Audiobook Blog Tour especially for #Janeites & #Austenites | “Rational Creatures: Stirrings of Feminism in the Hearts of Jane Austen’s Fine Ladies (Vol.3: the Quill Collective, series)” narrated by Victoria Riley

Posted Thursday, 12 September, 2019 by jorielov , , , 4 Comments

Audiobook Review Badge made by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Audiobook By: I started to listen to audiobooks in [2016] as a way to offset my readings of print books whilst noting there was a rumour about how audiobooks could help curb chronic migraines as you are switching up how your reading rather than allowing only one format to be your bookish choice. As I found colouring and knitting agreeable companions to listening to audiobooks, I have embarked on a new chapter of my reading life where I spend time outside of print editions of the stories I love reading and exchange them for audio versions. Through hosting for the Audiobookworm I’ve expanded my knowledge of authors who are producing audio versions of their stories whilst finding podcasters who are sharing their bookish lives through pods (ie. AudioShelf and Talking Audiobooks; see my sidebar). Meanwhile, I am also curating my own wanderings in audio via my local library who uses Overdrive for their digital audiobook catalogue whilst making purchase requests for audio CDs. It is a wonderful new journey and one I enjoy sharing – I am hoping to expand the percentage of how many audios I listen to per year starting in 2018.

I received a complimentary audiobook copy of “Rational Creatures” via Audiobookworm Promotions in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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From one Janeite to another, this felt like it was hand-picked for us,…

I’ve been a Janeite for a very long time – during #AustenInAugust [2017], I had the joyful pleasure of submitting a guest essay to commemorate how Austen has been moving in and out of my life over the years which ran on a featured day on Roof Beam Reader’s blog. It is in of itself a quite all-inclusive look at how Jane Austen has left a strong impression on my life.

As soon as I first learnt of this blog tour, I had an intuitive reaction to the premise and the sampler I listened to for the collection. It simply felt like it was hand-tailored to those of us who are consistently in awe and love for all stories inter-related to our beloved canon of Jane Austen! There is such a wide field of choices – it is hard to pin down whom to read first, which series play off the original characters so well as it give you goosebumps as you read their new stories as they are so accurately portrayed and which collections of anthologies best hug back into the style of Jane Austen as well.

It isn’t enough to write a variation, sequel, re-telling or experiment with a unique portal of insight which can flourish in the after canon realms – for me, it has to play homage to the original author, the original novel & maintain a sense of loyalty for how Jane Austen herself presented her characters to us. For me, that is a hard rule and one I won’t break as I pick up new stories to read. This is one reason being able to read the Miss Jane Austen series by Collins Hemingway has been such an enjoyable journey (see also my reviews).

Imagine my joy to find this collection on the foot-heels of celebrating the third Miss Jane Austen novel going on a blog tour this October. I am thankful for those writers who are re-experimenting with these characters and re-settling us into their lives as if they are still vibrantly alive and living new adventures to be shared with us all.

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An informative conversation with Victoria Riley:

Rational Creatures stories banner by The Quill Collective

the questions were provided by Audiobookworm Promotions wherein Ms Riley was able to select the 10 questions she preferred to respond to directly.

Generally speaking, I do provide my own interview & guest post topics for authors I am featuring on Jorie Loves A Story – however, due to how chaotic my Summer became, I must admit, I lost sight of a few of the blog tours along the way. Including being able to submit my own questions for Ms Riley. However, I’ve read over her responses in this conversation and love her candor and her willingness to share a personal glimpse into being a narrator, why she personally is passionate about Jane Austen and how adaptive you have to be to get the narrations recorded! I felt this would be a delight of joy to share with my readers – especially as she picked the questions to respond to (as there was quite the long list!) – this felt like a very organic convo to promote.

I also found another interview by Ms Riley you might enjoy reading which was featured during this year’s #AustenInAugust!

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When did you know you wanted to be an audiobook narrator?

Riley responds: Well, I’ve always said that I’d be happy to just sit in a cupboard all day reading books. I didn’t know that I could actually do that and get paid for it. Dreams do come true, folks.

How did you wind up narrating audiobooks? Was it always your goal or was it something you stumbled into by chance?

