The Great Courses: English Literature Series Audiobooks | ORIGINAL Series | Audible.com
The Great Courses: English Literature
ORIGINAL
(4.2 based on 249 ratings)
  • The Life and Writings of C. S. Lewis

    • ORIGINAL (6 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Louis Markos
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    What can we still learn from C.S. Lewis? Find out in these 12 insightful lectures that cover the author's spiritual autobiography, novels, and his scholarly writings that reflect on pain and grief, love and friendship, prophecy and miracles, and education and mythology.

    Richard says: "Basically a collection of sermons"
    Basically a collection of sermons

    I hoped that this would be a series of lectures that talked about C.S. Lewis' life and the major themes in his writing. I already knew that most of wh..Show More »

    Reviewed on November 20 2013 by Richard (Fairfax, VA, United States)
  • The Art of Reading

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Timothy Spurgin
    Overall
    (37)
    Performance
    (28)
    Story
    (29)

    Artful reading-the way we read novels and short stories-is less about reading for specific information and more about reading to revel in the literary experience. Learning the skills and techniques of artful reading can improve your life in many ways, whether you're a fiction reader, an aspiring writer, a book club member, or a student.And the best part: These skills are not difficult or unwieldy; rather, they are well within your reach.

    C. Sneed says: "Endurance"
    Endurance

    The content is good. I don't like the cheap, synthetic applause that opens each lecture. I want to want to listen to this, and as lectures go, it's ..Show More »

    Reviewed on July 24 2013 by C. Sneed (Fort Belvoir, VA, United States)
  • Classics of American Literature

    • ORIGINAL (43 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Arnold Weinstein
    Overall
    (34)
    Performance
    (30)
    Story
    (30)

    To truly understand the United States of America, you must explore its literary tradition. Now, in this grand collection of 84 fascinating lectures, you'll get the chance to finally become familiar with America's true literary masterpieces (some you may already be familiar with, others you have yet to discover). Professor Weinstein has crafted these lectures to explain why some works become classics while others do not, why some "immortal" works fade from our attention completely, and even why some contemporary works now being ignored or snubbed by critics may be considered immortal one day.

    W Perry Hall says: "Incomparable AudiOverview of American Literature"
    Incomparable AudiOverview of American Literature

    If you love reading or wish you'd taken that American Lit course in college or paid attention when you did, this is a great opportunity to explore and..Show More »

    Reviewed on February 05 2014 by W Perry Hall (Mobile, AL)
  • William Shakespeare: Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Peter Saccio
    Overall
    (28)
    Performance
    (24)
    Story
    (25)

    Shakespeare's plays - whether a comedy like A Midsummer Night's Dream, a history like Henry IV, or a tragedy like Hamlet - are treasure troves of insight into our very humanity. These 36 lectures introduce you to Shakespeare's major plays from each of these three genres and explain the achievement that makes him the leading playwright in Western civilization.

    Mikkel says: "Connections across genres"
    Connections across genres

    Peter Saccio unfolds an extremely varied interpretation looking both at the structure of entire plays and sometimes at single soliloquies. He has a fl..Show More »

    Reviewed on August 15 2013 by Mikkel (Aarhus V, Denmark)
  • How to Read and Understand Shakespeare

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Marc C. Conner
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (10)

    Shakespeare's works are among the greatest of humanity's cultural expressions and, as such, demand to be experienced and understood. But, simply put, Shakespeare is difficult. His language and culture - those of Elizabethan England - are greatly different from our own, and his poetry, thick with metaphorical imagery and double meanings, can be hard to penetrate.

    MR says: "understanding the Bard"
    understanding the Bard
    Reviewed on August 29 2013 by MR (Hub of the Universe)
  • 20th-Century American Fiction

    • ORIGINAL (16 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Arnold Weinstein
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    Hemingway. Fitzgerald. Faulkner. These and other giants of literature are immediately recognizable to anyone who loves to read fiction and even to many who don't. Now, thanks to these 32 lectures, you can develop fresh insight into some of the greatest American authors of the 20th century. Professor Weinstein sheds light not only on the sheer magnificence of these writers' literary achievements but also explores their uniquely American character as well.

