The Ordeal of Richard Feverel

Read by LibriVox Volunteers

(3 stars; 3 reviews)

After his wife's desertion, Sir Austin wants to bring up his son according to a strict educational system governing every aspect of his life. However Richard has to make his own mistakes, fall in love, and generally live his own life. This book tells about the clashes between Richard's wish to govern his own life to his father's constant interference. This book was very influential. The leading libraries of the day considered it too frank and sexually explicit and refused to buy it. Later authors including E. M. Forster, Oscar Wilde and Virginia Woolf admired and respected it. - Summary by Stav Nisser and Wikipedia (18 hr 42 min)


01. The Inmates of Raynham Abbey 19:08 Read by Jim Locke
02. Showing How the Fates Selected the Fourteenth Birthday to Try the Strength … 19:42 Read by Rita Boutros
03. The Magian Conflict 10:04 Read by Rita Boutros
04. Arson 23:47 Read by Rita Boutros
05. Adrian Plies His Hook 10:56 Read by Rita Boutros
06. Juvenile Stratagems 17:47 Read by Rita Boutros
07. Daphne’s Bower 12:36 Read by Rita Boutros
08. The Bitter Cup 18:53 Read by Rita Boutros
09. A Fine Distinction 13:38 Read by Rita Boutros
10. Richard Passes Through His Preliminary Ordeal, and is the Occasion of an Ap… 16:51 Read by Rita Boutros
11. In which the Last Act of the Bakewell Comedy is Closed in a Letter 13:36 Read by Rita Boutros
12. The Blossoming Season 29:54 Read by Rita Boutros
13. The Magnetic Age 22:17 Read by Rita Boutros
14. An Attraction 15:18 Read by Rita Boutros
15. Ferdinand and Miranda 23:16 Read by Rita Boutros
16. Unmasking of Master Ripton Thompson 24:26 Read by Rita Boutros
17. Good Wine and Good Blood 14:48 Read by Rita Boutros
18. The System Encounters the Wild Oats Special Plea 10:08 Read by Rita Boutros
19. A Diversion Played on a Penny-Whistle 9:42 Read by Rita Boutros
20. Celebrates the Time-Honoured Treatment of a Dragon by the Hero 43:28 Read by Rita Boutros
21. Richard is Summoned to Town to Hear a Sermon 21:13 Read by Rita Boutros
22. Indicates the Approaches of Fever 25:20 Read by Rita Boutros
23. Crisis in the Apple-Disease 31:29 Read by Rita Boutros
24. Of the Spring Primrose and the Autumnal 13:41 Read by Jim Locke
25. In which the Hero Takes a Step 37:14 Read by Jim Locke
26. Records the Rapid Development of the Hero 36:08 Read by Rita Boutros
27. Contains an Intercession for the Heroine 8:03 Read by Rita Boutros
28. Relates How Preparations for Action Were Conducted Under the April of Lovers 43:56 Read by Rita Boutros
29. In which the Last Act of a Comedy Takes the Place of the First 33:12 Read by Rita Boutros
30. Celebrates the Breakfast 21:49 Read by Rita Boutros
31. The Philosopher Appears in Person 19:32 Read by Rita Boutros
32. Procession of the Cake 42:47 Read by Rita Boutros
33: Norsing The Devil 26:55 Read by Rita Boutros
34. Conquest of an Epicure 52:22 Read by Rita Boutros
35. Clare’s Marriage 39:14 Read by jenno
36. A Dinner-Party at Richmond 41:27 Read by Rita Boutros
37. Mrs. Berry on Matrimony 30:25 Read by Rita Boutros
38. An Enchantress 43:54 Read by Jim Locke
39. The Little Bird and the Falcon; a Berry to the Rescue! 32:39 Read by Jim Locke
40. Clare’s Diary 39:17 Read by Jim Locke
41. Austin Returns 22:39 Read by Jim Locke
42. Nature Speaks 21:24 Read by Andy Lilley
43. Again the Magian Conflict 15:59 Read by Jim Locke
44. The Last Scene 41:37 Read by Jim Locke
45. Lady Blandish to Austin Wentworth 9:44 Read by Jim Locke


(2 stars)

This was a good, solid Victorian novel with an interesting premise - an experiment in how to raise a child. Unfortunately it was totally ruined by one of the readers to the extent that I had to abandon listening before the end and switch to the printed word for the last 8 chapters. His voice was monotonal (almost robotic), it was impossible to detect any difference between description and dialogue, it was impossible to distinguish between characters. I don’t expect dramatic renditions when I listen to audio books but some variation and emotion would be good. The other readers were fine but after listening to Chapter 38 I simply didn’t know what had happened which is why I gave up. What a shame, but a clear reminder that reading aloud is much more than just knowing the words.