Category Archives: Audiobooks

The Awakening

The Awakening  by Kate Chopin

The Awakening by Kate Chopin

“The Awakening shocked turn-of-the-century readers with its forthright treatment of sex and suicide. Departing from literary convention, Kate Chopin failed to condemn her heroine’s desire for an affair with the son of a Louisiana resort owner, whom she meets on vacation. The power of sensuality, the delusion of ecstatic love, and the solitude that accompanies the trappings of middle- and upper-class life are the themes of this now-classic novel.” – As Kay Gibbons points out, Chopin “was writing American realism before most Americans could bear to hear that they were living it.”

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The Indiscreet Letter

The Indiscreet Letter by Eleanor Hallowell Abbott

The Indiscreet Letter by Eleanor Hallowell Abbott

Eleanor Hallowell Abbott’s The Indiscreet Letter finds three fellow travelers on a train who enter into a discussion concerning what they would call an ‘indiscreet letter.’ The discussion produces some rather interesting revelations during the journey and at journey’s end.

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Vixen – Volume 2

Vixen - Volume 2 by M. E. Braddon

Vixen – Volume 2 by M. E. Braddon

This is an exquisite and heartbreaking love story. Violet Tempest and Roderick Vawdrey, otherwise known to each other as Vixen and Rorie, are childhood sweethearts. However, Rorie’s family wants him to marry elsewhere. You may think it is the old story all over again, but nothing in this novel is what it seems. It is far too realistic for that. Many books talk about falling in love. This book starts after that stage, and speaks about the harder stage of a relationship: loving earnestly but understanding that love – even in the truest and purest sense – is not everything in life. There are duties to fulfil, and they might have nothing to do with love. Family life plays a large role in this novel, and it is not always warm and good. Many of the characters are strong and complicated. The novel has some feminist ideas, but they have boundaries, and are presented side by side with the conventional ideas of the times. But the signs of change are there… loud and clear.

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A Lady of Quality

A Lady of Quality by Frances Hodgson Burnett

A Lady of Quality by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Set in late 1600’s England, the story follows the life of a woman living an unconventional life. The loves of her life and all of its ups and downs are included.

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Farewell

Farewell by Honoré de Balzac

Farewell by Honoré de Balzac

In his startling and tragic novella Farewell, Balzac adds to the 19th century’s literature of the hysterical woman: sequestered, confined in her madness; mute, or eerily chanting in her moated grange. The first Mrs Rochester lurks in the wings; the Lady of Shalott waits for the shadowy reflection of the world outside to shatter her illusion. Freud’s earliest patients will soon enter the waiting-room in their turn.

Whilst out hunting two friends come across a strange waif-like woman shut up in a decaying chateau which one of them dubs “the Palace of the Sleeping Beauty”. Soon we are dragged back to the terrible masculine reality of the 1812 retreat of Napoleon’s army from Moscow and the grotesque massacre that was to traumatize the heroine, parting her from her lover.

Their reunion is more desperate still, as the earlier event is recreated in a bizarre and vain attempt to root out madness and compel the return of happiness…

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Zuleika Dobson

Zuleika Dobson by Sir Max Beerbohm

Zuleika Dobson by Sir Max Beerbohm

A wickedly funny satire on undergraduate life in Edwardian Oxford’ in which the entire student body of Oxford university including the young, handsome aristocrat the Duke of Dorset falls hopelessly in love with Zuleika who is visiting her grandfather, the warden of Judas college, and ultimately commit mass suicide at the end of ‘Eights Week.

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The Monk and The Hangman’s Daughter

The Monk and The Hangman's Daughter by Adolphe Danziger de Castro and Ambrose Bierce

The Monk and The Hangman's Daughter by Adolphe Danziger de Castro and Ambrose Bierce

A tragic but captivating tale of a naive young Franciscan monk in the 17th century. Told from his point of view, he describes being sent to a remote monastery in Germany along with several others of his order and their travel through strange new territories. Meeting the local hangman’s daughter, who is shunned and despised by the local populace because of her father’s occupation, he is overcome with Christian concern for her misery and wants to protect her. The conflict between his desire for her spiritual welfare and what can only be called more earthy desires eventually causes great distress and problems for himself and the girl. There were actually two authors: Ambrose Bierce and Adolph de Castro.

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The Last Trail

The Last Trail by Zane Grey

The Last Trail by Zane Grey

This early Zane Grey novel of hardy pioneers taming the wild west. Yes, despite the difficult times, romance flourishes and the bad guys are eliminated almost single handedly as our heroes Jonathan Zane and his sidekick Lew “Deathwind” Wetzel fight their way through mud, blood, gore, savage Indians, and despicable outlaws, to make the land safe for pioneer families as they settle the wild west.

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The Maids Tragedy

The Maids Tragedy by Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher

The Maids Tragedy by Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher

Beaumont and Fletcher’s The Maid’s Tragedy is a sensational Jacobean sex tragedy. When gentleman soldier Melantius returns to Rhodes, he finds his dear friend Amintor is recently married – but not to his troth-plight love Aspatia (the maid of the title). Instead, the King has arranged a match between Amintor and Melantius’ sister, the beautiful Evadne. On his wedding night, Amintor finds that his new wife has married him under false pretenses – and this unleashes a torrent of dire consequences, sexual, emotional, and ultimately political.

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Master Flea

Master Flea by E. T. A. Hoffmann

Master Flea by E. T. A. Hoffmann

Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann, better known by his pen name E.T.A. Hoffmann (Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann), was a German Romantic author of fantasy and horror, a jurist, composer, music critic, draftsman and caricaturist. Hoffmann’s stories were very influential during the 19th century, and he is one of the major authors of the Romantic movement.
He is the subject and hero of Jacques Offenbach’s famous but fictional opera The Tales of Hoffmann, and the author of the novelette The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, on which the famous ballet The Nutcracker is based. The ballet Coppelia is based on two other stories that Hoffmann wrote. Also Schumann’s Kreisleriana is based on one of Hoffmann’s characters.
(Introduction by Wikipedia)

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