Silksoundbooks ~ Audiobooks read by your favorite actors

 I stumbled upon this yesterday –, an audiobooks website with some of your favorite actors reading their favorite classics:

silksoundbooks persuasion

Silksoundbooks is a collaboration of English and American actors who came together and decided to record their favourite literature for you to enjoy. Headed by Bill Nighy (Pirates of the Caribbean / Love Actually / Underworld), many of the artists involved believe so much in the project, that they have waived performance fees in favour of taking shares in the company.

Unlike some audio book download websites, we record all our audio books in the leading recording studios in London and New York, with some of the most experienced directors from the worlds of radio, TV & film…… we are sure you will hear the difference!

We started this project with one simple aim – to deliver great quality audio books to you at great value – Just $14.95 each! Enjoy!

[from the website]

Check out the website at and see the catalogue of 64 books currently available, all are unabridged and exclusive to this project. Here is a sampling of books and the readers [but alas! no Richard Armitage, yet …  can we petition for him?!]  Part of the delight is to find a good number of actors / actresses related to Jane Austen films in some way, and two of Austen’s novels:

  • Jane Austen.  Persuasion, read by Olivia Williams
  • Jane Austen.  Northanger Abbey, read by Lynn Redgrave
  • Elizabeth Gaskell.  My Lady Ludlow, read by Susannah York
  • Henry James.  Washington Square, read by Jennifer Ehle 
  • Emily Bronte.  Wuthering Heights, read by Juliet Stevenson
  • Charlotte Bronte.  Jane Eyre, read by Emily Woof
  • Fanny Burney.  Evelina, read by Finty Williams, Judi Dench and Geoffrey Palmer
  • Mary Shelley.  Frankenstein, read by Derek Jacobi
  • Joseph Conrad.  Heart of Darkness, read by Toby Stephens
  • Gustave Flaubert.  Madame Bovary, read by Julie Christie
  • Henry James.  The Aspern Papers, read by Jeremy Northam
  • Henry Fielding.  Joseph Andrews, read by Rufus Sewell
  • George Eliot.  Mill on the Floss, read by Fiona Shaw
  • Hans Christian Andersen.  The Snow Queen and other Fairy Stories, read by Greta Scacchi
  • Thomas Hughes.  Tom Brown’s Schooldays, read by Hugh Bonneville

And this is just a short listing!  Visit the website and experience this feast – I have already downloaded Washington Square read by Jennifer Ehle [a.k.a. Elizabeth Bennet!] to my ipod – it is easy to do [you will need a current version of Java] and quite wonderful listening! 

silksoundbooks washington square

Further reading:  an article in The Guardian when the site was first launched; and another at

13 thoughts on “Silksoundbooks ~ Audiobooks read by your favorite actors

  1. I’ll sign any petition going for Richard Armitage reading – anything at all, really: Georgette Heyer, Bernard Cornwell, train timetable, Beowulf, Lord of the Rings – anything.


  2. Yes, he is something isn’t he? – I assume you know that his audiobook reading of Heyer’s Sylvester will be released in July? We need him reading the lengthy Middlemarch or War & Peace, or heaven help us, Clarissa!
    Thanks for visiting!


  3. Actually, Armitage has also performed two Robin Hood books.

    “The Witchfinders, written by Rebecca Levene, and The Siege, written by Simon Guerrier.”

    The Witchfinders is now available and can be ordered on CD from Amazon UK or directly from Big Finish, or purchased from Big Finish as a download. As well as the story, it contains an interview with Richard about Robin Hood.

    Richard’s second audiobook, The Siege, will be released on 30th June. It can be pre-ordered at Amazon UK, or from Big Finish, where it’ll also be available as a download.

    See the Robin Hood series 3 Audiobooks page for more details about the audiobooks and the interview with Richard Armitage on The Witchfinders CD.”


  4. I’m a lady from Sweden and I like English very well and 3 voices I like most is Richard Armitage. Sean Bean and Rupert Penry-Jones . I going to buy something of them if I see it then I’m in UK :-)



  5. Hi Deb! Yes, I certainly do know about Sylvester. I’m finding it difficult to contain myself waiting. In the meantime I have the first his recent RH3 audiobooks, The Witchfinders (which is now available) and The Siege (due out soon – check out Amazon). And, I’m assuming everyone knows about the Bernard Cornwell audiobook, Lords of the North? And, I will now stop sounding like an ad for RA audiobooks.

    Personally, he could read me the instructions on bread-making and I’d be happy.


  6. I’d like to order a copy of Rufus Sewell reading “Thr History of the Adventures of Joseph Andrews and of his Friend Mr. Abraham Adams” by Henry Fielding. Is it available?


  7. Please tell me how I can order a copy of “The History of the Adventures of Joseph Andrews” read by Rufus Sewell.
    Alice Nelsen
    2404 Belair Drive
    Bowie, MD 20715


  8. Greetings all! I am wondering if anyone knows, whether Francesca Annis,
    Rachel Weisz, Keira Knightley, Alex Kingston, have done any talking books?
    Love their voices! Thanks M.


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