Independence

Posted on September 30, 2013 by | Posted in about LibriVox, Books, For Volunteers, Monthly Picks, News | Comments: 1 Comment

October is the month of many independence and liberation days all over the world. Let’s do a little celebration of freedom with 10 gems from our catalog.

Independence often starts with the refusal to accept things as they used to be. So does Kate, A Daughter of the Land, who, instead of staying home to help her parents as she is meant to do, is leaving home. Read the novel by Gene Stratton Porter to find out more.

Herminia’s defiance goes even further when she – though in love with Alan and pregnant with his child – refuses to marry him. Grant Allen tells the story of The Woman Who Did – elope to Italy with her lover to avoid becoming an outcast of English society.

Society is cruel to people who are different. Homosexuality is as big an issue today as it was 100 years ago, when Henry Blake Fuller wrote Bertram Cope’s Year, describing the life of a young man who is the center of both female and male attention.

Change will come though – as sure as it does in Henrik Ibsen’s dramatic masterpiece Rosmersholm, dealing with social and political changes, as played out by the free thinking heroine Rebecca who opposes Rosmer’s more traditional convictions.

Challenging traditions often means to challenge religion, and also this remains a hot issue today. On St. Bartholomew’s Eve in 1572, thousands of French protestants were murdered because of their beliefs. Read G. A. Henty’s story about two boys caught between the lines.

The conflict in Ireland also had religion at its roots. In 1916, the Easter Rising took place in order to win independence from Britain. Read The Insurrection in Dublin, a non-fiction account of the rebellion by novelist James Stephens.

Also Scotland was – and on political level still is – seeking independence from Britain. One of the best known names in history is Robert Bruce, and we hear more of his struggles in the narrative poem The Lord of the Isles by Sir Walter Scott.

In the fantasy novel The Worm Ouroboros by E. R. Eddison, the young lords of Demonland fight against the occupation of their country by King Gorice of Witchland. When the first battle is won, all seems well, but they are really just at the start of the story.

A similar setting, but in real life, took place in the 17th entury in the Low Countries, now called the Netherlands. George Edmundson tells about the struggle of independence from Spain – the king of which had just inherited Holland – in his book History of Holland.

John Stuart Mill’s thoughts On Liberty sound easy and straightforward: “Everyone should be free to do, think, or believe anything – as long as it does not harm others”. But can living in a society really be that simple?

Enjoy – and celebrate your freedom!

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1 comment

  1. Karen May Jones says:

    Thanks for the suggestions. I’m going to take a look at St Bartholmews. It sounds interesting. Nice write up :)

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