Narrator

Johanna Ward

Johanna Ward
  • Perhaps D. H. Lawrence’s most beautiful, thoroughly contemporary love story, The Lost Girl charts the journey of a woman caught between two worlds and two lives: one mired in convention in industrial England, the other promising sensual liberation in the vibrant landscape of Italy. Alvina Houghton, the daughter of a widowed Midlands draper, comes of age just as her father’s business is failing. In a desperate attempt to regain his fortune and secure his daughter’s proper upbringing, James Houghton buys a theater. Among the traveling performers he employs is Naples-born Cicio, a vaudeville dancer who draws Alvina into a dance of seduction, awakening her desire as she defies her stifling upper-class life for a fleeting chance at freedom.

  • This collection of some of the best-known and best-loved tales from The Arabian Nights’ Entertainments, or The Thousand and One Nights, includes the stories of Sinbad and his voyages, Ali Baba and the cave of the forty thieves, Aladdin and his wonderful lamp, and seven more fantastic tales.

    In this treasure house of the imagination, you will find golden palaces, gem-studded caves, and mythical beasts; you will unearth magic lamps, take long voyages to exotic shores, and encounter acts of deceit and revenge as well as kindness and generosity. These highly entertaining stories that have enchanted readers for centuries are narrated here in a clear and direct style that renders them fresh and exciting.

    The stories included in this collection are:

    “The Talking Bird, the Singing Tree, and the Golden Water” 
    “The Story of the Fisherman and the Genie”
    “The History of the Young King of the Black Isles”
    “The Story of Gulnare of the Sea”
    “The Story of Aladdin; or, The Wonderful Lamp”
    “The Story of Prince Agib”
    “The Story of the City of Brass”
    “The Story of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves”
    “The History of Codadad and His Brothers”
    “The Story of Sinbad the Voyager”

  • Bette, a poor relation of the beautiful Adeline, nurses a terrible grudge against her cousin's family, on whom she depends. That family is slowly being ruined by the uncontrollable sexual appetites of Adeline's husband, Baron Hulot—and it is this weakness that will give the cunning Cousin Bette an opportunity to exact her vengeance.

    A profound examination of obsessive passion, this masterpiece exemplifies what Henry James described as Balzac's "huge, all-compassing, all-desiring, all-devouring love of reality." One of Balzac's "scenes of Parisian life," Cousin Bette offers a hypnotic vision of the infinitely varied city during the bright, vital, and scandalous era of King Louis-Philippe. The courtesans, swindlers, bankers, artists, murderers, detectives, and saints that pass before us blaze with an unsurpassed vividness and energy.

  • In this follow-up to Nesbit’s classic Five Children and It, Cyril, Robert, Anthea, Jane, and the Lamb have more magical adventures in store when a mysterious egg hatches in the nursery fireplace. Out comes a flame-colored bird, the Phoenix, who, though a bit conceited, proves very helpful indeed. The bird kindly explains that the second-hand Persian carpet recently acquired for the nursery is actually a flying one. On it, they may travel to any place and time that they wish. But once again, the children find that magic does not always go as planned. They find hidden treasure in France, and with it restore the fortunes of a little boy. Meanwhile, their own house is invaded by a thousand Persian cats, a cow, and a burglar, who eventually marries the cook on an island in the South Seas. Full of wit and wonders, The Phoenix and the Carpet is a magical ride for children of all ages.

  • Drawn from the enchanting tales told to Kipling as a child in India, Just So Stories reveals the magic of the dawn of the world, when animals could talk and think like people. Cats and dogs, kangaroos and tortoises, hedgehogs and jaguars, whales and leopards, and many others are brought to life in an exotic Eastern landscape of "high and far times ago." Children will discover how the leopard got his spots, the elephant his trunk, and the camel his hump, through clever tales that subtly hint at the pitfalls of arrogance and the importance of creativity. Kipling composed these twelve stories and twelve poems to be read aloud, and their whimsical imagery and rhythmic language are sure to delight both children and adults for another hundred years.

