Stephen Fry’s Victorian Secrets

An Audible Original
4.5 out of 5 stars (1,999 ratings)

Regular price: $8.95

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About This Audible Original

Legendary British comic Stephen Fry is our tour guide to the highs and the lows of Victorian society. In popular culture, the straitlaced era is portrayed as one of propriety, industry, prudishness, and piety. But scratch the surface and you’ll find haunting tales of scandal, sadism, sex, madness, malice, and murder.

"They were us in different dress and slightly different codes," says Fry, whose signature wit and whimsy are in full force in this Audible Original. Find the quirky, dark, and forbidden details and family skeletons that even the most distinguished and conventional households attempted to cover up and hide, as you listen for the humanity beyond the polished veneer of this most fascinating era.

©2018 Audible, Ltd (P)2018 Audible, Ltd

Go Behind the Scenes of Stephen Fry's Victorian Secrets

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Our favorite moments from Stephen Fry's Victorian Secrets

High walls, lace curtains, the ability to keep things to themselves
One of the most dangerous British women of the century
A secret not kept within the household
The dark side of private Victorian asylums
New connections with the afterlife

  • Stephen Fry’s Victorian Secrets
  • High walls, lace curtains, the ability to keep things to themselves
  • Stephen Fry’s Victorian Secrets
  • One of the most dangerous British women of the century
  • Stephen Fry’s Victorian Secrets
  • A secret not kept within the household
  • Stephen Fry’s Victorian Secrets
  • The dark side of private Victorian asylums
  • Stephen Fry’s Victorian Secrets
  • New connections with the afterlife

About the Performer

Stephen Fry is an English actor, screenwriter, author, playwright, journalist, comedian, television presenter, film director, and all-around international treasure. He is an acclaimed narrator of beloved audio titles including J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series, Sherlock Holmes, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and The Tales of Max Carrados. Stephen has contributed numerous columns and articles to newspapers and magazines, performs frequently on radio, and has written four novels and three volumes of autobiography.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Grant
  • Arlington, VA, United States
  • 11-04-18

Interesting but a bit overproduced

Interesting take on less well known aspects of Victorian life. The writing skips around a bit more than necessary or helpful and they go way overboard on music and sound effects, as if they do not trust the material to stand on its own. It could, and would probably be better served with less add ons.

42 of 45 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Part history lesson, part audio documentary.

Loved everything about it. Stephen Fry, who'd I'd heard clips of, does an excellent performance, as does the people being interviewed. Brings to light much about that time period many didn't know until now, I'm sure.

57 of 63 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Informative, scary, and funny. In that order.

This series is a real gem and I’m glad I found it. Each and every episode is fascinating and they each give quite an in-depth and compelling look into the secrets Victorians kept each and every day. The narration by Stephen Fry is perfect as ever. He keeps his trademark wit but he also seems genuine and sympathetic when discussing the more horrible parts of Victorian life. They couldn’t have found a more appropriate middle-man to introduce us to the skeletons of the Victorian closet.
History geeks in particular will enjoy it but I would honestly recommend this to anyone. It’s equal parts informative, scandalous, enlightening and at times grotesque, but I enjoyed every minute of it and couldn’t give it enough stars. Do yourself a favor and give it a try.

23 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • HT
  • 11-04-18

Not What I Expected

I could not get past the first chapter. There were too many people voicing parts that made it hard to keep track what was what and who was who. I had expected that the music would have gone away towards the beginning, but no it kept playing and playing which I found irritating. I wanted to return it, but since it is an Audible Original, I discover that I couldn’t, which was disappointing.

The only positive, if one could could say that, was that it appears that there were a lot of interesting subjects in this recording that I probably would have found interesting if it had been presented differently than what I described above.

32 of 36 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Wayne
  • Matthews, NC
  • 11-12-18

Fascinating content with noisy background sound

The four free Audible Originals I have received so far have some great content, but the background sound has been very distracting on all. I'd like the narration without the distracting background noise please.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

More, please...

I enjoyed this audio book immensely. It felt like I'd pulled up a documentary and then turned off the video. Appears well researched and nicely scripted. A fascinating look into one of my favorite time periods.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

And I thought this American got British humor

My preface is that this review is based solely on my opinion, others may certainly differ. That said, this audible original challenges my belief that "you can't beat free." I was looking for something light and innocuous to listen to in between the complex things i need to read for work. Certainly light, but the format and style of narration was to me profoundly annoying. I will ascribe this to deep British humor, but to this American it was a cross between a verbal Benny Hill and the Ed Wood classic, "Plan 9 From Outer Space." There are interludes of truly interesting material spoken by knowledgable researchers, then skits spoken by voice actors, with Mr. Fry laying on heavily innuendo laden narration. Perhaps this review is based on the fact that because of its length, I expected something a bit informative. BTW, looking at his filmography I have liked Mr. Fry's work in the past, so this is not a judgment of his talents. It is the direction, production, and dialogue.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Great info but awful production

This seems so interesting and I love anything to do with m Victorian history, but I could not get past the first chapter. I thought the music would eventually fade away and give me just the narration. It’s did not. To hear music playing through the entire narration of the book is SO distracting, not to mention the different voices that jump in and out of the book. Very hard to keep track of just which story the narrator was trying to tell at all, too much jumping around. Too many different voice characters and that AWFUL piano nonsense in the background!

43 of 52 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Why the background noises?

Who thinks it improves books to have all that mindless monotonous piano diddling and other disrupting noises behind the narrative? This title does contain some interesting, if sordid, historical info, but the unnerving noises make it a listening chore. Couldn't Audible produce a narrative only version for people who prefer that?

28 of 35 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Who thought it would be a good idea to add music to this?

I wouldn’t even call it music. More like noise. It’s just so unnecessary and so distracting I don’t think I can finish. It is criminal to do this to a narrator of Stephen Fry’s talent. Just a waste. I wish audible could just erase the extraneous background stuff. Then it would be pretty good.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful