Bladys of the Stewponey

Read by Andy Minter (1934-2017)

(4.6 stars; 62 reviews)

The setting, geography and history of this story by Rev'd Sabine Baring-Gould, author of Onward Christian Soldiers and a number of other well-known hymns, are all accurate, or at least as accurate as local lore will allow. Kinver has long been a midlands beauty spot, and the UK National Trust own and open one of the rock-dwellings mentioned. The 'Stewponey' too was an inn until a year or two into the twenty-first century: - the present reader having stopped there for a drink and a meal many times.

The story, whether you call it a romance, a historical novel or a horror story - comprising as it does a young woman being offered as a prize in a bowling match, a wife-burning, highwaymen and buried treasure - is of course wholly fiction. (Introduction by AJM) (6 hr 45 min)


Chapter 01 - Oyez! 16:29 Read by Andy Minter (1934-2017)
Chapter 02 - In the Cellar 16:18 Read by Andy Minter (1934-2017)
Chapter 03 - Crispin 13:45 Read by Andy Minter (1934-2017)
Chapter 04 - The Bowling Green 17:04 Read by Andy Minter (1934-2017)
Chapter 05 - The Jack 13:05 Read by Andy Minter (1934-2017)
Chapter 06 - A Mad Wedding 15:00 Read by Andy Minter (1934-2017)
Chapter 07 - Stand! Deliver! 15:32 Read by Andy Minter (1934-2017)
Chapter 08 - The Rock Tavern 17:59 Read by Andy Minter (1934-2017)
Chapter 09 - Nan 15:04 Read by Andy Minter (1934-2017)
Chapter 10 - Castle Foregate 15:49 Read by Andy Minter (1934-2017)
Chapter 11 - A White Devil 14:39 Read by Andy Minter (1934-2017)
Chapter 12 - Petty Treason 13:37 Read by Andy Minter (1934-2017)
Chapter 13 - The Last in England 17:33 Read by Andy Minter (1934-2017)
Chapter 14 - A Challenge 15:11 Read by Andy Minter (1934-2017)
Chapter 15 - Vashti 18:39 Read by Andy Minter (1934-2017)
Chapter 16 - Drie 12:52 Read by Andy Minter (1934-2017)
Chapter 17 - Kynaston's Cave 14:11 Read by Andy Minter (1934-2017)
Chapter 18 - A Crooked Finger 13:05 Read by Andy Minter (1934-2017)
Chapter 19 - A Second Flight 12:50 Read by Andy Minter (1934-2017)
Chapter 20 - The Tally Stick 15:39 Read by Andy Minter (1934-2017)
Chapter 21 - A Protector 14:45 Read by Andy Minter (1934-2017)
Chapter 22 - Holy Austin Rock 13:57 Read by Andy Minter (1934-2017)
Chapter 23 - Meg-A-Fox Hole 19:17 Read by Andy Minter (1934-2017)
Chapter 24 - At The Rock Foot 16:21 Read by Andy Minter (1934-2017)
Chapter 25 - Nan, Farewell! 11:03 Read by Andy Minter (1934-2017)
Chapter 26 - The Crooked Finger Again 18:29 Read by Andy Minter (1934-2017)
Appendix - Burning for Petty Treason 7:35 Read by Andy Minter (1934-2017)


Plz disregard unnecessary 3 star review!

(4.5 stars)

The summary really doesn't contain spoilers... Yes, those things are a part of the amazing tale read here, but are certainly not the end all (nor more than a tiny percent) of this gripping story! It's a shame to have a review listed by someone who has not listened to the book, especially when it's worth listening to! Bladys of the Stewponey takes one back to olden times when life was very different from what it is now. I found it fascinating, and educating,and hard to "put down" even though, being somewhat squeamish of the type of scenes that could have been terribly grisly and disturbing, (such as the "wife burning"), I did take a break a couple of times, in dreaded anticipation of what was to come. To other readers considering this book, I can now assure you that my fears were unfounded, and while some events had the potential to leave one horrified, in every circumstance, the author dealt with whatever distress was yet to come, with gentleness and restraint. I was relieved again and again, when I allowed myself to continue without pause through the tense portions of the story. It IS an eye opening look at what life was like in a different time - and how progress has been made, in law and in life. This is a very different type of book than Kitty Alone, (which I adored and highly recommend!), and was not one of my top favorites, but I'm ever so glad I pushed play (after my pause) and carried on. It really is an adventure! The reader was fantastic and swept me away into a ancient and unique portion of history, culture, and place. There were a few places I had to pay very close attention (scenes containing Nan's old, odd mother/"hag"), - as accent and character changed, but the reader's talent and energy are amazing! Thank you for the hard work you've generously given for us!!! Your wonderful accent, and the myriad of character voices were a gift indeed!

History brought to life by genius narrator

(5 stars)

Google informed me that the author was an Anglican clergyman who collected folk songs and historical legends. He is naturally appalled that such medieval barbarity, a capital sentence of burning for petit and grand treason existed in British juris prudence so relatively recently, and this horror and injustice forms the harsh backdrop for dangers the characters must circumvent, or not. The author doesn't discuss the reasoning why men are hanged, but women burned, for the same crime (i.e. treason in forging coins, which is curious and thought provoking). This too brief tale of adventure is most admirably rendered by the considerable talents of the late much esteemed Andy Minter.


(5 stars)

Fascinating story excellently read by the talented Andy Minter. If you let yourself be put off by the grim sub-theme you'll miss a treat. Although Baring-Gould was a C of E clergyman his profession did not prevent him from exposing the abuses and hypocrisy of the church of an earlier era. Who knew that people (women, actually) were still being burned at the stake in the UK as late as the 1790s? Ugh. Highly recommended. Thank you, Andy. TheBookworm (Manchester, UK)

excellent narration

(5 stars)

Mr. Minter was phenomenal. I searched for him on the internet to see what other works he had done, and was deeply saddened to learn he had passed away. I am very grateful for his excellent work and talents shared with so many.


(5 stars)

The previous reviewer said about all there is to say. It's an exciting story, lots of interesting twists and local colour. Andy does a wonderful job bringing the characters to life - down to the almost undecipherable accents. :) Andy will be missed.

What a wonderful history story

(5 stars)

Andy is the best character reader. He paints a picture of the best quality. Whether it be lovers embrace in the face of danger or the death throws of those being executided.

(3 stars)

although hard to understand some of the dialect, its still worth a listen. The burning as punishment may be too much for some listeners. It does have a good ending and the evil get their due justice.

Very talented reader

(5 stars)

It was a joy to hear the reader. He used so many voices and accents and it really added to my enjoyment of the book.