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Free Audio Books: Celebrate Literacy with 10 Classic Free Audio Books

Updated on December 15, 2009

Thanks to the public domain, readers today have many opportunities to download free audio books and ebooks from dozens of classic, celebrated authors.

This collection of 10 free classic audio books includes a number of important literary works beloved by readers and most often found on school reading lists across the country.

Purchase The Canterbury Tales Book

The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer

Written in Middle English at the end of the 14th century, Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales follows a pilgrimage to Canterbury Cathedral, delighting readers with a number of colorful characters and storylines serving as a commentary of religion, social class and reality during the time period.

Much celebrated as one of the most important poetic works in literature, influencing many other writers in British literature, according to literary scholars. 

Download a Free Audio Book of The Canterbury Tales, by Geoffrey Chaucer.

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Published in the Strand Magazine in 1891, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes offers 12 exciting stories featuring Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's most famous detective. Critics received Doyle's work as a sterling example of mystery writing long before the more contemporary detective novels of the 20th century captured the attention of readers.

Download a Free Audio Book of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Read About Fitzgerald's Paradise

This Side of Paradise, F. Scott Fitzgerald

Taking its name from a popular poem, F. Scott Fitzgerald's This Side of Paradise examines the lives of post-World War I Princeton student Amory Blaine in his quest for love.

According to Fitzgerald's biography, the classic was semi-autobiographical, written by 22-year-old Fitzgerald's own quest to woo an ex who ended a relationship with him.

Download a Free Audio Book of This Side of Paradise, by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Selected Poems, Robert Frost

Robert Frost was an American poet much celebrated for his examination of rural life, and best remembered for his colloquial style of writing.  Frost's poetry often explored society in New England, in addition to philosophy.

Robert Frost won four Pulitzer Prizes in Poetry, including one in 1931 for his Selected Poems.

Download Free Audio Book of Selected Poems, by Robert Frost.

Read Shakespeare's Greatest Love Story

Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare

Shakespeare's tale of Romeo and Juliet's two star-crossed lovers borne from the loins of two fateful foes is among the most romantic (if not emulated) dramas written to date.

The tragedy, penned by William Shakespeare for the Globe Theatre, chronicles the love relationship between Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet, two teenagers born to two fueding families in 16th century England.

Download a Free Audio Book of Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare.

Treasure Island, Robert Lewis Stevenson

From buccaneers to buried gold, Robert Lewis Stevenson's Treasure Island is the classic story of a young man who goes on a quest for adventure and fortune after finding a treasure map in this 19th century favorite.

Full of rich, colorful imagery and a solid story of peril and wonder, Stevenson's pirate story is one children's favorite that can be enjoyed at any age!

Download a Free Audio Book of Treasure Island, by Robert Lewis Stevenson.

Grab Robert Lewis Stevenson's Treasure Island

Read Gulliver's Travels

Gulliver's Travels, Jonathan Swift

Filled with satire and great wit, Gulliver's Travels chronicles the travels of Lemuel Gulliver, a surgeon-turned-ship captain in Swift's fascinating novel in four-parts. 

Influences by the publication of non-fiction travelouges during the era, Swift's fictionalized story of Gulliver offers excitement, humor and a fascinating commentary of the European government and religious debates of the time.

Download a Free Audio Book of Gulliver's Travels, by Jonathan Swift.

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain

Instantly recognized as a great American work of literature, Mark Twain takes readers on a fascinating adventure as Huckleberry Finn escapes the confines of rural life down the Mississippi River, along with friend Tom Sawyer.

Twain's book explores the issues of slavery, abuse, religion and social class delicately, while maintaining a family-friendly story.

Download a Free Audio Book of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain.

Get the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman

Leaves of Grass is a collection of poetry by Walt Whitman, a body of work the author worked on compiling throughout his lifetime.  Much celebrated for its religious symbolism and allegory, Whitman's most famout work was published in three volumes until his death in 1887.

Download a Free Audio Book of Leaves of Grass, by Walt Whitman.

The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray chronicles the story of a young man who becomes the subject of a painting.  Wilde's only novel is a tantilzing tale of hedonism, personality, vanity and the sins of humanity.

Download a Free Audio Book of The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde.

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