The Lady of the Lake

Apparently there were several “Lady of the Lake” legends or stories or whatever the heck they are called.  THIS one was written by Sir Walter Scott, Bart., which The Droning Voice assumes stands for “Baronet”, though she acknowledges that it could mean something Piratical, since her mind went straight to “Black Bart”, God Only Knows Why.

Baronet (berənət) a member of the lowest hereditary titled British order, with the status of a commoner but able to use the prefix “Sir.”

At any rate, this was a VERY popular poem/story when it first came out, which probably meant the pirate or Baronet had to go on book tours explaining all the end notes in person.  Normally, The Droning Voice avoids tomes of any noted popularity, but this particular book was very appealing in that it was relatively small, and it had gilt-edged pages.  Plus it had words in GAELIC, which, if you thought The Droning Voice had a hard time with French, you should hear this.  If The Droning Voice has any Scottish listeners, please don’t allow this to become an International Incident.  And, in order to deflect any rage directed at her, she wants to point out that she once went to Edinburgh, and one of her hosts commented that people up around Inverness talk funny.

This has a bit of battle excitement in it, so be fore-warned.  Some people may find scenes of daring-do calming if not downright boring.  These people, by the way, need to be avoided. The printing was also somewhat patchy, in places, in this edition, so The Droning Voice stumbles here and there, trying to figure out exactly what was written by Sir Walter Scott, Bart.   Her performance, though, is, as always, delivered with the enthusiasm of asphalt, complete with potholes.

Oh, the poem?  It’s about Scottish stuff that happened in the reign of James V., at least as best as The Droning Voice could figure out.  She wasn’t paying close attention.

Sleep well!

Here is a sample of The Lady of the Lake:


This is a short example of The Droning Voice.  Subscribers can access the full-length version and really put themselves to sleep.  Here is how to subscribe.

Lalla Rookh

This book has been described as “An Oriental Romance”, which takes place on a journey from somewhere in India to somewhere else, and has as its main characters Lalla Rookh, a princess going off to marry some king of some place whom she has never met, and a poet in her entourage who entertains her with, guess what, poems, because nothing makes a tedious journey just fly by than POETRY.  The Droning Voice thinks more parents of young children should employ it as entertainment when taking their young children on road trips.  The tears that inevitably will flow will no doubt be tears of joy.

Oh, and for those of a more, uhm, prurient bent, The Droning Voice carefully raises an eyebrow AND slightly lowers her spectacles while assuring said listeners that the phrase “Oriental Romance” has NOTHING to do with the Kama Sutra in this case.

There is a long preface, much of which (for some ridiculous reason) is written in French, and which, in spite of her lack of education in such matters, The Droning Voice went ahead and read.  The same holds true for the “notes” (which went on for PAGES) at the end of the book. Have great fun at her expense, if you consider yourself a Francophile.  The Droning Voice really doesn’t care.  There are also a lot of names of peoples and places of uncertain pronunciation, at least for The Droning Voice, but she resolutely droned on.  If you want perfect French, move to Paris, because nobody appears to be in agreement on the correct pronunciation of this exceedingly pretentious language, at least in the United States.

This book was considered a classic at one time, and may very well still be, though the persons whom she asked, many of whom finished high school, had never heard of it.  The Droning Voice never read it, devoting her reading time to other classics, such as “Jaws”, and whatever other books were popular amongst high school students at the time, including those being roundly condemned by religious groups.  NOTHING moves a book to the top of the Best Seller list than being roundly condemned by religious groups.

The Droning Voice wasn’t really paying too much attention whilst reading this book, but was able to discern that the princess winds up falling in love with the poet, who, guess what, turns out to be the very King she is going to marry. 

And with that spoiler, pleasant dreams!

Here is a sample of Lalla Rookh:


This is a short example of The Droning Voice.  Subscribers can access the full-length version and really put themselves to sleep.  Here is how to subscribe.

The Princess

Although this poem, or whatever you want to call it, was penned by no less a personage as Tennyson, The Droning Voice was WAY more familiar with the plot due to her exposure, at an impressionable age, to “Princess Ida” – an operetta by the team of Gilbert & Sullivan, known in the vernacular as “G&S”.  After she got hip-deep into the drone, she realized from whence Mr. Gilbert borrowed the plot of “Princess Ida”, and pondered, briefly, if she should continue the drone.  She is not so much afraid of the Tennyson fans as she is the G&S fans.  Those people are, well, fervent admirers of G&S, right up there with admirers of Star Trek, Star Wars, birding, model trains, and Ham radio, none of whom she wants to cross.

Still, given that “Princess Ida” is one of the lesser known G&S operettas, she went right on with the drone.  The Droning Voice is a firm believer in source material, so if you are a fan of G&S, she dares you to listen to this particular drone and try to find your favorite aria, duet, chorus number.  Hey, she was actually in a production of “Princess Ida”, and learned at least a small amount about the character she played from droning the poem, though she can’t really remember exactly what that was.  She will state, however, that her admiration of Mr. Gilbert’s ability to wade through dense poetry to find an actual plot to swipe has been enhanced greatly.

