The Janissary Tree
Istanbul 1836: ten years after the Janissaries, the Sultan’s elite guard, had been disbanded and slaughtered, men from the New Guard go missing; while in the palace, a young concubine has been murdered. These first, mysterious cases for Yashim, the eunuch detective, are read by Andrew Sachs. Abridged. 4 CDs: 4hrs
The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
Dr Jekyll’s elixir was meant to help him explore the hidden depths of his personality, but instead created the monstrous and uncontrollable alter ego, Edward Hyde. A condensed version of Stevenson’s famous horror story is read here by John Sessions. 2 CDs; 2hrs 34mins.
The Lady Elizabeth
The Lady Elizabeth is the daughter of Henry VIII, but disinherited and declared a bastard after the execution of her mother. How the young Elizabeth survives the savage world of Tudor politics, inherits the throne and becomes queen is the subject of Alison Weir's novel. It is read here by Emma Fielding. Abridged.
Zorro - 3 Audiobooks
Zorro, the masked alter ego of Don Diego de la Vega, first rode out on his black stallion to avenge the oppressed of Spanish California in The Curse of Capistrano (1919). Zorro was so popular, his creator, Johnston McCulley (1883–1958), wrote three more books of adventures. The novellas are read here by Bill Homewood. Unabridged. The items included in this set are:Sign of Zorro (Read more...) Further Adventures of Zorro (Read more...) Zorro Rides Again (Read more...)
Mightier than the Sword
This fifth book in the Clifton Chronicles series opens with an IRA bomb exploding during MV Buckingham’s maiden voyage – with repercussions for Emma Clifton, chairman of Barrington Shipping. Meanwhile, Harry Clifton is campaigning to free a Russian dissident author. Jeffrey Archer’s cliffhanger is read here by Alex Jennings. Unabridged.
In Mary Shelley’s powerful Promethean fable, Dr Frankenstein’s experiment and its terrible outcome is told through the letters of an English explorer who met the doomed scientist as he pursued his monster into the Arctic wilderness. This abridged version is read by Daniel Philpott, Jonathan Oliver and Chris Larkin. Naxos Young Adult Classics. 2 CDs 2hrs 37mins, plus a bonus CD-ROM with a full text and study guide.
In Mary Shelley’s powerful Promethean fable, Dr Frankenstein’s experiment and its terrible outcome is told through the letters of an English explorer who met the doomed scientist as he pursued his monster into the Arctic wilderness. Read by Daniel Philpott, Roger May and Jonathan Oliver.
The Essential Edgar Allan Poe
Stories. Poems. Biography
Although stories such as The Pit and the Pendulum, The Tell-Tale Heart and The Murders in the Rue Morgue have remained popular to this day, Edgar Allan Poe (1809–1849) felt that his vocation was poetry. This collection includes both stories and poems, plus a biography of Poe. The works are unabridged and read by Kerry Shale, William Roberts and John Chancer.
Science Fiction Writers
Douglas Adams on Desert Island Discs, Ursula K LeGuin interviewed on Woman's Hour, Kurt Vonnegut talking on Third Ear in 1990.... Originally broadcast on BBC radio, these interviews feature ten of the really great science fiction writers talking about their art. The other seven writers are Isaac Asimov, Brian Aldiss, Doris Lessing, Michael Moorcock, JG Ballard, Arthur C Clarke (another Desert Islander) and Ray Bradbury. One CD: duration 73 minutes.
Scouting for Boys
Robert Baden-Powell intended his 1908 scoutcraft manual to be a book of practical advice and instruction for boys' self-improvement, but its success gave impetus to the foundation of the Scout movement. Mixing practical advice on topics such as woodcraft, camping and first aid with personal anecdotes and moral observations. Read by Hugh Dennis. Abridged.
The Swiss Family Robinson
The epic tale of a Swiss family’s shipwreck and their survival on an uncharted tropical island has been a bestseller since it was published in 1812. What started as a bedtime story for Pastor Wyss’ own four sons, aiming to teach them about nature, survival, self-reliance and cooperation, is now a classic of children’s literature. This abridged version is read by Jonathan Keeble. Naxos Junior Classics.
