This month, I have catalogued a book, some collaborative contributions, and — finally, more pirates!
I’ve been working on my solo recording of Anna Sewell’s “Autobiography of a Horse”, Black Beauty, all summer, as its short chapters and positive attitude were a pleasant change from the intense modern non-fiction book I was recording for Audible (not yet released.) Black Beauty was catalogued at the start of the month, and is averaging 30 downloads a day, which isn’t bad going for a book which has previously been recorded for LibriVox.
Listen to Chapter 1 here:
[audio:http://www.archive.org/download/blackbeauty_0910_librivox/blackbeauty_01_sewell.mp3] 5:03min (128kbps)
Then there was a poem which I found for the LibriVox Weekly Poetry reading. This is more of a challenge than you’d think; finding a shortish poem, by an author who died more than 70 years ago (to maximise the countries in which their work is in the public domain) and which is in some way interesting for multiple readers to try recording, and hopefully, that then has differences in the interpretations that’ll appeal to listeners. Down the Bayou by Mary Ashley Townsend fits many of these criteria, to my mind. I did find I had to check I knew how to say “bayou” correctly, but once I’d done that, I was away! (Along with 11 others. 🙂
[audio:http://www.archive.org/download/down_the_bayou_0910_librivox/downthebayou_townsend_cs.mp3] 1:15min (128kbps)
There are three other poems, pending cataloguing … that should happen shortly, since both collections are nearly full. I’ve not read poetry for a while, so it’s been really nice to come back to it.
And finally, lady pirates! Yes, my long-ago-read chapter on the “Adventures And Heroism Of Mary Read” has now been entered into the catalogue, and you can hear it as part of The Pirates Own Book by Charles Ellms (Authentic Narratives of the Most Celebrated Sea Robbers)! Or here:
[audio:http://www.archive.org/download/pirates_own_book_0910_librivox/piratesownbook_26_ellms.mp3] 10:04min (128kbps)
I have a few other things very close to finishing … this will have been a super-productive month, all in all!
I just listened to your reading of “Black Beauty” (chap. 1). Very well done. I only ever knew the book in film adaptation (I assume the 1971 version, as I would have been 8 or 9 then, but who knows?). It brought to mind this poem by Thomas Hardy, done up in the first person of his dog Wessex. You probably know it already, but if not, well:
A Popular Personage at Home
“I live here: ‘Wessex’ is my name.
I am a dog known rather well.
I guard the house; but how that came
To be my whim I cannot tell.
With a leap and a heart elate I go
At the end of an hour’s expectancy
To take a walk of a mile or so
With the folk I let live here with me.
Along the path, amid the grass
I sniff, and find out rarest smells
For rolling over as I pass
The open fields towards the dells.
No doubt I shall always cross this sill,
And turn the corner, and stand steady,
Gazing back for my mistress till
She reaches where I have run already,
And that this meadow with its brook,
And bulrush, even as it appears
As I plunge by with hasty look,
Will stay the same a thousand years.”
Thus “Wessex.” But a dubious ray
At times informs his steadfast eye,
Just for a trice, as though to say,
“Yet, will this pass, and pass shall I?”