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English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh

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  1. 4.2 hrs • 10/12/2014 • Abridged

    Those who only know Charles Dickens from his novels will be fascinated to discover the private and personal Dickens in this selection of his letters. His sister-in-law Georgina Hogarth thought they expressed his individuality; his friend Forster thought them literature. They give us a portrait of a complex man with so many different facets to his personality, ranging from the serious, when discussing social issues, to the outrageously humorous when writing merely to entertain his many friends. Two hundred years after his birth he still enlightens and entertains us.

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    Charles Dickens: A Portrait in Letters

    Compiled and introduced by David Timson
    Read by Simon Callow
    4.2 hrs • 10/12/14 • Abridged
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  2. 8.1 hrs • 9/9/2014 • Unabridged

    Great poetry can indeed outlast stone and the glory of princes, and the English poetic tradition is among the world’s richest. This audiobook tells the story of that tradition through its towering figures—Spenser and Shakespeare, Milton and Dryden, Wordsworth and Tennyson, Whitman, Dickinson, and Eliot—and through scores of other poets. Clear and accessible, blending criticism with imagination and illustrated with scores of quotations, this new history will delight all who care about the past and the future of English poetry.

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    The History of English Poetry

    8.1 hrs • 9/9/14 • Unabridged
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  3. 4.9 hrs • 4/1/2014 • Unabridged

    What if you could ask C. S. Lewis his thoughts on some of the most difficult questions of life? If you could, the result would be Dr. Alister McGrath’s provocative and perceptive audiobook, If I Had Lunch with C. S. Lewis.  Bestselling author, prominent academic, and sought-after speaker, Dr. McGrath sees C. S. Lewis as the perfect conversation companion for the persistent meaning-of-life questions everyone asks. What makes Lewis a good dialogue partner is that his mind traveled through a wide and varied terrain: from atheism of his early life to his conversion later in life; from his rational skepticism to his appreciation of value of human desires and imagination; from his role as a Christian apologist during World War II to his growth as a celebrated author of classic children’s literature. The questions Lewis pondered persist today: Does life have meaning? Does God exist? Can reason and imagination be reconciled? Why does God allow suffering? Let McGrath be your insightful guide to an intriguing conversation with Lewis about the ultimate questions.

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    If I Had Lunch with C. S. Lewis

    4.9 hrs • 4/1/14 • Unabridged
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  4. 0 reviews 0 5 4 4 out of 5 stars 4/5
    9.6 hrs • 1/28/2014 • Unabridged

    A New Yorker writer revisits the seminal book of her youth—Middlemarch—and fashions a singular, involving story of how a passionate attachment to a great work of literature can shape our lives and help us to read our own histories. Rebecca Mead was a young woman in an English coastal town when she first read George Eliot’s Middlemarch, regarded by many as the greatest English novel. After gaining admission to Oxford and moving to the United States to become a journalist, through several love affairs, then marriage, and family, Mead read and reread Middlemarch. The novel, which Virginia Woolf famously described as “one of the few English novels written for grown-up people,” offered Mead something that modern life and literature did not. In this wise and revealing work of biography, reportage, and memoir, Rebecca Mead leads us into the life that the book made for her, as well as the many lives the novel has led since it was written. Employing a structure that deftly mirrors that of the novel, My Life in Middlemarch takes the themes of Eliot’s masterpiece—the complexity of love, the meaning of marriage, the foundations of morality, and the drama of aspiration and failure—and brings them into our world. Offering both a fascinating reading of Eliot’s biography and an exploration of the way aspects of Mead’s life uncannily echo that of the author herself, My Life in Middlemarch is for every ardent lover of literature who cares about why we read books, and how they read us.

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    My Life in Middlemarch by Rebecca Mead

    My Life in Middlemarch

    9.6 hrs • 1/28/14 • Unabridged
    0 reviews 0 5 4 4 out of 5 stars 4/5
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  5. 4.7 hrs • 10/2/2013

    Few writers are more often read, and better loved, than Charles Dickens and Samuel Langhorne Clemens, a.k.a. Mark Twain. Many of the characters populating their novels have become household words, cultural landmarks in their own right—Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, David Copperfield and Oliver Twist. It is as if we have known them our entire lives. In this course we take a look at the lives and works of both authors, comparing and celebrating them, in their use of use language, in their humor, in their evocation of character, and in their evaluation of the social world in which they find themselves.

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  6. 4.1 hrs • 5/2/2013 • Unabridged

    Adapted from four lectures given at Oxford University by Ali Smith, author of bestselling The Accidental, Artful is a tidal wave of ideas in four thematically organised bursts of thought: ‘On Time’, ‘On Form’, ‘On Edge’ and ‘On Offer and On Reflection’. Refusing to be tied down to either fiction or the essay form, Artful is narrated by a character who is haunted, literally, by a former lover, the writer of a series of lectures about art and literature. Full of both the poignancy and humour of fiction and all the sideways insights and jaunty angles you would expect from Ali Smith’s criticism, it explores form, style, life, love, death, mortality, immortality, and what art and writing can mean.

