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Browse audiobooks narrated by Peter Wickham, listen to samples and when you're ready head over to Audiobooks.com where you can get 3 FREE audiobooks on us
First published in 1871, The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex sees Darwin apply his evolutionary theory to the human race, controversially placing apes in our family tree. The book covers a range of adjacent themes, including differences between different peoples, the dominance of women in mate choice, and the relevance of evolutionary theory to general society. After the criticism of his On the Origin of Species, Darwin was apprehensive about the possible public reception of The Descent of Man. However, there was an immediate interest in the book and it had to be reprinted within three weeks of publication, leading a relieved Darwin to remark that 'Everybody is talking about it without being shocked'.Show more
At the centre of The Dark Night of the Soul (La noche oscura del alma) is a poem written by the 16th-century Spanish poet and mystic St John of the Cross. Consisting of eight stanzas, each of five lines, the poem outlines the journey in pursuit of divine union, within which the only source of light comes from the soul. This recording in English includes the poem itself and St John's two accompanying treatises (1584-5), essentially commentaries, which offer line-by-line explanations of the poem. Many modern readers have found guidance and consolation in this work.Show more
Sent by the French government to examine the American prison system, Alexis de Tocqueville spent nine months touring the United States between 1831 and 1832. However, fascinated by the success of America's democratic system, de Tocqueville took advantage of his stay to examine the country's foundations and glean ideas that might rescue his homeland from the manacles of social inequality. He leaves no stone unturned, exploring each branch of government, the constitution, economics, religion, race, the judiciary, laws, principles, education, culture, and views on wealth and poverty. Many of his observations have been praised for their prescience and foresight, and many are still relevant, offering fresh and piercing insights into American life today.Show more
It was Adam Smith (1723–1790) who first established economics as a separate branch of knowledge, and many would say his work has never been surpassed. The Wealth of Nations, which appeared in 1776, is the definitive text for all who believe that economic decisions are best left to markets, not governments. At the heart of Smith’s doctrine is an optimistic view of the effects of self-interest. Though each individual seeks only personal gain, the collective result is increased prosperity, which benefits society as a whole.Show more
Charged with treason under Theodoric the Great in sixth-century Rome, Boethius served one year's imprisonment, awaiting trial and eventual execution. During this time, he wrote The Consolation of Philosophy, which would go on to be one of the most popular philosophical works of all time, contributing much to medieval thought and influencing the likes of Dante and Chaucer, as well as Renaissance writers such as Milton and Shakespeare. Grieving over the injustice of his imprisonment, Boethius meditates on the nature of God, the fickleness of Fortune, the idea of free will, why bad things happen to good people, and the nature of happiness. His arguments take the form of a rich and exquisite dialogue between himself and Lady Philosophy, and make many allusions to classical Greek and Roman literature in an attempt to create a coherent philosophy that supports his world view. It has been declared a 'golden volume not unworthy of the leisure of Plato or Tully' (Edward Gibbon). **Contact Customer Service for Additional Content**Show more
The Travels of Marco Polo is the classic account of Marco Polo's journey to China from Venice, and his discoveries as an emissary to the great Kublai Khan. Polo explores everywhere from Baghdad, Armenia and Russia to the Caspian Sea, the Gobi Desert and the small fishing villages of China, describing the geography, architecture and customs of these exotic places. He tells stories of assassins, cannibals, fantastical animals, feasts and battles, and gives a fascinating account of the multicultural empire of Kublai Khan. The Travels is said to have inspired the voyages of Magellan and Columbus, the latter having kept an annotated copy among his belongings. It remains one of the most entertaining travelogues in existence.Show more
The Story of My Life is the explosive and exhilarating autobiography by the infamous libertine Giacomo Casanova. Intense and scandalous, Casanova's extraordinary adventures take the listener on an incredible voyage across 18th-century Europe - from France to Russia, Poland to Spain and Turkey to Germany, with Venice at their heart. He falls madly in love, has wild flings and delirious orgies, and encounters some of the most brilliant figures of his time, including Catherine the Great, Louis XV and Benjamin Franklin. He holds a verbal duel with Voltaire, a pistol duel with a Polish noble, and finds himself hauled before the court multiple times, including in London, where the judge in question turns out to be none other than Henry Fielding. His appetite for life is voracious; for him, a life lived close to the precipice is the only life worth living. The book is divided into six sections. Volume 3 contains the fifth and sixth sections: '5: In London and Moscow' and '6: Spanish Passions'.Show more
