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By: Israel Zangwill (1864-1926)

The Big Bow Mystery by Israel Zangwill The Big Bow Mystery

Regarded as the first full-length locked room mystery, the novel focuses on a murder that has occurred inside a locked room, with no clear indication as to the weapon used, the perpetrator of the horrendous crime, or a possible escape route. Needless to say, The Big Bow Mystery has all the elements necessary to engage its audience and encourage them to look between the lines in an attempt to unravel the complex murder. Set in Bow, east London, the novel opens when Mrs. Drabdump, a widow who rents out rooms, panics when one of her lodgers does not respond to her fervent attempts to wake him...

The King of Schnorrers by Israel Zangwill The King of Schnorrers

Manasseh da Costa is a schnorrer (beggar) who lives on the charitable contributions of the Jews of late 18th-century London. But Manasseh is far from being a humble panhandler for, as every schnorrer knows, supporting the poor is a commandment from God (a mitzvah) not just a favour. And as the descendant of Portuguese Jews who had lived in England for many generations, Manasseh is the social superior of those newly arrived from Eastern Europe (called ‘Tedesco’), even his wealthy patron Joseph Grobstock...

Book cover Children of the Ghetto

In this 1892 novel of London's Jewish East End, Israel Zangwill sets the apparently irrational and decidedly indecorous religious practices of transplanted eastern European Jews against the forces of assimilation. Zangwill's knowledge of Yiddishkeit and skill in melodrama created a series of unforgettable vignettes that had a significant effect on the public perception of this much stigmatized immigrant group. Israel Zangwill (1864-1926) was born in London of Russian and Polish parents. He coined the term cultural "melting pot".

By: L. Frank Baum (1856-1919)

Mother Goose in Prose by L. Frank Baum Mother Goose in Prose

Before he wrote the Oz books, L. Frank Baum wrote this book which was the best selling book of 1897. Taking 22 beloved nursery rhymes, he explains their meaning and fascinating history. What is the true story of Little Boy Blue? Why was Mary contrary?As he says in the introduction, "Many of these nursery rhymes are complete tales in themselves, telling their story tersely but completely; there are others which are but bare suggestions, leaving the imagination to weave in the details of the story...

By: Robert W. Chambers (1865-1933)

The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers The King in Yellow

Robert W. Chambers (1865-1933) studied art in Paris in the late 80’s and early 90’s, where his work was displayed at the Salon. However, shortly after returning to America, he decided to spend his time in writing. He became popular as the writer of a number of romantic novels, but is now best known as the author of “The King In Yellow”. This is a collection of the first half of this work of short stories which have an eerie, other-worldly feel to it; but the stories in the second half are essentially love stories, strongly coloured by the author’s life as an artist in France...

The Flaming Jewel by Robert W. Chambers The Flaming Jewel

During the last two years, Fate, Chance, and Destiny had been too busy to attend to Mike Clinch. But now his turn was coming in the Eternal Sequence of things. The stars in their courses indicated the beginning of the undoing of Mike Clinch. In the North Woods, mayhem ensues as three parties vie for possession of the Flaming Jewel. Become immersed in the chasing and slinking to determine who will possess this famed jewel. Better than typical adventure writing magnificently describe the 19th Century Northeastern US in this great novel.

By: Honore de Balzac (1799-1850)

Letters of Two Brides by Honore de Balzac Letters of Two Brides

An epistolary novel written by renowned French novelist Balzac, who is regarded as one of the founders of realism and a significant influence to later novelists, the novel focuses on two young women who preserve their friendship through regular correspondence. Originally published in the French newspaper La Presse in 1841 as a serial, the piece later became a part of Balzac’s distinguished novel sequence La Comédie Humaine, or The Human Comedy. Furthermore, Letters of Two Brides surrounds intriguing topics including love, romance, confusion, duty, and the complexity of relationships...

By: Henrik Ibsen

A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen A Doll's House

Nineteenth century attitudes towards marriage, the role of women, morality and the search for identity are brilliantly explored in Henrik Ibsen's three act play, A Doll's House. It was highly controversial and received with a sense of outrage among opinion leaders in Europe. Many thinkers like August Strindberg lashed out at Ibsen for portraying the sacred institution of marriage in such a derogatory way. A Doll's House, written in the original Danish, was first performed at the Royal Theater in Copenhagen in 1879...

Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen Hedda Gabler

Hedda Gabler is a play first published in 1890 by Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen. In it, Hedda Gabler, daughter of an aristocratic General, has just returned from her honeymoon with George Tesman, an aspiring young academic, reliable but not brilliant, who has combined research with their honeymoon. The reappearance of Tesman’s academic rival, Eilert Lovborg, throws their lives into disarray.

The Master Builder by Henrik Ibsen The Master Builder

Henrik Ibsen's The Master Builder, first published in 1892, is about architect Halvard Solness, who despite personal tragedy (including the death of his two sons) has risen to the top of his profession. He has succeeded partly through ruthless competition and exploitation and partly through a seeming ability to force his will on others. His unhappy wife Aline mourns for their lost life, and resents his interest in various young women, including his bookkeeper Kaia Fosli. Solness disregards the ambitions of other architects, including Knut Brovik and his son Ragnar, and seeks solace in the advice of family physician and friend Dr...

Ghosts by Henrik Ibsen Ghosts

Henrik Ibsen's Ghosts was first published in 1881 and staged in 1882, and like his earlier play A Doll's House, profoundly shocked his contemporaries. Dubbed "a dirty deed done in public" by one of its critics, the play focuses on (among other things) venereal disease, euthanasia, and incest. The original title literally means "the ones who return," and the play is about how we can deal with the awful legacy of the past.

The Lady From the Sea by Henrik Ibsen The Lady From the Sea

The title character in Ibsen's drama, Ellida Wangel, is married to a prosperous doctor, but feels stifled by her roles as wife and stepmother to her husband's two daughters by a previous marriage, Hilde and Bolette. Ten years earlier she had promised to marry another man - and on a sultry summer day, he comes back to her. Ellida must decide whether to choose the safety of her life with Wangel, or to yield to the siren song of the sea.

Little Eyolf by Henrik Ibsen Little Eyolf

Henrik Ibsen's 1894 play Little Eyolf tells the story of the Allmers family: the father, Alfred, his wife Rita, their crippled nine-year-old son Eyolf, and Alfred's sister Asta. As the play begins, Alfred has just gotten back from a trip to the mountains, and resolves to spend more time with his son, rather than on intellectual pursuits. Asta is romantically pursued by Borgheim, an engineer, while the cracks in Alfred and Rita's marriage gradually reveal themselves. The family receives a visit from the Rat-Wife, and are never the same again.

Book cover Enemy of the People

A small coastal town in Norway is experiencing an economic boom from its newly found hot springs. When Dr. Thomas Stockmann finds that the waters are contaminated and dangerous, the people refuse to accept his statement, and Dr. Stockmann's friends turn against him.

Book cover When We Dead Awaken

When We Dead Awaken (1899) is the last play by Norwegian dramatist Henrik Ibsen. Dreamlike and highly symbolic, the play charts the dissolution of sculptor Arnold Rubek's marriage to Maia, her flirtation with Ulfheim, and his involvement with the mysterious Irene, his former model. The tensions rise between the characters as they climb higher and higher into the Norwegian mountains.

Book cover Pillars of Society

Pillars of Society was Ibsen's first successful realist drama, first performed in 1877. Karsten Bernick is the dominant businessman in a small coastal town in Norway, with interests in shipping and shipbuilding in a long-established family firm. Now he is planning his most ambitious project yet, backing a railway which will connect the town to the main line and open a fertile valley which he has been secretly buying up. Suddenly his past explodes on him with the arrival of Lona Hessel, the woman he once jilted, and Johan Tonnesen, who left town in disgrace fifteen years earlier.

Book cover John Gabriel Borkman

John Gabriel Borkman is the penultimate play of the Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen, written in 1896. The Borkman family fortunes have been brought low by the imprisonment of John Gabriel who used his position as a bank manager to illegally speculate with his investors' money. The action of the play takes place eight years after Borkman's release when John Gabriel Borkman, Mrs. Borkman, and her twin sister Ella Rentheim battle over the future of young Erhart Borkman. Though John Gabriel Borkman...

