Pride and Prejudice is a novel by Jane Austen, first published in 1813. The story follows the main character Elizabeth Bennet as she deals with issues of manners, upbringing, morality, education and marriage in the society of the landed gentry of early 19th-century England. Elizabeth is the second of five daughters of a country gentleman, living near the fictional town of Meryton in Hertfordshire, near London.
In this reading, Volunteers lend their voices to dramatize Jane Austen's classic and well-loved novel.
This classic tale by Lewis Carroll has delighted children for generations. Alice falls down a rabbit hole and encounters a wide variety of strange and wonderful creatures in all manner of bizarre situations. Join Alice as she journeys through Wonderland, trying to make sense of what she finds there. This version is read dramatically, with different readers voicing the different characters.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
A collection of short Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Dedicated to Beth Thomas
Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft
Mary Shelley's 1818 novel presents the Faustian story of a man who aspires to create life out of death, with disastrous results. The novel is constructed as a series of first-person narratives, delivered by Captain Robert Walton, Victor Frankenstein, and his Creature, which makes it perfect for a dramatic reading.
Bram Stoker did not invent the vampire story, but he popularized it with his classic 1897 novel. In form Dracula is an epistolary novel, told through a series of journal entries, letters, newspaper articles, and telegrams. It begins with lawyer Jonathan Harker's perilous journey to Castle Dracula in Transylvania, and chronicles the vampire's invasion of England, where he preys upon the lovely Lucy Westenra and Harker's fiancee, Mina. Harker and Mina join forces with lunatic asylum proprieter Dr. Seward, Lucy's fiance Arthur Holmwood, Texas man of action Quincey Morris, and Dutch vampire hunter Dr. Van Helsing to try and defeat their powerful adversary.
The novel tells of a young man named Dorian Gray, the subject of a painting by artist Basil Hallward. Basil is impressed by Dorian's beauty and becomes infatuated with him, believing his beauty is responsible for a new mode in his art. Dorian meets Lord Henry Wotton, a friend of Basil's, and becomes enthralled by Lord Henry's world view. Espousing a new hedonism, Lord Henry suggests the only things worth pursuing in life are beauty and fulfillment of the senses. Realizing that one day his beauty will fade, Dorian expresses his desire to sell his soul to ensure the portrait Basil has painted would age rather than himself. Dorian's wish is fulfilled, plunging him into debauched acts. The portrait serves as a reminder of the effect each act has upon his soul, with each sin displayed as a disfigurement of his form, or through a sign of aging. This reading uses the 20-chapter 1891 version of Wilde's novel.
The story tells of the inner turmoil of Rodion Raskolnikov, a student in St. Petersburg who commits murder. His psychological and moral agitation is furthered and complicated by his family's arrival in St. Petersburg, his sister's engagement to a manipulative and unworthy man, and his encounters with the impoverished and troubled Marmeladov family.
Primarily of the bildungsroman genre, Jane Eyre follows the emotions and experiences of eponymous Jane Eyre, her growth to adulthood, and her love for Mr. Rochester, the byronic master of Thornfield Hall.
More than eight years before the novel opens, Anne Elliot, then a lovely, thoughtful, warm-hearted 19 year old, accepted a proposal of marriage from the handsome young naval officer Frederick Wentworth. He was clever, confident, and ambitious, but poor and with no particular family connections to recommend him. Sir Walter, Anne's fatuous, snobbish father and her equally self-involved older sister Elizabeth were dissatisfied with her choice, maintaining that he was no match for an Elliot of Kellynch Hall, the family estate. Her older friend and mentor, Lady Russell, acting in place of Anne's late mother, persuaded her to break the engagement. Now 27 and still unmarried, Anne re-encounters her former love when his sister and brother-in-law, the Crofts, take out a lease on Kellynch. Wentworth is now a captain and wealthy from maritime victories in the Napoleonic wars. However, he has not forgiven Anne for rejecting him. While publicly declaring that he is ready to marry any suitable young woman who catches his fancy, he privately resolves that he is ready to become attached to any appealing young woman except for Anne Elliot.
