Free Audio Friday, holiday edition! Today’s featured title is Elizabeth’s solo recording of James Joyce’s The Dead, which you can download from LibriVox. This novella is the final story in Joyce’s collection Dubliners, and describes a Christmas party given by Kate and Julia Morkan, two elderly Dublin ladies, that is attended by their nephew, Gabriel Conroy, and his wife Gretta. While the party is festive, full of dancing, drinking, and eating, it is also pervaded by political, religious, and sexual tensions, as well as memories of loss. When Gabriel and Gretta go home at the end of the night, she reveals a long-kept secret that leads to an epiphany. This is one of the most beautiful short novels ever written, and Elizabeth hopes you enjoy it. (The image is Anjelica Huston as Gretta in the 1987 film version, directed by John Huston.)
Elizabeth has just released a new LibriVox solo recording: Maude by Christina Rossetti. This novella was written in 1850 but published posthumously in 1897. Considered by scholars to be semi-autobiographical, the protagonist is 15-year-old Maude Foster, a quiet and serious girl who (like Rossetti herself) writes poetry that explores the tensions between religious devotion and worldly desires. The text includes several of Rossetti’s early verses, which were later published as part of her collections of poetry. Elizabeth has also recorded one of those collections for LibriVox as a solo: Goblin Market and Other Poems. The title poem of that collection is perhaps Rossetti’s most famous work: a creepily sensual tale of two sisters who are tempted by forbidden fruits.
Coming soon: Free Audio Friday recordings for the holiday season!
Elizabeth’s new LibriVox solo is now ready for download: The Custom of the Country by Edith Wharton. This 1913 novel features an alluringly repellent heroine, Undine Spragg, a Midwestern beauty determined to climb the social ladder in New York and on the continent. The image at left is from Vogue‘s amazing recreation of Wharton’s artistic milieu; you can see all of their images here.
It’s Free Audio Friday, and this week Elizabeth is highlighting her LibriVox solo recording of Lady Audley’s Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon. This Victorian “sensation” novel, first published in 1862, tells of the lovely Lucy Graham, who marries into the nobility but conceals a scandalous secret. Completed in 2007, Elizabeth’s recording has been downloaded over 150,000, and has received a number of five-star reviews at the Internet Archive. Happy weekend, and happy listening!
Elizabeth’s latest LibriVox solo is a novella by Edith Wharton: Sanctuary (1903), which can be downloaded here. This short piece is about Kate Orme, a young woman who is in love with her fiance at the beginning of the novel, only to discover his involvement with a scandalous family secret. She must decide whether to marry him or not, and the rest of the novel examines the consequences of her decision. Elizabeth has recorded many other Wharton works for LibriVox, including The Age of Innocence, Ethan Frome, The Glimpses of the Moon, The House of MIrth, and Summer. Next Elizabeth will record another Wharton classic, The Custom of the Country. Happy listening!
Elizabeth’s newest solo is now ready for download from LibriVox: it’s The Letters of Jane Austen. This collection includes a selection of Austen’s letters to her sister Cassandra and two of her nieces, and includes much of her famous advice on matrimony, love, and writing. There is also a hefty portion of family and neighborhood gossip, all rendered in Austen’s trademark dry wit. If you have enjoyed Elizabeth’s other LibriVox recordings of Austen’s works (which include solo versions of Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Emma, Persuasion, Northanger Abbey, Lady Susan, and a dramatic reading of Mansfield Park) you will love hearing her letters.
Elizabeth’s latest solo recording for LibriVox is Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s utopian novel Moving the Mountain (1911), which is now ready for download. This is the first novel in Gilman’s utopian trilogy, which also includes the famous novel Herland (1915). (Elizabeth has also recorded part of Herland for LibriVox.) In Moving the Mountain, John Robertson has been lost in Tibet for thirty years, and when he finally returns to America, he finds his society has been completely transformed into a feminist and socialist utopia. Gilman’s novel engages in the political and social debates of her time, but also introduces ideas that are still relevant today.
Elizabeth’s latest free solo recording for LibriVox is a 19th century “sensation” novella by Louisa May Alcott: Pauline’s Passion and Punishment. This tempestuous tale of a beautiful woman betrayed and avenged can be downloaded here. Elizabeth has also recorded free LibriVox versions of Alcott’s Little Women, her best-known work, and another of her sensation novels, Behind a Mask, or a Woman’s Power. Happy (free) listening!
For this week’s Free Audio Friday, Elizabeth is featuring a title from her LibriVox archive – her very first solo project, a recording of J. Sheridan LeFanu’s Gothic vampire novel Carmilla. You can download and listen to it here.LeFanu’s novel predates Stoker’s Dracula by several decades, and features a female vampire who preys on young women. Enjoy!
Elizabeth’s acclaimed recording of Charlotte Bronte’s classic Gothic romance Jane Eyre has been downloaded over half a million time, according to the Internet Archive. (The recording has received numerous five star reviews on that page as well.) This milestone makes it one of the most-downloaded LibriVox solos ever! Make sure to check it out (if you haven’t already) – and you may also want to read this wonderful interview with Elizabeth about her recording of Jane Eyre.