By: Baroness Orczy (1865-1947)

The Old Man in the Corner by Baroness Orczy The Old Man in the Corner

Created by Baroness Orczy, author of the famous Scarlet Pimpernel series, The Old Man in the Corner was one of the earliest armchair detectives, popping up with so many others in the wake of the huge popularity of the Sherlock Holmes stories. The Old Man relies mostly upon sensationalistic “penny dreadful” newspaper accounts, with the occasional courtroom visit for extra laughs. He narrates all this information (while tying complicated knots in a piece of string) to a Lady Journalist who frequents the same tea-shop.

Lady Molly of Scotland Yard by Baroness Orczy Lady Molly of Scotland Yard

Lady Molly of Scotland Yard is a collection of short stories about Molly Robertson-Kirk, an early fictional female detective. It was written by Baroness Orczy, who is best known as the creator of The Scarlet Pimpernel, but who also invented two immortal turn-of-the-century detectives in The Old Man in the Corner and Lady Molly of Scotland Yard. First published in 1910, Orczy’s female detective was the precursor of the lay sleuth who relies on brains rather than brawn. The book soon became very popular, with three editions appearing in the first year...

By: Emma Orczy (1865-1947)

Book cover The League of the Scarlet Pimpernel

Written by Baroness Orczy and first published in 1919, The League of the Scarlet Pimpernel is a sequel book to the classic adventure tale, The Scarlet Pimpernel. The book consists of eleven short stories about Sir Percy Blakeney’s exploits in rescuing various aristos and French citizens from the clutches of the guillotine. The stories which are listed below, are set in 1793 but appear in no particular order. They occasionally refer to events in other books in the series.

By: Aldous Huxley (1894-1963)

Crome Yellow by Aldous Huxley Crome Yellow

A shy, introverted young poet. A weekend in a magnificent English country house. A beautiful young lady whom the poet is secretly in love with. An assorted group of guests with varied interests, motives, ambitions and aspirations, and the complex web of history and events that connect all of them. Crome Yellow by Aldous Huxley was his first book, published in 1921, when he was just 27 years old. It is typical of many books written during this period by writers like Thomas Love Peacock and Somerset Maugham, centered round a country mansion and the quaint, British tradition of being invited to spend a weekend with a group of people whom one may or may not know...

Book cover Defeat of Youth and Other Poems

Though later known for his essays and novels, Aldous Huxley started his writing career as a poet. Published in 1918, The Defeat of Youth and Other Poems is his third compilation of poetry. The volume begins with "The Defeat of Youth", a sequence of twenty-two sonnets that explores irreconcilability of the ideal and the disappointing reality. Jerome Meckier called it “the century’s most successful sonnet sequence, better than Auden’s or Edna St. Vincent Millay’s.” In the rest of the volume, Huxley continues to explore themes started in The Burning Wheel, his first volume of poetry, including vision, blindness, and other contrasts...

By: Henry van Dyke

The Spirit of Christmas by Henry van Dyke The Spirit of Christmas

A collection of short Christmas works by the author of The Story of the Fourth Wise Man

The Story of the Other Wise Man by Henry van Dyke The Story of the Other Wise Man

You know the story of the Three Wise Men of the East, and how they travelled from far away to offer their gifts at the manger-cradle in Bethlehem. But have you ever heard the story of the Other Wise Man, who also saw the star in its rising, and set out to follow it, yet did not arrive with his brethren in the presence of the young child Jesus? Of the great desire of this fourth pilgrim, and how it was denied, yet accomplished in the denial; of his many wanderings and the probations of his soul;...

Book cover First Christmas Tree

This is a folk tale of how the first tree came into being. It tells of a hero Winfried with his young companion stepping boldly into the pagan right of the passing into winter. He preaches the gospel of Christ and His birth on that night; then from the heavens came a miracle that resulted in the salvation of the people. To celebrate, they brought new life or the Christmas tree into their homes.

Book cover Blue Flower

"Sometimes short stories are brought together like parcels in a basket. Sometimes they grow together like blossoms on a bush. Then, of course, they really belong to one another, because they have the same life in them. ...There is such a thought in this book. It is the idea of the search for inward happiness, which all men who are really alive are following, along what various paths, and with what different fortunes! Glimpses of this idea, traces of this search, I thought that I could see in certain tales that were in my mind,—tales of times old and new, of lands near and far away...

