What is sex exactly? Does everyone agree on a definition? And does that definition hold when considering literary production in other times and places? Sex before Sex makes clear that we cannot simply transfer our contemporary notions of what constitutes a sex act into the past and expect them to be true for the people who were then reading literature and watching plays. The contributors confront how our current critical assumptions about definitions of sex restrict our understanding of representations of sexuality in early modern England. Drawing attention to overlooked forms of sexual activity in early modern culture, from anilingus and interspecies sex to ´´chin-chucking´´ and convivial drinking, Sex before Sex offers a multifaceted view of what sex looked like before the term entered history. Through incisive interpretations of a wide range of literary texts, including Romeo and Juliet, The Comedy of Errors, Paradise Lost, the figure of Lucretia, and pornographic poetry, this collection queries what might constitute sex in the absence of a widely accepted definition and how a historicized concept of sex affects the kinds of arguments that can be made about early modern sexualities. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Jim Pelletier. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/032288/bk_acx0_032288_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
World domination is a vision most kings, queens, and emperors can only dream of, and is a path less visited for good reason. It is one that requires, above all, patience, as well as skill, tenacity, and an impenetrable plan of action. The only one to ever come close to this impossible level of prestige is the legendary British Empire. It was under the reign of King Henry VII of England that this ambitious idea of global expansion was first planted. In March of 1496, the king granted an exploratory charter to John Cabot, who would pilot a successful voyage that resulted in the occupation of an uninhabited island in Newfoundland. Though Cabot´s second voyage ended in disaster, the courage and will he displayed during these endeavors inspired English explorers to organize more ventures and take to the seas themselves, as they hoped to see just how far they could push the envelope. Today, the British Army is one of the most powerful fighting forces in the world. Its highly trained professional soldiers are equipped with the most advanced military technology ever made. Naturally, the history and traditions behind this army are also impressive. Britain has not been successfully invaded in centuries. Its soldiers once created and defended a global empire, and during the Second World War, it was one of the leading nations standing against the brutal Axis forces, leading the way in the greatest seaborne invasion in military history.But it was not always like this. For most of its history, Britain was a patchwork of competing nations. England, the largest of its constituent countries, was often relatively weak as a land power compared with its European neighbors. Moreover, Britain’s armies, like those of the other European powers, were neither professional nor standing armies for hundreds of years.The Origins of the British Army: The History of England’s Establishment of a Professional Modern Army covers that period before the devel 1. Language: English. Narrator: Colin Fluxman. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/106384/bk_acx0_106384_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Penguin presents the audiobook edition of Middle England by Jonathan Coe, read by Rory Kinnear. ´It was tempting to think, at times like this, that some bizarre hysteria had gripped the British people.´ Beginning eight years ago on the outskirts of Birmingham, where car factories have been replaced by Poundland, and London, where frenzied riots give way to Olympic fever, Middle England follows a brilliantly vivid cast of characters through a time of immense change.There are newlyweds Ian and Sophie, who disagree about the future of the country and, possibly, the future of their relationship; Doug, the political commentator who writes impassioned columns about austerity from his Chelsea townhouse, and his radical teenage daughter who will stop at nothing in her quest for social justice; Benjamin Trotter, who embarks on an apparently doomed new career in middle age, and his father, Colin, whose last wish is to vote in the European referendum. And within all these lives is the story of modern England: a story of nostalgia and delusion, of bewilderment and barely suppressed rage.Following in the footsteps of The Rotters´ Club and The Closed Circle, Jonathan Coe´s new novel is the novel for our strange new times. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Rory Kinnear. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/pauk/001802/bk_pauk_001802_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Lie back and think of England.... England, 1904. Two years ago, Captain Archie Curtis lost his friends, fingers, and future to a terrible military accident. Alone, purposeless, and angry, Curtis is determined to discover if he and his comrades were the victims of fate, or of sabotage. Curtis´s search takes him to an isolated, ultra-modern country house, where he meets and instantly clashes with fellow guest Daniel da Silva. Effete, decadent, foreign, and all-too-obviously queer, the sophisticated poet is everything the straightforward British officer fears and distrusts. As events unfold, Curtis realizes that Daniel has his own secret intentions. And there´s something else they share - a mounting sexual tension that leaves Curtis reeling. As the house party´s elegant facade cracks to reveal treachery, blackmail, and murder, Curtis finds himself needing clever, dark-eyed Daniel as he has never needed a man before.... Warning: Contains explicit male/male encounters, ghastly historical attitudes, and some extremely stiff upper lips. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Tom Carter. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/adbl/031049/bk_adbl_031049_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