Riley responds: I’m actually a classically trained actress and was originally interested in theatre. When I started out, audiobooks weren’t really a big thing and it didn’t occur to me as a career. I gradually veered into voiceover and my first audiobook was through my VO agent. I then set up my own studio at home and audiobooks are just one of the things I work on.

A lot of narrators seem to have a background in theatre. Is that something you think is essential to a successful narration career?

Riley responds: I wouldn’t say it’s essential, but it really, really helps. We’ve been trained to analyse scripts and characters, to convey nuance and emotion. With audiobooks, you have to do it all with your voice, though, so it is an added skill. However, I do think that some people are natural storytellers. My Mum worked as a primary school teacher and I still remember the way she read books to me before bed.

What about this title compelled you to audition as narrator?

Riley responds: I LOVE Jane Austen. I love her female characters with their fire and intelligence. To have such strong minds, but be so restricted with their options in life. For marriage to be your only way forward when you have so much to offer the world. It makes me feel claustrophobic just thinking about it. From a working perspective, this is also my first collection of short stories. Short stories are a real art form. You have to draw the reader (or listener!) into the tale very quickly and make them care about the characters without the luxury of a whole novel in which to do it. I really enjoyed each one being a separate little project, so I had a sense of closure and achievement after each one.

What types of things are harmful to your voice?

Riley responds: I wouldn’t say I’m that careful with it to be honest. I’ve had vocal training drummed into me for decades, so I think it really comes naturally to me to support my voice well and to speak from the diaphragm. I’ve been trained to project to the back of a theatre, without a microphone, night after night after night. Some narrators get tired voices, but you can’t shut me up!

Who are your “accent inspirations”?

Riley responds: Absolutely everybody! I love accents. I have a broad Lancashire accent myself. I hope you can’t tell from ‘Rational Creatures’! If I hear a good accent, someone on TV or in real life, I’ll be there mouthing the words, fascinated by how they’re forming the sounds. Penelope Keith is a good one for very upper class ladies. Pam Ayres for West Country. Some elude me, though. My Cockney wanders all over the place, though you get a snippet of it in ‘Rational Creatures’. My boyfriend has a London accent and sometimes he helps me with pronunciations. I’ll be texting him asking things like ‘Transport or traaaahnsport??’.

How did you decide how each character should sound in this title?

Riley responds: Well, a lot of the characters are very well-known anyway, which helps. I didn’t feel as though I was creating them from scratch. Most of them just jump off the page too. There are simple things like class to consider. Also character traits, like arrogance, pomposity, shyness or humility, which affect voice and delivery. I love a character that you can really embody. When it’s so obvious how they should sound that you don’t even really have to think about it.

How does audiobook narration differ from other types of voiceover work you’ve done?

Riley responds: It takes a REALLY long time, especially if you’re fully producing the work yourself. It takes around six hours to produce one hour of finished audio, sometimes longer. That doesn’t even include all the prep work you have to do first, reading the work in full, researching characters and pronunciations, deciding on voices. Editing takes forever, combing through the recording, editing out little sounds like mouth clicks or any particular noisy breaths. I also regularly do radio jingles, which is a good comparison, because it takes no time at all! Audiobooks are not for the faint-hearted.

If you could narrate one book from your youth what would it be and why?

Riley responds: Apart from absolutely everything by Jane Austen? I have so many author heroes! However, if it’s from my youth, then I’m going to plump for Roald Dahl’s ‘The Witches’. His stories are so evocative and he doesn’t shy away from darker themes. I was born in Pendle Witch country, so this one struck a particular chord with me.

Any funny anecdotes from inside the recording studio?

Riley responds: We’ve all done silly things. Giving an Oscar-worthy performance, then realising you haven’t pressed record. Stuffing a cushion up your jumper to stop tummy rumbles reaching the mic. Gradually getting more naked as you stifle in the booth in summer. We’ve all done it.