In order to escape his cruel father, and led by a thirst for adventure, Huck Finn sets off down the Mississippi River with Jim, an escaped slave. But trouble is never far behind them, and their adventures are only beginning when they meet up with two men who claim to be a duke and a king! And that’s before Jim gets captured by none other than Tom Sawyer’s aunt and uncle… who mistake Huck for Tom. The hilarious adventures and scrapes of Huck, Jim, Tom, and others are brought to life in this dramatic reading.
Montgomery, Lucy Maud
Red-haired Anne Shirley, the orphan girl mistakenly sent to live with Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, has been one of the world's most beloved characters since the publication of Anne of Green Gables in 1908. In this dramatic reading, readers tell the story of Anne's adventures as she grows up on Prince Edward Island.
Alcott, Louisa May
Louisa May Alcott's beloved 1868 novel is about the four March girls - Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy - who are growing up in Massachusetts during the Civil War. As the novel opens, their father is away at war, and the girls are struggling to be good and to reconcile themselves to their relative poverty. Each has her trials to deal with, and they are encouraged by their loving mother, and by their friendship with their neighbor, Theodore "Laurie" Laurence.
Baum, L. Frank
The timeless story of the Wizard Of Oz. Follow Dorothy as she leaves Kansas for Oz on a cyclone. She meets many strange, and wonderful people and creatures along the way. Enjoy it again with your children and family.
A Christmas Carol is a novella by English author Charles Dickens first published by Chapman and Hall on 17 December 1843. The story tells of sour and stingy Ebenezer Scrooge's ideological, ethical, and emotional transformation after the supernatural visitations of Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present, and Yet to Come.
The Grand Inquisitor is a parable told by Ivan to Alyosha in Fyodor Dostoevsky's novel The Brothers Karamazov (1879–1880). Ivan and Alyosha are brothers; Ivan questions the possibility of a personal, benevolent God and Alyosha is a novice monk. The Grand Inquisitor is an important part of the novel and one of the best-known passages in modern literature because of its ideas about human nature and freedom, and because of its fundamental ambiguity. In the tale, Christ comes back to earth in Seville at the time of the Inquisition. He performs a number of miracles (echoing miracles from the Gospels). The people recognize him and adore him, but he is arrested by Inquisition leaders and sentenced to be burnt to death the next day. The Grand Inquisitor visits him in his cell to tell him that the Church no longer needs him. The main portion of the text is the Inquisitor explaining to Jesus why his return would interfere with the mission of the church.
The story is about Elinor and Marianne, two daughters of Mr Dashwood by his second wife. They have a younger sister, Margaret, and an older half-brother named John. When their father dies, the family estate passes to John, and the Dashwood women are left in reduced circumstances. The novel follows the Dashwood sisters to their new home, a cottage on a distant relative's property, where they experience both romance and heartbreak. The contrast between the sisters' characters is eventually resolved as they each find love and lasting happiness. Through the events in the novel, Elinor and Marianne encounter the sense and sensibility of life and love. In this dramatic reading, Volunteers lend their voices to bring Jane Austen's classic story to life.
Burnett, Frances Hodgson
Frances Hodgson Burnett's classic children's novel is about orphaned Mary Lennox, who is sent to live with her uncle at Misslethwaite Manor in Yorkshire. Initially a sour, bad-tempered child, Mary begins to bloom under the influence of nature when she discovers a long-abandoned garden on the grounds of her uncle's estate. Burnett's novel is brought to life by Volunteers who lend their voices to her characters.
Doyle, Arthur Conan, Sir
The Sign of the Four, the second of four novels featuring Sherlock Holmes, has a complex plot involving India, a stolen treasure, and a secret pact among four convicts and two corrupt prison guards. Some of Holmes's less savory habits are revealed, and Dr. Watson finds romance. In this dramatic reading, Volunteers bring Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's classic characters to life.
Vonnegut, Kurt Jr.
Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. was a prolific and genre-bending American novelist known for works blending satire, black comedy, and science fiction, such as Slaughterhouse-Five, Cat's Cradle, and Breakfast of Champions. 2 B R 0 2 B is a satiric short story that imagines life (and death) in a future world where aging has been "cured" and population control is mandated and administered by the government.
