A selection of readings. Those marked with an asterisk were recorded more or less in studio conditions; the rest were recorded live.
- * The Witch’s Promise (Download)
- Robert Fenner’s winning entry in the 2010 Times-Vintage Hallowe’en ghost story competition.
- * The Bowling Green (Download)
- The original, Sphaeristerium, written in Latin by Joseph Addison, was translated into English by his contemporary, Nicholas Amhurst. In 1991 I won a silver medal reciting an abridged version!
- * The Cemetery by the Sea (Download)
- Charles Davy’s "rendering" of Paul Valéry’s Le cimitière marin from his book Words in the Mind.
- The Quest of Iranon (Download)
- A short story by H. P. Lovecraft from 1921, as fantastical as ever, but unusually without horror.
- * Éowyn and the Nazgûl Lord (Download)
- A reading from Lord of the Rings, given as part of a recital. Some of the songs are also available.
- * The Infanta’s Birthday (Download)
- From Oscar Wilde’s bittersweet fairy tale collection, The Happy Prince and Other Tales.
- * Leaf by Niggle (Download)
- J. R. R. Tolkien’s strangest faery story.
- * Smith of Wootton Major (Download)
- A faery story by J. R. R. Tolkien about cake.
- The Night the Ghost Got In (Download)
- By James Thurber, from My Life and Hard Times.
- The Small Miracle (Download)
- Paul Gallico’s charming tale of post-war Assisi.
- The Inopportune Behaviour of the Covetous Li-Loe (Download)
- By Ernest Bramah, from Kai Lung’s Golden Hours.
- The Story of Wong Tsoi and the Merchant Teen King’s Thumb (Download)
- By Ernest Bramah, from Kai Lung Unrolls his Mat.
- The Chaos (Download)
- A version of Gerard Nolst Trenité’s classic teaching aid, from Drop Your Foreign Accent: engelsche uitspraakoefeningen (Haarlem: H D Tjeenk Willink & Zoon, 1920).
Dialogues from Gödel, Escher, Bach
Dialogues from Douglas Hofstadter’s astonishing book, with the corresponding music played by Iain Simcock.
- * Contrafac/punctus
- A dialogue about football, with Bach’s Contrapunctus XI from Die Kunst der Fuge.
- * Sloth Canon
- A dialogue about football, with Bach’s Canon per augmentationem from Die Kunst der Fuge. (Yes, I know that’s not the right canon!)
The Club of Queer Trades
Stories from G. K. Chesterton’s six mystery stories featuring his lesser-known detective, Basil Grant, The Club of Queer Trades.
- 1 The Tremendous Adventures of Major Brown (Download)
- 3 The Awful Reason of the Vicar’s Visit (Download)
Wind, Sand and Stars
Extracts from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s memoir of his time as a commercial pilot in the 1920s, Wind, Sand and Stars (Terre des Hommes).
- * Spanish geography for pilots (Download)
- The author’s introduction to Spain at the hands of an experienced colleague.
- * Sahara (Download)
- Spending a night in the Sahara.
- The Tool (Download)
- About the aeroplane.
- Mermoz (Download)
- Tales of the great pilot Mermoz.
A Universal History of Infamy
Jorge Luis Borges’s early collection of histories of the infamous, and some shorter but characteristic writings.
- The Masked Dyer, Hakim of Merv (Download)
- Tale of the Two Dreamers (Download)
Some of Belloc’s less-well-known poetry and epigrams. The three sonnets are all based on Shakespeare’s famous observation that “all the world’s a stage”.
- Sonnet XXIX (Download)
- Sonnet XXX (Download)
- Sonnet XXXI (Download)
- Epigrams on sundials (Download)
Ford Madox Ford
Some Memories and Impressions.
- A Lion in The Strand (Download)
- That Terrible Word ‘Genius’ (Download)
Last updated 2022/02/24