This Downton Abbey Alum Will Soon Be Reading You the Classics

Dan Stevens at the London Evening Standard Theatre Awards held at the Savoy Hotel in LondonWe are dazzled by accents and people who dress for dinner. So it is completely befitting that the newest audiobooks of The Iliad and The Odyssey should be narrated by a former resident of Downton Abbey.

Dan Stevens, Lady Mary’s once ambivalent suitor, is set to narrate the books which will be available August 2014, just in time to be included in classroom curriculums.

This is not boring. This is proof that art and culture endure and that there is hope for humanity.

The Iliad and its sort-of sequel The Odyssey were written a LONG time ago — like 8th century BC. Before they were written down they were passed along by storytellers. They’re two of the oldest stories we have. Homer, the presumed author, talks about war, heroes, love, hate, lust, and family (like you do). It’s epic. (Literally.)

And even though they’re, like, SUPER old — we are still telling these stories.

Even though attention spans are getting shorter and phones are getting smarter and everyone is overweight and our kids can’t do math, we are using our attention span-shortening technologies to preserve culture — not just in the basement of a library somewhere. We are recruiting a well-known actor from one of the most-watched TV shows and that show, my friends, airs on PBS.

[Single tear.]

This is a wonderful state of affairs. Culture is alive and thriving in the face of the veritable wrecking ball (see what I did there) that threatens the arts and entertainment.

Matthew Crawley’s time at Downton was cut tragically short. (Contract negotiations are like that.) His buttoned up demeanor and posh accent are moving on to something appropriate for a man of his means and education. His voice will carry a thousands-of-years-old-oral tradition forward for maybe a couple hundred more years.

Admit it: This is going to be one sick audiobook. Have you been missing Mr. Crawley? Here’s a clip of him reading to you.

Photo Credit: Pacific Coast News

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