Naxos AudioBooks News & New Releases, May-July 2014

MAY 2014

Edward Gibbon

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume III

Read by David Timson


The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire has always maintained its initial appeal to both the general public and scholars alike. Its sheer scale is daunting, encompassing over a millennium of history, covering not merely the Western Empire from the days of the early emperors to its extinction in AD 476, but also the Eastern Empire, which lasted for another thousand years until the Turks vanquished it in 1453. But Gibbon’s style, part historical fact and part literature, is enticing, and the sheer honesty of the man, who endeavors to be scrupulously impartial in his presentation, endears him to the reader. In this recording, David Timson incorporates the most salient of Gibbon’s footnotes.

In Volume III (chapters XXVII–XXXVI), Gibbon charts the fall of the Western Empire. Starting with the reign of Emperor Gratian (d. AD 383), his survey moves to political and religious issues in the East and West before covering the increasing military power of the Barbarians. Occasionally a great Roman general emerges to stem the tide, but internecine power struggles see the Western Empire weakened, until Gaul, Britain, Spain and other territories find themselves, as the 5th century advances, unable to rely on Rome for defense.

For an audio sample, click here.

Oliver Goldsmith

The Vicar of Wakefield

Read by Nicholas Farrell


First published in 1766 and a perennial favorite since then, The Vicar of Wakefield is built around the naïve but loveable figure of Dr Primrose. He and his family live in rural bliss until disaster threatens to destroy their happiness: abduction, impoverishment and betrayal combine to lay them low, but a surprising figure brings hope when all seems lost. Find out more about The Vicar of Wakefield here and get an audio sample here.

JUNE 2014

Thomas Hardy

Far From the Madding Crowd

Read by Jamie Parker


In a remote corner of early Victorian England, where traditional practices remain untouched by time, Bathsheba Everdene stands out as a beacon of feminine independence and self-reliance. However, when confronted with three suitors, among them the dashing Captain Troy, she shows a reckless capriciousness which threatens the stability of the whole community. Published in 1874, and an immediate best-seller, Far From the Madding Crowd established Thomas Hardy as one of Britain’s foremost novelists. Find out more about Far From the Madding Crowd here and hear an audio sample here.

Thomas Hardy

The Woodlanders

Read by Stephen Thorne


Set in the tiny hamlet of Little Hintock, The Woodlanders tells of love, deception, ambition and tragedy, all unfolding themselves against the background of the majestic forest where the simple inhabitants live in harmony with nature. Two sets of characters, the woodlanders and the sophisticated outsiders, meet and interact, and learn too late to distinguish emotional truth from falsehood. Filled with his familiar themes and characters, this is a classic Hardy novel in which human care and striving are overshadowed by the eternal rhythms of nature. Find out more about The Woodlanders here and listen to an audio sample here.

Virginia Woolf

The Waves

Read by Frances Jeater


The Waves traces the lives of six friends from childhood to old age. It was written when Virginia Woolf was at the height of her experimental literary powers, and she allows the characters to tell their own stories, through powerful, poetic monologues. By listening to these voices struggling to impose order and meaning on their lives we are drawn into a literary journey which stunningly reproduces the complex, confusing and contradictory nature of human experience. Find out more about The Waves here or listen here.

JULY 2014

Georgette Heyer

The Masqueraders

Read by Ruth Sillers


After participating in the Jacobite Rising of 1745, Robin and Prudence, brother and sister, become engaged in a swashbuckling, romantic adventure. Our hero and heroine must cross-dress and switch genders if they are to escape prosecution – a humorous move that allows Heyer to explore the manners and language affectations of the period as the two romp through the elite saloons and clubs of London. But what the two don’t foresee is that they might fall in love along the way: Prudence with the elegant and dashing Sir Anthony Fanshawe, and Robin with the charming Letitia Grayson. Can the two unmask themselves without losing their lives? An audio sample can be found here.

Edward Gibbon

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume IV

Read by David Timson


In Volume IV (Chapters XXXVII–XLVI), Gibbon explores the state of the Roman provinces after the dissolution of the Western Empire, and examines the reasons for its fall − not excluding its ‘immoderate greatness’. He then moves to the Empire in the East and its rule under Justinian (527−565), whose formidable leadership saw the re-fortification of Constantinople and the frontiers of the Eastern Empire. However, dangerous times remain ahead as the Persians make attempts to siege Constantinople. Gibbon ends with the state of the Eastern Empire in the sixth century and its weaknesses after a long war. You'll find an audio sample here.

Wilkie Collins

The Moonstone

Read by Ronald Pickup, and cast


Upon inheriting the Moonstone, a huge and priceless diamond, Rachel Verinder’s delight turns to dismay when the gem suddenly disappears. But this is no ordinary theft. Sergeant Cuff of Scotland Yard is called in and immediately suspects an intricate plot. However, not even his powers of detection can penetrate fully the mysteries surrounding the diamond. And as we listen to each character’s version of the events, layer upon layer of drama and suspense build to the final and astonishing denouement of this magnificent, classic English detective novel. Find out more about The Moonstone here and click here to review an audio sample.

Jen Green

The Planets and The Solar System

Read by Ruth Sillers


Living busily on Planet Earth, we rarely remember that we inhabit only a minuscule part of the universe. InThe Planets and The Solar System, Jen Green paints the wider picture, and takes us on a journey across billions of kilometres in our galaxy, from our Sun to near and distant planets. Some, like Mercury, have a molten core surrounded with crust and spin quickly; Jupiter, on the other hand, is a big ball of gas. For 2,500 years, mathematicians and scientists, from Pythagoras to Hubble, have investigated our universe and found that the dimensions, the temperatures and the speeds (light years!) are unbelievably extreme. A fascinating introduction for younger listeners. To find out more about The Planets and The Solar System, click here. An audio sample is available as well.


NAB News

Audiobook SYNC for YA Literature

We mentioned our involvement in the SYNC Program in past newsletters, but this is just a reminder that our own production of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes II by Arthur Conan Doyle will be on of the SYNC download during the week of July 17. For more information to to register for the SYNC Program, please visit

Poets House Showcase

The only event of its kind, the annual Poets House Showcase is a free exhibit featuring all of the new poetry books and poetry-related texts published in the United States in a single year (volumes by individual authors, anthologies, chapbooks, biographies, critical studies, essay collections, CDs, DVDs, etc.) from over 650 commercial, university and independent presses. The Poets House Showcase is a diverse and inclusive exhibition in which books from micro-presses receive the same care and attention as major publishers.

Opening on Thursday, June 26, 2014, this year’s Showcase will be on view through Saturday, August 16. More than 2,900 titles were in the 2013 exhibition.

PDF of the 2013 Showcase Catalog

Naxos AudioBooks included in the exhibit are as follows:

Classic Poems for Boys, 2012. CD. 

Classic Poems for Girls, 2012. CD. 

○ Bosley, Keith, trans., The Kalevala, 2013. CD. 

○ Donne, John, Andrew Marvell, and George Herbert, The Metaphysical Poets, 2012. CD. 

○ Ovid, Metamorphoses, 2012. CD. 

○ Pushkin, Alexander, Evgenii Onegin, 2012. CD.