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.
Orczy, Emmuska, Baroness
Baroness Emma ("Emmuska") Orczy (September 23, 1865 – November 12, 1947) was a British novelist, playwright and artist of Hungarian origin. She was most notable for her series of novels featuring the Scarlet Pimpernel. Some of her paintings were exhibited at the Royal Academy in London.
"Heidi" takes us on a journey to the eventful childhood of a good-hearted girl from the Swiss Alps. A warm and loving story, full of touching moments, it reaches children and adults alike. It was written in 1880 and published in two parts:
1. Heidi's years of learning and travel.
2. Heidi makes use of what she has learned.
This English translation from 1915 has "an especial flavor, that very quality of delight in mountain scenes, in mountain people and in child life generally, which is one of the chief merits of the German original. The phrasing has also been carefully adapted to the purpose of reading aloud"
John Dolittle, M. D., was once a famous doctor. But then he learned to talk Animal-Language, picked up several interesting pets, and gradually began to lose his patients. Finally the only patient who remains, the Cat's-Meat-Man, makes a suggestion - why doesn't he give up treating people and become an animal doctor?
And so Dr. Dolittle becomes an animal doctor, and life seems to be going well. But with the addition of an escaped crocodile to his store of pets, even the animals stop coming to see him. What to do?
Children of all ages - and adults too - will enjoy the story of the good Doctor and his animals as he travels to Africa and back, braves shipwrecks and pirates, escapes from prison, and tries to reunite a little boy with his kidnapped uncle, all with the help of his charming animal friends.
Jacobs, W. W.
The Monkey's Paw is a classic "three wishes" story that doubles as a horror story and a cautionary tale; reminding us that unintended consequences often accompany the best intentions. This widely read story is a favorite in classrooms around the world. The story was first published in 1902 and then featured in The Lady of the Barge, published in 1911.
Louisa May Alcott
Jo March's dreams of opening a home for boys comes true as she finds herself the mistress of Plumfield, a boarding school for children -- who have all stumbled in from various backgrounds. When new students arrive at her doorstep, they bring their own sets of troubles with them, such as dishonesty, disobedience, and naughty shenanigans. However, Mrs. Jo, alongside her steady husband, Fritz, uniquely guides each child along to the path to adulthood, inspiring him to become the best he can be. Likewise, though the couple is faced with frequent heartache and even unexpected tragedy, their children never cease to amaze them and fill their home with joy.
Doyle, Arthur Conan, Sir
The Hound of the Baskervilles is the third of four crime novels by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle featuring the detective Sherlock Holmes. Originally serialised in The Strand Magazine from August 1901 to April 1902, it is set largely on Dartmoor in Devon in England's West Country and tells the story of an attempted murder inspired by the legend of a fearsome, diabolical hound.
The story of a Princess named Irene, and her adventure with a boy named Curdie Peterson. Princess Irene meets her grandmother, and Irene wants her nurse, Lootie, to know that her grandmother is so sweet and kind. But Lootie doesn't believe there is a grandmother. One day, while it was getting very late outdoors, Lootie and the Princess loose their way, and cannot remember which way was back home. But then Curdie, the merry miner-boy, want's to save the princess from the evil goblins, and so he makes sure that they cannot get to her. The Princess then wants Curdie to meet her grandmother, but somehow, Curdie cannot see Irene's grandmother, and so he becomes angry with Irene. Much later in the story, the goblins devise an evil plan, to try and merry their prince Harelip to the Princess Irene! And now Curdie knows he must save Irene, even though he was angry with her. So after talking with his parents, Curdie goes out to save the Princess Irene from the horrible goblins. But does Curdie save the Princess? And do the goblins marry their prince Harelip to the Princess Irene? This fascinating story will tell it itself in this wonderful dramatic reading!
