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Ep. 1: Family Secrets

Length: 44 mins
Categories: History, Europe
4.3 out of 5 stars (416 ratings)

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Summary

Of course, all families, high born and low have secrets. Confidential conditions of mind or body. Black sheep. Skeletons in cupboards. Unmentionable uncles. Naughty nephews... aunties who aren't... conventional. More often than not it boils down to something - sexual.

This episode is about the keeping and uncovering of family secrets. In a way it unlocks all the secrets in all our episodes.

Many Victorians, especially the more successful ones, feared shame. In a way this fear was something quite new. A new and growing newspaper industry was keen to amplify that shame. And a new middle class, desperate to cling to its new-found monied status, felt threatened. And, new theories about heredity, coming later in the century, meant that (perish the thought!) shamefulness could be passed on – like red hair or big feet - from generation to generation.

©2018 Audible, Ltd. (P)2018 Audible, Ltd.

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What listeners say about Ep. 1: Family Secrets

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good but...

I enjoyed this series but I couldn’t listen to it too often because of the dreadfully loud, repetitive and intrusive music playing almost constantly in the background. It really detracted from my enjoyment of the piece. The music was good but there was just far too much of it, it was far too loud and it went on and on and on...

1 person found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • TO
  • 23-01-19

Music let’s Fry down

I managed 30 minutes, dreadful and totally inappropriate music. Are all of Fry’s Audible books like this? I was going to try Sherlock Holmes but am now not so keen if there is music.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Let down by intrusive sound effects

This goes for all of the episodes which I've listened to so far (1-4). Mr Fry is (as always) superb. I don't think the man is capable of a bad performance. The stories are generally interesting and linked together quite well. Where the production fails - and the reason for my 3 stars - is the intrusive and unecessary sound effects. A wailing baby in the first title (from the first moment) to similarly unwarrented intrusions in the other episodes. It totally spoils what is otherwise an excellent series. If they had someone remove those effects, it'd be a definite five stars. As it is, you have to wade your way through this nonsense to hear Mr Fry. It's like a useless laughter track which detracts from the main point of the book.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

alert: LOUD MUSIC

I was very excited about it, but the music made it unbearable. I didn't make past the 2nd episode, I don't remamber anything from what I have read and now I can't even return it for some reason which makes the whole experience even more awful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

One of Fry’s best!

Thoroughly interesting, makes your think, and so happy I put in the time. Learnt a lot!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jo
  • 19-08-20

Chapter review

Very interesting very intriguing story telling very entertaining. Love all things narrated by Stephen fry he has a wonderful way of making all things interesting with his brilliant natural acting /narration dramatic and engaging with always added humour.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Interesting but odd performance

I really enjoyed hearing from Stephen and the historians, but I found most of the performances from the actors and the sound design to be rather off putting. It was like listening to something a teacher would put on for teenagers at school. It really didn’t add much to hear a horse and carriage randomly enter Stephens monologue. The content itself was great though!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

An insightful look into Victorian History

This is a brilliant series looking into secrets in the Victorian Era. The topics covered are varied and expertly narrated and destroy preconceptions of Victoria life- due in part to Edwardian morals (please listen to discover more). There are topics that some may find distasteful but that was perhaps the highlight for myself.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Oh, Mr Fry....

I couldn’t think of a more perfect narrator for this deliciously deviant collection of stories. Fascinating and amusing in equal measure. Possibly the best thing I’ve listened to on audible yet. Bravo!

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Won’t work on Alexa using voice command

Even Stephen Fry’s talent doesn’t save this from being incredibly annoying! The book appears to have downloaded as a series of separate chapters, which Alexa perceives as individual books. For whatever reason Alexa cannot find this book 9 times out of 10 when I ask for it and selects another book at random!