The Edge is a land of two worlds: above and below. It took me my childhood to learn about above; when I was 19, I went to learn the wonders of below: a world of darkness and silence, so dark that you can see the lights of brain cells discharging; so silent that blood in the veins can be heard.
Samson Agonistes, the 'dramatic poem' by John Milton, was published in 1671, three years before the poet's death. Written in the form of a Greek tragedy, with the Chorus commenting on the action, it follows the biblical story of the blind Samson as he wreaks his revenge on the Philistines who have imprisoned him. A powerful subject, with a personal resonance for the blind Milton, it is a perfect work for the medium of audiobook where poetry and drama can be balanced equally.
"TURNING TRAGEDY INTO VICTORY"
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.
"Classic hard not to love"
This is a story from the Canterbury Tales I: Modern Verse Translation collection. Chaucer's greatest work, written towards the end of the fourteenth century, paints a brilliant picture of medieval life, society and values. The stories range from the romantic, courtly idealism of "The Knight's Tale" to the joyous bawdy of the Miller's; all are told with a freshness and vigor in this modern verse translation that make them a delight to hear.
Alan Garner's exciting and atmospheric tale of magic and evil, which began with The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, continues with The Moon of Gomrath.
Colin and Susan are not safe from the evil Morrigan and once more find themselves back in Fundindelve with the wizard Cadellin.
The glorious but tragic story of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table is one of the great legends of Western civilization. Storytellers and poets down the centuries have returned repeatedly to the universal themes of the Quest of the Holy Grail and the love between Sir Launcelot and Queen Guenever. Yet the first printed account, written by the 15th century knight Sir Thomas Malory, remains unmatched.
Though The Arabian Nights are generally known as stories for children, they were originally tales for adults full of adventure, sexuality, violence, and the supernatural. They certainly inspired the imagination of Sir Richard Burton, the 19th century explorer, linguist, and erotologist who brought all his worldly experience and superbly expressive prose style to bear on the tales of Sindbad the Seaman and Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves.
"Excellent, But Too Short"
The Canterbury Tales, written near the end of Chaucer's life and hence towards the close of the 14th century, is perhaps the greatest English literary work of the Middle Ages: yet it speaks to us today with almost undimmed clarity and relevance.
"Workmanlike reading in clear Middle English"
Chaucer's greatest work, written towards the end of the fourteenth century, paints a brilliant picture of medieval life, society and values. The stories range from the romantic, courtly idealism of "The Knight's Tale" to the joyous bawdy of the Miller's; all are told with a freshness and vigor in this modern verse translation that make them a delight to hear.
Gibbon's The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire is one of the greatest texts in the English language. In magisterial prose, Gibbon charts the gradual collapse of the Roman rule form Augustus (23 BC - AD 14) to the first of the barbarian kings, Odoacer (476- 490 AD). It is a remarkable account, with the extravagant corruption and depravity of emperors such as Commodus, Caracalla, and Elagabalus contrasted by the towering work of Constantine, Julian, and other remarkable men.
This is the audio program to play at home over Christmas or during the car journey to see relatives. Dylan Thomas, "The Little Match Girl," and "The Nutcracker" are read by Jenny Agutter with accompanying Tchaikovsky's music - this is a must for Christmas. It contains new recordings as well as some of the finest tracks from the Naxos AudioBooks catalogue.
"Okay, but a bit boring."
Four more delightful tales from one of the most entertaining storytellers of all time. Though writing in the thirteenth century, Chaucer’s wit and observation comes down undiminished through the ages, especially in this accessible modern verse translation. The stories vary considerably from the uproarious Wife of Bath’s Tale, promoting the power of women to the sober account of patient Griselda in the Clerk’s Tale.
Dylan Thomas wrote "A Child's Christmas in Wales" in 1955, in which he recreated the atmosphere of Christmas Past as he remembered it. Each one of us will have similar memories of the glitter and the emotions of this time of innocence, plenty, fun, anticipation, and excitement.
"Wonderful Christmas Story"
The Scarifyers is a series of rip-roaring tales of comedic supernatural intrigue set in 1930s Britain, distilling the likes of Dick Barton, The Avengers, The Devil Rides Out and Quatermass into cracking new audio adventures. The Scarifyers is broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra, and has been described as 'rollicking good fun', 'a slice of audio perfection', 'the smartest and most enjoyable thing on British radio' and 'like Tintin but with the lights out.'
A BBC Radio 4 dramatisation of Ellis Peters' thrilling mystery featuring medieval monk Brother Cadfael. It is 1141. In Shrewsbury, civil war is tearing the country apart as the bitter feud between King Stephen and Maud shows no sign of abating. Cadfael, safe within the peaceful walls of the Abbey, does not expect to be drawn on to the battlefield - but when a Welsh prisoner of war is brought to him for treatment of a sword-wound, he finds himself embroiled in the conflict.
After the violence of civil war in the spring, Shrewsbury has enjoyed a quiet summer and a good harvest. But, as Cadfael reflects ruefully, such a peaceful state of affairs cannot be expected to last. He's right. The trouble begins when Gervase Bonel, rich lord of the manor, proposes to sign all his property over to the Abbey. A welcome gift, but when Bonel is found poisoned, foul play is suspected somewhere along the line.
"Can't get enough of Cadfael!!"
Here are the greatest and best-loved stories from the Old Testament of the Bible, stories which can be read as much for their human, literary, and historical appeal as for their religious meaning. The selection ranges from childhood favorites like David and Goliath, to key moments in Jewish history (such as Exodus), and also includes some of the finest poetry in the Old Testament (the Song of Solomon, for example).
Edward Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire occupies an immortal place in the pantheon of historical masterpieces. This recording covers the final three volumes of Gibbon's work, tracing ten centuries in the life of the eastern half of the empire, whose capital city was Constantinople.
Shrewsbury, 1139. The bloody civil war between King Stephen and Empress Maud has swept through the country towards the rural security of Brother Cadfael’s monastery. The citizens of Worcester have fled, among them two orphaned children of noble stock, together with their tutor, a young nun. A Benedictine monk in whose care Lady Ermina and her brother Ives were left, comes to the Abbey to ask if the children have been seen.