Summary: Often considered the greatest epic in any modern language, Paradise Lost tells....+
Often considered the greatest epic in any modern language, Paradise Lost tells the story of the revolt of Satan, his banishment from Heaven, and the ensuing fall of Man with his expulsion from Eden. It is a tale of immense drama and excitement, of innocence pitted against corruption, of rebellion and treachery, in which God and Satan fight a bitter battle for control of mankind's destiny. The struggle ranges across heaven, hell, and earth, as Satan and his band of rebel angels conspire against God. At the center of the conflict are Adam and Eve, motivated by all too human temptations, but whose ultimate downfall is unyielding love.
Written in blank verse of unsurpassed majesty, Paradise Lost is the work of a mastermind involved in a profound search for truth.
Summary: Just before his regiment sails off to war in the Sudan, British officer Harry....+
Just before his regiment sails off to war in the Sudan, British officer Harry Feversham resigns his commission, wanting desperately to be free of his family’s proud military heritage and terrified of risking his life. He is immediately given four white feathers as symbols of cowardice, one by each of his three best friends and one by his fiancée. To disprove this grave dishonor, Harry dons an Arabian disguise and leaves for the Sudan, where he anonymously comes to the aid of his three friends, saving each of their lives. Having proven his bravery, Harry returns to England, hoping to regain the love and respect of his fiancée. This suspenseful tale movingly depicts a distinctive code of honor that was deeply valued and strongly promoted by the British during the height of their imperial power. Harry’s heroic attempts at redemption offer listeners a glimpse into a vivid array of human emotions.
Summary: Written in 1831, Washington Irving’s dreamlike description of the Alhambra,....+
Written in 1831, Washington Irving’s dreamlike description of the Alhambra, the beautiful Moorish castle that defined the height of Moorish civilization, and of the surrounding territory of Granada remains one of the most romantic and entertaining travelogues ever written of this region in Spain.
Enhanced here with exquisite Spanish guitar music, the narrative is a heady mix of historical fact, medieval myth and mystery, sensual descriptions, and an appreciation for a civilization that valued beauty, philosophy, literature, science, and the arts on an equal level with warrior skills. Secret chambers, desperate battles, imprisoned princesses, palace ghosts, and fragrant gardens, described in a wistful and dreamlike eloquence, will transport listeners to a paradise of their own.
Summary: Hardy’s harrowing novel of seduction and abandonment introduced his most....+
Hardy’s harrowing novel of seduction and abandonment introduced his most memorable tragic heroine, Tess, whose vivid, breathing life was remarkable even for the author: “I have not been able to put on paper all that she is, or was, to me.”
On her morning journey to earn money for her impoverished family, Tess’s horse has an accident, forcing to go to some newly-rich relatives to seek assistance. There, she is vigorously pursued by Alec, who corners her in a field one night and takes advantage of her. After bearing a child who quickly dies, Tess meets and falls is love with Angel, a minister’s son who is infatuated with the image of Tess as the pure country maid. But when he learns the truth of her past, he shuns his new bride and leaves Tess once again to fend for herself in a world where she is only valued for her uses to others.
Summary: Blackstone Audio presents a new recording of this classic masterpiece, originally....+
Blackstone Audio presents a new recording of this classic masterpiece, originally published in 1320, read by award-winning narrator Ralph Cosham. No words can describe the greatness of this work, a greatness both of theme and of artistry. Dante’s theme is universal; it involves the greatest concepts that man has ever attained. Only a genius could have found the loftiness of tone and the splendor and variety of images that are presented in The Divine Comedy. The story is an allegory representing the soul’s journey from spiritual depths to spiritual heights. As mankind exposes itself, by its merits or demerits, to the rewards or the punishments of justice, it experiences “Inferno” or hell, “Purgatorio” or purgatory, and “Paradiso” or heaven, a vision of a world of beauty, light, and song. Dante’s arduous journey through the circles of hell make for an incredibly moving human drama, and a single listen will reveal the power of Dante’s imagination to make the spiritual visible.
In this edition, “Inferno” is translated by John Aitken Carlyle, “Purgatorio,” by Thomas Okey, and “Paradiso” by Philip H. Wicksteed.
Summary: Kimball O’Hara is an Irish orphan, but he runs free in the streets of India.....+
Kimball O’Hara is an Irish orphan, but he runs free in the streets of India. As a boy, he shows self-reliance and resourcefulness, running errands for Mahbub Ali, who works for the British Secret Service. Kim also meets a Tibetan lama who is on a quest to be freed from the Wheel of Life and becomes his disciple. Together they have wonderful adventures on the exotically colorful Grand Trunk Road through the Indian countryside. Then Kim is pulled into the great game of British imperial espionage and becomes a member of the Secret Service, even capturing documents from the enemy spies. Yet Kim is greatly attached to the lama and begins to feel the conflicting pulls between a life of contemplation and one of action.