Intended to be a defense of the Christian religion, Pensées is a penetrating collection of thoughts on faith, reason and theology. Unfinished at the time of Pascal's death, the book consists of philosophical fragments on the 'wretchedness' of man and the controversial schisms of the church at the time. It includes the philosopher's infamous wager encouraging belief over agnosticism, as well as his thoughts on numerous other topics, including the great essayist Montaigne and the Stoic teacher Epictetus. Endlessly quotable, Pensées overflows with pearls of wisdom, with each elusive sentence pregnant with a universe of thought.Show more
The Story of My Life is the explosive and exhilarating autobiography by the infamous libertine Giacomo Casanova. Intense and scandalous, Casanova's extraordinary adventures take the listener on an incredible voyage across 18th-century Europe - from France to Russia, Poland to Spain and Turkey to Germany, with Venice at their heart. He falls madly in love, has wild flings and delirious orgies, and encounters some of the most brilliant figures of his time, including Catherine the Great, Louis XV and Benjamin Franklin. He holds a verbal duel with Voltaire, a pistol duel with a Polish noble, and finds himself hauled before the court multiple times, including in London, where the judge in question turns out to be none other than Henry Fielding. His appetite for life is voracious; for him, a life lived close to the precipice is the only life worth living. The book is divided into six sections. Volume 2 contains the third and fourth sections: '3: The Eternal Quest' and '4: Adventures in the South'.Show more
"Dubbed the greatest horror story in English by Stephen King, The Great God Pan is an eerie and otherworldly mystery about a diabolical operation and its terrifying repercussions. After rescuing a young woman from the streets of London, Dr Raymond uses her as a test subject for brain surgery aimed at 'lifting the veil' of reality, to see the supernatural and the 'great god Pan'. The operation is a disaster and leaves the subject lobotomised. Years later, London becomes afflicted with a strange series of male suicides connected to a beautiful but sinister woman named Helen. Just who is she, and what is her connection to Dr Raymond's failed experiment? First published in 1890, The Great God Pan influenced many writers of the genre, including the unrivalled master H.P. Lovecraft. It makes perfect listening for a dark and rainy evening. The collection also includes: The White People, The Green Book, The Inmost Light, The Novel of the Black Seal, The Novel of the White Powder, The Red Hand, The Shining Pyramid and A Fragment of Life.Show more
Born out of the political turmoil of the English Civil War, Leviathan stands out as one of the most in influential political and philosophical texts of the seventeenth century. It argues for the restoration of the monarchy, in light of the Republic, and calls for a commonwealth ruled by an authoritative, autocratic figure with absolute sovereignty. This would put an end to all controversy, war and fear, and establish peace via social contract. Over the course of the book Hobbes targets Christianity and contemporary philosophic methods, rejecting the idea of spirits and souls, and arguing for a philosophy to end divisiveness and provide indisputable conclusions. These highly controversial theses led to book burnings in 1666 and Hobbes being dubbed the ‘Monster of Malmsbury’. **Please Contact Customer Service for Additional Documents**Show more
From the author of the acclaimed Crooked Heart comes another “smart, funny, ingenious, revealing tale of London life during the Second World War” (The Independent)—longlisted for the Orange Prize upon its original publication in England. It is 1940. France has fallen, and only a narrow strip of sea lies between Great Britain and invasion. The war could go either way and everyone must do their bit. Young copy writer Catrin Cole is drafted into the Ministry of Information to help “write women” into propaganda films—something that the men aren’t very good at. She is quickly seconded to the Ministry’s latest endeavor: a heart-warming tale of bravery and rescue at Dunkirk. It’s all completely fabricated, of course, but what does that matter when the nation’s morale is at stake? Since call-up has stripped the industry of its brightest and best, it is the callow, the jaded and the utterly unsuitable who must make up the numbers: Ambrose Hilliard, third most popular British film-star of 1924; Edith Beadmore, Madame Tussauds wardrobe assistant turned costumier; and Arthur Frith, whose peacetime job as a catering manager has not really prepared him for his sudden, unexpected elevation to Special Military Advisor. Now in a serious world, in a nation under siege, they must all swallow their mutual distaste, ill-will, and mistrust to unite for the common good, for King and Country, and—in one case—for better or worse.... “Evans displays a fine eye for detail and for the absurdities involved in filming. She also brilliantly evokes the disruption and dangers of wartime London. This funny, heart-warming and beautifully crafted novel is a must-read.”—Daily Mail (London)Show more
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