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Audiobook Blog Tour especially for #Janeites & #Austenites | “Rational Creatures: Stirrings of Feminism in the Hearts of Jane Austen’s Fine Ladies (Vol.3: the Quill Collective, series)” narrated by Victoria RileyRational Creatures
Subtitle: Stirrings of Feminism in the Hearts of Jane Austen's Fine Ladies
by (Editor) Christina Boyd
Source: Audiobook via Audiobookworm Promotions
Narrator: Victoria Riley

“But I hate to hear you talking so, like a fine gentleman, and as if women were all fine ladies, instead of rational creatures. We none of us expect to be in smooth water all our days.” (Persuasion, Jane Austen)

Jane Austen: True romantic or rational creature? Her novels transport us back to the Regency, a time when well-mannered gentlemen and finely-bred ladies fell in love as they danced at balls and rode in carriages. Yet her heroines, such as Elizabeth Bennet, Anne Elliot, and Elinor Dashwood, were no swooning, fainthearted damsels in distress. Austen’s novels are timeless classics because of their biting wit, honest social commentary - because she wrote of strong women who were ahead of their day. True to their principles and beliefs, they fought through hypocrisy and broke social boundaries to find their happily-ever-after.

In the third romance anthology of The Quill Collective series, 16 celebrated Austenesque authors write the untold histories of Austen’s heroines, brave adventuresses, shy maidens, talkative spinsters, and naughty matrons. Peek around the curtain and discover what made Lady Susan so wicked, Mary Crawford so capricious, and Hettie Bates so in need of Emma Woodhouse’s pity.

Rational Creatures is a collection of humorous, poignant, and engaging short stories set in Georgian England that complement and pay homage to Austen’s great works and great ladies who were, perhaps, the first feminists in an era that was not quite ready for feminism.

“Make women rational creatures, and free citizens, and they will become good wives; - that is, if men do not neglect the duties of husbands and fathers.” (Mary Wollstonecraft)

Stories by: Elizabeth Adams, Nicole Clarkston, Karen M Cox, J. Marie Croft, Amy D’Orazio, Jenetta James, Jessie Lewis, KaraLynne Mackrory, Lona Manning, Christina Morland, Beau North, Sophia Rose, Anngela Schroeder, Joana Starnes, Brooke West, and Caitlin Williams

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ASIN: B07VCH37LL

Genres: After Canons, Anthology Collection of Short Stories and/or Essays, Classical Literature, Feminist Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction, Re-telling &/or Sequel


Published by The Quill Collective LLC

on 18th July, 2019

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 18 hours and 3 minutes (unabridged)

The stories & authors of “Rational Creatures”:
as well as noting which characters are featured per story

Christina Morland “Self Composed”
Eleanor Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility

Nicole Clarkson “Every Past Affliction”
Marianne Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility

Amy D’Orazio “Happiness in Marriage”
Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice

Joana Starnes “Charlotte’s Comfort”
Charlotte Lucas Collins from Pride and Prejudice

Anngela Schroeder “Knightley Discourses”
Emma Woodhouse from Emma

J. Marie Croft “The Simple Things”
Miss Hetty Bates from Emma
Previously, I’ve read Love At First Sight by Ms Croft.

Caitlin Williams “In Good Hands”
Harriet Smith from Emma

Brooke West “The Meaning of Wife”
Fanny Price from Mansfield Park

Jenetta James “What Strange Creatures”
Mary Crawford from Mansfield Park

Elizabeth Adams “An Unnatural Beginning”
Anne Elliot from Persuasion

Karalynne Mackrory “Where the Sky Touches the Sea”
Sophia Croft from Persuasion

Lona Manning “The Art of Pleasing”
Penelope Clay from Persuasion

Beau North “Louisa by the Sea”
Louisa Musgrove from Persuasion

Sophia Rose “The Strength of their Attachment”
Catherine Moreland from Northanger Abbey

Karen M. Cox “A Nominal Mistress”
Eleanor Tilney from Northanger Abbey

Jessie Lewis “The Edification of Lady Susan”
Lady Susan from Lady Susan

Published by: The Quill Collective (@xtnaboyd)

Most of the collection installments are available in audio,
the few which are not are noted below for easy reference.
I hope one day they all will include an audio release.