The Victorian era has been one of the most influential in shaping modern British society, and Victoria herself is a powerful symbol of the age. This is a fascinating portrait of the queen, both before and during her reign, by one of the 20th century´s most influential women writers. Making extensive use of Victoria´s Letters and journal, Edith Sitwell brings alive the queen´s relationships with her family and those surrounding the court. She also provides a vivid record of social conditions in Victoria´s England. Edith Sitwell (1887-1964) was born into an aristocratic family and, along with her brothers, Osbert and Sacheverell, had a significant impact on the artistic life of the 20s. She encountered the work of the French symbolists, Rimbaud in particular, early in her writing life and became a champion of the modernist movement, editing six editions of the controversial magazine Wheels. She remained a crusading force against philistinism and conservatism throughout her life and her legacy lies as much in her unstinting support of other artists as it does in her own poetry. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Bean Downes. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/adbl/009440/bk_adbl_009440_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Daniel Gray is about to turn 30. Like any sane person, his response is to travel to Luton, Crewe, and Hinckley. After a decade´s exile in Scotland, he sets out to reacquaint himself with England via what he considers its greatest asset: football. Watching teams from the Championship (or Division Two, as any right-minded person calls it) to the South West Peninsula Premier, and aimlessly walking around towns from Carlisle to Newquay, Gray paints a curious landscape forgotten by many. He discovers how the provinces made the England we know, from Teesside´s role in the Empire to Luton´s in our mongrel DNA. Moments in the histories of his teams come together to form football´s narrative, starting with Sheffield pioneers and ending with fan ownership at Chester, and Gray shows how the modern game unifies an England in flux and dominates the places in which it is played. Hatters, Railwaymen, and Knitters is a wry and affectionate ramble through the wonderful towns and teams that make the country and capture its very essence. It is part football book, part travelogue, and part love letter to the bits of England that often get forgotten, celebrated here in all their blessed eccentricity. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Derek Perkins. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/adbl/014061/bk_adbl_014061_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
The Tower of London is one of the most historic sites in all of England and still one of the most popular. All around is the modern city of London, one of the world´s most prosperous and power financial districts, but the Tower is still a daunting structure that looms across the landscape. Not a single structure but a vast network of medieval and early modern fortifications, it anchors the southeastern end of the old city and controls access to the River Thames and, through it, London´s connection to the sea. While the both the city and the Thames are often obscured by the walls once visitors are inside the Tower, they are inextricably tied to the building, giving the Tower its entire reason for existence. Even today, taking a tour of the Tower can seemingly bring its history to life. Inside the visitor center are replicas of a crown, an executioner´s ax, and similar artifacts, but for most visitors this is just the start. After they cross a small courtyard and approach the first gate, known as the Middle Tower, they come to a stone bridge over a now-dry moat and enter the castle itself through the Byward Tower. The Tower, like many fortresses of its day, was built in concentric rings, so inside the outer wall is a narrow strip of land before the inner walls. Long, narrow buildings line the inside of the outer wall, and to the left, along Mint Street, these structures once housed the operation of the Royal Mint, making all of the coins of the realm. From there most visitors continue straight along, typically guided by one of the colorfully dressed Yeoman Guards (the famous Beefeaters). 1. Language: English. Narrator: Phillip J. Mather. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/033779/bk_acx0_033779_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Richard the Lionheart remains one of England´s most famous kings. His statue stands proudly outside the Houses of Parliament, yet who was Richard? Was there more to him than we see depicted in modern media - the great, missing king from the Robin Hood films who was always having his throne threated by his younger brother John! Or was Richard not worthy of the legend that seems to have been built up around his name? The new Just the Facts books by a young and exciting new author aim to provide introductions to key figures in history. If you liked the History in an Hour books, then you will love the Just the Facts books as well. This is the first audiobook in the series, and it explains all the key moments in the life of Richard the Lionheart. It is a great introduction for someone looking to find out more about England´s crusader king. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Simon Brooks. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/022350/bk_acx0_022350_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
´´I’m glad we’ve been bombed. It makes me feel I can look the East End in the face.” (The Queen Mother in 1940, after Buckingham Palace had been bombed by the Nazis)When people think of the British royal family, and more specifically where they live, the first image that often pops into mind is that of stately Buckingham Palace, with its changing of the guard and the occasional royal coach leaving or entering. Others may think of the royal country estate of Windsor Castle, a favorite of both Britain’s longest reigning and second longest reigning monarchs. And there was a time when both royal residences played second fiddle to a much better known home, the elegant Kensington Palace. In his multivolume work Old and New London (1878), Edward Walford wrote, ´´It has often been said by foreigners that if they were to judge of the dignity and greatness of a country by the palace which its sovereign inhabits, they would not be able to ascribe to Her Majesty Queen Victoria that proud position among the ‘crowned heads’ of Europe which undoubtedly belongs to her. But though Buckingham Palace is far from being so magnificent as Versailles is, or the Tuilleries once were, yet it has about it an air of solidity and modest grandeur, which renders it no unworthy residence for a sovereign who cares more for a comfortable home than for display.”This is ultimately what palaces are all about: power and impressions. Buckingham Palace is not different, for though it was originally built as a home of a private citizen, once a king bought it, its future was sealed. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Ken Teutsch. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/103059/bk_acx0_103059_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.