"1601," wrote Mark Twain, "is a supposititious conversation which takes place in Queen Elizabeth's closet in that year, between the Queen, Ben Jonson, Beaumont, Sir Walter Raleigh, the Duchess of Bilgewater, and one or two others ... If there is a decent word findable in it, it is because I overlooked it." 1601 depicts a highfalutin and earthy discussion between the Queen and her court about farting and a variety of sexual peccadillos, narrated disapprovingly and sanctimoniously by the Queen's Cup-Bearer, an eyewitness at "the Social Fireside."
Baum, L. Frank
Ozma of Oz was the third title in the Oz series by L. Frank Baum. In this book Dorothy is shipwrecked and lands on the shores of a fairy country that adjoins Oz, the land of Ev. There she meets Tiktok, a wind-up mechanical man; a talking chicken, Billina; and Ozma, the girl ruler of Oz who is leading a quest to rescue the royal family of Ev from their captivity by the Nome King. Dorothy is also reunited with her old friends, the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, and the Cowardly Lion. Together the adventurers travel to the Nome King’s underground kingdom and have many exciting adventures before returning to Oz, and for Dorothy, eventual return to her family in the “civilized” world.
Venus and Adonis is Shakespeare's narrative poem about the love of the goddess Venus for the mortal youth Adonis, dedicated partly to his patron, the Earl of Southampton (thought by some to be the beautiful youth to which many of the Sonnets are addressed). The poem recounts Venus' attempts to woo Adonis, their passionate coupling, and Adonis' rejection of the goddess, to which she responds with jealousy, with tragic results. This recording features three different readers performing the narration, Venus, and Adonis.
Milne, A. A.
This version of the book is done as a Dramatic Reading with various people speaking each characters part.
When the King of Barodia receives a pair of seven-league boots as a birthday present, his habit of flying over the King of Euralia's castle during breakfast provokes a series of incidents which escalate into war. While the King of Euralia is away, his daughter Hyacinth tries to rule in his stead and counter the machiavellian ambitions of the king's favourite, the Countess Belvane. Ostensibly a typical fairytale, it tells the story of the war between the kingdoms of Euralia and Barodia and the political shenanigans which take place in Euralia in the king's absence. The book introduces us to a princess who is far from helpless; a prince who, whilst handsome, is also pompous and vain; an enchantment which is almost entirely humorous; a villain who is not entirely villainous and receives no real comeuppance; a good king who isn't always good; an evil king who isn't always evil, and so on. The result is a book which children may not enjoy as much as adults. The book was written by Milne partly for his wife, upon whom the character of the Countess Belvane was partially based.
An Apology for the Life of Mrs. Shamela Andrews, or simply Shamela, as it is more commonly known, is a satirical novel written by Henry Fielding and first published in April 1741 under the name of Mr. Conny Keyber. Fielding never owned to writing the work, but it is widely considered to be his. It is a direct attack on the then-popular novel Pamela (November 1740) by Fielding's contemporary and rival Samuel Richardson and is composed, like Pamela, in epistolary form. Shamela is written as a shocking revelation of the true events which took place in the life of Pamela Andrews, the main heroine of Pamela. From Shamela we learn that, instead of being a kind, humble, and chaste servant-girl, Pamela (whose true name turns out to be Shamela) is in fact a wicked and lascivious creature, scheming to entrap her master, Squire Booby, into marriage.
This book talks about teaching, learning and performing on the piano in a delightful style, alternating between conversation and instruction. As he was the father of Clara Schumann and Robert Schumann's teacher, need I say more?
Baum, L. Frank
The Scarecrow of Oz is the ninth book set in the Land of Oz written by L. Frank Baum. Published on July 16, 1915, it was Baum's personal favorite of the Oz books and tells of Cap'n Bill and Trot journeying to Oz and, with the help of the Scarecrow, overthrowing the cruel King Krewl of Jinxland.
Burgess, Thornton W.
Join us as we follow Jerry Muskrat and his friends on an adventure to discover what is threatening their homeland, Laughing Brook and Smiling Pool.
