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The History Of English Poetry (Non Fiction)

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English literature is a treasure trove of wonderful poetry. From Shakespeare to Milton, Keats to Shelley and Tennyson to Yeats, this accessible history (especially written for Naxos AudioBooks) introduces the listener to countless small masterpieces, including all the old favorites and some lesser-known gems. Whitfield explores this most expressive of art forms and traces English literature is a treasure trove of wonderful poetry. From Shakespeare to Milton, Keats to Shelley and Tennyson to Yeats, this accessible history (especially written for Naxos AudioBooks) introduces the listener to countless small masterpieces, including all the old favorites and some lesser-known gems. Whitfield explores this most expressive of art forms and traces the historical development of a rich and diverse canon of poetical works. The lyrical powers of the most remarkable poets of the English language are illustrated with over 70 extracts. This is the latest release from Naxos AudioBooks' successful 'History' series, which includes accounts of English literature, theatre and opera.


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English literature is a treasure trove of wonderful poetry. From Shakespeare to Milton, Keats to Shelley and Tennyson to Yeats, this accessible history (especially written for Naxos AudioBooks) introduces the listener to countless small masterpieces, including all the old favorites and some lesser-known gems. Whitfield explores this most expressive of art forms and traces English literature is a treasure trove of wonderful poetry. From Shakespeare to Milton, Keats to Shelley and Tennyson to Yeats, this accessible history (especially written for Naxos AudioBooks) introduces the listener to countless small masterpieces, including all the old favorites and some lesser-known gems. Whitfield explores this most expressive of art forms and traces the historical development of a rich and diverse canon of poetical works. The lyrical powers of the most remarkable poets of the English language are illustrated with over 70 extracts. This is the latest release from Naxos AudioBooks' successful 'History' series, which includes accounts of English literature, theatre and opera.

30 review for The History Of English Poetry (Non Fiction)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Alice

    This is a good survey of English poetry; by its nature it is too brief and selective, but to be honest it is still a bit overwhelming for someone like me whose major life experience with poetry was a fling the Romantics when I was 21 (gotta love the Romantics at that age!). The narration of the book is excellent and it was a pleasure to listen to.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Liam Guilar

    7 cds, read by Derek Jacobi. It's a fairly conventional survey of the history of English poetry, with few surprises. After awhile the dogmatic statements (apparently only Scholars read medieval poetry) and dismissive attitude to whatever doesn't appeal to the writer's taste become tiresome. More poetry and less preaching would be welcome, but as a quick survey it's a fairly reliable introduction of the standard version of "The History of English poetry".

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ruth Crocker

    Excellent overview of English (and American) poetry told with excerpts of each poet's work. Very clear and accessible, providing an understandable and exhilarating path through centuries of poetry.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ryanxe

    This is a brief audiobook survey of the history of English Poetry from Beowulf to the Beats. In about 8 hours, the narrator presents the Who's Who and Why They Matter of English Poetry with short excerpts to illustrate style. The book is a "History," meaning that it is long on explanation and historical context and short on actual poetry. When excerpts of poetry are included, they are read by varying narrators appropriate to the poet's voice (Scottish or American accents if the poet is Scottish This is a brief audiobook survey of the history of English Poetry from Beowulf to the Beats. In about 8 hours, the narrator presents the Who's Who and Why They Matter of English Poetry with short excerpts to illustrate style. The book is a "History," meaning that it is long on explanation and historical context and short on actual poetry. When excerpts of poetry are included, they are read by varying narrators appropriate to the poet's voice (Scottish or American accents if the poet is Scottish or American, a female narrator if the poet is a woman), and with Naxos' expectable quality. The author's criticism is occasionally dry, speculative, or pompous - all faults which I consider unavoidable when analyzing poetry. Overall, what you're getting is a condensed university survey course of English Poetry with the idiosyncrasies that you would expect from an average professor. The author has his biases, but he doesn't leave anyone out. The list of Who's Who is there, and your homework is to choose which of these periods or poets interest you and go read them on your own.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Tony

    A nicely blended mixture of history and poetry, this one. Not too complicated, but gives a clear definition of periods, ages, and styles - if you want to know who the Romantics are, as opposed to the Augustans, this'll clear that right up for you, and explain what the markers of each 'type' of poetry is, along with examples from each of the most notable figures in each type, and each era. It's rather pleasing to be able to trace the development of poetry in the English language, as this does, fr A nicely blended mixture of history and poetry, this one. Not too complicated, but gives a clear definition of periods, ages, and styles - if you want to know who the Romantics are, as opposed to the Augustans, this'll clear that right up for you, and explain what the markers of each 'type' of poetry is, along with examples from each of the most notable figures in each type, and each era. It's rather pleasing to be able to trace the development of poetry in the English language, as this does, from Beowulf (yes, I know), through Chaucer, to Milton, to Shakespeare, and on to Byron, Coleridge, Keats, Hughes, Betjeman etc. Also doesn't hurt at all that it's read by Derek Jacobi (although, who knew, he pronounces 'sensuous' as 'senzewous'). It feels like this was an effectively plotted, reasonably brisk journey through many of the high points in the history of poetry in English, and one I might take again some languid, retired Sunday afternoon. As I say, if you've got a big poetry gap in your life, it's worth checking out, both to finally understand who's who and what sort of thing they wrote, and to fire your hunger to experience them in a broader sense. Perhaps it's somewhat condescending towards some fairly major figures, like Longfellow ('like picture painting') and Plath ('her poetry and her life show a woman at the mercy of her own imagination'), but overall it's a pretty good summary. Give it a go.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Duckpondwithoutducks

    This book is a fairly standard overview of English poetry, though sometimes the criticisms of certain poems seem personal and not analytical. But, the narrator is Derek Jacobi, and that made me love listening to it - he has a rich and humourous voice.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jillian

    This was a superb listen!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Philip Walton

    Great starting point/reference and excellent catalyst.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ttrevor4

  10. 4 out of 5

    Richard French

  11. 4 out of 5

    Alexandra Schae

  12. 5 out of 5

    Caroline Gordon

  13. 5 out of 5

    Bart Mikitowicz

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

  15. 5 out of 5

    AudiobookFiend

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jane Brown

  17. 4 out of 5

    victoria_tonks

  18. 4 out of 5

    Peter Danbury

  19. 4 out of 5

    Carol

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ally

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mehran

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ponders_life

  23. 4 out of 5

    David Linnane

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kurt

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jacob Fisher

  26. 4 out of 5

    Peishan Tan

  27. 4 out of 5

    Elinor Perry-Smith

  28. 5 out of 5

    George

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ness Greenough

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jack Chen

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