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The Quill Collective series:

(read about the series on their site)

The Darcy Monologues (volume one)

Dangerous to Know:
Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues (volume two)
(*this one is not in audiobook)

Rational Creatures (volume three)

Yuletide: A Jane Austen-inspired Collection of Stories (volume four)
(*this one is not in audiobook)

Converse via: #RationalCreatures & #QuillCollective + #AudioReads

OR #loveaudiobooks, #JaneAusten and #Janeite or #Austenites

About (Editor) Christina Boyd

Christina Boyd

CHRISTINA BOYD wears many hats as she is an editor under her own banner, The Quill Ink, a contributor to Austenprose, and a commercial ceramicist. A life member of Jane Austen Society of North America, Christina lives in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest with her dear Mr. B, two busy teenagers, and a retriever named BiBi. Visiting Jane Austen’s England was made possible by actor Henry Cavill when she won the Omaze experience to meet him in the spring of 2017 on the London Eye. True story. You can Google it.

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What Strange Creatures (short story) by Jenetta James (part of Rational Creatures anthology) promo banner used with permission.

my review of remarkable creatures:

As per my usual disclosure – when it comes to anthologies – I never know which of the shorts or novellas are going to whisk out a fanciful attachment on my behalf, which is why I may or may not mention each story inclusive to the anthology but rather focus on the stories which moved me most or which gave me something to chew on even if it wasn’t one of my favourites.

| Notations about the Foreword by Devoney Looser |

The best bit about this opening section of the collection is how much all of us have in common when it comes to reading Jane Austen – either her original canon of stories, the letters she’s left behind or the happy niche of stories inclusive to the realms of the ‘after canon’; each of us who self-identifies as a #Janeite or an #Austenite can attest to a mutuality of interest in seeking out the stories which honour the writer we all are passionately celebrating, championing and continuing to read these many centuries after she lived and published her originals.

I had to concur with the observation that Ms Austen would appreciate this collection – as it was written as a ‘fan fictional’ account of her characters, a part of me felt she would embrace the collection as she wasn’t a high brow reader. Meaning, she did not shun different literary genres and points of interest as she was very well read and also read for the strict pleasure of the hobby rather than always astutely seeking knowledge or a higher level of literary agency. She liked to read the fluffier bits you see and also have a bit of cheeky fun with the stories she picked up to taste and see what the fuss was about over them. In many regards, she would have understood book bloggers (today) and after canon story-tellers because she truly celebrated book world in all its lovely tangents of following a story one is passionate about seeing published.

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One thing I can share about how I approached this anthology of short stories – as they are captialising on the characters I have not yet read nor approached in their original canons of discovery – I felt it best to listen to the stories which tip a thought towards which of the novels I’m most keen to be reading (ie. Mansfield Park, Northanger Abbey) whilst recognising that the one novel I have shied away from reading altogether is most likely one I really ought to resolve to know I should be reading (ie. Persuasion).

With this in mind, as I have read a re-imagining of Sense and Sensibility previously inasmuch as I began watching the PBS adaption for Emma prior to reading the novel itself – I decided to take those two novels out of contention right now as I wanted to keep them where they stand. I very much would like to resume my readings of the originals and then, make my way back through the after canons, sequels and re-tellings. Honestly, this whole project of mine to disappear into an Austenesque world is going to last me a lifetime if not more than the hours I have to read.

Similarly, I could not discredit my immediate curiosity over how Pride and Prejudice was treated and thereby, these were the pre-listening thoughts which I contemplated as I moved into the anthology itself and settled into the writers who were bringing these characters wondrously back to life. One thing I knew – every early-on, this is an audiobook I shall be returning to listen to over and over again; each time hearing or observing something new and appreciating it all the more for giving me such a wicked lovely collection of stories even Jane Austen herself would be proud to have learnt the existence of – as I do believe she would have appreciated the dedication and quality these lovely authors put into their stories.

I love anthologies for giving me the joy of disappearing inside a lot of mutually inventive story-lines by writers who truly hone in on the authenticity of the genre in which they are writing. Whichever stories and authors I did not mention on this review – as I move forward into re-reading and re-visiting the anthology in the future, I look forward to revealling which of the stories in this collection resonated with me at that latter stage.

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Lady Charlotte's Comforts (short story) by Joana Starnes (part of Rational Creatures anthology) promo banner used with permission.

| Amy D’Orazio “Happiness in Marriage” : Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice |

This story begins in Chapter Five with 15 hours and 22 minutes remaining.