Bangs, John Kendrick
"It was before the Idiot's marriage, and in the days when he was nothing more than a plain boarder in Mrs. Smithers-Pedagog's High-class Home for Single Gentlemen, that he put what the School-master termed his "alleged mind" on plans for the amelioration of the condition of the civilized." This humorous story by the editor of Puck magazine describes how the Idiot sets out to improve the lot of civilized man through his inventions - the lot of barbarian man already being well tended to by missionaries and other do-gooders.
Clarence and Emmeline Mumford are in for a real treat when they take in the young, outspoken Miss Louise Derrick as their guest. Shedding a light on class struggles in the Victorian era, The Paying Guest offers a look at just what "proper society" expects.
Robert Louis Stevenson
When a rough old seaman calling himself "the Captain" appears at the inn owned by Jim Hawkins' father, young Jim little dreams what adventures will follow in the man's wake. Soon, the once-peaceful inn is threatened by pirates, Jim's father is laid in his grave, and Jim finds himself in possession of a map showing the location of treasure buried by the legendary and notorious Captain Flint. Along with a group of brave men: the sensible Dr. Livesey, the fearless and unflagging Captain Smollett, and the blustering but well-meaning Squire Trelawney, Jim sets out in quest of the treasure. Many perils, from wild animals to murderous villains to stormy seas will beset him on the way. And ever in the background, smiling and enigmatic, lurks the one-legged ship's cook, Long John Silver. One of the best-loved adventure stories of all time, Treasure Island is a pirate classic that delights readers today as much as when Stevenson first wrote it.
Growing up on the banks of the Mississippi river, a mischievous boy named Tom Sawyer spends his days getting into one scrape after another. Tom's constant cleverness, superstition, trickery, and daring make him a handful to raise, and his Aunt Polly declares that she has "never seen the beat of that boy!" Tom is essentially good-hearted, however, but when he is witness to a horrible crime, his courage and integrity are tested beyond anything he ever expected. A note to parents: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is considered a children's classic, but contains racial slurs which, although "acceptable" in the time and place of the story's setting, will likely offend modern listeners.
The story centers on the all-encompassing, passionate, but ultimately doomed love between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff, and how this unresolved passion eventually destroys them and the people around them. There are differing opinions on whether this is the ultimate love story or the ultimate story of revenge.
J. M. Barrie
"All children, except one, grow up,” begins J. M. Barrie's most famous novel. Barrie then proceeds to tell the story of that one extraordinary exception, Peter Pan, who lives in the Neverland with pirates and fairies and is always having adventures. One night he appears in the nursery of the Darling children and the most marvelous adventure of all begins. Light-hearted though it seems in premise, Peter Pan is a sweet but melancholy tribute to the fleeting innocence of childhood that has endured as a beloved favorite of children and adults alike ever since its first publication.
Emma is a novel about youthful hubris and the perils of misconstrued romance....As in her other novels, Austen explores the concerns and difficulties of genteel women living in Georgian-Regency England; she also creates a lively comedy of manners among her characters. Before she began the novel, Austen wrote, "I am going to take a heroine whom no one but myself will much like." In the very first sentence she introduces the title character as "Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich." Emma, however, is also rather spoiled, headstrong, and self-satisfied; she greatly overestimates her own matchmaking abilities; she is blind to the dangers of meddling in other people's lives, and her imagination and perceptions often lead her astray.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Arthur Conan Doyle’s novel A Study in Scarlet marked the first appearance of fictional private detective Sherlock Holmes and his assistant, Dr. Watson. Doyle wrote this novel in less than three weeks when he was 27 years old. Originally called A Tangled Skein, the novel was rejected by several publishers before it was accepted for publication as A Study in Scarlet in the November 1887 issue of Beeton’s Christmas Annual, an obscure British magazine remembered for little other than its inauguration of Sherlock Holmes. The novel was first published as a book the following year, but it was not until Doyle’s publication of the Sherlock Holmes short story “A Scandal in Bohemia” in The Strand Magazine in 1891 that the character of Sherlock Holmes received widespread acclaim. Since then, A Study in Scarlet has been published in many editions both in English and in translation, and allusions to the novel have frequently appeared in the works of other authors. A Study in Scarlet has occasionally generated controversy relating to the negative depiction of early Mormons in the chapters that take place in Utah. When visiting Utah for the first time in 1923, Doyle was asked to apologize for this depiction, but he defended the relevant content in the novel as historical. Like other installments in the Sherlock Holmes franchise, A Study in Scarlet has been adapted many times for a variety of media, including comics, radio, television, film, and the stage. The first two film adaptations, one British and one American, were released in 1914 and both are now considered lost films; in 2010, the British Film Institute named the British film one of the 75 most wanted films for their National Archive. The novel’s enduring legacy is also discernable in the widespread use of magnifying glasses in detective fiction, a trope initiated by A Study in Scarlet.