    Carolyn says: "No longer wasted on the young!"
    No longer wasted on the young!

    I have listened to many wonderful audiobooks, and this is the best I have heard.

    Reviewed on August 26 2013 by Carolyn (Shoreline, WA, United States)
  • Joyce's Ulysses

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor James A. W. Heffernan
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (12)

    Ulysses depicts a world that is as fully conceived and vibrant as anything in Homer or Shakespeare. It has been delighting and puzzling readers since it was first published on Joyce's 40th birthday in 1922. And here, Professor Heffernan maps the brilliance, passion, humanity, and humor of Joyce's modern Odyssey in these 24 lectures that finally make a beguiling literary masterpiece accessible for any reader willing to give it a chance.

    Peregrine says: "I really recommend this if you're reading Ulysses"
    I really recommend this if you're reading Ulysses

    This is a superb series of lectures walking you through Joyce's very difficult novel. I read Ulysses in college and although I remembered a great deal..Show More »

    Reviewed on October 04 2013 by Peregrine (Los Angeles, CA, United States)
  • Shakespeare: The Word and the Action

    • ORIGINAL (11 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Peter Saccio
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    Shakespeare's works are some of the greatest achievements of the human mind and spirit. And yet, for far too many of us, they remain a closed book. Why? Professor Saccio is well suited in these 16 lectures to bring you back into Shakespeare's world and tune you into what he calls "Shakespeare's wavelength." As you hear him effortlessly deliver heretofore impenetrable language with the proper meter, emphasis, intonation, and emotion, you'll experience the pleasure that comes with true mastery.

    Phebe says: "Problem"
    Problem

    This course focuses too much on the professor and his sexual interests, which he attempts to connect to Shakespeare's plays. There is a camp quality t..Show More »

    Reviewed on December 05 2013 by Phebe (Joppa, MD, United States)
  • Modern British Drama

    • ORIGINAL (6 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Peter Saccio
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Waiting for Godot. The Importance of Being Earnest. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. Since Shakespeare's time, no period has produced more brilliant and various theatrical dramas in Great Britain than in the past 100 years. Professor Saccio has selected the major British playwrights of the past century to cover Wilde, Shaw, Coward, Beckett, Osborne, Pinter, Stoppard, Churchill, and Hare.

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

  • Literary Modernism: The Struggle for Modern History

    • ORIGINAL (6 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Jeffrey Perl
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    Professor Perl invites you in these eight lectures to abandon your preconceptions and consider some of the most controversial authors of the 20th century: the Modernists.Who were they? How did "classical" Modernists like Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot, and James Joyce differ from "neo-Modernists" like Gertrude Stein and William Carlos Williams? What made them believe and write as they did? Why were political extremism, war, and self-destructive behavior such defining forces in their writing (and their personal demons)? What do they have to say to us today in the 21st century?These lectures place literary Modernism within the wide-ranging context of the philosophy, literature, politics, and morality of its time. In doing so, they allow you to look more clearly at the writers and works who have contributed to the definition of human culture. You'll see Eliot, Joyce, Pound, Yeats, James, Lawrence, and others spring to life with their radical beliefs about art and their unforgettable novels and stories. These lectures do not shrink from the challenges imposed by exploring Modernism, or from challenging the answers that scholars have routinely accepted. Nor do they shy away from the difficulties of literary Modernism itself; a literary genre that intimidates many. But despite all this, these lectures are brilliantly organized, crystal clear, and an invaluable tool for finally wrapping your brain around a dramatic roster of authors and an enduring canon of literature.