The plot, sorta, is that a group of proto-feminists have opened an all girls school, and they hate men.  Three guys, one of whom was actually married to Princess Ida (OK, he was 2 years-old when that happened, but still), manage to pretend to be girls and infiltrate the school.  The plot thickens.  Fans of “Some Like it Hot”, and/or cross-dressing may find this poem a bit too titillating, but The Droning Voice will allow you to decide for yourself whether this is true for you or not with this brief sample:

“On the lecture slate the circle rounded under female hands with flawless demonstration: follow’d then a classic lecture, rich in sentiment, with scraps of thunderous Epic lilted out by violet-hooded Doctors, elegies and quoted odes, and jewels five-words-long that on the stretch’d forefinger of all Time sparkle for ever:….”

The Droning Voice nearly dozed off while typing the above snippet.  Perhaps you will, too.

Pleasant dreams!

Here is a sample of The Princess:


This is a short example of The Droning Voice.  Subscribers can access the full-length version and really put themselves to sleep.  Here is how to subscribe.


The Droning Voice hardly knows where to start.  First of all, this is an anthology compiled, she believes, with pre-teen boys in mind.  Pre-teen boys of 1915, who lived in England.  So never mind the imperialism (and the blatant sexism).  If the listener manages to stay awake, they will learn many fascinating things, including:

  • The life cycle of a gnat
  • All about antique furniture (the author wasn’t a fan of current styles in 1915)
  • Random biographies of obscure men
  • All about British trees (in poetry form)
  • The various forms of slang boys used then, including such terms as “ripping”, “having a lark”, calling another guy a “cock” in admiration, AND proclaiming oneself a “fag” of the “cock”. Somehow The Droning Voice doesn’t believe those particular slang terms will be coming back into fashion any time soon.
  • How to make a model ship and/or a water motor
  • All about those new-fangled aeroplanes

There are many, many wonderful illustrations in this book, mostly of children wearing stifling clothing, and dogs in hats.  The latter is only one reason why you should attempt to find a copy of this online, and pay a hefty sum for it.

Hopefully the listener will be lulled to sleep well before they hear The Droning Voice making an attempt at Welsh pronunciations.  Feel free to correct her, if you believe edifying her is important.  Frankly, she doesn’t care, though acknowledges there are PAGES of resources on the ‘net devoted to helping people learn Welsh as a second language.  Or a first language.  Whatever.  Since The Droning Voice is all about education, here is a single link to Welsh pronunciation which may prove marginally helpful when you want to impress linguists at parties:

There are also two complete novels imbedded in this book (“The Secret Valley” and “The Mystery of the Manor”).  The Droning Voice reminds her listeners that India is now an independent nation, and that the selling of ivory is illegal today, so don’t get all up in her business about anything perceived today as politically incorrect.

This book is certainly appropriate for children, unless you want them picking up the practice of doorbell-ditching their neighbors.  Oh, and the imperialism.

There are lots of short stories included, random poems, and assorted factoids.  The Droning Voice assuredly does NOT recommend any of the science experiments be attempted by anyone lacking a PhD and a hardhat.  And fireproof clothing.

Pleasant dreams!

Here is a sample of Chatterbox:


This is a short example of The Droning Voice.  Subscribers can access the full-length version and really put themselves to sleep.  Here is how to subscribe.

The Flower Vase

During the Victorian Era, this was an absolutely indispensable book when a young lady wanted an authoritative source on understanding a gentleman’s intentions based on the vegetation he bestowed upon her.  Nowadays, of course, there are social media outlets, whereby you can get interpretations of not only vegetation, but interpretations of looks, phone number requests, random mutterings, etc., and plenty of opinions, many from people you have never actually met, on whether or not the gentleman in question is good enough for you (“No”).

HOWEVER, there used to be an entire language built around flower bouquets, though a person was always at risk of sending mixed messages if they were not careful, and didn’t consult this book prior to combining ice-plant sprigs in with Gilly Flower (whatever THAT is) simply because one thought they looked nice together.  All fashionable young ladies kept a copy of this small book (The Droning Voice nearly went blind reading it) in her reticule, along with her fan, her smelling salts, her handkerchief, her kid gloves, her pepper spray, and her condom.  OK, it was a BIG reticule.

The Droning Voice was also somewhat started to discover that Lettuce used to be something sent as a message.  She actually thinks this is a custom which should be revived and applied to all things edible, which, or course, will require more books, or at least phone apps, explaining, for example, the symbolism of a banana (really, quite evident) and other fruits and vegetables.  It could even be applied to restaurants!  For example, if a gentleman were to take a young lady to a fast food establishment, it would mean he was cheap.  Really, The Droning Voice doesn’t think one needs an app to figure THAT out.

The Droning Voice hopes that one will spray a bit of lavender scent on their pillow prior to listening to this selection.  She hears it is supposed to help one sleep.

Pleasant dreams!

Here is a sample of The Flower Vase:


This is a short example of The Droning Voice.  Subscribers can access the full-length version and really put themselves to sleep.  Here is how to subscribe.