I truly love how each of the stories have a bit of an introduction from the original canon – allowing you to transition from the Classical novels straight into these characterisations in the after canon niche of literature. Being an avid appreciator of Pride and Prejudice – I’ve not only read the original novel but I have followed the adaptations of each new generation who attempts to refresh the content of the story, the characters and the entry points we can take inside what is happening in Elizabeth and Darcy’s worlds. Thus, the refresher provided here was a thankful inclusion and one I enjoyed listening too.

Longbourn is wrapped up in the latest preparations for a new ball – which felt fittingly truthful, as Lizzie and her sisters loved getting caught up in the balls they would attend. Lizzie and Jane discussing the marriage interest of Mr Collins; the one person I dearly felt was wrong for the Bennett sisters, despite the fact it would allocate them a security they needed but what of happiness? His union would provide for the girls and their parents but where would the gaiety of marrying for love or romance fit into the proposal? This was a sticking point for me when I first read Pride and Prejudice.

You can hear the grievances in Jane’s voice – of how she’s been actively seeking a husband for seven years and finding herself unwanted by potential suitors. This was at the very height of where things start to grow interesting for the sisters’. They were at their ends of their patience with attempting to understand the men in their lives whilst they were vexed by the presumption of many in their towne that the Bennett’s mother was simply out to negotiate the best match without benefit of knowing if that match would be honourable or simply a business arrangement.

Hearing Jane talk of Bingley brings back happy memories – I, like Lizzie was overjoyed Jane felt matched by Bingley. As the girls’ are settling into for a well thought out conversation about love and marriage; they suddenly stumble into a discussion about their Mum. How her personality has changed over the years – especially if you took into consideration a particular land agent (Mr Morris) who used to come round rather frequently. Though they didn’t go into too many details, they did insinuate their mother has keep her private affairs rather private and despite the appearances of their parents’ marriage being without infidelity there was that one period of time where they did question if Mrs Bennett might have crossed a line in the sand.

Of course, per tradition – their conversation shifted back to signalling out the bachelors as they started to hone in on the merits of accepting Mr Collins as such a bachelor inasmuch as they discussed Mr Wickham. Thankfully, for us and them – their conversation returnt round to Mr Darcy. How the yearnings of Lizzie’s heart and her innate interests in what a bloke who could win her heart could have within his own attributes befits Mr Darcy moreso than any other candidate – a fact Jane was cleverly able to broach despite causing some strife in Lizzie.

I admit, I was slightly giggle hearing Mr Darcy step into the foreground – the introspective nature of Lizzie is always welcomed but hearing Darcy’s perspective on her thoughts, her commentary on their lives and just an overview of where he stands on things was quite brilliant. Riley tapped into these characters with such a fierce clarity of whom they are and how they act whilst round each other, I felt I heard them all individually and together rather than a singular narrator who was giving voice to each of them in turn.

As we tuck close to Lizzie – listening to her understand who has claimed her heart and of whom gives her the most joy to consider being wed too – you start to re-see how difficult this choice was for her to make as she was trying to be the more prudent daughter of the Bennett’s. Not one who wanted to give into something fanciful but rather take the most reasonable and logical course which would conclude with a match well met and a family redeemed through the marriage.

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| Karalynne Mackrory “Where the Sky Touches the Sea” : Sophia Croft from Persuasion |

This story begins in Chapter Thirteen with 6 hours and 47 minutes remaining.

I have been encouraged to read ‘Persuasion’ off/on for quite a long number of years – even prior to being a book blogger and the well full of the six years I have blogged. In essence, there is just something that makes me recoil and re-shelf the book – I am uncertain if I’ve misjudged the premise of the novel or if some of the commentary I’ve heard from other readers left me a bit unsure and uneasy about reading – in either case, I felt listening to this story was a must! I should mention, I did take the “Rational Creatures’ quiz and was given “Sophia Croft” (see also tweet).

