Continuing the story begun in The Hobbit, this is the first part of Tolkien’s epic masterpiece, The Lord of the Rings, available as a complete and unabridged audiobook. Sauron, the Dark Lord, has gathered to him all the Rings of Power - the means by which he intends to rule Middle-earth. All he lacks in his plans for dominion is the One Ring - the ring that rules them all - which has fallen into the hands of the hobbit, Bilbo Baggins.
Building on the story begun in The Hobbit and The Fellowship of the Ring, this is the second part of Tolkien’s epic masterpiece, The Lord of the Rings, available as a complete and unabridged audiobook. Frodo and the Companions of the Ring have been beset by danger during their quest to prevent the Ruling Ring from falling into the hands of the Dark Lord by destroying it in the Cracks of Doom.
Concluding the story begun in The Hobbit, this is the final part of Tolkien’s epic masterpiece, The Lord of the Rings, available as a complete and unabridged audiobook. The armies of the Dark Lord Sauron are massing as his evil shadow spreads ever wider. Men, Dwarves, Elves and Ents unite forces to do battle agains the Dark. Meanwhile, Frodo and Sam struggle further into Mordor in their heroic quest to destroy the One Ring.
"The Lord of the Rings - The return of the King"
One of Jane Austen’s most beloved works, Pride and Prejudice, is vividly brought to life by Academy Award nominee Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl). In her bright and energetic performance of this British classic, she expertly captures Austen’s signature wit and tone. Her attention to detail, her literary background, and her performance in the 2005 feature film version of the novel provide the perfect foundation from which to convey the story of Elizabeth Bennett, her four sisters, and the inimitable Mr. Darcy.
"Wonderful reading of a gorgeous book"
Animal Farm is George Orwell's great socio-political allegory set in a farmyard where the animals decide to seize the farmer's land and create a co-operative that reaps the benefits of their combined labours. However, as with all great political plans, some animals see a bigger share of the rewards than others and the animals start to question their supposed utopia.
When Lenina and Bernard visit a savage reservation, we experience how Utopia can destroy humanity.
Cloning, feel-good drugs, anti-aging programs, and total social control through politics, programming, and media: has Aldous Huxley accurately predicted our future? With a storyteller's genius, he weaves these ethical controversies in a compelling narrative that dawns in the year 632 A.F. (After Ford, the deity). When Lenina and Bernard visit a savage reservation, we experience how Utopia can destroy humanity.
Narrator Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey) presents an uncanny performance of Mary Shelley's timeless gothic novel, an epic battle between man and monster at its greatest literary pitch. In trying to create life, the young student Victor Frankenstein unleashes forces beyond his control, setting into motion a long and tragic chain of events that brings Victor to the very brink of madness. How he tries to destroy his creation, as it destroys everything Victor loves, is a powerful story of love, friendship, scientific hubris, and horror.
In the dark days of a Shetland winter, torrential rain triggers a landslide that crosses the main Lerwick-Sumburgh road and sweeps down to the sea. At the burial of his old friend, Magnus Tait, Jimmy Perez watches the flood of mud and peaty water smash through a croft house in its path. Everyone thinks the croft is uninhabited, but in the wreckage he finds the body of a dark-haired woman wearing a red silk dress. In his mind she shares his Mediterranean ancestry, and soon he becomes obsessed with tracing her identity.
The modern audience hasn't had a chance to truly appreciate the unknowing dread that readers would have felt when reading Bram Stoker's original 1897 manuscript. Most modern productions employ campiness or sound effects to try to bring back that gothic tension, but we've tried something different. By returning to Stoker's original storytelling structure - a series of letters and journal entries voiced by Jonathan Harker, Dr. Van Helsing, and other characters - with an all-star cast of narrators, we've sought to recapture its originally intended horror and power.
"All Star Cast Not So Great"
Dorian Gray, a handsome and narcissistic young man, lives thoughtlessly for his own pleasure. One day, after having his portrait painted, Dorian makes a frivolous Faustian wish: that he should always remain as young and beautiful as he is in that painting, while the portrait grows old in his stead.
The wish comes true, and Dorian soon finds that none of his wicked actions have visible consequences. Realizing that he will appear fresh and unspoiled no matter what kind of life he lives, Dorian becomes increasingly corrupt. Only the portrait grows degenerate and ugly, a powerful symbol of Dorian's internal ruin.