Kiplilng’s love for India and its people is evidient throughout this classic story, and its images and characters will stay with you long after you finish the final chapter.
Summary: A masterpiece of satire, this classic has entertained and enlightened readers....+
A masterpiece of satire, this classic has entertained and enlightened readers the world over with its sly and ironic portrayal of human life and foibles from the vantage point of Screwtape, a highly placed assistant to “Our Father Below.” At once wildly comic, deadly serious, and strikingly original, C. S. Lewis gives us the correspondence of the worldly-wise old devil to his nephew Wormwood, a novice demon in charge of securing the damnation of an ordinary young man.
Summary: A continuation of The Jungle Book, these further adventures of Mowgli the man-cub....+
A continuation of The Jungle Book, these further adventures of Mowgli the man-cub and his animal companions are sure to delight listeners of all ages. Vibrant and crackling with intensity, these stories present Akela the wolf; Baloo the brown bear; Shere Khan, the boastful Bengal tiger who is Mowgli’s enemy; Kaa the python; Bagheera the black panther; and Rikki-tikki-tavi the mongoose, among others. Kipling vividly describes the jungle world and its peculiar animals, richly evoking an Edenic environment. As Mowgli learns the Law of the Jungle among the animals, he matures into self-sufficiency and wisdom.
Summary: In the rich turbulence of English history, one day stands magnificently apart:....+
In the rich turbulence of English history, one day stands magnificently apart: June 15, 1215, the day of the signing of the Magna Charta. On this day, the first blow for English freedom was struck and forever affected the Western world. Here is the story of three true men--Stephen Langton, William Marshall, and Hubert de Burgh--whose heroic deeds prevailed against the ever deceitful and crafty King John. The freedom and self-rule established by the Magna Charta set a precedent for other movements ever since, from the Declaration of Independence to the United Nations Charter. Newbery Award-winning author James Daugherty gives us the dramatic and sweeping account of this pageantry of history through his inimitable style. This audio edition is sure to thrill and enlighten a new generation of readers.
Summary: One of the most beloved novels of our time, Watership Down is an epic journey,....+
One of the most beloved novels of our time, Watership Down is an epic journey, a stirring tale of adventure, courage, and survival. Fiver could sense danger. Something terrible was going to happen to the warren; he felt sure of it. They had to leave immediately. So begins a long and perilous journey of survival for a small band of rabbits. As the rabbits skirt danger at every turn, we become acquainted with the band, its humorous characters, and its compelling culture, complete with its own folk history and mythos. Fiver's vision finally leads them to Watership Down, an upland meadow. But here they face their most difficult challenges of all. Watership Down has become a beloved classic for all ages. Both an exciting adventure story and an involving allegory about freedom, ethics, and human nature, it has delighted generations with its unique and charming world, winning many awards and being adapted to film, television, and theater.
Summary: From its first publication in 1877, Black Beauty has been one of the best-loved....+
From its first publication in 1877, Black Beauty has been one of the best-loved animal stories ever written. The dramatic and heartwarming tale is told by the magnificent black horse himself, from his idyllic days on a country squire’s estate to his harsh fate as a London cab horse and his merciful rescue by two kindly old ladies. Filled with vivid anecdotes about animal intelligence, the novel derives a special magic from the love of all creatures, great and small, apparent on every page. But the book’s lasting impact comes from its descriptions of a human society struggling to find the goodness within itself and its plea for kindness to all creatures--a message so powerful that this favorite classic began a crusade for animal welfare that continues to this day.
Summary: George Orwell's classic satire of the Russian Revolution has become an intimate....+
George Orwell's classic satire of the Russian Revolution has become an intimate part of our contemporary culture, with its treatment of democratic, fascist, and socialist ideals through an animal fable. When the animals of Mr. Jones's Manor Farm revolt against their human rulers, they establish the democratic Animal Farm under the credo, “All Animals Are Created Equal.” Out of their cleverness, the pigs, Napoleon, Squealer, and Snowball, emerge as leaders of the new community. In a development of insidious familiarity, the pigs begin to assume ever greater amounts of power, while other animals, especially the faithful horse Boxer, assume more of the work. The climax of the story is the brutal betrayal of Boxer, when totalitarian rule is reestablished with the bloodstained postscript to the founding slogan: “But Some Animals Are More Equal than Others.”