I can see why I was given Sophia Croft in the Rational Creatures quiz but how it could have drawn such a strong conclusion about me is a bit of a mystery! I love how Mrs Croft has a twinkling sense of calm and jovial sincerity about her – she likes to see the goodness in life, to poke fun at the humour which lies for us in our lives and never takes herself too seriously! She has a cheeky close connection to her husband – to where they can openly discuss just about anything that vexes them. You can tell they have that kind of give-take relationship, where they both have their roles and their roles to be in the marriage but theirs seems more aligned in equality rather than in specific roles ferreted out by their gender.

There is this cheerful respite to their story – almost as if I had completely read the wrong impression of their story Persuasion! She has a curious way of nudging her husband with a teasing air and takes circumstances serious when it is warranted but I had the feeling this couple would rather laugh and be full of merriment moreso than focusing on the trials in their lives. Their happy-go-lucky attitude was a refreshing sight because they shared such a strong equality in their married life. This was something broached in the story and something I picked up on as soon as I heard Mrs Croft speak!

Mrs Croft is wanting us to understand her and her life with her husband – the way she is contemplating everything they share now, there is a misty moment where you think that perhaps there is a cautionary reason why she doesn’t too often travel back into the past to re-contemplate the paths they have previously traversed. There is a longing a bit in her voice – where the memories of her life overtake her emotions and you can gather there is a certain depth to her happiness as no one is immune to adversities.

From her perspective – even within the closeness of a towne, there are moments where isolation can all but destroy you. It is also reflected about how there are moments in marriage which you cannot fore-think nor fore-plan because they come out of right field. She is a woman well-lived and she has had certain circumstances which arose to give her a firm understanding of how precious life is and how tricky it is to take passage out of grief. It is a true test of a marriage like hers if the two draw closer together and can re-affirm their bond or if they through tragedy are cast apart.

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| Jessie Lewis “The Edification of Lady Susan” : Lady Susan from Lady Susan |

This story begins in Chapter Eighteen with 59 minutes and 42 seconds remaining.

This is another story I have learnt about needing to be read after I move through the novels I’ve slated to read – which is in part, what drew me to wanting to listen to this short story. That and the fact that I personally use the word “edification” rather often in my life.

This one had an interesting plotting to it but where I failed to attach myself into its rhythm is where I noticed it is a series of letters and correspondences. Sometimes I find those are the stories that take me a bit more time to settle inside – as when I am listening to letters being spoken aloud, I do not always notice the nuances of what is being captured inside them. This is definitely a story I desire to re-listen too but perhaps, I might find a print copy of it – to peruse over and sort out how it is laid out in the original version of it before re-applying my focus to the audio version in this anthology.

This was one reason I was a bit hesitative to listen to the stories I am most unfamiliar with in their original versions because the point of reference would be lost to me and as Austen was such a prolific writer and one who etched out so much breadth inside her stories – I knew I wanted to ease myself into this collection in order to gain the most out of it.

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The Strength of their Attachment (short story) by Sophia Rose (part of Rational Creatures anthology) promo banner used with permission.

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on why i enjoyed this anthology of Jane austenesque stories:

A Nominal Mistress (short story) by Karen M. Cox (part of Rational Creatures anthology) promo banner used with permission.

“The beauty of this collection is hand-selecting which
character from Austen’s canon you want to re-visit.”

This is my main takeaway after having sampled and listened to the stories which I was most interested in hearing during the blog tour.

It is the aesthetic of the stories which pulls you into them the most – of hearing Jane Austen’s Classics being re-built through new contemporary voices in Historical Romance renewing our wicked interest in how these characters might still have progressed forward in their lives. Or even, if there were extra scenes within the capacity of what we first learnt of them preclude about what we knew or at least, suspected we had know of them? In a word, it is an anthology which both answers and re-inspires new questions to be cast against the characters Jane Austen endeared us with fond affection for caring about all these years lateron.

Part of the good folly of the collection is also sorting out when ‘rational creatures’ is going to make its arrival in the stories themselves as each of the writers’ sorted out a way to include the wording of the title into their stories! The Feminism is a gentle presence in the background – the women reveal themselves and their choices; how they’ve lived their lives is testament enough towards their sociopolitical views.

