Brief Lives (abridged)

Audio Sample

John Aubrey

Brief Lives

Read by Brian Cox


William Shakespeare, Sir Walter Raleigh, Thomas Hobbes – three of the greatest Englishmen who ever lived. They, and many others, are here remembered by another great Englishman, John Aubrey, whose Brief Lives are some of the wittiest and most moving miniature portraits ever written. Aubrey – a scholar, antiquarian and close observer of both the foibles and the courage of his contemporaries – lived through the upheavals of the English Civil War in the seventeenth century. His little biographies are amusing, ribald, moving; a testament to the brevity of human existence and one of the most precious relics of a distant age.

  • Running Time: 2 h 38 m

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    Digital ISBN:978-962-954-723-3
    Cat. no.:NA237812
    Download size:38 MB
    Released:April 2006
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Brief Lives was posthumously published from the notebooks of the well-connected 17th-century biographer John Aubrey. Behind its unassuming title is a treasure trove of outrageous gossip about famous people. By talking to people who knew his subjects, Aubrey offered bizarre personal details about such celebrities as Walter Raleigh and Ben Jonson, Francis Bacon and René Descartes. Brian Cox reads these extracts with a nice 17th-century precision.

Christina Hardyment, The Times

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