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Posts Tagged ‘Biography’

Charles and Emma: The Darwin’s Leap of Faith  ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Read by Rosalyn Landor
6 Discs

Charles Darwin published The Origin of Specie, his revolutionary tract on evolution and the fundamental ideas involved, in 1859 and nearly 150 years later, the theory of evolution continues to create tension between the scientific and religious communities.  That same debate raged within Darwin himself, and played an important part in his marriage: his wife, Emma, was quite religious, and her faith gave Charles a great deal to consider as he worked on a theory that continues to spark intense debates.  Charles and Emma is a thought-provoking account of the marriage behind evolutionary theory: how their personal lives affected his work and vice versa. 

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The Tudors ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Read by Robins Sachs

Download (24 hrs and 34 mins)

“More than four centuries after the death of the last Tudor, there continues to be an immense gap between who the various members of the family actually were and what most people–including most people with some knowledge of English history–think they know about them. The real Henry VIII was both a greater and lesser man than the lusty Bluff King Hal of legend, the man who famously had six wives. Elizabeth was vastly more complicated, more pathetic and less noble than the glorious façade behind which she concealed herself. The now-obscure Henry VII, Edward VI, and Mary I were both more important as rulers and far more fascinating as human beings than is commonly understood.” (GJ Meyer) Amazon

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The Lost Painting ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Read by Campbell Scott
6 discs

In an Italian village on a hilltop near the Adriatic coast, Francesca Cappelletti, a young graduate student from Rome, makes a discovery that inspires a search for a work of art of incalculable value, a painting lost for almost two centuries. The artist was Caravaggio, a master of the Italian Baroque. He was a genius, a revolutionary painter, and a man beset by personal demons. Four hundred years ago, he drank and brawled in the taverns and streets of Rome, moving from one rooming house to another, constantly in and out of jail, all the while painting works of transcendent emotional and visual power.

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Josephine: A life of an Empress ♥ ♥ ♥
Read by Davina Porter

When she married Napoleon Bonaparte in 1796, Rose de Beauharnais was a 32-year-old widow who had narrowly escaped the French Revolution’s guillotine. She was six years older than he, notorious for her lovers, and unlikely to give him children, but possessed of the social connections and skills the ambitious young general thought would help him rise in the revolutionary army. He gave “his living reverie, his dream of perfect passion” a new name, Josephine

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Six Wives: The Queens of Henry VIII ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Read by Paul Matthews

This account differs than other collection because it focuses at greater length on political and religious subtleties, and develops an imposing cast of supporting characters. The bulk of the book inevitably deals with Henry’s first two wives, Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn. Accounts of the remaining queens are fleshed out nicely to suggest their personalities, their place in the family networks and religious currents at court and the overall patterns of the king’s infatuations and disillusionments.

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Three Cups of Tea ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Read by Patrick Lawlor

11 discs

Three Cups of Tea traces Mortenson’s decade-long odyssey to build school especially for girls, throughout the region that gave birth to the Taliban and sanctuary to Al Qaeda. While he wages war with the root causes of terrorism, poverty and ignorance, Mortenson survives kidnapping, fatwas issued by enraged mullahs, death threats from Americans who consider him a traitor, and wrenching separations from his family.

Oh, but I do not care for Patrick Lawlor’s slight scratchy voice quality, good thing the book was compelling.

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The Lives of the Kings and Queens of England ♥ ♥ ♥
Read by Wanda McCaddon

Breif biographical sketches of English monarchs from the Normans to the Windsors.  Comprehensive in scope but academic and dry in detail.

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