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By: Plato (428/427 BC - 348/347 BC)

Phaedo by Plato Phaedo

Plato's Phaedo is one of the great dialogues of his middle period, along with the Republic and the Symposium. The Phaedo, which depicts the death of Socrates, is also Plato's seventh and last dialogue to detail the philosopher's final days (the first six being Theaetetus, Euthyphro, Sophist, Statesman, Apology, and Crito).In the dialogue, Socrates discusses the nature of the afterlife on his last day before being executed by drinking hemlock. Socrates has been imprisoned and sentenced to death by an Athenian jury for not believing in the gods of the state and for corrupting the youth of the city...

Phaedrus by Plato Phaedrus

“For there is no light of justice or temperance, or any of the higher ideas which are precious to souls, in the earthly copies of them: they are seen through a glass, dimly…”Socrates and his earnest friend Phaedrus, enjoying the Athenian equivalent of a lunchtime stroll in the park, exchange views on love and on the power of words, spoken and written.Phaedrus is the most enchanting of Plato’s Erotic dialogues (capitalised in honour of the god). The barefoot philosopher urges an eager young...

By: Edward George Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873)

Last Days of Pompeii by Edward George Bulwer-Lytton Last Days of Pompeii

The Last Days of Pompeii, a novel by Edward George Bulwer-Lytton tells the love story of the Greeks Glaucus and Ione who were living in Pompeii when Mt. Vesuvius erupted and destroyed the city. But aside from telling their romance, the book is also full of insights about the decadent lifestyle of the Romans during the later part of their empire’s history. The different characters in the story represent the different civilizations which they come from. Glaucus, the main protagonist in the novel was portrayed as a handsome Greek nobleman...

By: James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851)

The Last Of The Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper The Last Of The Mohicans

The Last of the Mohicans is an epic novel by James Fenimore Cooper, first published in January 1826. It was one of the most popular English-language novels of its time, and helped establish Cooper as one of the first world-famous American writers.The story takes place in 1757 during the French and Indian War, when France and Great Britain battled for control of the American and Canadian colonies. During this war, the French often allied themselves with Native American tribes in order to gain an advantage over the British, with unpredictable and often tragic results.

The Spy by James Fenimore Cooper The Spy

Between 1865-73 the tumultuous American Revolution rages on in different battlefields. The air is thick with hatred and suspicion as the Continental and British armies clash in bloody warfare. In Westchester County, New York, an area is considered a neutral ground for both forces, Harvey Birch plies his dangerous mission. An innocuous peddler by day, he is in fact an American spy, though he does nothing to correct anyone who assumes he is a British spy. In a magnificent country mansion, The Locusts, live the wealthy Whartons...

The Pathfinder by James Fenimore Cooper The Pathfinder

Natty Bumppo goes by many names: La Longue Carabine, Hawk Eye, Leatherstocking, and in this tale, The Pathfinder. Guide, scout, hunter, and when put to it, soldier, he also fills a lot of roles in pre-Revolution upstate New York. An old friend, Sergeant Dunham of the 55th Regiment of Foot, asks him to guide his daughter through the wilderness to the fort at Oswego where Dunham serves. With the French engaging native Indian allies against the British and the Yankee colonists, such a journey is far from safe...

The Deerslayer by James Fenimore Cooper The Deerslayer

The Deerslayer, or The First Warpath (1841) was the last of James Fenimore Cooper’s Leatherstocking tales to be written. Its 1740-1745 time period makes it the first installment chronologically and in the lifetime of the hero of the Leatherstocking tales, Natty Bumppo.

The Pioneers by James Fenimore Cooper The Pioneers

The Pioneers: The Sources of the Susquehanna; a Descriptive Tale is one of the Leatherstocking Tales, a series of five novels by American writer James Fenimore Cooper. The Pioneers was first of these books to be published (1823), but the period of time covered by the book (principally 1793) makes it the fourth chronologically. (The others are The Deerslayer, The Last of the Mohicans, The Pathfinder, and The Prairie.)The story takes place on the rapidly advancing frontier of New York State and features...

Book cover Prairie - A Tale

The story opens with Ishmael, his family, Ellen and Abiram slowly making their way across the virgin prairies of the Midwest looking for a homestead, just two years after the Louisiana Purchase, and during the time of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. They meet the trapper (Natty Bumppo), who has left his home in New York state to find a place where he cannot hear the sound of people cutting down the forests. In the years between his other adventures and this novel, he tells us only that he has walked all the way to the Pacific Ocean and seen all the land between the coasts (a heroic feat, considering Lewis and Clark hadn’t yet completed the same trek).

By: Kate Chopin (1851-1904)

The Awakening by Kate Chopin The Awakening

This book opens with a young wife and mother, vacationing at a resort in the Gulf of Mexico with her husband and children. The resort is run by an elderly Frenchwoman, who manages the place along with her two sons. The young wife and one of the sons develop a deep and passionate attachment to each other, with devastating effects on both families and their circle of friends. When Kate Chopin's 1899 novel The Awakening, originally titled A Solitary Soul, was first released, it evoked a storm of controversy...