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

  • The Life and Writings of Geoffrey Chaucer

    • ORIGINAL (6 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Seth Lerer
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (1)

    Geoffrey Chaucer is one of our grandest and most enduring poets; an architect of our vocabulary and our literary style. By examining the English writer's texts, from his short love lyrics to the copious profusion of character and incident that is The Canterbury Tales, these 12 lectures will prepare you for the challenges of Chaucer's oeuvre, and will provide an understanding of what makes him the true "father" of English poetry.

    Mary Elizabeth Reynolds says: "Not much about the life of Chaucer"
    Not much about the life of Chaucer

    When I was in school, college and high school I found Chaucer jarring. Older I thought, perhaps I missed something, After listening to this, I feel th..Show More »

    Reviewed on March 01 2014 by Mary Elizabeth Reynolds (SUMMERVILLE, SC, United States)
  • The Life and Writings of John Milton

    • ORIGINAL (6 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Seth Lerer
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    There is no disputing that John Milton is considered one of the supreme writers in the history of English letters. Yet, for a number of reasons, many modern readers are unaware of the pleasures of his poetry and prose. These 12 lectures examine Milton's life and work in order to understand the richness and depth of his poetry, its ways of representing 17th-century English life and culture, and its impact on later writers and on English literary history as a whole.

    george says: "Chapters need to be given titles!"
    Chapters need to be given titles!

    It's really difficult to find which lecture you want to listen to when all it does is number the chapters.

    Reviewed on March 12 2014 by george (thornhill, ON, Canada)
  • Classic Novels: Meeting the Challenge of Great Literature

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Arnold Weinstein
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (8)

    What if you could travel anywhere, whether Europe, South America, or the remote reaches of the African continent? And what if you could choose not only your destination, but your era, as well-so that you might choose from the sparkling court society of 18th-century France, a 19th-century whaling ship out of New Bedford, or the streets of Dublin in the early part of the 20th century?

    W Perry Hall says: "No Course Credit; Just Ivy League Lit Appreciation"
    No Course Credit; Just Ivy League Lit Appreciation

    You love books and majored in business or medicine or dropped out of school to become a multi-millionaire salesmen?

    Now, you just wish you ha..Show More »

    Reviewed on January 31 2014 by W Perry Hall (Mobile, AL)
  • Representing Justice: Stories of Law and Literature

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 1 min)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Susan Sage Heinzelman
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    What is the dynamic relationship between our culture's written and unwritten laws and its literature? How is that relationship evolving? How do law and literature influence or reflect one other? And what lessons might we draw from their symbiotic relationship?

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

  • Classics of British Literature

    • ORIGINAL (24 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor John Sutherland
    Overall
    (20)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (16)

    For more than 1,500 years, the literature of Great Britain has taught, nurtured, thrilled, outraged, and humbled readers both inside and outside its borders.Chaucer, Shakespeare, Dickens, Austen, Swift, Conrad, Wilde-the roster of powerful British writers is remarkable. More important, Britain's writers have long challenged readers with new ways of understanding an ever-changing world.This series of 48 fascinating lectures by an award-winning professor.

    Mark says: "The Best of British"
    The Best of British

    This audiobook was an enjoyable summary of British Literature from its inception with Beowulf in the dark ages up to the 21st century. As a general ru..Show More »

    Reviewed on January 14 2014 by Mark (Raglan, New Zealand)
  • The English Novel

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Timothy Spurgin
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    Who can imagine life without novels? They have served not merely as diversions but as companions for so much of our lives, offering hours of pleasure and, at their best, insights few of us can ever quantify. But the simple joy of reading novels sometimes obscures our awareness of the deeper roles they play in our lives: honing our intellect, quenching our emotional thirsts, and shaping our sense of ourselves and of the world we live in.

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

  • The Lives and Works of the English Romantic Poets

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Willard Spiegelman
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    The verse of the English Romantic poets is as daunting in its scope and complexity as it is dazzling in its technique and beautiful in its language. Now, in a series of 24 incisive lectures by an honored and distinguished teacher, scholar, and author, you can grasp how England's finest Romantic voices created their masterpieces.