By: Fujiwara no Teika (ed.)

One Hundred Verses from Old Japan by Fujiwara no Teika One Hundred Verses from Old Japan

In 12th-13th century Japan there lived a man named Fujiwara no Teika (sometimes called Sadaie), a well-regarded poet in a society that prized poetry. At one point in his life he compiled the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu (often known simply as the Hyakunin Isshu), which means “A Hundred Poems by A Hundred Poets” (literally “A hundred people, one poem [each]“). This collection of a hundred poems is known to almost all Japanese, and over the years it has been translated by many different people. One of the early translators of the collection was William Porter. His translation, first published in 1909, was titled “A Hundred Verses from Old Japan”.

By: Wallace Stevens (1879-1955)

The Complete Poems of Wallace Stevens by Wallace Stevens The Complete Poems of Wallace Stevens

A collection of Wallace Stevens poems written before 1923. Stevens trained to be a lawyer. Within eleven years after this series of poems were written, he was vice-president at the Hartford Accident and Indemnity Company in Connecticut. He continued to pursue a quiet life of poetry and correspondence and for the remainder of his life he nurtured his contemplative habit of observation and writing as he walked from home to work and back again. Few at Hartford knew of his world acclaim as a poet. While...

By: Publius Vergilius Maro (70 BC - 19 AD)

The Aeneid by Publius Vergilius Maro The Aeneid

The Aeneid is a Latin epic written by Virgil in the 1st century BC that tells the legendary story of Aeneas, a Trojan who traveled to Italy, where he became the ancestor of the Romans. The first six of the poem’s twelve books tell the story of Aeneas’ wanderings from Troy to Italy, and the poem’s second half treats the Trojans’ ultimately victorious war upon the Latins, under whose name Aeneas and his Trojan followers are destined to be subsumed. The poem was commissioned from Vergil by the Emperor Augustus to glorify Rome...

The Eclogues by Publius Vergilius Maro The Eclogues

This book of poems, written between 42 en 39 BC, was a bestseller in ancient Rome, and still holds a fascination today. Held to be divinely inspired not only by the Romans themselves, but by the Medieval Catholic church, The Eclogues is one of the most beloved collections of Latin short poetry.

By: Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus

Parallel Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans, translated by Bernadotte Perrin (1847-1920) by Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus Parallel Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans, translated by Bernadotte Perrin (1847-1920)

Plutarch’s “Parallel Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans Volume 1, translated by Bernadotte Perrin.

By: Anton Chekhov (1860-1904)

The Proposal by Anton Chekhov The Proposal

The Proposal is a one act comic farce by Anton Chekhov. In Chekhov’s Russia, marriage was a means of economic stability for most people. They married to gain wealth and possessions. In this play, the concept of marriage is being satirized to show the real purpose of marriage – materialistic gain rather than true love.

The Tales of Chekhov by Anton Chekhov The Tales of Chekhov

This is the first of thirteen volumes of Anton Chekhov’s short stories, translated by Constance Garnett. Anton Chekhov was a Russian doctor who turned to fiction as a hobby, and quickly blossomed into one of the masters of the short story genre. Though he is arguably best known for his dramatic works, such as The Cherry Orchard, his stories are widely considered to be some of the most perfect examples of short fiction ever written. Constance Black Garnett was an English housewife who taught herself Russian as a hobby, and subsequently introduced the English-speaking world to some of the greatest Russian authors, including Chekhov and Dostoevsky...

The Seagull by Anton Chekhov The Seagull

The Seagull (Russian: Чайка, Chayka) is the first of what are generally considered to be the four major plays by the Russian dramatist Anton Chekhov. The play was written in 1895 and first produced in 1896. It dramatises the romantic and artistic conflicts between four characters: the ingenue Nina, the fading leading lady Irina Arkadina, her son the experimental playwright Konstantin Treplyov, and the famous middlebrow story writer Trigorin.

