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By: John Muir

Steep Trails by John Muir Steep Trails

A collection of Muir's previously unpublished essays, released shortly after his death. "This volume will meet, in every way, the high expectations of Muir's readers. The recital of his experiences during a stormy night on the summit of Mount Shasta will take rank among the most thrilling of his records of adventure. His observations on the dead towns of Nevada, and on the Indians gathering their harvest of pine nuts, recall a phase of Western life that has left few traces in American literature...

Stickeen by John Muir Stickeen

A great dog story, a well told tale — the naturalist and adventurer John Muir recounts how he and his companion, a dog named Stickeen, each, alone, confronted and conquered their fears of an icy Alaskan glacier in 1880.

By: Emily Bronte (1818-1848)

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte Wuthering Heights

Emily Bronte’s first and only novel, Wuthering Heights, portrays the obsessive and vengeful love story between Heathcliff and Catherine. Images of cruelty and passion with an incorporation of gothic supernatural elements set the dark and misty atmosphere present throughout the novel. Moving between two neighboring houses, Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange, the wild love story turned destructive obsession is narrated by Mr. Lockwood through his diary entries. Bronte sets the novel into motion with the arrival of Mr...

By: John Galsworthy (1867-1933)

The Man of Property by John Galsworthy The Man of Property

The first book in Galsworthy’s trilogy, The Forsyte Saga, The Man of Property revolves around the lives of the Forsytes, a self-conceited and cold family, who place a high value on propagating money and rising from their yeoman roots. The novel chronicles the events that lead to their inevitable demise, which is instigated by the stuffy man of property, Soames Forsyte, as he pursues the ideals of the preceding generation, whilst maintaining his own obsession with ownership. At the same time, Galsworthy candidly criticizes the values of the upper-middle classes, by means of satire, irony, a mixed array of realistic characters, an evocative setting, and an intricate plot...

In Chancery (Vol. 2 of The Forsyte Saga) by John Galsworthy In Chancery (Vol. 2 of The Forsyte Saga)

‘The Forsyte Saga’ is the story of a wealthy London family stretching from the eighteen-eighties until the nineteen-twenties. In Chancery is the second book in the saga. Five years have passed since Irene left Soames and the death of Bosinney. Old Jolyon meets Irene and is enchanted by her. At his death he leaves her a legacy sufficient for her to live an independent life in Paris. Soames, who is desperate for a son, attempts to effect a rapprochement but is rejected by her. Meanwhile Young Jolyon, now a widower who is Irene’s trustee, falls in love with her...

To Let (Vol. 3 of The Forsyte Saga) by John Galsworthy To Let (Vol. 3 of The Forsyte Saga)

‘The Forsyte Saga’ is the story of a wealthy London family stretching from the eighteen-eighties until the nineteen-twenties. To Let is the third and final book in the saga (although Galsworthy later published two further trilogies which extend the story). We are now in 1920, about twenty years since Irene married Young Jolyon and gave birth to John and since Soames married Annette, who gave him a daughter, Fleur. The two sides of the family have not met since those times and John and Fleur do not even know of each other’s existence...

Five Tales by John Galsworthy Five Tales

This 1918 book consists of five short stories or novelettes by Galsworthy. They are The First and Last (1914), A Stoic, The Apple Tree (1916), The Juryman, Indian Summer of a Forsyte (1918) This last became part of the trilogy The Forsyte Saga. (Introduction by David Wales)

Book cover Beyond

Gyp, the daughter of ex-Major Charles Claire Winton, at the age of 23 marries Fiorsen, a Swedish violin virtuoso. Her mother, the wife of another man, has been Winton's mistress; she had died when Gyp was born. A highly sensitive child, Gyp has grown up in isolated surroundings with a kind, but very British, father. As she gets older her father tries to introduce her into society. An attack of gout takes him to Wiesbaden for a cure and, as he never goes anywhere without her, she accompanies him...

