Top Classic Audio Books
The Prince and the Pauper (1882) represents Mark Twain's first attempt at historical fiction. The book, set in 1547, tells the story of two young boys who are identical in appearance: Tom Canty, a pauper who lives with his abusive father in Offal Court, London, and Prince Edward son of Henry VIII of England. Due to a series of circumstances, the boys accidentally replace each other, and much of the humor in the book originates in the two boys' inability to function in the world that is so familiar to the other (although Tom soon displays considerable wisdom in his decisions).
A Yankee engineer from Connecticut is accidentally transported back in time to the court of King Arthur, where he fools the inhabitants of that time into thinking he is a magician—and soon uses his knowledge of modern technology to become a "magician" in earnest, stunning the English of the Early Middle Ages with such feats as demolitions, fireworks and the shoring up of a holy well. He attempts to modernize the past, but in the end he is unable to prevent the death of Arthur and an interdict against him by the Catholic Church of the time, which grows fearful of his power.
The $30,000 Bequest and Other Stories is a 1906 collection of 30 comic short stories by American humorist and writer Mark Twain. Published just 4 years before his death, this was the last time he chose works from throughout his career, in an effort to show the diversity of his style and the breadth and depth of his interests.
Love and Friendship is a juvenile story by Jane Austen, dated 1790, when Austen was 14 years old. Love and Friendship (the misspelling is one of many in the story) is clearly a parody of romantic novels Austen read as a child. This is clear even from the subtitle, "Deceived in Friendship and Betrayed in Love," which neatly undercuts the title.
Northanger Abbey is a hilarious parody of 18th century gothic novels. The heroine, 17-year old Catherine, has been reading far too many "horrid" gothic novels and would love to encounter some gothic-style terror -- but the superficial world of Bath proves hazardous enough.
Jane Austen’s sparkling comedy of manners with wit and vivacity, and brings the characters to life. Mr. Woodhouse worries and frets, Miss Bates chatters on, and Emma blithely manipulates and misunderstands her friends and family until she finally learns her lesson!
The two eldest Dashwood sisters, Elinor and Marianne, one of whom (Elinor) embraces practicality and restraint while the other (Marianne) gives her whole heart to every endeavor. When the Dashwoods - mother Mrs. Dashwood, Elinor, Marianne, and youngest sister Margaret - are sent, almost impoverished, to a small cottage in Devonshire after the death of their father and the machinations of their brother's wife, they accept their new circumstances with as much cheer as they can muster even though their brother and his wife have taken over the family estate and fortune."
This classic tale tells of an orphan, Pip, who through a series of strange circumstances first finds a trade as a blacksmith's apprentice and then learns that he has "great expectations" of a future inheritance from an anonymous benefactor. He soon learns to live the profligate life of a gentleman as he gradually sheds his associations with the gentle souls of his past, Joe (the blacksmith) and Biddy (a level-headed young lady). He throws his money at improving the prospects of his roommate and friend Herbert and his heart at an "ice princess" whose heart will never respond. But then an escaped convict from his distant past comes calling, and all Pip's hopes dissolve.