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    Artful by Ali Smith

    Artful

    Read by Ali Smith
    4.1 hrs • 5/2/13 • Unabridged
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  7. 2.7 hrs • 7/15/2012 • Unabridged

    On a summer’s day in 1858, in a garden behind Christ Church College in Oxford, Charles Dodgson, a lecturer in mathematics, photographed six-year-old Alice Liddell, the daughter of the college dean, with a Thomas Ottewill Registered Double Folding camera, recently purchased in London. Simon Winchester deftly uses the resulting image—as unsettling as it is famous, and the subject of bottomless speculation—as the vehicle for a brief excursion behind the lens, a focal point on the origins of a classic work of English literature. Dodgson’s love of photography framed his view of the world, and was partly responsible for transforming a shy and half-deaf mathematician into one of the world’s best-loved observers of childhood. Little wonder that there is more to “Alice Liddell as the Beggar Maid” than meets the eye. Using Dodgson’s published writings, private diaries, and of course his photographic portraits, Winchester gently exposes the development of Lewis Carroll and the making of his Alice.

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    The Alice behind Wonderland

    2.7 hrs • 7/15/12 • Unabridged
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  8. 8.7 hrs • 6/1/2012 • Unabridged

    A net of complex currents flowed across Jacobean England. This was the England of Shakespeare, Jonson, and Bacon; the Gunpowder Plot; the worst outbreak of the plague England had ever seen; arcadian landscapes; murderous, toxic slums; and, above all, sometimes overwhelming religious passion. Jacobean England was both more godly and less godly than it had ever been, and the entire culture was drawn taut between the polarities. This was the world that created the King James Bible. It is the greatest work of English prose ever written, and it is no coincidence that the translation was made at the moment “Englishness” and the English language had come into its first passionate maturity. Boisterous, elegant, subtle, majestic, finely nuanced, sonorous, and musical, the English of Jacobean England has a more encompassing idea of its own reach and scope than any before or since. It is a form of the language that drips with potency and sensitivity. The age, with all its conflicts, explains the book. The sponsor and guide of the whole Bible project was the king himself, the brilliant, ugly, and profoundly peace-loving James the Sixth of Scotland and First of England. Trained almost from birth to manage the rivalries of political factions at home, James saw in England the chance for a sort of irenic Eden over which the new translation of the Bible was to preside. It was to be a Bible for everyone, and as God’s lieutenant on earth, he would use it to unify his kingdom. The dream of Jacobean peace, guaranteed by an elision of royal power and divine glory, lies behind a Bible of extraordinary grace and everlasting literary power. About fifty scholars from Cambridge, Oxford, and London did the work, drawing on many previous versions, and created a text which, for all its failings, has never been equaled. That is the central question of this book: How did this group of near-anonymous divines—muddled, drunk, self-serving, ambitious, ruthless, obsequious, pedantic, and flawed as they were—manage to bring off this astonishing translation? How did such ordinary men make such extraordinary prose? In God’s Secretaries, Adam Nicolson gives a fascinating and dramatic account of the accession and ambition of the first Stuart king, of the scholars who labored for seven years to create his Bible, of the influences that shaped their work, and of the beliefs that colored their world, immersing us in an age whose greatest monument is not a painting or a building but a book.

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    God’s Secretaries

    8.7 hrs • 6/1/12 • Unabridged
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  9. 4.9 hrs • 4/30/2012 • Unabridged

    The CliffsNotes study guide on Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings supplements the original literary works, giving you background information about the author, an introduction to the works, a graphical character map, critical commentaries, expanded glossaries, and a comprehensive index, all for you to use as an educational tool that will allow you to better understand the works. This study guide was written with the assumption that you have read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Reading a literary work doesn’t mean that you immediately grasp the major themes and devices used by the author; this study guide will help supplement your reading to be sure you get all you can from both these works. In this audiobook you will learn about the life and background of the author; hear an introduction to The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings; explore themes, character development, and recurring images; learn new words from the glossary at the end of each chapter; examine in-depth character analyses; and acquire an understanding of both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings with critical essays.

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    On Tolkien’s The Hobbit and

    4.9 hrs • 4/30/12 • Unabridged
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  10. 3.3 hrs • 4/30/2012 • Unabridged

    The CliffsNotes study guide on Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels supplements the original literary work, giving you background information about the author, an introduction to the work, a graphical character map, critical commentaries, expanded glossaries, and a comprehensive index, all for you to use as an educational tool that will allow you to better understand the work. This study guide was written with the assumption that you have read Gulliver’s Travels. Reading a literary work doesn’t mean you immediately grasp the major themes and devices used by the author; this study guide will help supplement your reading. CliffsNotes Review tests your comprehension of the original text and reinforces learning with questions and answers, practice projects, and more.