Famous Heroes of the American West
William Roberts tells the stories of iconic figures from the history of the American ‘Wild West’, exploring in detail the real exploits of ‘heroes’ including Daniel Boone, Kit Carson, Davy Crockett, Sitting Bull, Geronimo, Calamity Jane and Wyatt Earp. The text is read by Adam Sims, with music by Gottschalk and Macdowell. Age 12+
‘It’s the dramatic, astonishing, comic or eye-popping truth that you’ll hear about in Pirates! ’ Roy McMillan traces the history of piracy on the high seas – often more extraordinary than fiction – since antiquity and tells the stories of notorious individuals such as Blackbeard, Anne Bonny, Barbarossa and Mary Read. Read by Jasper Britton.
Our Island Story
HE Marshall (1867–1941) incorporated folk legends and focused on famous people and dramatic events in her books to give children a lively and engaging introduction to British history. Anna Bentinck and Daniel Philpott read the unabridged third volume, covering the period from James I and Guy Fawkes to Queen Victoria.
What Katy Did at School
Based on Susan Coolidge’s own upbringing in a well-to-do New England family, the Katy books are among the best-loved of children’s classics. This second book in the series sees Katy and her sister Clover adjusting to life in boarding school. Here, the American actress Laurel Lefkow reads an abridged version.
Beautiful Bird Songs from Around the World
A Skylark, recorded in the Outer Hebrides; the Musical Wren from the Amazonian rainforest; a plaintive Hoopoe Lark in the North African desert: or the strange sound of the Kokako, heard in the wild only in New Zealand's North Island... With recordings drawn from the British Library Sound Archive, this double CD set presents 40 of the most inspiring sounds of the natural world, whether richly melodic, ethereal or simply amazing, like the mimickry of Albert's Lyrebird. 2 CDs total duration over 2 hours.
On The Genealogy of Morals
This important work comprises three essays: Good and Evil, Guilt, Bad Conscience and Related Matters and What Do Ascetic Ideals Mean? Nietzsche (1844–1900) analyses the evolution of moral concepts in a critique of 'moral prejudices', specifically the morality of the Christian and Judaic traditions. The complete, unabridged work is read here by Duncan Steen.
The Last King of Scotland
A young Scottish doctor working in a medical mission in Uganda becomes dangerously compromised when he is chosen as personal physician to Idi Amin, the country’s brutal and unpredictable dictator. This abridged version of the bestselling thriller is read here by Forbes Masson. 4 CDs: 4hrs 20mins.
The Snake Stone
A Yashim the Eunuch Mystery
In 1838, Maximilien Lefèvre, a French archaeologist, arrives in Istanbul to excavate a Byzantine treasure, but rumours about his real motives abound and Yashim is hired to investigate him. Then Lefèvre’s mutilated body is discovered, and in his second case, Yashim himself becomes the suspect. Read by Andrew Sachs. Abridged.
The Sunday Sessions
Philip Larkin Reading his Poetry
Recorded in February 1980, in the garage of Larkin’s friend John Weeks, the two Sunday Sessions tapes contain 26 poems from four collections: The North Ship, The Less Deceived, The Whitsun Weddings and High Windows. The tapes were found in the garage in 2006 and are released on a vinyl LP recording, as befits Larkin’s love of records.
No Cunning Plan
After stints in regional theatre in Leeds, Birmingham and Bristol, Tony Robinson played small parts on television during the 1970s, including presenting Play Away, and began to make his name as a comedian in the early 1980s with the sketch show Who Dares Wins. The Blackadder star reads his engaging autobiography in this 12-CD set.
More Great Scientists
and Their Discoveries
Including extracts from classical music, this CD features scientists ranging from Copernicus to Humboldt, Babbage and Oppenheimer. Often self-taught, each individual had passion, dedication and the ability to overcome great obstacles in the quest for truth.
In Praise of Shadows
In this classic essay, Junichiro Tanizaki (1886–1965) celebrates the aesthetics of traditional Japanese culture and its use of natural light, shade and darkness. The 1933 Harper and Seidensticker translation is read, unabridged by David Rintoul. 2 CDs 1 hr 28 mins
The Finest Nonsense of Edward Lear
Read by one of Britain’s best-loved actors, these 29 verses include ‘The Owl and the Pussycat’ and ‘The Jumblies’, with less well-known rhymes such as ‘The Duck and the Kangaroo’ and ‘The New Vestments’. The sleeve notes offer a fascinating insight into Lear’s life. Age 8+
The Great Poets: Walt Whitman
Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass was considered disreputable when it was published in 1855; now he is seen as ‘America’s poet’. This selection of ten poems includes ‘I Sing the Body Electric’ from Leaves of Grass and Whitman’s Civil War rallying cry to the North, ‘Beat! Beat! Drums!’.