    Lisa says: "Incomparable passion and expertise -- a joy"
    Incomparable passion and expertise -- a joy

    Professor Spiegelman loves this material. His infectious passion and unique depth of expertise are evident from the first word. And he takes us along ..Show More »

    Reviewed on October 01 2013 by Lisa (MILFORD, MICHIGAN, United States)
  • Great American Bestsellers: The Books That Shaped America

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Peter Conn
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Best-selling books have played a critical role in influencing the tastes and purchasing habits of American readers for more than 100 years. But there is more to America's great best-selling books than the sales figures they rake in. American bestsellers also offer us ways to appreciate and understand particular periods of American culture.In this series of 24 lectures you'll enjoy a pointed look at key best-selling works and their places within the greater fabric of American cultural history.

    Mary Elizabeth Reynolds says: "Informative and entertaining"
    Informative and entertaining

    I enjoyed these lectures immensely. He tells you a bit about the author, the social conditions when the book came out, and the plot. The books I knew,..Show More »

    Reviewed on March 01 2014 by Mary Elizabeth Reynolds (SUMMERVILLE, SC, United States)
  • Masterworks of Early 20th-Century Literature

    • ORIGINAL (11 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor David Thorburn
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    If you've ever longed to read the great Modernist novels of the early 20th century - perhaps James Joyce's Ulysses, Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse, or William Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom! - but have shied away or set them down because of their intimidating style, fragmented narrative, or lack of a clear plot, you no longer need to wait, or be reluctant to return. In this series of 24 lectures, an acclaimed literary scholar and award-winning teacher has created an accessible gateway to this remarkable literary movement.

    W Perry Hall says: "Most Enriching Course Ever"
    Most Enriching Course Ever

    This is my first review after over a year as an audible member and well over 100 listens and ratings. I was so impressed with this course that I had ..Show More »

    Reviewed on September 08 2013 by W Perry Hall (Mobile, AL)
  • The Life and Work of Mark Twain

    • ORIGINAL (24 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Stephen Railton
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    Samuel Clemens, the man known to history as Mark Twain, was more than one of America's greatest writers. He was our first true celebrity, one of the most photographed faces of the 19th and 20th centuries. This series of 24 lectures by an acclaimed teacher and scholar explores Twain's dual identities-as one of our classical authors and as an almost mythical presence in our nation's cultural life.

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

  • Emerson, Thoreau, and the Transcendentalist Movement

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Ashton Nichols
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    The America we know today is so different in its fundamental views about almost every aspect of life as to be unrecognizable to our countrymen of two centuries ago. On issues as divergent as slavery, women's rights, education, the environment, and many others, we are simply no longer the country we were.What is the source of not only these changes, but of our distinctly American way of experiencing ourselves-confident in our value as individuals, certain of our ability to discover truths, self-reliant in the face of uncertainty and change?

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

  • Shakespeare's Tragedies

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Clare R. Kinney
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (12)

    Shakespeare's contributions to stage and language are unequaled, audiences left breathless for the past four centuries, his artistry as evident in moments of insensate rage as it is in moments of heartbreaking tenderness.

    Dan says: "Enlightening and well presented"
    Enlightening and well presented

    Professor Clare Kinney does an excellent job of bringing fascinating insights to each of the plays she speaks to in this course. Her lectures are we..Show More »

    Reviewed on September 30 2013 by Dan (Olympia, WA, United States)
  • Masterpieces of the Imaginative Mind: Literature's Most Fantastic Works

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Eric S. Rabkin
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    Many of literature's greatest works, from ancient myths to the works of Nobel laureates, rely on fantasy. Even when there has been a dominant preference for realism, generation after generation of readers have been drawn to stories of the fantastic-not only for what they help us learn about ourselves as individuals or as members of society, but also for what they show about our social values.

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.