Hero and Leander (version 2)

Read by Thomas A. Copeland

(4.7 stars; 7 reviews)

Two young people, the epitome of young masculine and feminine beauty, fall in love at first sight, but their union is forbidden by the tyranny of their guardians and of geography itself, for they live on opposite sides of the Hellespont. To enjoy one night of love, Leander dares to swim this formidable strait, unluckily meeting the god Neptune along the way. Unaware of the resentment he has aroused by rejecting the advances of this old queen of the sea, the lad gains the shore and, once past the shock of appearing naked on his lover's doorstep, finds his way into her bed. There the young couple, although ignorant of the facts of life (Hero is a "nun" in the temple of Venus!), discover "all that elder lovers know" by (awkward) trial and (hilarious) error. The unfinished poem ends with one lover having fallen out of bed, the long return journey across the Hellespont still to come and an angry Neptune lying in wait. Although George Chapman continued the poem after Marlowe's death, this reading is of Marlowe's original only. (Summary by Thomas Copeland) (0 hr 42 min)


01 - Part 1 25:33 Read by Thomas A. Copeland
02 - Part 2 17:09 Read by Thomas A. Copeland


Fleet and graceful reading. Gifted narrator.

(5 stars)

This is one of several superb Librivox offerings from Mr Copeland. He is beautifully-spoken, learned and evidently very devoted to the poetry of the Renaissance, some of which is unavailable in audio from other sources and likely to remain so. His precise diction and subtle rendering of nuance make his readings truly treasurable. I can imagine him playing Dowland's lute works with an equal fluency and taste.