In this irresistibly imagined belowstairs answer to Pride and Prejudice, the servants take center stage. Sarah, the orphaned housemaid, spends her days scrubbing the laundry, polishing the floors, and emptying the chamber pots for the Bennet household. But there is just as much romance, heartbreak, and intrigue downstairs at Longbourn as there is upstairs. When a mysterious new footman arrives, the orderly realm of the servants’ hall threatens to be completely, perhaps irrevocably, upended.
"Extraordinary book (even w/o Pride & Prejudice)"
This widely studied play is one of the "best sellers" of the Shakespeare canon. This production is the sixth Shakespeare play in the series undertaken by Naxos AudioBooks in conjunction with Cambridge University Press.
"Great Performances - Classy Production"
Set in 1960's London, Funny Girl is a lively account of the adventures of the intrepid young Sophie Straw as she navigates her transformation from provincial ingnue to television starlet amid a constellation of delightful characters. Insightful and humorous, Nick Hornby's latest does what he does best: endears us to a cast of characters who are funny if flawed, and forces us to examine ourselves in the process.
"Wish I had a 2.5 star option"
The young king of Navarre and three of his courtiers have vowed to lock themselves away for three years of study and fasting, and to forswear the company of women for this period. No sooner is their vow made than it is tested, however, as the princess of France and three of her ladies arrive in Navarre on a diplomatic mission. The young men fall instantly and hopelessly in love, and the tension between their vow and their passion forms the subject of this charming and sparkling early comedy.
"Cast list? Scene breaks?"
Stephen Fry narrates this full-cast dramatisation of the famous Victorian comic novel, a portrait of English society and its mores, with Emma Fielding as Becky Sharp. Duration: 5 hours approx.
Oscar Wilde's first play confronts the hypocrisy of public "morality" compared with genuine, private kindness. The reasons for its continued popularity are not difficult to identify: the play's witty dialogue contains many of Wilde's most quoted aphorisms, its stylish setting provides opportunities for elegant presentation, and its cast of memorable characters play out a story which is genuinely moving. This new audio production brings together a full cast worthy of Wilde's creative genius.
Fanny Hill, one of the most popular novels of the 18th century, traces the rise of its heroine from prostitution to middle-class respectability. Condemned in its own time on grounds of indecency, the book was the subject of several law suits until as recently as the 1960s. For today's listener, the work holds as much fascination as when it was first published, not only as the foremost example of English erotic fiction, but as a literary classic in its own right.
"A classic, and still exciting"
In a nationwide poll conducted by BBC Television's Bookworm to find the nation's favourite poem, Rudyard Kipling's "If" was voted number one. This compilation brings together over 40 poems from the poll, including the top 10, all stirringly read by John Nettles, Siobhàn Redmond, Greg Wise, and Emma Fielding.
"Love the poems from my school days and beyond!"
Nearly 100 of the most popular and loved poems in the English language, this collection is one of the most comprehensive anthologies of its kind available. It covers a remarkable range, from the striking vision of Blake and Shelley and the insights of Keats to lighter but equally memorable verse by Tennyson, Donne, and Edward Lear.
Sarah Thornhill is the youngest child of William Thornhill, convict-turned-landowner on the Hawkesbury River. Her stepmother calls her wilful, but handsome Jack Langland loves her and she loves him. 'Me and Jack', she thinks. 'How could it go wrong?' But there's an ugly secret in Sarah's family. That secret takes her into the darkness of the past, and across the ocean to the wild coasts of New Zealand.
"Absorbing, first-rate historical novel"
Released in our new Young Adult Classics format, Henry James's classic ghost story is a masterpiece of the supernatural. The tale is taken from the diary of a governess, who describes her mounting sense of paranoia at the relationship between her two wards and the ghostly figures that haunt the estate.
Penguin presents the unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of Funny Girl, the new novel by bestselling author Nick Hornby, read by Emma Fielding. Funny Girl is the story of a popular 1960s tv comedy series. The writers, Tony and Bill, comedy obsessives, who each harbour a secret. The Oxbridge-educated director, Dennis, who loves his job but hates his marriage. The male star Clive, who feels he's destined for better things.
"An ok entertainment"
'Young Adult Classics' is a new series from Naxos AudioBooks which aims to bring key works of literature to a young audience in abridged form. Lively, accessible readings with music is the key. Jane Eyre is the tale of a young governess who becomes entangled with the powerful Mr Rochester, finding mystery and uneasiness in his house.
Here is Linda Marshall’s BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation of L Frank Baum's children's classic The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, originally broadcast as part of the BBC Christmas 2009 season.... When a tornado strikes her farmhouse in Kansas, young Dorothy and her dog, Toto, are lifted to the magical Land of Oz, the strange home of the Munchkins. There she embarks upon a perilous journey to find the wonderful Wizard of Oz and a way back home.
BBC Radio has a unique heritage when it comes to Shakespeare. Since 1923, when the newly formed company broadcast its first full-length play, generations of actors and producers have honed and perfected the craft of making Shakespeare to be heard.
"Brush Up Your Shakespeare!"
This is perhaps one of the best-loved of all journals. William Wordsworth's sister, Dorothy, began it in May 1800 and resolved to keep it for a short time. She continued it for nearly three years. In it, she brought the Dove Cottage years to vivid and intimate life. She noted the walks and weather, the friends, country neighbours, and travellers on the roads. She set down accounts of the garden, of Wordsworth's marriage, their concern for Coleridge, and the composition of Wordsworth's poetry.
The surprise hit of the year, Allison Pearson's debut novel is garnering critical and fan raves. Publishers Weekly calls I Don't Know How She Does It "delightfully fast moving...with dozens of laugh-aloud moments and many tenderly touching ones," and Booklist applauds this "compelling manifesto on the plight of working mothers that manages to be both angry and funny."
"I Don't Know How She Does It"
When Princess Diana died in Paris's Alma tunnel, she was 37 years old. Had she lived, she would turn 50 on July 1, 2011. Who would the beloved icon be if she were alive today? What would she be doing? And where? One of the most versatile and bold writers of our time, Monica Ali has imagined a different fate for Diana in her spectacular new novel, Untold Story.
"Great Premise, So-So Book"
Liz Carlyle, a smart, impassioned MI5 intelligence officer, has always been particularly skilled at "assessing people", and she trusts her instinct that a terrorist cell is at work at an Islamic bookshop. But when her boss, Charles Wetherby, suddenly takes her off the case, she's shocked to hear why: Wetherby has received a tip-off that a mole has been planted in one of the branches of British Intelligence.
The Liar's Chair is Rebecca Whitney's stunning psychological thriller debut set in Brighton. Rachel Teller and her husband, David, appear happy, prosperous and fulfilled. The big house, the successful business... They have everything. However, control, not love, fuels their relationship, and David has no idea his wife indulges in drunken indiscretions. When Rachel kills a man in a hit-and-run, the meticulously maintained veneer over their life begins to crack.
"Scattered story. Disappointing ending."