Archive for the ‘English fiction (contributions)’ category

LibriVox and Charles Dickens

February 8, 2012

I may be a day late as Dickens’s birthday was yesterday, but we at LibriVox will be working away throughout the 200th anniversary year to bring you as many of Dickens’s lesser-known works as possible.

Already, there are LibriVox recordings of all his great novels – many have a choice of recordings. Now, we are working our way through his other works, including short stories, magazine articles, letters, speeches and poetry.

Volume 1 of our Charles Dickens 200th Anniversary Collection was released yesterday on the great man’s birthday, and we have several more volumes in progress.

This volume has short stories, articles, speeches and poetry. If you have never managed to get to grips with one of his vast novels, do try listening to some of his shorter stories, or one of his rants about the many things that he disagreed with. He is remarkably funny at times.

You may also be interested in the short Dickens-flavoured podcast that I hosted this week. Lucy Perry, Martin Geeson and Andy Minter tell us why they have come to like Dickens, and there are short excerpts of some recordings too, to give you an idea of what there is to enjoy.

LibriVox Christmas Collections

December 20, 2011

2011 Christmas Short Works Collection
2011 Christmas Carol Collection

The festive season looms again, and once more we invite you to sample the fare of our Christmas collections at LibriVox. As usual, they are a mixture of the traditional and the unfamiliar. Every year we discover absolute gems from the dusty basements of the Internet Archive.

This time, I found a delightful poem called Santa Claus in a 1907 book imaginatively titled Christmas.

Or, how about a real tear-jerker of a short story by Bret Harte: Santa Claus at Simpson’s Bar, wonderfully read by Don Jenkins?

And how can you possibly resist David Wales reading Julius Adolphus Jenkins’s Christmas Alligator?

These and many more are included in the 2011 Christmas Short Works Collection. It’s a feast – don’t miss it!

The 2011 Christmas Carol Collection is equally varied: fancy a rock version of We Three Kings? We have it. 8th century Latin words set to music by Gustav Holst? We have that too. An old version of Twelve Days of Christmas sung by LOTS of LibriVoxateers… my own contributions of some wonderful folk carols rescued from oblivion by Cecil Sharp in the early 1900s… a very professional performance of Gesù Bambino by Susan K. Hawthorne… and much more.

Much fun had by all. 🙂 Happy Christmas, everybody!

LibriVox Sixth Anniversary 10th August 2011

August 9, 2011

On August 10th, 2011, LibriVox is six years old. Hurray!

For the first time ever, I have dared to host a LibriVox podcast. It’s quite different from recording books that someone else wrote, and a little unnerving, and of course I had to go for a big one: The LibriVox 6th Anniversary Podcast.

Read more about it and listen to it on this page:

We also decided to repeat last year’s anniversary short works collection. Last year, LibriVoxers found 55 short works with ‘five’ in the title.

Naturally, this year we had to go one better: 66 short works of the most amazing variety, all with ‘six’ in the title. Seven of them from me – yes, greedy as always, I couldn’t stop at six. Poetry, short stories, even a song from the 1917 Ziegfeld Midnight Frolic.

Here it is:

LibriVox Christmas Collections

December 24, 2010

Two new LibriVox collections are now out: The Christmas Short Works Collection and the Christmas Carol Collection.

In the Short Works, I read two short stories: Bertie’s Christmas Eve by the inimitable Saki and Christmas Storms and Sunshine by Mrs. Gaskell. Both delightful stories to enjoy over a glass of wine and a mince pie.

In the Christmas Carol Collection I sing three – two of which are very ancient indeed. The Boar’s Head Carol is still sung every year as part of a procession at Queen’s College, Oxford. More info about this ancient tradition in Wikipedia here.

The second is a traditional Wassail Song, which is very jolly. If you have never heard of the term wassail, it is a contraction of the Middle English phrase wæs hæil, meaning literally ‘good health’ or ‘be you healthy’. The song refers to ‘wassailing’, or singing carols door to door wishing good health.

My third this year is a less well-known sacred carol Sleep! Holy Babe.

Contributions to previous collections:

Christmas Short Works Collection 2008:
A Christmas Tree by Charles Dickens
The Coventry Carol (sung)
Die Koenige by Peter Cornelius (sung). (The Atkins arrangement, Three Kings from Persian Lands Afar, is still under copyright, but the original German is in the Public Domain.)

Christmas Carol Collection 2009:
In Dulci Jubilo (sung)

Christmas Short Works Collection 2009
A Christmas Mystery: the Story of Three Wise Men by William J. Locke
Poem: Old Christmas Returned
Quem Pastores Laudavere (sung)

I wish you all a very happy and peaceful Christmas, and a prosperous New Year! 🙂

%d bloggers like this: