June, 2017

A long, long time ago

Posted on June 1, 2017 by | Posted in about LibriVox, Blog, For Volunteers, Monthly Picks, News | Comments: 1 Comment

The 21st century has its ups and downs, but in fact, life has always been like this. Let’s look back at history with 10 gems from our catalog.

Best to start at the very beginning with The Tree Dwellers or “The Age of Fear”. Katharine E. Dopp explains in 32 lessons for elementary school children the life and development of early humans.

Even before science came along to put the matter to rest, people speculated about the beginning of it all. One of the numerous creation stories is The Kalevala, the Epic Poem of Finland, where everthing started from a single egg. This version was written down by Elias Lönnrot.

Starting from ancient beliefs, the kings of Egypt traced the legitimacy of their reign back to the gods. So did Rameses XIII, the Faraon in Boleslaw Prus’ novel, which follows the 20th dynasty until its downfall. An English version is available.

Much of the above story was literally dug up by archeology. The Manual of Egyptian Archeology, written by Gaston Maspero and published by the British Museum, was aimed at the 19th century British tourist with lots of time and money on their hands.

However, the earliest list of “best places to visit” is surely The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Originally written for the hellenic traveller, a new description by Edgar J. Banks gives us a glimpse of ancient travel destinations, of which only the pyramids remain today.

Definitely not on a pleasure trip is The Young Carthaginian Malchus. A cousin to Hannibal, he is an officer in his army which is on the way to attack Rome on their own territory. Read all about the Punic Wars in the exciting story by G. A. Henty.

An equally important and decisive war was the one between England and Spain in the 16th century. Amice MacDonell describes in her play The Story of the Armada the atmosphere in England and at the court just before the arrival of the Spanish ships.

War with the Romans leads vandal Ingo into Thuringia. There he finds shelter in the house of his father’s friend – but only until he falls in love with the young lady of the house… Find out if he can survive another attempt on his life in Gustav Freytag’s first volume of Die Ahnen.

Around the same time in Gaul, the chief Joel and his son invite a traveller to supper in exchange for stories. When he refuses, they find ways to force him to speak, and the stories told begin to center on freedom and what it is worth. Read The Gold Sickle by Eugene Sue to see at what conclusion they arrive.

Different lands, different minds: Written by Dandin in the 6th century, Hindoo Tales or the Adventures of 10 Princes tells about 10 noblemen on a trip through ancient India and their encounters with demigods and maidens, ghosts, gambler, robbers and many more.

Enjoy – but don’t get stuck in history!

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