Under the Lilacs and more.
The Prime Minister is the fifth in Trollope's series of six Palliser novels. With Phineas' difficulties resolved, Trollope introduces new characters. A respectable young girl forsakes the man her family had always intended her to marry when she falls in love with a man of foreign extraction and an unknown family. He has a gentleman's education and manners, but his family background and financial means are mysterious. Is he really a gentleman? Meanwhile, Plantagenet Palliser becomes Prime Minister of a shaky coalition government, and Glencora and Madame Goessler are busy with the ensuing social obligations.
Gilbert, W. S.
The Pirates of Penzance; or, The Slave of Duty is a comic opera in two acts, with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert. The story concerns Frederic, who, having completed his 21st year, is released from his apprenticeship to a band of tender-hearted pirates. He meets Mabel, the daughter of Major-General Stanley, and the two young people fall instantly in love. Frederic finds out, however, that he was born on 29 February, and so, technically, he only has a birthday each leap year. His apprenticeship indentures state that he remains apprenticed to the pirates until his 21st birthday, and so he must serve for another 63 years. Bound by his own sense of duty, Frederic's only solace is that Mabel agrees to wait for him faithfully.
Byron, George Gordon, Lord
"The Giaour" is a poem by Lord Byron first published in 1813 and the first in the series of his Oriental romances. "The Giaour" proved to be a great success when published, consolidating Byron's reputation critically and commercially.
Balzac, Honoré de
Published by Honoré de Balzac in the tempestuous year of 1830, the tale follows the undulating pathways of Sarrasine the sculptor’s shocking journey to his coming of age. As one of the “fathers of realism” Balzac painted with his words a vivid portrait of life in the swirling salons of Europe at the end of the Bourbon monarchy, and we follow Sarrasine from France to Italy in search of both his métier and his muse.
However it is also the story of La Zambinella, an Italian singer with whom Sarrasine falls madly and passionately in love. But that passion holds a secret which Sarrasine spies too late.
The story takes place in a small woodland village called Little Hintock, and concerns the efforts of an honest woodsman, Giles Winterborne, to marry his childhood sweetheart, Grace Melbury. Although they have been informally betrothed for some time, her father has made financial sacrifices to give his adored only child a superior education and no longer considers Giles good enough for her.
The Woodlanders marks the beginnings of controversy for Hardy's novels. At this point in his career he was established enough as a writer to take risks, especially in the areas of sex, sexual attraction, marriage, divorce, marital fidelity, unconventional plots and tones, and seemingly immoral conclusions.
Volunteers bring you 11 recordings of The Consolation by Anne Brontë. This was the Weekly Poetry project for March 14th, 2010.
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.
Dunbar, Paul Laurence
Volunteers bring you 20 recordings of The Pool by Paul Laurence Dunbar. This was the Weekly Poetry project for May 20, 2012.
Paul Laurence Dunbar (June 27, 1872 – February 9, 1906) was an African American poet, novelist, and playwright of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Much of his popular work in his lifetime used a Negro dialect, which helped him become one of the first nationally-accepted African American writers. Much of his writing, however, does not use dialect; these more traditional poems have become of greater interest to scholars.
Volunteers bring you 24 recordings of Appeal by Anne Brontë. This was the Weekly Poetry project for February 5, 2012.
Appeal appears in 'Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell,' the first book ever published by the Bronte sisters. This book, a collection of poems by all the sisters, was first published in 1846 but did not sell at that time. After the sisters had made their names as novelists (and, sadly, after the deaths of Anne and Emily) a second edition was published in 1850 and became a commercial success.
In order to be taken seriously as poets and authors all three sisters adopted male pen names. Anne's particular pseudonym was Acton Bell.
Wells, H. G.
Ann Veronica was a controversial book detailing the development of a naive school girl into a "New Woman". When it was published, the Spectator described it as a "poisonous book ... capable of poisoning the minds of those who read it." Although it is unlikely to offend modern listeners in this way, this novel addresses many feminist issues that are still relevant today.
After The Three Muskateers and Twenty Years After the adventurous story of Athos, Porthos, Aramis and D'Artagnan continues!
The Vicomte of Bragelonne: Ten Years Later (French: Le Vicomte de Bragelonne ou Dix ans plus tard) is the last of the Musketeer novels. It is usually divided into four volumes and this second volume contains chapters 76-140.
The Sea Hawk is a novel by Rafael Sabatini, originally published in 1915. The story is set in the late 16th century, and concerns a Cornish sea-faring gentleman, Sir Oliver Tressilian, who is villainously betrayed by a jealous brother. After being forced to serve as a slave on a Spanish galley, Sir Oliver is liberated by Barbary pirates. He joins the pirates under the name "Sakr-el-Bahr", the hawk of the sea, and swears vengeance against his brother.
Phineas Finn is the sequel to "Can you Forgive Her?" and the second novel in Trollope's Palliser series. The eponymous hero is a young Irishman who becomes a member of the English parliament. Trollope aspired to become an M.P. himself, and he ably describes the workings of the English political scene. There is also a love interest, as the somewhat inconstant Phineas courts three different women: his Irish sweetheart, Mary Flood Jones; Lady Laura Standish, the daughter of a prominent Whig politician; and a lovely heiress, Violet Effingham.
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)
Leland, Charles Godfrey
Volunteers bring you 15 recordings of The Legend of Heinz von Stein by Charles Godfrey Leland. This was the Weekly Poetry project for November 11, 2012.
Charles Godfrey Leland was an American humorist who traveled extensively throughout Europe and the US. Leland worked in journalism, and became interested in folklore and folk linguistics, publishing books and articles on American and European languages and folk traditions. He worked in a wide variety of trades, achieved recognition as the author of the comic Hans Breitmann’s Ballads, fought in two conflicts, and wrote what was to become a primary source text for Neopaganism half a century later, Aradia, or the Gospel of the Witches.