"Enjoyable first experience of Wilde"
Author Anna Wulf attempts to overcome writer’s block by writing a comprehensive "golden notebook" that draws together the preoccupations of her life, each of which is examined in a different notebook. Anna’s struggle to unify the various strands of her life – emotional, political, and professional – amasses into a fascinating encyclopaedia of female experience in the ‘50s.
"A complex but satisfying novel."
The wellsprings of desire and the impediments to love come brilliantly into focus in Evelyn Waugh's masterpiece - a novel that immerses us in the glittering and seductive world of English aristocracy in the waning days of the empire. Through the story of Charles Ryder's entanglement with the Flytes, a great Catholic family, Evelyn Waugh charts the passing of the privileged world he knew in his own youth and vividly recalls the sensuous pleasures denied him by wartime austerities.
"Outstanding Jeremy Irons"
A Signature Performance: Kenneth Branagh plays this like a campfire ghost story, told by a haunted, slightly insane Marlow.
A Tale of Two Cities is one of Charles Dickens's most exciting novels. Set against the backdrop of the French Revolution, it tells the story of a family threatened by the terrible events of the past. Doctor Manette was wrongly imprisoned in the Bastille for 18 years without trial by the aristocratic authorities.
"A very powerful version of a great tale"
One of Jane Austen's most popular novels. Arrogant, self-willed, and egotistical, Emma is her most unusual heroine.
Alice begins her fantastic journey by following an unprecedented White Rabbit with a pocket watch. While in the topsy turvy world of Wonderland, Alice takes advice from a caterpillar and attends a mad tea party. She meets the Mock Turtle and the Gryphon, and participates in a ludicrous courtroom scene. Each character has its own charming voice, as B. J. Harrison delivers one of his most whimsical performances.
"Great voices and life to the story"
Famous, all-encompassing, passionate, but ultimately doomed love between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff, and how this unresolved passion eventually destroys them and the people around them. Today considered a classic of English literature, Wuthering Heights was met with mixed reviews when it first appeared, mainly because of the narrative's stark depiction of mental and physical cruelty.
The passionate and tragic story of Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff is one of the high points of nineteenth-century Romantic literature. In the relationship of Cathy and Heathcliff, and in the wild, bleak Yorkshire Moors of its setting, Wuthering Heights creates a world of its own, conceived with a disregard for convention and an instinct for poetry and the darkest depths of the human soul in torment.
The work tells the story of Jane's early life, her experience at Lowood School and as a governess. Her refusal to accept Rochester's love on any but her own strictly moral terms is a passionate cry for independence.
Lucy has stumbled upon a marvellous land of fauns and centaurs, nymphs and talking animals. But soon she discovers that it is ruled by the cruel White Witch, and can only be freed by Aslan, the great Lion, and four children.
No Ships Pass is a strange tale of a shipwrecked sailor who manages to swim to a remote tropical island. He discovers, to his surprise, that he is not the first sailor to alight there. There are already four castaways ashore...and mysteriously some of them have been there for a very long time. Up to 140 years, in fact. Before long he realises that there is something very peculiar and sinister about the island. He determines to try to escape, whatever the odds.
A brand-new BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation of the classic novel by Robert Louis Stevenson. At its heart is an enigma: what is the strange connection between the apparently unrelated Dr Henry Jekyll and Mr Edward Hyde? A battle between good and evil is played out in Victorian London, and its origins are stranger than anyone could imagine.
A superb collection of classic short stories showcasing the variety, depth and imagination of great Victorian writers.
Fifty short stories by women writers who broke the mould.
Including the stories "Lispeth", "Beyond the Pale", and "In the Pride of His Youth", this collection tells of soldiers, wise children, exiles, forbidden romances, and divided identities, creating a rich portrait of Anglo-Indian society. Originally published for a newspaper in Lahore when Kipling was a journalist, the tales were later revised by him to re-create as vividly as possible the sights and smells of India for readers at home.
Edmée Elizabeth Monica Dashwood, née de la Pasture (1890-1943), was a prolific English author who wrote under the pseudonym E. M. Delafield. She is best known for her largely autobiographical Diary of a Provincial Lady , which took the form of a journal of the life of an upper-middle-class Englishwoman living mostly in a Devon village of the 1930s.