King James Version (KJV)
Hear the stories of the Old Testament brought to life in this Dramatised Reading of selections from the King James Version. Feel the sweep of Bible history through the stories of key people: Adam and Eve, Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Gideon, Samson, Saul, David, Solomon, Elijah, Elisha, Jonah and Daniel. A full cast recording by Volunteers brings to life the people of the Old Testament from Aaron to Zipporah!
In London, 1872, a rich English gentlemen named Mr. Phileas Fogg argues with the members in the Reform Club, and takes on a journey around the world in 80 days with his new servant, Passapartout, with accepting a wager.
Sequel to Alice in Wonderland, this volume sees Alice travel through a mirror to a dream-world where she meets chess pieces and other curious characters.
Northanger Abbey follows seventeen-year-old Gothic novel aficionado Catherine Morland and family friends Mr. and Mrs. Allen as they visit Bath. It is Catherine's first visit there. She meets new friends, such as Isabella Thorpe, and goes to balls. Catherine finds herself pursued by Isabella's brother, the rough-mannered, slovenly John Thorpe, and by her real love interest, Henry Tilney. She also becomes friends with Eleanor Tilney, Henry's younger sister. Henry captivates her with his view on novels and his knowledge of history and the world. General Tilney (Henry and Eleanor's father) invites Catherine to visit their estate, Northanger Abbey, which, from her reading of Ann Radcliffe's Gothic novel The Mysteries of Udolpho, she expects to be dark, ancient and full of Gothic horrors and fantastical mystery.
The Just So Stories generally have the theme of a particular animal being altered from an original form to its current form by the acts of human kind or some magical being. Whale has a tiny throat because he swallowed a mariner, who tied a raft inside to block the whale from swallowing other men. The Camel has a hump given to him by a djinn as punishment for the camel's refusing to work (the hump allows the camel to work longer between times of eating). And so on throughout the book. A fun collection of stories with something for everyone.
Charles Dickens' 1854 novel opens with the philosophy of education espoused by the eminently practical Mr. Gradgrind, who prizes "facts and calculations." He raises his children, most prominently Louisa and Tom, to eschew imagination and emotion and embrace order and reason. The results are disastrous: Louisa marries out of duty to the supposed self-made man Mr. Bounderby, while Tom grows up dissolute, ultimately commits theft and blames it on an unfortunate laborer, Stephen Blackpool. Set in the fictional Coketown, a mill town in the north of England, Dickens' novel satirizes capitalism, social mobility, class stratification, and Utilitarianism. This dramatic reading of the novel features a full cast of Volunteers, who lend their voices to Dickens' vibrant comic characters.
Mansfield Park is Jane Austen's 1814 novel focusing on Fanny Price, the daughter of a poor Portsmouth family, who is taken to live with her aunt and uncle Bertram's family on their estate at the age of ten. Surrounded by her wealthy and privileged cousins, and continually reminded of her lower status by her bullying Aunt Norris, Fanny grows up timid and shy, but with a strong sense of ethics, partly instilled by her kindly cousin Edmund. Fanny's gratitude and friendship for Edmund gradually grow into love, but the introduction of Mary and Henry Crawford, a captivating sister and brother, into the neighborhood of Mansfield Park, confuses and complicates the affections of the Bertram household. In this recording, Volunteers lend their voices to the colorful cast of characters in Austen's classic novel.
This book tells of a girl named Alice falling through a rabbit hole into a fantasy world populated by peculiar, anthropomorphic creatures.