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Stephen Fry's Victorian Secrets

Written by: Stephen Fry,John Woolf,Nick Baker
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  • Summary

  • On the surface, the Victorian age is one of propriety, industry, prudishness and piety. But scratch the surface and you'll find scandal, sadism, sex, madness, malice and murder.

    Presented by Stephen Fry, this series delves deep into a period of time we think we know, to discover an altogether darker reality. The stories we're told offer a different perspective on an era which underwent massive social change. As education, trade, technology and culture blossomed, why was there an undercurrent of the "˜forbidden' festering beneath Victorian society?

    Across 12 episodes, Stephen presents a series of true accounts of the dangerous low life and debauched high life of Victorian Britain.

    This is an Audible Original Podcast. Free for members. You can download all 12 episodes to your Library now.

    ©2018 Audible, Ltd. (P)2018 Audible, Ltd.
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Episodes
  • Ep. 1: Family Secrets
    Oct 18 2018

    Of course, all families, high born and low have secrets. Confidential conditions of mind or body. Black sheep. Skeletons in cupboards. Unmentionable uncles. Naughty nephews... aunties who aren't... conventional. More often than not it boils down to something - sexual.

    This episode is about the keeping and uncovering of family secrets. In a way it unlocks all the secrets in all our episodes.

    Many Victorians, especially the more successful ones, feared shame. In a way this fear was something quite new. A new and growing newspaper industry was keen to amplify that shame. And a new middle class, desperate to cling to its new-found monied status, felt threatened. And, new theories about heredity, coming later in the century, meant that (perish the thought!) shamefulness could be passed on – like red hair or big feet - from generation to generation.

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    44 mins
  • Ep. 2: The Buckingham Palace Freak Show
    Oct 18 2018

    Step right up, step right up and don’t be shy - welcome to Victorian Secrets, and the secrets of... The Freak Show. The secrets of enormously fat men and bearded ladies, the secrets of exotic women with enticingly large buttocks, the secrets of Siamese Twins and dwarf families and, in particular, the secrets of our own, our very own Aztec Children, seen by half a million people on the European continent before they publicly revealed their own, personal, extraordinary secret.

    We’ll go backstage to hear the terrible secrets of the freaks themselves, we’ll lift the lace curtains of Buckingham Palace, where our own Queen, god bless her, took tea with the tiny, the towering and the terribly formed.

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    37 mins
  • Ep. 3: Pornography, Pleasure and the Press
    Oct 18 2018

    This episode will penetrate some of the secrets of Victorian sexuality, public and private and will challenge some deeply held misconceptions.

    We tend to think of the Victorians as dyed in the wool prudes, and we have latched onto the idea that the Victorians felt their values of self-discipline, temperance and hard work were threatened by the temptations of the flesh. This episode will show in enjoyable detail that ordinary Victorians’ attitudes to sex was for the most part enthusiastic, unembarrassed and surprisingly well informed. Apart, that is, from one secret sexual practice that was loathed, feared and tragically misunderstood.

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    34 mins

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Amazing

Stephen Fry could narrated someone killing me and I would still enjoy it. This was a fun and interesting look into the Victorian era and the secrets they tried to keep. I hope they make a second part.

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A Charming Series on Victorian History

As usual Stephen Fry brings his unique charm and storytelling skills to this series. I have a great love for Victorian history and this was fun, informative and educational. I have recommended this too so many people.

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This was fun but not with kids in the car!

I loved these. Interesting and funny. My kids love Victoria history.....but not these. Ha ha. Some adult content!

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3 people found this helpful

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Highly Entertaining

Stephen Fry's voice is such a glorious treat. Pick this one up. you won't regret it

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exceptional listening

Wonderfully written and gloriously narrated. Stephen Fry is excellent in this collection of interesting episodes that wisk you to a time of secrets.

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Hilarious History

Turns out that people are people, no matter where or WHEN you are. Narrator has the right tone, sounds knowledgeable enough to be taken seriously, flippant enough so it's not TOO % seriously

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The music is overwhelming!

It is hard to sort out the voice from the music some of the time.

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Stephen Fry is a master storyteller...

What a special treat to find out this was free on Audible! Noone tells a tale as well Stephen Fry, and he certainly delivers, yet again, with these illuminating, educational, and totally juicy accounts of the Victorian era! Stephen Fry, you're a gift to the world!

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Good

Fry is always enjoyable. Good fun, engaging, informative, and stimulating. I will await a second season.

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INTERESTING

This podcast was so well done. Really enjoyed it, waiting for more and following closely.

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