Book cover Skin Game

A small play in three acts. A kind of comic tragedy. The plot tells the story of the interaction between two very different families in rural England just after the end of the First World War. Squire Hillcrist lives in the manor house where his family has lived for generations. He has a daughter, Jill, who is in her late teens; and a wife, Amy, as well as servants and retainers. He is "old money", although his finances are at a bit of low ebb. The other family is the "nouveau riche" Hornblowers,...

By: William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

The Wanderings of Oisín by William Butler Yeats The Wanderings of Oisín

This narrative poem is composed in three parts, and consists of a dialogue between the aged Irish hero Oisín and St. Patrick. Oisín relates his three-hundred year sojourn in the immortal isles of Faerie. In the isles, Oisín married the beautiful Sidhe Niamh: together they traveled, feasted, and quested. At last Oisín succumbs to the temptation to return and visit the lands of mortal men: inadvertently slipping from his faerie horse, his body touches the ground and instantly puts on the flesh of a decrepit old man. Oisín describes various islands and what he did there: contrasting his noble deeds with the degenerate weakness of the present generation.

By: Dorothy L. Sayers (1893-1957)

Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers Whose Body?

The first novel in her renowned series of detective fiction, Sayers introduces Lord Peter Wimsey, a bon vivant gentleman, whose hobby of playing detective is put to the test, as he is launched into his first official crime investigation. The mystery begins when the body of an unidentified man has been found in the bathtub of local architect Mr. Thipps. Adding to the peculiarity of the situation is the fact that the corpse is stark naked except for a pair of expensive pince-nez glasses. Due to the incriminating circumstances of the murder, the official investigator suspects Thipps to be the perpetrator of the bizarre murder...

By: Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007)

2 B R 0 2 B by Kurt Vonnegut 2 B R 0 2 B

In this chilling short-story by a master of the craft, Kurt Vonnegut creates a fictional world of the future where life and death are no longer matters of individual choice or destiny. The title refers to the famous quote from Hamlet, “To be or not to be....” with “0” being pronounced as “naught.” It also refers to the eternal dilemma of life and death that face every human being at some point in their lives. Written in 1962 it is set in some unspecified time in the future, when earth has become a Utopia...

By: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Collection Vol. 001 by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Collection Vol. 001

A collection to celebrate Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s 200th birthday, on 27th February, 2007.

Hiawatha by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Hiawatha

I sing the Song of Hiawatha,Brave of heart and strong of arm.Daughter’s son of old Nokomis,Fathered by the harsh West Wind. With its regular, beating rhythm, the Song of Hiawatha has often been parodied, but in truth, it is a powerful, emotional epic; a hero’s life, his loves and suffering. The legends and traditions of the North American Indian swirl together through the tale like a mountain stream, tumbling white over the rocks, and caressing the mossy tree roots.

Book cover Evangeline

Evangeline is one of Longfellow’s most popular poems and was once a great favorite with the American people. For many years almost every school child studied this poem during the middle school years. Although the decline of the reputation of the once-idolized poet has also brought neglect to this classic, it is still a very touching and expertly written work of art. It is based upon the tragic expulsion of the French settlers from Acadia (located in the Canadian maritime provinces) during the French & Indian War (1754-1763)...

Tales of a Wayside Inn by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Tales of a Wayside Inn

Mostly a collection of story-telling poems told by a group of friends in a tavern late one night. "Tales" includes the famous Paul Revere's ride, together with poems of many tales, countries and styles.

The Courtship of Miles Standish by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow The Courtship of Miles Standish

During the late nineteenth century and until the middle of the twentieth, many elementary classrooms in America featured (along with a Gilbert Stuart portrait of Washington) a black-and-white print of a group of New England pilgrims on their way to church, the men carrying their muskets. Every school child at that time was intimately acquainted with the story of the Mayflower and the Plymouth colony in Massachusetts. Among the historical figures, one of the best known was Captain Miles Standish, the military commander of the little “army,” which consisted of a bare handful of men, who repeatedly defeated many times their number of hostile Indians...

