The Tragic Muse (unabridged)

Audio Sample

Henry James

The Tragic Muse

Read by Gareth Armstrong


Pressured into a political career by his traditional, establishmentarian family, Nick Dormer longs to be a painter. Eventually, encouraged by the carefree aesthete Gabriel Nash, reminiscent of Oscar Wilde, he resigns from Parliament and follows his artistic dream. His journey is counterpointed with that of budding young actress Miriam Rooth, the subject of Nick’s most successful paintings and the ‘tragic muse’ of the title, who too sacrifices an affluent life (marriage with Nick’s cousin Peter) for her art. However, her tireless spirit and immutable passion bring her great success on stage, and her fame and fortune far outshine Nick’s life as a struggling painter. Among the most unique and autobiographical of James’s novels, The Tragic Muse takes an honest look at the sacrifices and solitude of an artist and the prices paid when taking the path less travelled.

  • Running Time: 20 h 02 m

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    Digital ISBN:978-1-78198-261-7
    Cat. no.:NA0371
    Download size:456 MB
    Produced by:John Foley
    Edited by:Andrew Riches
    Released:October 2019
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Gareth Armstrong’s confident narration adds welcome charisma to this literary classic. Henry James’s extensive plot follows the careers of Nick Dormer, who must choose between painting and politics, and Miriam Rooth, who strives to be an actress as a means for income. Both characters’ enigmatic passions perplex those family members and friends who so desperately want to guide their fates. Armstrong’s vocal characterisations capture the conversational flow in James’s dialogue. He subtly shifts between dissimilar characters such as the unconventional, jovial wanderer Gabriel Nash and Nick’s serious, determined mother, Lady Agnes. Armstrong’s composure suits James’s formal, descriptive prose. His enthusiastic candour and attention to characterisation offer a particularly memorable performance of this audiobook.

D.M.W., AudioFile

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