1816 Audiobooks

Darkness

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

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by Lord Byron
5 minutes, 19 seconds
Unabridged Narrative Poem
1816

Lord Byron

In which our hero, the most Romantic of all the Romantic poets, takes on the end of the world.

Written in Geneva, Switzerland in the summer of 1816, when Byron, Mary Shelley, Percy Shelley, and John Polidori spent their evenings telling each other ghost stories. The resulting tales included Shelley’s Frankenstein, Polidori’s creation of the vampire/vampyre genre (based on a novel fragment of Byron’s), and this gloomy, speculative verse.

Read by Alex Wilson.



Funding A Free Audio Library

Originally for sale on July 26, 2007, and released free with a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial License five years later. See the Mission page for why.


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The Prisoner of Chillon

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

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by Lord Byron
22 minutes
Unabridged Longform Narrative Poem
1816

Lord Byron

The story-poem about Francois Bonivard, a 16th century monk imprisoned in the Chateau de Chillon.

Read by Alex Wilson.



Funding A Free Audio Library

Originally for sale on June 27, 2007, and released free with a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial License five years later. See the Mission page for why.


Read more, listen to a sample, etc…

Hymn to Intellectual Beauty

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

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by Percy Shelley
5 minutes, 13 seconds
Unabridged Formal Poetry
1816

Percy Shelley

A confessional poem by Shelley, written during the summer he spent on the shores of Lake Geneva. Read by Alex Wilson.

Funding A Free Audio Library

Originally for sale on April 30, 2004, and released free with a Creative Commons Attribution License five years later. See the Mission page for why.



Percy Shelley (1792-1822) was an English Romantic-Era poet known for his radical values (for the time period) and his idealism about human nature and love. His wife, Mary Shelley, was the author of the novel Frankenstein (and was the daughter of Mary Wollstonecraft).


Alex Wilson is a writer and actor from northern Ohio and now based in Carrboro, North Carolina. His stories and comics have appeared/will appear in
Asimov's Science Fiction, The Rambler, Outlaw Territory II (Image Comics), Weird Tales, Futurismic, LCRW and elsewhere. Locus has called him a "promising new writer," and Publishers Weekly also has nice things to say. Website)

Alex has performed lead roles in the North American premiere of (Richard Taylor's musical)
Whistle Down the Wind and (Emmy-nominated director Jack Lucido's film) The Third Cord. He has recently appeared in the Deep Dish Theater productions of Hedda Gabler and Moon for the Misbegotten, and recorded narrations for Escape Pod and Night Shade Books. (Acting Resume/Reel) On early Telltale recordings, Alex is sometimes credited as "Alexander Wilson." He founded Telltale in 2004.


 

Kubla Khan & The Pains of Sleep

Monday, October 10th, 2005

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by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
6 minutes, 58 seconds
Unabridged Formal Poetry
1816

Two poems by one of the founders of the Romantic Movement.

Coleridge claimed that “Kubla Khan,” one of his most famous works, came to him in an opium-inspired dream. Coleridge’s symbolic pleasure-dome of Xanadu in this poem is referenced and even built in Orson Well’s classic film, Citizen Kane. The full title of the poem is “Kubla Khan Or, a Vision in a Dream. A Fragment.”

“The Pains of Sleep” by contrast is a more conversational and emotional piece, dealing with nightmares instead of utopian fantasies, but it is very likely that this poem, too, was inspired by Coleridge’s continued opium use.

Though both poems were first published at the same time in 1816, Coleridge wrote “Kubla Khan” a good 6 years before 1803’s “The Pains of Sleep,” revealing very different mental reactions to his continued drug use. 1816 was also the year when Coleridge finally sought help for his addiction.

Read by Alex Wilson.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) was an English poet and philosopher who began the Romantic Movement of poetry with William Wordsworth. He is best known for his longform poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.


Alex Wilson is a writer and actor from northern Ohio and now based in Carrboro, North Carolina. His stories and comics have appeared/will appear in
Asimov's Science Fiction, The Rambler, Outlaw Territory II (Image Comics), Weird Tales, Futurismic, LCRW and elsewhere. Locus has called him a "promising new writer," and Publishers Weekly also has nice things to say. Website)

Alex has performed lead roles in the North American premiere of (Richard Taylor's musical)
Whistle Down the Wind and (Emmy-nominated director Jack Lucido's film) The Third Cord. He has recently appeared in the Deep Dish Theater productions of Hedda Gabler and Moon for the Misbegotten, and recorded narrations for Escape Pod and Night Shade Books. (Acting Resume/Reel) On early Telltale recordings, Alex is sometimes credited as "Alexander Wilson." He founded Telltale in 2004.