The World’s Lumber Room by Selina Gaye

As the author, Selina Gaye (1840 – 1914), writes in her preface: “The object of this volume is to give, in popular form, an account of some of the many ways in which refuse is made and disposed of, first and chiefly by Nature, and secondly by Man.” So, yes, it is nine hours of rubbish. 😉

This recording is a little out of the ordinary for me, but I found the book enthralling, and having recorded it, I do indeed look at dust and rubbish with new eyes, though it doesn’t in truth make housework any more pleasurable.

In the midst of this recording, I wasn’t very well for some time and couldn’t do much, so I spent many hours in front of the television. I discovered many interesting programmes that dealt with the natural world, in particular geologist Prof. Iain Stewart’s excellent documentaries Earth: The Power of the Planet and How Earth Made Us.

To my surprise, there seems to be little in Selina Gaye’s book that has actually been disproved more than a century later. She admits herself that the science of the day did not yet provide the answers to some questions (the cause of earthquakes, for instance), but this is unsurprising as plate tectonics had not even been thought of when the book was written in 1885.

Miss Gaye clearly consulted many scientific authorities of the day, using as her sources works such as Elements of Chemical and Physical Geology by Gustav Bischof, Darwin’s Journal of Researches, Coral Reefs and Vegetable Mould and Earthworms, Dana’s Coral Reefs and Islands, Maury’s The Physical Geography of the Sea, and the Earl of Dunraven’s The Great Divide among many other books and scientific journals.

I really enjoyed recording this. I learned a lot, and it made me much more curious about the natural world than I had ever been before. I do hope you find the same.

Here it is:

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4 Comments on “The World’s Lumber Room by Selina Gaye”

  1. Tom Doody Says:

    I am listening to Richard III from librivox, and I have a question. I am not sure who to ask. Can you help?

  2. Tom Doody Says:

    Dear Ruth: Thank you for the reply, and willingness to consider my Shakespeare Richard III question. Here are the three references: ONE: The jealous o’er-worn widow, and herself TWO: Naught to do with Mistress Shore! I tell thee, fellow He that doth naught with her, excepting one, Were best to do it secretly alone THREE: Were it to call King Edward’s widow sister. This scene references “widow” twice, but I don’t know who the widow(s) is(are). This is a self-study recreational activity prompted by the news of Richard III’s body. I listen to a short section repetitively for about a month, and then I advance one increment. This is my first Shakespeare experience of this depth. Any comments on these three references would be appreciated. Sincerely, Tom Doody P.S. I see you read the part of Queen Margaret in the recording I am listening to – I look forward to hearing your performance.

  3. Tom Doody Says:

    Dear Ruthie: I applied for a librivox account, but I have no notice of denial or approval, and I think enough time has passed. I don’t know if I should continue to wait patiently, or do something like reapply. Can you help? Sincerely, Tom Doody

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