'Jerry Bundler' is a ghost story with a twist. We open in a tavern where travellers are telling ghost stories late one night. One gentleman tells a tale about a ghost haunting the very house where they are all sitting. His story frightens all the company gathered around the fire...and when the old gentleman retires to bed, one of the others proposes to take revenge by pretending to be the ghost. But what happens next is very far from a joke.
This adaptation of Dickens' much loved "Ghost Story of Christmas" is subtitled "Scrooge and the Three Spirits" and concentrates on the miserly Ebeneezer Scrooge's dealings with the spirits that visit him on Christmas Eve to bring about his redemption.
Seven contrasting short stories, all set at Christmastime: 'Mr. Huffam' by Hugh Walpole, 'A Strange Christmas Game' by J. H. Riddell, 'The Christmas Tree and the Wedding' by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, 'The Snow' by Hugh Walpole, 'The Gift of the Magi' by O. Henry, 'The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle' by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, 'The Cop and the Anthem' by O. Henry.
Ella D'Arcy (1856-1939) was a British short story writer, novelist and translator who grew up in the Channel Islands, France and Germany. 'White Magic' is a short story set in a rural part of the Channel Islands and tells the story of a pharmacist who provides a potent love potion to a young girl who has quarreled with her lover.
Ménie Muriel Dowie (1866-1945) was a travel writer, a novelist and an author of short stories. An intrepid traveller, many of her tales are set in the exotic locations she explored. 'A Cowl in Cracow' describes a young female traveler who is exploring the beautiful old city of Krakow in Poland. She wanders into a building which turns out to be a monastery, where she has a very emotionally charged interview with a tormented young monk.
Sarah Grand (1854-1943) was a well-known Victorian writer and suffragette. 'The Man in the Scented Coat' is a story about an adventurous lady, Josepha, who gets lost in a pea-soup fog in London one evening. As she cannot see anything, she follows a scent of flowers, which turns out to emanate from a distinguished gentleman in disguise who is on a secret mission.
Charlotte Riddell (1832-1906), who wrote as Mrs J. H. Riddel, was one of the most popular and influential writers of the Victorian period. 'A Strange Christmas Game' is a brilliantly constructed ghost story with a strange twist at the end.
The Yellow Drawing Room is a story told through the eyes of an archetypical Victorian gentleman. He has met and fallen under the spell of the beautiful Vanora Haydon. Vanora has been given permission to decorate and furnish a drawing room and has chosen to do so in brilliant yellow. She has created her own room, reflective of her own personality and individuality - something which the conservative narrator cannot cope with.
May Sinclair was the nom de plume of Mary Amelia St. Clair (1863-1946), a British writer of novels, short stories and poetry and an active suffragette and spiritualist. 'Where Their Fire Is Not Quenched' is a highly unsettling and creepy story about an adulterous couple who are damned to continue their loathsome, loveless relationship for all eternity.
The Secret of the Schwarztal is a mystery story. An English traveller had gone missing in the remote valley of Schwarztal in the Alps and was presumed dead. But three years later his brother arrived determined to solve the mystery of what happened to his brother - and what he discovered was very deeply disturbing.
Beatrice Harraden (1864-1936) was a British writer and suffragette. 'A Bird on Its Journey' is the story of a mysterious young Englishwoman hiking alone through Switzerland. When she arrives at a mountain hotel, she discovers that the piano is badly out of tune. The young woman, although she is travelling with only a small knapsack, has brought with her a tuning hammer, and she proceeds to tune the piano.
'Escape - Three and Sixpence' is a haunting short story which opens with a Yorkshire housewife putting her head into the gas oven to commit suicide to escape her unbearable life of drudgery. We are swept along with the thoughts and emotions which go through her mind...and the roller coaster of emotions as events unfold.
Ella Hepworth Dixon (1855-1932) was a British short story writer, journalist and novelist. 'The World's Slow Stain' is the story of a reconciliation which goes catastrophically wrong. Adela Buller and Anthony Mellingham, whose love affair ended badly 10 years earlier meet again and agree to marry. But after they broke up the first time, Adela published a bitter novel under a pseudonym in which she modelled the lead character - a dreadful cad - on Mellingham.