By: William E. B. Du Bois (1868-1963)

The Souls of Black Folk by William E. B. Du Bois The Souls of Black Folk

“Few books make history and fewer still become the foundational texts for the movements and struggles of an entire people....” One such great work was The Souls of Black Folk by William EB Du Bois. Published in 1903, it is a powerful and hard-hitting view of sociology, race and American history. It became the cornerstone of the civil rights movement and when Du Bois attended the first National Negro Conference in 1909, he was already well-known as a proponent of full and unconditional equality for African Americans...

By: Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880)

Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert Madame Bovary

The strands woven together in Gustave Flaubert's famous, path breaking 1856 novel Madame Bovary include a provincial town in Normandy, France, a shy young doctor with an indifferent career and a lovely young woman who lives in a fantasy world based on the innumerable romantic novels she reads. Of course there is also the story of a dull marriage punctuated by passionate, adulterous love affairs. First published in serial form in a Parisian magazine and deemed to be the “perfect” novel, Flaubert's debut was received by both readers and critics with acclaim and admiration...

Three Short Works by Gustave Flaubert Three Short Works

Here is a collection of strikingly different pieces by Flaubert: a prose poem in the voices of Death, Satan and Nero; the trials and apotheosis of a medieval saint; and the life of a selfless maid in 19th century France. Each exhibits the vigorous exactness, and the mixture of realism and romanticism, for which Flaubert is renowned.

Book cover Salammbô

After completing the famous Mme Bovary, Flaubert put all his efforts into researching the Punic Wars and completed the lesser known Salammbô. In this volume, Flaubert describes in detail the Mercenary Revolt and the fight of the Mercenaries against the all-powerful Carthage, the theft of the magical Zaimph and the love and hate between the Carthaginian princess Salammbô and the fiercest leader of the Mercenaries, Matho.

By: John Donne (1572-1631)

Holy Sonnets by John Donne Holy Sonnets

John Donne (1572 – March 31, 1631) was a Jacobean poet and preacher, representative of the metaphysical poets of the period. His works, notable for their realistic and sensual style, include sonnets, love poetry, religious poems, Latin translations, epigrams, elegies, songs, satires and sermons. His poetry is noted for its vibrancy of language and immediacy of metaphor, compared with that of his contemporaries. Towards the end of his life Donne wrote works that challenged death, and the fear that it inspired in many men, on the grounds of his belief that those who die are sent to Heaven to live eternally...

Devotions upon Emergent Occasions by John Donne Devotions upon Emergent Occasions

Devotions upon Emergent Occasions is a 1624 prose work by the English writer John Donne. It is a series of reflections that were written as Donne recovered from a serious illness, believed to be either typhus or relapsing fever. (Donne does not clearly identify the disease in his text.) The work consists of twenty-three parts describing each stage of the sickness. Each part is further divided into a Meditation, an Expostulation, and a Prayer. The seventeenth meditation is perhaps the best-known part of the work...

A Selection of Divine Poems by John Donne A Selection of Divine Poems

John Donne was an English Jacobean preacher, sometime lawyer, later in life a Member of Parliament and Royal Chaplain. Marrying for love against the wishes of his influential father-in-law; Donne's career was cast into shadow: forcing him to support his wife, Anne, as best he might under a specter of unforgiving penury. Despite such hardships - perhaps because of them - Donne's writings demonstrate a mastery of poetry layered with metaphysical meaning and mystery: which continues to delight and challenge modern-day readers...

By: George Gordon Byron, Lord (1788-1824)

Don Juan: Canto I by George Gordon Byron, Lord Don Juan: Canto I

The legend of Don Juan is one that's been told and retold over the centuries by poets and novelists. His life has been the subject of operas, musicals and film. The earliest reference was in a fourteenth century Spanish play and compiled in book form in the seventeenth century. His life continued to fascinate writers like Moliere, Byron, Bernard Shaw, Pushkin, Shakespeare, Jose Saramago and musicians like Mozart, whose Don Giovanni is a brilliant work that still charms audiences and music lovers all over the world...