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In regards to the audiobook, directly:

About Victoria Riley

Victoria Riley

Victoria Riley is a British voiceover artist and audiobook narrator. Originally trained as a theatre actor, she gradually moved into voice work and is now happiest behind the mic. She loves classic literature and travelling the world. If she isn't recording, she's probably lying in a hammock in some far-flung place, reading book after book after book.

I am appreciative of Ms Jess providing a cursory outline of how best to articulate my listening hours on behalf of this audiobook and the others I shall be blogging about or reviewing in future. I’ve modified the suggestions to what I felt were pertinent to respond too on my own behalf as well as keeping to the questions I felt were relevant to share.

Number of Times I’ve heard the Narrator(s):

This is my first time listening to an anthology about Jane Austen’s novels and it is also my first time listening to a Victoria Riley audiobook. I would love to start listening to more Classical stories – as I have a feeling I might find a better sense of alignment into their canons by way of listening to audiobooks than the years I have become a defunct member of #theclassicsclub as I haven’t had the joy of soaking into too many Classics (as of yet) whilst I re-started my five year stint in the club itself.

Regards to the Narrator’s Individual Character performances:

Amy D’Orazio “Happiness in Marriage” : Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice

[Lizzie] She was headstrong and confident, just as you expect her to be – re-pleat with enjoying her walks, conversations with her sister and the musings of a girl who was unsure whom to trust could be her soul’s mate. She was still just as wickedly introspective as we loved her to be in the original story-line and thus, there is a renewal of joy listening to her thoughts.

Karalynne Mackrory “Where the Sky Touches the Sea” : Sophia Croft from Persuasion:

[Sophia Croft] She has such a cheerfulness about her – a lightness to her voice and she is very conversational in how she presents herself! I was most drawn into her personality and how Riley presented her as I am reader who hasn’t yet met her in the canon. I almost felt she was bursting out of the narration to be wholly present IRL and ready for tea!

Jessie Lewis “The Edification of Lady Susan” : Lady Susan from Lady Susan:

[Lady Susan] As Lady Susan is reading letters – her voice had a certain pace to it to where you can intuit the contents of the letters but also, to gain a bit of insight into her personality. She has a certain quality of calm but she also self-asserts herself which is an admirable trait.

Secondary characters:

Amy D’Orazio “Happiness in Marriage” : Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice

[Jane] is happily represented as the winsome sister who not only listens to Lizzie with great patience but she being sisterly inclined offers her best advice whenever Lizzie shall take it. She has the same gentle spirit and vocalisation you would expect of her; almost to the point it feels like Jane stepped through the adaptations I’ve watched and inserted herself properly into this audiobook!

How the story sounded to me as it was being Read: (theatrical or narrative)

I felt the audiobook was a good balance between being theatrically engaging and articulating a spoken narrative which hones in on the authentic nature of the stories themselves as being ‘of Jane Austen’s world’. Towards that end, I was thankful for the words, phrases and other manners of speech which were happily overheard and represented herein as they gave a level of buoyancy for those of us who loved the speech patterns of the original canon.

Regards to Articulation & Performance of the story:

My goodness – such a treat for the ears and the listener alike to hear Victoria Riley narrate this anthology! She has one of those kinds of voices you could simply listen to for hours on end and never feel that you’ve heard enough of her narration! I am half of mind to see if she has narrated other Jane Austen stories – either in the classical sense or in the after canon niche market? I believe she is fast becoming one of my favourites for these kinds of stories – which is a wickedly delightful discovery for me.

Notes on the Quality of Sound & the Background Ambiance:

The sound quality is perfection and there isn’t too many extra bits in the background to provide the ambiance – at least, not from the sections and portions of the audiobook I was listening too.

Preference after listening to re-Listen or pick up the book in Print?

I had such a delightful time inside this audiobook, I desire to continue forward with the rest of the Quill Collective series of anthological stories rooted in Jane Austen’s Regency. As I’m able to gather more of them, I’ll be adding them to my Audible library – whilst the few which are not yet released into audiobooks, I endeavour to hope one day they might become available.

In closing, would I seek out another Victoria Riley audiobook?

