Live on the iBooks store

The illus­trat­ed audio e-book of Can­to One of Don Juan is now avail­able on 32 nation­al iBooks stores.

Two hours of audio, more than twen­ty full-page illus­tra­tions and the text of both the Ded­i­ca­tion and Can­to One of Byron’s hilar­i­ous bed­room farce.

Get your copy now (or down­load a free sam­ple) here

Don Juan, Canto One

Selec­tions from the the illustrations,verse and audio of a new e-book ver­sion of Byrons’ com­ic mas­ter­piece, Don Juan”: avail­able in the Apple iBooks store from Sep­tem­ber 2012, for the iPad and iPhone.

You can down­load a sam­ple of the book right now using the but­ton on the right of the page.

The e-book con­tains the full text of Can­to One of Don Juan, more than 20 high-res­o­lu­tion, full-page illus­tra­tions and almost two hours of pro­fes­sion­al audio nar­ra­tion. It uses “read along” tech­nol­o­gy to syn­chro­nise the text and the audio of the poem (unlike this web-extract).

Don Juan is an hilar­i­ous, risky, mod­ern poem that uses the Don Juan myth to explore the tan­gled, intense life and forth­right opin­ions of one of literature’s great­est but also most flawed char­ac­ters: the author, Gor­don, Lord Byron.

Image and audio extract © Peter Gal­lagher, 2012


1 & 2

Bob Southey! You’re a poet, poet lau­re­ate,
And rep­re­sen­ta­tive of all the race.
Although ’tis true that you turned out a Tory at
Last, yours has late­ly been a com­mon case.
And now my epic rene­gade, what are ye at
With all the lak­ers, in and out of place?
A nest of tune­ful per­sons, to my eye
Like ‘four and twen­ty black­birds in a pye,

Which pye being opened they began to sing’
(This old song and new sim­i­le holds good),
‘A dain­ty dish to set before the King’
Or Regent, who admires such kind of food.
And Coleridge too has late­ly tak­en wing,
But like a hawk encum­bered with his hood,
Explain­ing meta­physics to the nation.
I wish he would explain his expla­na­tion.

Image and audio extract © Peter Gal­lagher, 2012

They lived respectably as man and wife


Don Jóse and the Don­na Inez led
For some time an unhap­py sort of life,
Wish­ing each oth­er, not divorced, but dead.
They lived respectably as man and wife,
Their con­duct was exceed­ing­ly well-bred
And gave no out­ward signs of inward strife,
Until at length the smoth­ered fire broke out
And put the busi­ness past all kind of doubt.

Image and audio extract © Peter Gal­lagher, 2012

…thinking unutterable things


Young Juan wan­dered by the glassy brooks
Think­ing unut­ter­able things. He threw
Him­self at length with­in the leafy nooks
Where the wild branch of the cork for­est grew.
There poets find mate­ri­als for their books,
And every now and then we read them through,
So that their plan and prosody are eli­gi­ble,
Unless like Wordsworth they prove unin­tel­li­gi­ble.

Image and audio extract © Peter Gal­lagher, 2012

A real husband always is suspicious


A real hus­band always is sus­pi­cious,
But still no less sus­pects in the wrong place,
Jeal­ous of some­one who had no such wish­es,
Or pan­der­ing blind­ly to his own dis­grace
By har­bour­ing some dear friend extreme­ly vicious.
The last indeed’s infal­li­bly the case,
And when the spouse and friend are gone off whol­ly,
He won­ders at their vice, and not his fol­ly.

Image and audio extract © Peter Gal­lagher, 2012

And Julia sate with Juan


And Julia sate with Juan, half embraced
And half retir­ing from the glow­ing arm,
Which trem­bled like the bosom where’twas placed.
Yet still she must have thought there was no harm,
Or else’twere easy to with­draw her waist.
But then the sit­u­a­tion had its charm,
And then – God knows what next – I can’t go on;
I’m almost sor­ry that I e’er begun.

Image and audio extract © Peter Gal­lagher, 2012

…Who is the man you search for?


And now, Hidal­go, now that you have thrown
Doubt upon me, con­fu­sion over all,
Pray have the cour­tesy to make it known
Who is the man you search for? How d’ye call
Him? What’s his lin­eage? Let him but be shown.
I hope he’s young and hand­some. Is he tall?
Tell me, and be assured that since you stain
My hon­our thus, it shall not be in vain.

Image and audio extract © Peter Gal­lagher, 2012

…so Juan knocked him down


None can say that this was not good advice;
The only mis­chief was it came too late.
Of all expe­ri­ence ‘tis the usu­al price,
A sort of income tax laid on by fate.
Juan had reached the room door in a trice
And might have done so by the gar­den gate,
But met Alfon­so in his dress­ing gown,
Who threat­ened death – so Juan knocked him down.

Image and audio extract © Peter Gal­lagher, 2012