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  11. 9.5 hrs • 9/13/2011 • Unabridged

    #1 New York Times bestselling author Philippa Gregory teams with two eminent historians to explore the historical characters in the real-life world behind her Wars of the Roses novels. PHILIPPA GREGORY and her fellow historians describe the extraordinary lives of the heroines of her Cousins’ War books: Jacquetta, Duchess of Bedford; Elizabeth Woodville, wife of Edward IV; and Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII. In her essay on Jacquetta, Philippa Gregory uses original documents, archaeology, and histories of myth and witchcraft to create the first-ever biography of the young duchess who survived two reigns and two wars to become the first lady at two rival courts. David Baldwin, established authority on the Wars of the Roses, tells the story of Elizabeth Woodville, the first commoner to marry a king of England for love; and Michael Jones, fellow of the Royal Historical Society, writes of Margaret Beaufort, the almost-unknown matriarch of the House of Tudor. In the introduction, Gregory writes revealingly about the differences between history and historical fiction. How much of a role does speculation play in writing each? How much fiction and how much fact should there be in a historical novel? How are female historians changing our view of women in history? The Women of the Cousins’ War is beautifully illustrated with rare portraits and source materials. As well as offering fascinating insights into the inspirations behind Philippa Gregory’s fiction, it will appeal to all with an interest in this period.

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  12. 2.6 hrs • 3/16/2011 • Unabridged

    This CliffsNotes study guide on George Orwell’s Animal Farm supplements the original literary work, giving you background information about the author, an introduction to the work, a graphical character map, critical commentaries, expanded glossaries, and a comprehensive index, all for you to use as an educational tool that will allow you to better understand the work. This study guide was written with the assumption that you have read Animal Farm. Reading a literary work doesn’t mean that you immediately grasp the major themes and devices used by the author; this study guide will help supplement you reading to be sure you get all you can from Orwell's Animal Farm. CliffsNotes Review tests your comprehension of the original text and reinforces learning with questions and answers, practice projects, and more. For further information on George Orwell and Animal Farm, check out the CliffsNotes Resource Center at www.cliffsnotes.com. 

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  13. 4.3 hrs • 3/16/2011 • Unabridged

    This CliffsNotes study guide on John Milton’s Paradise Lost supplements the original literary work, giving you background information about the author, an introduction to the work, and critical commentaries, all for you to use as an educational tool that will allow you to better understand the work. This study guide was written with the assumption that you have read Paradise Lost. Reading a literary work doesn’t mean that you immediately grasp the major themes and devices used by the author; this study guide will help supplement your reading to be sure you get all you can from the work.

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  14. 5.4 hrs • 8/26/2010 • Unabridged

    This is Christopher Milne’s first autobiography, which was followed by Part 2—The Path through the Trees. From his much publicized childhood on Cotchford Farm to his war experiences, his marriage, and his proprietorship of a successful bookshop in a small English town, the life of the famous author’s son was one of much joy and some pain. It was also one of deep introspection. This book illuminates the shy, quiet man who was a thoughtful observer of the natural world and a gentle commentator on humankind’s relationship to it. Christopher’s writing offers an intriguing portrait of a gifted man who chose to live simply, a choice that ultimately brought him satisfaction—more than could ever come from the empty fame of being the “real” Christopher Robin.

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    The Enchanted Places by Christopher Milne

    The Enchanted Places

    5.4 hrs • 8/26/10 • Unabridged
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  15. 1.9 hrs • 1/27/2009 • Unabridged

    By the end of his life, Lawrence had despaired of Western civilization, which he felt had corrupted and weakened the human spirit. He believed that we had somehow lost touch with our instinctual being and no longer responded to the ‘true voice’ of our blood. We still possessed such truth deep within us, but it was smothered by a dead culture. His works were an attempt to revive a life we have lost, and in them it is possible to glimpse something vivid, something now damaged, that we nonetheless recognize in ourselves. At his best, Lawrence reminds us of what we are, what it is we have lost. But it is a very tenuous argument, for all the vividness with which it is evoked. In Lawrence, deep sense often coexists with empty nonsense. The ranter coexisted with the prophet, just as his often dubious message coexisted with some of the finest writing in the English language. Lawrence had a genius for evocation, both of a past that may never in fact have existed and of a luminous present that exists as never before in his words. This is his undeniable legacy. Building on his enormously successful Philosophers in 90 Minutes series, Paul Strathern now applies his witty and incisive prose to brief biographical studies of the world’s great writers. He brings their lives and ideas to life in entertaining and accessible fashion. Far from being a novelty, each book is a highly refined appraisal of the writer and his work, authoritative and clearly presented.

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    D. H. Lawrence in 90 Minutes by Paul Strathern
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  16. 3.0 hrs • 8/1/2008 • Unabridged

    William Butler Yeats, the first Irishman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, is not only one of the greatest poets of the twentieth century but one of the most widely read. The landscape, myths, legends, and folklore of his homeland lie at the heart of his poetic imagination, and the unique musicality of Ireland adds to the richness of his verse. But the themes of his poetry are universal and timeless: the conflict between life and death, love and hate, and the meaning of man’s existence in an imperfect world. This collection includes such favorites as “The Lake Isle of Innisfree” and “When You Are Old,” as well as two of his longer narrative works, “The Old Age of Queen Maeve” and “Baile and Aillinn.” It traces the poet’s artistry from his early days as a dreamy, late-romantic poet into one of the most individual and visionary voices of twentieth-century verse.

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    W. B. Yeats by William Butler Yeats

    W. B. Yeats

    3.0 hrs • 8/1/08 • Unabridged
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