Librivox World Tour 2012: Europe

Posted on January 31, 2012 by | Posted in about LibriVox, Blog, For Volunteers, Monthly Picks | Comments: 1 Comment

Welcome to the first leg ouf our World Tour 2012! Follow 10 gems from our catalog on a round trip through the Old World…

Let’s start in the West, in lovely green Ireland, where Clodagh, daughter of The Gambler Dennis Asshlin fights for her family’s honor – by marrying the wrong man. Find out in Katherine Thurston’s novel whether she can escape the Asshlin curse by traveling Europe.

When thinking about Portugal, one is often not aware what great discoveries we owe to this seafaring nation. The Lusiads by Luis Vas de Camões, a national epic in poem form, tells mainly about Vasco da Gama’s voyage to India.

To France we owe the first Declaration of Human Rights – and several great novels about people falsely accused and imprisoned. Read the tragic – and real – story of Alfred Dreyfus, an innocent sent to exile in Five Years of my Life 1894 – 1899.

Further to the North we get to another seafaring country, The Netherlands. With about 25 % of the country below sea level, water in all forms is an important topic. What more so when the big prize for the ice skating race is a pair of silver skates! Will Hans Brinker in the story by Mary Mapes Dodge win the race?

Värmland, a province of Sweden, also has many lakes and rivers. Selma Lagerlöf was born there and her debut novel The Story of Gösta Berling about a defrocked priest weaves local stories about cavaliers enjoying cards, music and loveaffairs, into a whole.

The end of love and marriage, and how it came about – by murdering his wife – is told by the main character of The Kreutzer Sonata, Pozdnyshev. This novel by Leo Tolstoy caused international outcries – and was promptly censored in Russia.

Eyes like the Sea is a love story between an artist and a woman who eventually chooses another husband. But the ties between them were made with rubber, loose and tight at different times… Mór Jókai’s novel won the 1890 prize for literature of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

Switzerland is famous for its mountains, and climbing them is no science, you think? It certainly is if you are the first to do so – like Edward Whymper who finally seized the peak of the Matterhorn in 1865. This and many other climbing expeditions are recalled in his book Scrambles among the Alps in the Years 1860 – 69.

Another impressive mountain lies on Sicily: Mount Etna, the largest active volcano in Europe. On the opposite side of the island, Luigi Pirandello was born, the third of so far six Italian Nobel Prize winners for literature. His most famous play is Six Characters in Search of an Author.

About 1400 islands and 80% of mountains combine to Greece, considered the true Old World and the cradle of modern civilization and democracy. Herodotus was one of the first people to write a travelogue, his Histories provide a fascinating record of numerous countries, their affairs and traditions in the 5th century BC.

Enjoy your travels – and send a postcard!

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1 comment

  1. Meisie says:

    What a tempting selection of books! Thank you for the invitation to travel!

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