By: James Baldwin (1841-1925)

Fifty Famous Stories Retold by James Baldwin Fifty Famous Stories Retold

King Alfred and the Cakes. Damon and Pythias. The Sword of Damocles. Bruce and the Spider. These are stories that many people who grew up in the last century would be familiar with. They were included in our text books or to be found in anthologies in our school libraries. However, for a new generation growing up, some of these may be new and unknown. Hence, Fifty Famous Stories Retold by James Baldwin would indeed be a great addition to your children's bookshelf. James Baldwin, who shares his name with another famous American author was an editor, author and gifted teacher...

Four Great Americans: Washington, Franklin, Webster, Lincoln. A Book for Young Americans by James Baldwin Four Great Americans: Washington, Franklin, Webster, Lincoln. A Book for Young Americans

Written for children, James Baldwin’s history of Washington, Franklin, Webster, and Lincoln brings these men to life in a way that will be interesting for adults as well. The stories touch on the little humanities of the great men, rather than dwelling on the great works and great events of their lifetimes, without ignoring the latter.

Old Greek Stories by James Baldwin Old Greek Stories

A retelling of old Greek stories involving mythological heroes and their adventures. Tales include those of Prometheus, Io, Perseus and Theseus. (Introduction by Iris McLeod)

By: O. Henry (1862-1910)

The Four Million by O. Henry The Four Million

An impoverished but loving young couple sacrifices their most precious possessions to buy Christmas gifts for each other. A tramp who is desperate to be sent to prison so he can escape the winter cold. Two depressed laborers get their palms read by a Coney Island mountebank. A yellow dog who relates the story of a fat lady and her hen pecked husband. These and other unforgettable characters form part of absolutely delightful and unforgettable short story collection, The Four Million by O Henry. As the master of the “twist in the tail/tale” and the completely unexpected endings, O...

The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry The Gift of the Magi

The Gift of the Magi is an O. Henry short story in which a young couple are very much in love with each other but can barely afford their one-room apartment. For Christmas, they each make a sacrifice to purchase a gift for the other, with ironic results. The moral of the story is that physical possessions, however valuable they may be, are of little value in the grand scheme of things. The true unselfish love that the characters, Jim and Della, share is greater than their possessions. O. Henry ends the story by clarifying the metaphor between the characters in the story, Della and James (or Jim), and the Biblical Magi...

Book cover Cabbages and Kings

This work is O. Henry's first published volume and is considered to be his only novel. The plot is composed of several short stories, which were inspired by the author's six-month stay in Honduras in the late 1890s. "The incidents embracing as they do, a variety of subjects, hang loosely together, so loosely in fact, that at times one finds no apparent connection between them at all, and yet in the end one sees how each is intimately related to the other. ...Written by a less able hand than O. Henry's the book might have been a sad jumble, perhaps comprehensible to none but the Walrus--but as it is, one finds a joy in its every obscurity...

Book cover Whirligigs

A collection of short stories.

Book cover Gentle Grafter

If Jefferson "Parleyvoo" Pickens had appeared in print just a few years later, he might have been the "Gentle Grifter" instead of the "Gentle Grafter", the name O. Henry picked for him. His situation as an ethical graft artist gives Jeff an extra impediment in pursuing his craft, but he never wanted it to be too easy. The result is fourteen delightful tales for us and a number of new partners for him. With those partners (he always has at least one) he works his way through a number of confidence games...

Book cover Heart of the West

A collection of short stories by the legendary O. Henry.

Book cover Waifs and Strays

These 12 O. Henry stories all deal with waifs and strays in one way or another; people who have somehow become adrift in the current of life. Will they find their way on their own or be helped by kind hearted folk or perhaps, stay a waif and stray, somehow outside the normal life of society? All naturally have the wonderful O. Henry beautiful way with words and people. So if you are in the mood to enjoy some sensuous sounds and convoluted flowing phrases unique to William Sydney Porter, give these a listen. And of course the endings cannot ever be predicted. Ever!

Book cover Options

O. Henry needs no introduction of course; the man who made the short story with the surprise ending famous. These 16 stories are all wonderful examples of his word sculpting art. They include: "The Rose of Dixie"; The Third Ingredient; The Hiding of Black Bill; Schools and Schools; Thimble, Thimble; Supply and Demand; Buried Treasure; To Him Who Waits; He Also Serves; The Moment of Victory; The Head-Hunter; No Story; The Higher Pragmatism; Best-Seller; Rus in Urbe; A Poor Rule

By: John Bunyan (1628-1688)

The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan The Pilgrim's Progress

A journey that takes the hero, Christian, through the varied landscapes that constitute life and through the events that happen to human beings is the plot of The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan. Readers who have read and loved Louisa May Alcott's Little Women would recall the many references to this 17th century work of religious fiction. The Pilgrim's Progress is based on several values based in the teachings of Christianity. The importance of using the Bible as a guiding principle in life, of traveling not just geographically but also spiritually, the emphasis on community living and of the companionship of fellow people and many other themes...

