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Stephen Fry's Victorian Secrets

Length: 7 hrs and 40 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (143 ratings)

Non-member price: $30.38

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Publisher's Summary

On the surface, the Victorian age is one of propriety, industry, prudishness and piety. But scratch the surface and you’ll find scandal, sadism, sex, madness, malice and murder.

Presented by Stephen Fry, this series delves deep into a period of time we think we know, to discover an altogether darker reality. The stories we’re told offer a different perspective on an era which underwent massive social change. As education, trade, technology and culture blossomed, why was there an undercurrent of the ‘forbidden’ festering beneath Victorian society?

Across 12 episodes, Stephen presents a series of true accounts of the dangerous low life and debauched high life of Victorian Britain.

This is an Audible Original Podcast. Free for members. You can download all 12 episodes to your Library now.

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

Critic Reviews

 ★★★★☆ (The Times)

"Scandalous bedtime storyteller Stephen Fry's new podcast bursts the image of the Victorians as prudish and pious... Debauchery, told with delicious relish." (The Guardian)

"Fantastic...[from] the ever eloquent Stephen Fry." (BBC Radio 4)

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Love this!

Eclectic group of scenarios, stories and topics read entertainingly by Stephen Fry and a handful of actors. Very entertaining!!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Amazing

What a fascinating series. The series is a very high quality production. The addition of experts in their fields, actors reading diary and journal entries and the music made this an enjoyable series to listen to. When you think you know a lot about the Victorians, you will still find that there is a lot you didn’t know.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Can you believe it - things were different then🙄

These would be really interesting stories- except it is basically one long mockery of the people of this time. Shockingly enough they were not living in our wonderfully enlightened days and OMG , apparently that’s unforgivable and laughable.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Very interesting telling of historical occurance.

Love Stephen Fry's narration plus the other narrators included. Also nice to hear from historians and have facts represented.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Very interesting

Loved listening to such interesting and never heard of facts about the people and, somewhat, strange events in the Victorian era. As always, it's fantastic to listen to Stephen Fry's amazing voice.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • AM
  • Australia
  • 12-04-2019

Great stories.

Easy to listen to and fascinating yarns. Fry is a wonderful story teller. I recommend.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Good insight into this era

excellent.insight in to Victorian England and abroad. Well narrated by Stephan Fry. would like to see more installments

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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top notch

factually fabulous and and characteristically charming. binged the whole thing and I loved it completely.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Fascinating stories

Really enjoyable look back at the past, based on research done by academic historians seemingly for the most part. I enjoyed hearing about the sources they used to uncover the truth. There is a bit of casual misogyny unfortunately which reduced my ratings. For instance, after describing pornography for men who have sex with men featuring a consensual act, what is described as the equivalent for the (straight?) ladies is a description of a women's physical and sexual assault by a man, which is definitely presented non-consensual. Overall well researched though.

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OK, some parts better than others, it was free

free so OK, some parts better than others probably wouldn't have ordered it otherwise anyway, sometimes quite amusing though

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  • Simon
  • 21-10-2018

The Quintessential Englishman!

Well, well, Stephen Fry appearing in Victoria(sic) Secret! Now there's an image to conjure with . . . though I am sure that even Stephen himself would agree that it's maybe not one to conjure with too long! He really is an absolute star on Audible and this is another fine series that he's helped bring to life with his narrating talents.

To suggest that the quality of this offering is based on Fry alone would be to do it a massive disservice though. This is a fascinating part of both British and world history and it's explored with a genuine relish for the subject. I was a little perturbed at first at how much the program seemed to be relying on expert contribution from US Universities but the subjects had global reach and the quality of the insight offered was excellent.

Never falling into the trap of glorifying or just simply titillating this is a very wry adult look at some of the quirkiest and at times darkest of aspects of Victorian life.

62 of 78 people found this review helpful

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  • Jake
  • 23-10-2018

Fantastic book!

That was highly entertaining and insightful look at Victorian England! Stephen Fry was as usual brilliant and you could hear his passion and intrigue come across within his narration. I very much recommend this book, it is a great listen. It is also free.

28 of 36 people found this review helpful

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  • Trax UK
  • 30-11-2018

That darn piano!

I gave it 2 episodes and the ‘background’ piano finally got to me. I’m sure that the stories are interesting enough without it but my head just can’t filter it out.

28 of 37 people found this review helpful

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  • ElizabethLovick
  • 14-12-2018

Ruined by the intrusive musak

Stephen Fry was brilliant. The historians were brilliant. The subject matter was brilliant.

But.

The music "behind" the speech was so loud that there were times when I could not hear what the interviewees were saying. As a result, listening to this was not relaxing, but hard work. Such a shame.

13 of 17 people found this review helpful

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  • C Dale
  • 14-11-2018

Distracting music.

I found this book impossible to listen to. The incredibly annoying, distracting, all pervasive piano music throughout the readings by Mr Fry completely destroyed the listening experience for me. Such a shame, because I really enjoy his narration.

22 of 30 people found this review helpful

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  • Vickster
  • 26-10-2018

Fascinating look at our not too distant past

Beautifully performed, as always by Mr Fry, but also an excellent supporting cast; telling an intriguing, fascinating history of Victorian life, from the perspective of "secrets". Thoroughly recommend and wondering how folks in a couple of hundred years time would look at our society today!... So fascinating to realise - as is often the case when you study history - how you can draw the threads of the past into how we have turned out today.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Anastacia
  • 21-10-2018

Absolutely Brilliant !!!

Narrated by Stephen Fry's amazing wit and humour. A fascinating and surprising journey through Victorian Britain that will leave you questioning everything you thought you knew about our buttoned up, stiff upper lipped, bustle bottomed ancestors. Utterly brilliant !!!

12 of 17 people found this review helpful

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  • Sasperella
  • 16-02-2019

Very interesting.

I could listen to Fry all day. What a great listen, very informative and each chapter was perfect for the daily commute.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 15-11-2018

Amazing

I LOVED listening to this! He really gets you involved in it! I wish there was more, its so historical but he tells it in such a fun way! I would recommend it to everyone who’s interested in the Victorian era

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Markybailey
  • 21-10-2018

Love fhis

Just discovered today - listened to three episodes and I love this. Educating and interesting content - brought to life well by Stephen Fry and some great actors

4 of 6 people found this review helpful