Poetry is often cited as our greatest use of words. The English language has well over a million of them and poets down the ages seem, at times, to make use of every single one. But often they use them in simple ways to describe anything and everything from landscapes to all aspects of the human condition. Poems can evoke within us an individual response that takes us by surprise; that opens our ears and eyes to very personal feelings.
Edith Nesbit is more famously known as a writer of children’s stories such as The Railway Children. But in this volume we explore her short stories of the macabre and ghostly sort. Thought of as the first modern writer for children she also wrote for adults producing over 50 books in total as well as collections of poetry which we shall explore in a separate volume. These stories are brought to your ears in eerie detail by Ghizela Rowe and Richard Mitchley.
"Scared my 11 year old"
I should be whispering this because Halloween is almost upon us. A time of Witches, Ghouls and Hauntings and all kinds of scary things that come out the evening before All Saints Day to wreak havoc... I'm glad you're listening so let us begin.
All's Well That Ends Well is set mainly in France and at the court of the King in Paris. Helena, the daughter of a talented and reputable doctor, goes to attend to the king who is severely ill. She successfully cures him, and in return, he offers her the hand of any man of her choosing. She asks for Count Bertrand, whom she has always loved. But he is appalled by the match, as she is lowly born. Helena is as resourceful as she is beautiful and contrives to make a good husband of Bertrand.
The Tempest has the ingredients of a cracking good story - magic, power, and love - and they kick up a storm. The magician Prospero and his daughter, Miranda, are banished by his jealous brother, Antonio, with the help of Alonso, the king of Naples. Prospero conjures up a tempest than ensures justice is done.
"A brief and clear summary"
Othello is principally a story of jealousy and its destructive power.
Othello is a courageous general in Venice and - unusually for Shakespeare - a Moor with a black complexion. Although aware that he is a jealous character, and even though he truly loves the fair Desdemona, he is willing to be persuaded by his clever and envious ensign, Iago, that she is being unfaithful to him. It is a true tragedy, which is clearly captured in this telling of the story.
"The Audible version is NOT the full-length play!"
The Merchant of Venice, though featuring its title character heavily, is most memorable for the Jewish merchant Shylock, who insists on a pound of flesh when a debt cannot be repaid in time.
Inevitably, love features as the money borrowed by Antonio, the Merchant of Venice, is for his friend, Bassiano, who wishes to woo the beautiful and talented Portia, who ultimately provides a clever solution and saves Antonio's life.
A Midsummer Night's Dream is a delightful tale of true love having to struggle against duty and pride. It has three separate interlocking stories set in Athens, a woodland, and the realm of the fairies - all under a moonlit sky. This is one of Shakespeare's most popular plays, and this reading unfolds the plot quickly while retaining its charm.
Rudyard Kipling. With our almost religious zeal to categorise and pigeon hole everything it should come as little surprise that one of the poems we learnt at school should so regularly be voted the best ever poem. Whether ‘If..’ deserves that credit or not is irrelevant to this empire wandering artist who was not only a fine story teller but a great poet of the Empires, its people and views.
Elizabeth Barrett Moulton Barrett was born on 6 March 1806, in Coxhoe Hall, County Durham, the eldest of 12 children. The family's wealth was derived from sugar plantations manned by slaves in Jamaica and enabling them to also purchase a 500-acre estate in Herefordshire. This wealth allowed her to publish poems from an early age. However by age 20 the family’s fortunes were to decline, but never below comfortable, after losing a lawsuit over their plantations.
English Poetry, Volume 2 – An Introduction. The English language has grown into the Worlds pre-dominant spoken language. It’s estimated there are over one million words with which to do this. Its sources are rich and diverse, absorbing from other cultures and times without hesitation.
Women's Short Stories - Volume 4. The art of writing a short story can be barely noticed by a reader such is the quality with which they are usually written. It is a difficult trade, an unforgiving discipline but for those who master it the rewards is many.
Many giants of literature originate from the shores of the emerald isles: Shakespeare, Dickens, Chaucer, the Brontes, and Austen, to which most people would willingly add the name Thomas Hardy. Far from the Madding Crowd, Tess of the D’Urbervilles, and The Mayor of Casterbridge are but three of his literary masterpieces. But let us go further and add to his canon his poems....
Elizabeth Gaskell is equally well known as Mrs Gaskell. When her mother died, she was three months old and she was sent to live in Knutsford, Cheshire with her Aunt Hannah, this setting would become the basis for her novel Cranford.
This collection of short stories contains several gothic tales of the macabre and chilling, by writers as diverse as Robert Louis Stevenson, Mary Shelley, H. P. Lovecraft and A. M. Burrage. These tales are designed to unsettle you, just a little, as you sit back and take in their words as they lead you on a walk to places you’d perhaps rather not visit on your own. Our stories are: "The Body Snatcher", by Robert Louis Stevenson; "The Mortal Immortal", by Mary Shelley; "The Thing on the Doorstep", by HP Lovecraft; and "Waxworks", by AM Burrage.
This volume proves that the assertion that women are the gentler sex is frequently an unfounded and unlikely description. From the minds and pens of some of the best female writers of the last century comes a series of macabre, twisted tales that are anything but gentle. But as they weave their magic - usually black - and entrance you with their narratives you just know that “sugar and spice and everything nice” are not likely to be what all girls really are made of - and certainly not these femme fatales....
As the sun lengthens its days to summer, so a sport begins to dominate the thoughts and actions of many people. This game, which so encapsulated the village greens and evening song of Middle England, has now spread across the world.
Poems can evoke within us an individual response that takes us by surprise; that opens our ears and eyes to very personal feelings. Forget the idea of classic poetry being somehow dull and boring and best kept to children's textbooks. It still has life, vibrancy, and relevance to our lives today. Where to start? How to do that? Poetry can be difficult. We've put together some very eclectic Poetry Hours, with a broad range of poets and themes, to entice you and seduce you with all manner of temptations.
December - the 12th and closing month in the Gregorian calendar. Winter is upon the land, and the poets, including such as Keats, Shelley, Tennyson, Shakespeare, and Stevenson, share their views and thoughts.