The Holy War by John Bunyan The Holy War

The Holy War is perhaps John Bunyan’s second most popular work, after The Pilgrim’s Progress. It tells the story of afierce battle to take control of a city from its rightful ruler.

Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners by John Bunyan Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners

Grace Abounding is the spiritual autobiography of John Bunyan, who also penned Pilgrim’s Progress, perhaps one of the most significant pieces of Christian literature, second only to the Bible. Grace Abounding follows Bunyan’s struggle to find true repentance and forgiveness, his battle with Satan’s temptations of unbelief, his comfort found in the Bible and his overarching victory gotten by the grace of God through Jesus Christ his Son. Readers familiar with Pilgrim’s Progress will recognize...

Miscellaneous Pieces by John Bunyan Miscellaneous Pieces

John Bunyan (November 28, 1628 – August 31, 1688), a Christian writer and preacher, was born at Harrowden (one mile south-east of Bedford), in the Parish of Elstow, England. He wrote The Pilgrim’s Progress, arguably the most famous published Christian allegory. In the Church of England he is remembered with a Lesser Festival on 30 August. Bunyan became a popular preacher as well as a prolific author, though most of his works consist of expanded sermons. In theology he was a Puritan, but there was nothing gloomy about him. The portrait his friend Robert White drew, which has often been reproduced, shows the attractiveness of his true character.

By: John Bunyan (1628-1688)

Book cover Pilgrim's Progress in Words of One Syllable

The Pilgrim's Progress from This World to That Which Is to Come is a Christian allegory written by John Bunyan and published in February, 1678. It is regarded as one of the most significant works of religious English literature, has been translated into more than 200 languages, and has never been out of print. The author says in the preface " I have endeavored as far as possible to avoid hard and technical expressions, and I cannot but think that the mere fact of the brevity of the words must be a great attraction to beginners of all ages.

By: Edmund Spenser (c.1552-1599)

The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser The Faerie Queene

“The First Book of the Faerie Queene Contayning The Legende of the Knight of Red Crosse or Holinesse”. The Faerie Queene was never completed, but it continues to be one of the most beautiful and important works of literature ever written. Spenser wrote it as a paean to the Virgin Queen Elizabeth, and to the golden age which she had brought to England. Sponsored by Sir Walter Raleigh and commended by the foremost literary minds of his day, Spenser’s book remains one of the crowning poetic achievements of the Elizabethan period.

Book cover Amoretti: A sonnet sequence

The Amoretti (meaning little love poems) is a sequence of 89 sonnets written in the tradition of the Petrarchan sonnets, a popular form for poets of the Renaissance period. Spenser’s sequence has been largely neglected in modern times, while those of his contemporaries William Shakespeare and Sir Philip Sidney have been acclaimed. However, because of the artistic skill, along with the emotion and the humor exhibited, these poems deserve a broader hearing, even though they may be somewhat difficult for the present-day reader, partly through Spenser’s love for words and expressions that were already archaic in his time...

By: Rafael Sabatini (1875-1950)

Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini Captain Blood

An adventure novel with an unexpected hero, Captain Blood follows the unintended journey of chivalrous and well-educated gentleman Peter Blood, who without much choice was plunged into the world of piracy forcing him to leave his tranquil lifestyle behind. Sabatini first introduced his protagonist in a series of eight short stories published in magazine installments, until later weaving them together in 1922 as a novel. Set in the late 17th century, the novel begins with the image of Peter Blood, a physician, casually attending his geraniums and smoking a pipe...

Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini Scaramouche

“He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad!” The wonderful opening lines of this 1921 novel set the tone for the rest of this delightful story of an adventurer and romantic who dons several roles in his colorful life. Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini is an historical novel set in the turbulent times of the French Revolution. The plot describes Andre-Louis Moreau, a young lawyer adopted by his godfather who cannot reveal his parentage. Moreau inadvertently stumbles into political events and becomes a wanted man based on the evil machinations of a sinister Marquis...

The Sea Hawk by Rafael Sabatini The Sea Hawk

First published in 1915, The Sea Hawk follows the adventures of its protagonist Sir Oliver Tressilian, as he is unjustly betrayed and left to the mercy of others by his selfish brother, who seeks only to save his own skin no matter the cost. Exploring various themes including betrayal, vengeance, sacrifice, injustice, and tormented love, the novel successfully demonstrate Sabatini’s exceptional flair for adventure. Set in the late 16th century, the tale begins with the introduction of Sir Oliver Tressilian, a wealthy gentleman who lives together with his brother Lionel, haunted by his family’s bad-tempered reputation...

The Tavern Knight by Rafael Sabatini The Tavern Knight

Follow the exploits of Sir Crispin Galliard, also known as The Tavern Knight, in his defence of the King of England against Cromwell and his Puritan Entourage.


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