New LibriVox: Early Modern Dramas


Elizabeth has a brace of new Librivox dramas for you today, all from the early modern period (late 16th to early 18th centuries):

  • William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing: One of Shakespeare’s most popular comedies, which pairs the young and idealistic lovers (Claudio and Hero) with the older and more cynical Beatrice and Benedick, who love to wage their “merry war” of caustic words with each other. Elizabeth loved reading Beatrice, one of Shakespeare’s wittiest women, in this wonderful play.
  • Elizabeth Cary’s The Tragedy of Mariam: The first drama in English written by a woman, which focuses on the tragic downfall of Mariam, second wife of Herod the Great. Elizabeth reads the role of Salome, Herod’s scheming sister.
  • William D’Avenant and John Dryden’s The Tempest: This Restoration adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest preserves most of the characters from the original play, and adds in more for good measure, including a sister for Miranda, more drunken mariners, singing devils and sea nymphs, and a monstrous sister for Caliban. Elizabeth reprised her role as Prospero’s daughter Miranda (which she also read for LibriVox’s version of Shakespeare’s play).
  • George Farquhar’s The Beaux Stratagem: Two gentlemen of broken fortune, disguised as master and servant, and thinking that a good dowry split both ways would solve their problems; some cludgy highwaymen and their confederates; foxy inn-keeper and saucy daughter; a country home with a drunken squire and his long suffering wife, medicine-practicing Lady, and beautiful daughter. What could possibly go wrong? Elizabeth reads Mrs. Sullen in this witty comedy.

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