    Table of Contents

    1. "How the Whale Got His Throat"
    2. "How the Camel Got His Hump"
    3. "How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin"
    4. "How the Leopard Got His Spots"
    5. "The Elephant's Child"
    6. "The Sing Song of Old Man Kangaroo"
    7. "The Beginning of the Armadillos"
    8. "How the First Letter Was Written"
    9. "How the Alphabet Was Made"
    10. "The Crab That Played with the Sea"
    11. "The Cat That Walked by Himself"
    12. "The Butterfly That Stamped"

  • The Happy Prince lived in the Palace of Sans Souci, where sorrow was not allowed to enter, and only pleasure was experienced. Then, a gilded statue set on top of a high column allowed him to see all the wretchedness of the poor, the sick and the lonely who inhabited his great city. What develops is a story of sacrifice and redemption that is a parable for our time.

    This program includes nine of Oscar Wilde’s magical and haunting fairy tales. Written for his own sons, Wilde’s tales will provide equal delight for children of today.

    Included here are:
    1. “The Happy Prince”
    2. “The Selfish Giant”
    3. “The Devoted Friend”
    4. “The Remarkable Rocket”
    5. “The Nightingale and the Rose”
    6. “The Young King”
    7. “The Birthday of the Infanta”
    8. “The Star-Child”
    9. “The Fisherman and His Soul”

  • Largely autobiographical, La Vagabonde recalls the author’s own years as a dance-hall performer in turn-of-the-century Paris. Colette takes the listener backstage and into the demimonde of Renée Néré, an aging dancer, mime, and failed writer. In a sultry, passionate, and intelligent voice, Renée narrates the story of her romance with an admirer named Maxime. Her struggle is that of a woman who must choose between freedom and love.

  • It's the early days of the French Republic, and Robespierre's revolutionaries find their wicked schemes repeatedly thwarted by the cunning and heroic Pimpernel—in reality, Sir Percival Blakeney. Now, Monsieur Chauvelin devises a dastardly plot to annihilate both Sir Percy and his beautiful wife Marguerite once and for all. Lured to France, where the entire town of Boulogne is being held hostage on their behalf, they seem to be hopelessly trapped.

    Set during the Reign of Terror, the rousing Pimpernel stories are precursors to such classic tales as Zorro—yet another hero in disguise.Expect more swashbuckling adventures in this thrilling sequel to The Scarlet Pimpernel.

  • These twelve magical stories contain some of the best things ever written in fairy tales. There are enchanted lands inhabited by kings and queens, princes and princesses who have to outwit wicked fairies and evil magicians. Princess Belinda is condemned to be ugly during the week and beautiful only on Sundays. Kenneth turns into a fish and has to be caught before he can transform back into a boy. Amabel opens a wardrobe and discovers an enormous railway station inside. Open the door to your own imagination—what magic world will you find?

    The magic, humor, and delightful characters that populate Edith Nesbit's stories will appeal to listeners of all ages. Those already familiar with the tales will be enchanted anew, and those coming to them for the first time will be captivated by the mystical world they find.

  • It has been ten years since Juliette de Marny’s father asked her to swear revenge upon Déroulède for the death of her brother in a duel. At last she finds herself in Déroulède’s house with an easy opportunity to betray him to the citizens of France for conspiring against the people. But Juliette realizes, too late, that she is in love with Déroulède. Can the Scarlet Pimpernel rescue Déroulède from certain death by guillotine? Will Déroulède forgive Juliette for her betrayal of him? Romance and intrigue abound in this delightful swashbuckler.

  • Curious to see if people on the other side of the globe walk upside down, Robert, Anthea, Cyril, Jane, and their baby brother start digging a hole to Australia. They don’t get too far, however, before they dig up a furry brown creature with bat’s ears. It is a Psammead, an ancient Sand-fairy. The Sammyadd, as the children call it, grumpily tells them that he is obliged to grant their wishes, because making people’s wishes come true is what Sand-fairies do. However, there is one catch: the wishes come undone at sunset. No matter how carefully the children plan, their wishes keep backfiring, and they realize that you have to be careful what you wish for—you may get it.

  • High in the Swiss Alps, Heidi, a five-year-old orphan, comes to live with her grandfather. His neighbors say he is a fierce old hermit of whom they are all afraid.

    Heidi, however, proves to be a remarkable, unaffected child, who quickly charms her grandfather. In fact, for Heidi, nothing could be better than living with him. She has a genuine enthusiasm for life in the mountains: for the goats, which she helps Peter to tend, the spring flowers on the Alm, and the simple hay bed that she occupies in the loft.

    However, her Aunt Dete doesn't understand, and it is a sad day when she takes Heidi to live in a strange city with a strange family that wants a companion for their young invalid daughter named Klara. Heidi does her best to be a friend to Klara, but her longing for home becomes too much to bear.

    This beloved classic has delighted children and their parents for decades and will continue to do so with its winning heroine, memorable characters, and engaging portrait of a quaint Alpine village.

  • Jimmy, Gerald, and Cathy hope to find adventure when they set off to explore the woods, but they get far more than they bargained for when they discover the Enchanted Castle. At first, they seem to be in a fairy tale come true, until a friend turns invisible, thanks to a magic ring she can’t remove. Adventure follows adventure as they seek to control the magic—but the magic has a will of its own, and it is all they can do to keep up. Faced with sleeping princesses, magic rings, and moonlit gardens filled with magic, the children must use all their courage and ingenuity to control the magic and solve the mystery surrounding the Enchanted Castle.

  • Roberta, Peter, and Phyllis were quite happy living in their ordinary red brick house in the London suburbs. But when their father is taken away, the children and their mother are forced to move to a dark, shabby cottage in the country, changing their lives more than they could ever imagine.

    At first, the country seems lonely and dull. Then, one afternoon, a walk leads them to a railway tunnel where they meet Perks, the porter, make friends with the kind station master, and wave to the Green Dragon train as it goes by. Soon every day is filled with the excitement and fascination of the railway. Little do they know that the friendly old gentleman who waves back to them holds the key to the mystery of their father's disappearance.

    Since its first publication in 1906, The Railway Children has been one of the most popular and beloved children's books, and it is sure to charm many generations to come.

  • Sara Crewe is the brightest, richest, and most generous girl in Miss Minchin's school for girls, and her father gives her everything she might desire. But when her beloved father dies, Sara's friends and prized possessions are suddenly taken away, and she is banished to the attic and forced to work as a common drudge. Fed only crumbs, she still saves enough to feed her pet rat, and she tells wonderful stories to comfort Becky, the kitchen maid. Using her special ability to play make-believe, she transforms her hardships into an unforgettable adventure. And soon, even her wildest wishes begin to come true, as her real identity is revealed once and for all.

    This touching classic has been a favorite with generations of children and adults who have delighted in Sara's happiness, wept over her sorrows, and perhaps shared her need: to be recognized as someone unique and special—a little princess or prince.

  • "The best version of the Cinderella story in modern idiom that exists," is how Marghanita Laski describes Frances Hodgson Burnett's Little Lord Fauntleroy. It is the charming story of a seven-year-old American boy, Ceddie Errol, who lives on the edge of poverty in New York. One day he is visited by a gruff lawyer at the tiny house he shares with his widowed mother, and his life is never to be the same: waiting in England is Dorincourt Castle, where Ceddie is to reside as the sole living heir to the irascible, proud, and selfish Earl of Dorincourt. It will be up to this virtuous boy to capture and warm the Earl's heart and transform him into a doting grandfather and responsible landlord.

    This stirring classic is a great family listen.

  • In a house full of sadness and secrets, can young, orphaned Mary find happiness?

    Mary Lennox, a spoiled, ill-tempered, and unhealthy child, comes to live with her reclusive uncle in Misselthwaite Manor on England’s Yorkshire moors after the death of her parents. There she meets a hearty housekeeper and her spirited brother, a dour gardener, a cheerful robin, and her willful, hysterical, and sickly cousin, Master Colin, whose wails she hears echoing through the house at night.

    With the help of the robin, Mary finds the door to a secret garden, neglected and hidden for years. When she decides to restore the garden in secret, the story becomes a charming journey into the places of the heart, where faith restores health, flowers refresh the spirit, and the magic of the garden, coming to life anew, brings health to Colin and happiness to Mary.

  • Fanny Price, a poor relation of the rich Bertrams, is reluctantly adopted into the family to be brought up at Mansfield Park, where she is treated condescendingly. Only her cousin Edmund, a young clergyman, appreciates her fine qualities. Fanny soon falls in love with him, but Edmund is, unfortunately, drawn to the shallow and worldly Mary Crawford. Fanny’s quiet humility, steadfast loyalty, and natural goodness are matched against the wit and brilliance of her lovely rival. The tension is heightened when Henry Crawford, Mary’s equally sophisticated and flirtatious brother, takes an interest in Fanny.          

    Jane Austen’s subtle, satiric novel skillfully uses her characters’ emotional relationships to explore the social and moral values by which they attempt to order their lives.