Download The Prelude: Complete Series (BBC Radio 4: Classic Serial) Audiobook

The Prelude: Complete Series (BBC Radio 4: Classic Serial) Audiobook, by William Wordsworth Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: William Wordsworth Narrator: Ian McKellen Publisher: AudioGO Format: Original Staging Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 2011 ISBN:
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William Wordsworth's autobiographical poem The Prelude is arguably the most important piece of poetic writing in our language. Recorded in Wordsworth's home in Grasmere, Cumbria, Wordsworth looks back over events in his early life. Wordsworth believed that poetry should be written in the natural language of common speech, and in that way it was revolutionary in its time.

Parts of the poem are famous, with lines quoted often such as the description of the young Wordsworth stealing a boat. Other parts are more introspective. The young poet leaves Grasmere to go to University in Cambridge, and is homesick. Wordsworth grapples with his political feelings - travelling to France at the time of the French revolution. He enjoys the hustle and bustle of London, and is euphoric when crossing the Alps. All the time this poem is accessible, bursting with colour and description, full of gripping storytelling.

The Prelude is read by Sir Ian McKellen, with specially composed music by John Harle, performed by John Harle on saxophone and Neill MacColl on guitar. The Prelude was directed in Manchester by Susan Roberts.

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About the Author

William Wordsworth (1770–1850) was an influential English poet who, with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, helped launch the Romantic Age of English literature with the 1798 joint publication of Lyrical Ballads. He was Britain’s Poet Laureate from 1843 until his death in 1850.

About the Narrator

Sir Ian McKellen is internationally renowned as the leading British actor of his generation. His Shakespeare performances on stage and screen are legendary. His versatility and preeminence in modern work as well as the classics have earned him over forty important acting awards. For over four decades, alongside his prestigious stage appearances worldwide, he has starred in scores of film, television, and radio productions.