I’m already trying to sort out what she has narrated and what would interest me most to seek out next! I do know I’ll be re-listening to this collection as time shifts forward – especially as I read further into Jane Austen, sort out the stories in sequence I most want to read thereafter and fittingly make my return to Rational Creatures in order to tuck back into an anthology which is warmly lit with the very essence of what drew me into Austen’s prose. I would definitely say this is a collection for Janeites and Austenites everywhere – though I am intrigued to see what else she has narrated outside this canon of interest, too.

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 This blog tour is courtesy of Audiobookworm Promotions:

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Rational Creatures Jane Austen Anthology blog tour via Audiobookworm PromotionsThis review is cross-posted to LibraryThing.

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Listening to this audiobook counted towards some of my 2019 reading goals:

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{SOURCES: Book Cover for “Rational Creatures”, the biography and photograph of Victoria Riley and Christina Boyd as well as the blog tour banner, Rational Creatures promo banners and the host badge were provided by Audiobookworm Promotions and are used with permission. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets embedded by codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: Audiobook Review banner and the Comment Box Banner.}

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Thursday, 12 September, 2019 by jorielov in After the Canon, Anthology Collection of Stories, Audiobookworm Promotions, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Classical Literature, Indie Author, Inspired By Author OR Book, Inspired by Stories, Jane Austen Sequel, Short Stories or Essays




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4 responses to “Audiobook Blog Tour especially for #Janeites & #Austenites | “Rational Creatures: Stirrings of Feminism in the Hearts of Jane Austen’s Fine Ladies (Vol.3: the Quill Collective, series)” narrated by Victoria Riley

  1. Christina Boyd

    I can understand that it took you another try years later. Sometimes the cadence and the word phrasing is difficult to catch. My Austen “hack” to get everyone addicted is they try an audiobook from her original canon or even one of the film adaptations. Sometimes that’s enough to get people interested in reading the novels. Thanks for your interest.

  2. Christina Boyd

    “It is the aesthetic of the stories which pulls you into them the most – of hearing Jane Austen’s Classics being re-built through new contemporary voices in Historical Romance renewing our wicked interest in how these characters might still have progressed forward in their lives.“

    Praise indeed! Thank you for your time in reviewing our audiobook! So glad you enjoyed it!

  3. These audiobooks look very interesting. I love Jane Austen. However, I have a confession that I think you might like Jorie. When I first picked up Pride and Prejudice (I believe I was 13 years old) I hated it. I didn’t even get through to chapter 3! So I put it on my shelf and forgot about it until I turned 15 and decided to pick it up again. And lo! I loved it! I don’t know why it took 2 years for me to appreciate the prose, but ever since then I became a fan of all things Austen. :)

    • Hallo, Hallo Aleen!

      :) Forgive the late responses lately on my blog – I was a bit under the weather off/on these past weeks of September; blessedly migraine-free for the most part as I had a few rumblings of a migraine trying to take root, but thankfully I dodged them. I wanted to respond closer to when you left this lovely note for me but I had to wait until I felt my head was clearer to respond as I’ve been battling through quite a heap of fatigue.

      I share a similar story to you?

      My journey into the collective works of Jane Austen has been just as uniquely routed as your own! When I first tried to read Austen, I was under the age of 13 but for whichever reason, I felt the *language* especially wasn’t connecting with me. Then, I started to get interested in the film adaptations and by the time Keira’s version of PRIDE was released, I had self-directed a challenge to read PRIDE for the first time (in full) in order to ‘treat’ myself to see the film on the big screen. Mum patiently waited that week out even though we almost *missed!* the film’s release week (laughs) we made it on I believe the last day or two? Ever since then, I’m hungry for more Austen but I seem to set myself up each August to where I get caught up in the curiosities of #AustenInAugust moreso than I’m able to focus on reading *Austen!* in August.

      This year, that really hit home for me – I want to read Austen in the Winter months now and ‘let go’ of the idea of #AustenInAugust – unless Roof Beam Reader decides to re-host someday, I think for me, a change of season and focus is going to be a good one! :) You’ll start to see me musing about this come December,… (hint, hint)

      I *loved!* your story about how you became a Janeite and I am so humbled and honoured you shared it with me!!

      Thank you for swinging through this blog tour and I truly hope you’ll feel as wickedly excited over the narrator for this collection as I have been myself!

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