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Robert Browning

Selected Poems
Narrated by: Frederick Davidson
Length: 4 hrs and 52 mins
4 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Summary

Given Browning's intensely romantic love affair with Elizabeth Barrett, it is characteristic that he should view love as the key to the meaning of life and life's animating force. This view of life is projected throughout his poetry. Included in this collection are "Johannes Agricola in Meditation," "The Pied Piper of Hamelin," "Fra Lippo Lippi," "A Toccata of Galuppi's," "The Lost Leader," "The Statue and the Bust," "How it Strikes a Contemporary," "The Patriot," "Memorabilia," "James Lee's Wife," "Confessions," "Youth and Art," "A Likeness," "Mr. Sludge," "The Medium," "House," "St. Martin's Summer," "The Names," "Beatrice Signorini," "Spring Song," and others.
(P)1992 by Blackstone Audiobooks

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Tom
  • West Wickham, United Kingdom
  • 26-05-10

good value but off-putting narration

I love Robert Browning's poetry, particularly his long monologues, and read out loud by someone who has a feel for the rhythm and his ideas, you appreciate Browning's true greatness. Unfortunately, Frederick Davidson does not cut it as a narrator for me. He simply lacks the subtlety to bring what the poems are about. Generally I like him as a narrator - his Vanity Fair is brilliant for example - but not this time.

The best reader of Browning is James Mason. Audible do a selection - alas all to brief - but if I were you, I would spend my money on Mason reading only a few poems rather than this longer volume - which, to be fair, is quite a good selection if you can bear the narration. Do listen to the sample first to make up your own mind.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

The masculine poetic

This recording is superb value. So many of the poetry selections on CD are disappointingly brief. This collection includes many of Browning's most characteristic and brilliant works. Try reading some of them aloud yourself and you will appreciate how incredibly difficult they are to voice, with their complex syntax, frequent ironic interpolations and sheer density of meaning.

I have downloaded several readings by Frederick Davidson and have sometimes found his voice a bit arch and over-posh to listen to for long. However, Browning is definitely his territory: he communicates superbly the high-intellectual, urbane personality of the poet. Download this to remind yourself or discover that there is a lot more to Victorian verse than languishing neurasthenic ladies, nonsense doggerel and mawkish pieties.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful