'My Last Duchess', 'How They Brought the Good News from Ghent to Aix', 'Childe Rolande to the Dark Tower Came', 'Prospice', 'Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister', 'Home - Thoughts from Abroad', 'The Lost Leader', 'Porphyria's Lover', 'Memorabilia', 'Rabbi Ben Ezra', 'The Year at the Spring', 'The Bishop Orders His Tomb', 'Andrea del Sarto', 'Fra Lippo Lippi, - all read by James Mason.
Robert Browning was perhaps the most prolific and versatile English poet of the 19th century, and this recording offers a generous selection from Browning's work, ranging in style form the shorter lyrical poems to the vivid characteristics and perceptive insights of the dramatic monologues, three of which are included here in their entirety. Available for the first time as a digital download.
©2010 HarperCollins Publishers Limited (P)2010 HarperCollins Publishers Limited
Browning wrote thrilling narratives in compelling verse, often creepy, always less straight-ahead than one might think. Lots of his artist personae are presented in this collection, and Browning's musings on art and artists are really interesting, and in his verse-narratives engaging.
James Mason embodies the wry, knowing, cynical narrators with panache and warmth. Exemplary performances. I particularly liked "Fra Lippo Lippi" (chapter 3, for anyone who might like to know).
My nit-picking complaint about this excellent car-journey length selection, is that nothing is titled, and the editing sometimes takes you from one poem into another without your knowledge, so that the change of narrator has to be deduced. But it's a minor criticism. I liked this very much indeed.
The only problem is no titles, but they're listed on the audible website, in the publisher's summary, just where you're reading this review
"Badly produced audio version"
The narrator (James Mason) does not say the poem titles before reading each, and nowhere are the poems listed. James Mason does a fabulous job of reading, but don't bother buying this version because the titles are not included in the readings.
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