By: Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850)

Sarrasine by Honoré de Balzac Sarrasine

Published by Honoré de Balzac in the tempestuous year of 1830, the tale follows the undulating pathways of Sarrasine the sculptor’s shocking journey to his coming of age. As one of the “fathers of realism” Balzac painted with his words a vivid portrait of life in the swirling salons of Europe at the end of the Bourbon monarchy, and we follow Sarrasine from France to Italy in search of both his métier and his muse.However it is also the story of La Zambinella, an Italian singer with whom Sarrasine falls madly and passionately in love. But that passion holds a secret which Sarrasine spies too late.

The Girl with the Golden Eyes by Honoré de Balzac The Girl with the Golden Eyes

"Give me a feast such as men give when they love," she said, "and whilst I sleep, slay me..."Listeners who like to plunge straight into a story would do well to skip the lengthy preamble. Here, Balzac the virtuoso satirist depicts the levels of Parisian society as a version of the Inferno of Dante - but perhaps keeps the reader waiting too long for the first act of his operatic extravaganza.Our beautiful, androgynous hero, Henri de Marsay, is one of the bastard offspring of a depraved Regency milord and himself practises the cynical arts of the libertine...

Farewell by Honoré de Balzac Farewell

In his startling and tragic novella Farewell (‘Adieu’), Balzac adds to the 19th century’s literature of the hysterical woman: sequestered, confined in her madness; mute, or eerily chanting in her moated grange. The first Mrs Rochester lurks in the wings; the Lady of Shalott waits for the shadowy reflection of the world outside to shatter her illusion. Freud’s earliest patients will soon enter the waiting-room in their turn. Whilst out hunting two friends come across a strange waif-like woman shut up in a decaying chateau which one of them dubs “the Palace of the Sleeping Beauty”...

Modeste Mignon by Honoré de Balzac Modeste Mignon

Modeste Mignon, a young provincial woman of romantic temperament, imagines herself to be in love with the famous Parisian poet Melchior de Canalis. However, he is not moved by her attentions. He invites his secretary Ernest de la Brière to "deal with the matter". Ernest answers Modeste's letters in his name and acts as her lover, disguised as Canalis. The scene changes dramatically when Ernest discoveres that Modest is, in fact, a rich heiress. Would he be able to win her heart despite his lie?

Louis Lambert by Honoré de Balzac Louis Lambert

Louis Lambert is an 1832 novel by French novelist and playwright Honoré de Balzac (1799–1850), included in the Études philosophiques section of his novel sequence La Comédie humaine. Set mostly in a school at Vendôme, it examines the life and theories of a boy genius fascinated by the Swedish philosopher Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772). Balzac wrote Louis Lambert during the summer of 1832 while he was staying with friends at the Château de Saché, and published three editions with three different titles...

Book cover Father Goriot

One of Balzac's most popular works, set around 1815 during the re-ascendancy of the Bourbon kings following the defeat of Napoleon. Said to have been an inspiration to Charles Dickens and Henry James as well as others, the novel seeks to portray the realism of scenes and people. It is also a commentary upon the changing social strata and mores of the day.

Book cover Eugénie Grandet

Eugénie Grandet, first published in 1833, is one of Honoré de Balzac's finest novels, and one of the first works in what would become his large novel series titled La Comédie Humaine. Set in a provincial town in post-Revolutionary France, the story deals with money, avarice, love, and obsession. A wealthy old miser must manage the passion of his innocent daughter, who later has to navigate on her own the treacherous ways of a world in which money is "the only god." Balzac's meticulous use of psychological and physical detail influenced the development of 19th-century literary realism, in the hands of writers such as Dickens, Dostoyevsky, Flaubert, and Henry James.


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