Free Audio Books: Classic British Literature

Classic British literature can be found online for free, in the form of an audio book. Titles discussed in this article include 'Pride and Prejudice,' 'Jane Eyre,' 'Wuthering Heights,' and 'Robinson Crusoe.' Schools offering English Language & Literature degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Jane Austen Victorian people

Seven British Classics Available as Free Audio Books

Many of the most beloved and well-known British novels are available as free audio books. Whether you're driving in your car or walking around with your MP3 player, you can now listen to these classic works of literature with great convenience and no expense.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

One of several Jane Austen novels available as a free audio book, Pride and Prejudice is her 1813 story of the Bennet family. This upper-class British family includes Elizabeth, one of five sisters and the novel's protagonist. Much of the novel focuses on the interactions between the Bennet sisters and their possible suitors, including Mr. Darcy. Elizabeth and Darcy have a contentious relationship, though it's often playful.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Jane Eyre is a Victorian novel from 1847 that follows its titular protagonist from childhood into adulthood. Orphaned early in life, Jane has a difficult early childhood, which includes abuse at the hands of her relatives. As a young woman, she falls in love with Edward Rochester, her employer. Rochester, however, is married to an insane woman who causes Jane and others much distress. While they are forced apart, Jane and Rochester eventually return to each other, though not without significant misery and hardship.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Emily Bronte, Charlotte's sister, published her lone novel in 1847. The title of the novel refers to the home on the moors where much of the story takes place. The two main characters are Heathcliff and Catherine, whose love for each other causes a great deal of suffering for both them and those around them. Just as the setting for the story is an unsettled and tumultuous place, so are the lives of the characters.

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

Published in 1719 and based on a true story, Robinson Crusoe describes the life of a castaway on an island off the coast of South America. Robinson Crusoe is the lone survivor of a shipwreck and for many years he builds a solitary life for himself. He observes visitors to the island, including cannibals from the mainland. He befriends an escaped prisoner of these cannibals, whom he names Friday. They work together to rescue other prisoners, which leads to Crusoe's escape from the island.

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Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

This is the story of Pip, an orphan who encounters many colorful characters as he grows up. He's raised by his harsh sister and her kind husband, a blacksmith named Joe Gargery. Later in his life, Pip is sent to live with the elderly Miss Havisham, who still wears a wedding dress and lives shuttered in her house since being left by her fiance. Miss Havisham has another orphan living with her named Estella, with whom Pip falls in love. Throughout his life, Pip is helped by a mysterious benefactor.

1984 by George Orwell

Published in 1949, George Orwell's novel portrays a future society in which the government, represented by the ever-present Big Brother, watches over all citizens all of the time. The story's protagonist is Winston Smith, who lives in what's left of London after the global war. Winston is quietly defiant of the perpetual government oppression, in which it is illegal to think thoughts rebellious to the government. He is emboldened when he begins an affair with Julia, though they are both quickly discovered.

Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift

This satirical tale follows the travels at sea of Lemuel Gulliver as he visits many strange lands throughout the world. These include Lilliput, which is populated by very small humans, and Brobdingnag, which is populated by very large humans. Gulliver's attitude towards people builds in condescension and arrogance as the story progresses. The novel is a mix of several styles, including satire, science fiction and children's story.

In addition to these classic British novels, many classic American novels are also available as free audio books.

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