The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov The Cherry Orchard

The Cherry Orchard is Russian playwright Anton Chekhov's last play. It premiered at the Moscow Art Theatre 17 January 1904 in a production directed by Constantin Stanislavski. Chekhov intended this play as a comedy and it does contain some elements of farce; however, Stanislavski insisted on directing the play as a tragedy. Since this initial production, directors have had to contend with the dual nature of this play. The play concerns an aristocratic Russian woman and her family as they return to the family's estate (which includes a large and well-known cherry orchard) just before it is auctioned to pay the mortgage...

Book cover Uncle Vanya

Uncle Vanya (subtitled “Scenes From Country Life”) is a tragicomedy by Anton Chekhov. It is set on the failing country estate of a retired professor, Serebrakoff, who returns after a long absence with his beautiful young wife, and throws the household into confusion. Rivalry, unrequited love, illicit romance, and attempted suicide are the result, punctuated throughout by Chekhov’s sad, wistful humor.

The Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov The Three Sisters

Three Sisters is a naturalistic play about the decay of the privileged class in Russia and the search for meaning in the modern world. It describes the lives and aspirations of the Prozorov family, the three sisters (Olga, Masha, and Irina) and their brother Andrei. They are a family dissatisfied and frustrated with their present existence. The sisters are refined and cultured young women who grew up in urban Moscow; however for the past eleven years they have been living in a small provincial town...

The Duel by Anton Chekhov The Duel

The plot centres around Laevsky, who is living in a small seaside town in the Caucasus after running away with another man's wife, Nadyezhda Fyodorovna, amid dreams of starting a new life.The dreams have come to nothing as Laevsky idles away his life drinking and playing cards, and Nadyezhda begins to have other affairs.Laevsky's scheme to run away again, this time without his mistress, brings him into conflict with the rationalist Von Koren, who believes in Darwinian principles of natural selection and extinction of the weak and useless.Matters come to a head when an outburst from Laevsky leads to a duel. Von Koren is determined to teach Laevksy a lesson.(Introduction by Phil)

By: Santa Teresa de Jesus (1515-1582)

The Life of St. Teresa by Santa Teresa de Jesus The Life of St. Teresa

Saint Teresa of Ávila, also called Saint Teresa of Jesus, baptized as Teresa Sánchez de Cepeda y Ahumada, (March 28, 1515, at Gotarrendura (Ávila), Old Castile, Spain – October 4, 1582, at Alba de Tormes, Salamanca, Spain) was a prominent Spanish mystic, Carmelite nun, and writer of the Counter Reformation. She was a reformer of the Carmelite Order and is considered to be, along with John of the Cross, a founder of the Discalced Carmelites. In 1970 she was named a Doctor of the Church by Pope Paul VI.

Conceptions of Divine Love by Santa Teresa de Jesus Conceptions of Divine Love

Conceptions of Divine Love was written in 1577. St. Teresa wrote this with the idea of explaining certain words found in the Book of Canticles. When her confessor read the title of her work, he ordered her to immediately burn it, which, of course, she did. But one of her nuns had copied the first seven chapters, which was then published in 1612. Here, Father John Dalton has translated only four of those chapters in 1852.

By: Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797)

A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft A Vindication of the Rights of Woman

Regarded as the one of the earliest examples of feminist philosophy, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman is written as a direct response to Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, a French politician who delivered a report to the French National Assembly suggesting that women should only receive domestic education and additionally encourages women to stay clear of political affairs. In her treatise, Wollstonecraft avidly criticizes this inadequate perception of women as an inferior sex and attacks social inequality, while also arguing for women’s rights in the hope of redefining their position both in society and in marriage...

Maria: or, the Wrongs of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft Maria: or, the Wrongs of Woman

Maria: or, The Wrongs of Woman is Mary Wollstonecraft's unfinished novelistic sequel to her revolutionary political treatise A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. It was published posthumously in 1798 by her husband, William Godwin. Maria revolves around the story of a woman imprisoned in an insane asylum by her husband, and focuses on the societal rather than the individual "wrongs of woman". Publicised at the same time as Wollstonecraft's memoirs, both were considered scandalous. Not until the 20th century was the novel considered an important historical and feminist work.

Letters Written During a Short Residence in Sweden, Norway and Denmark by Mary Wollstonecraft Letters Written During a Short Residence in Sweden, Norway and Denmark

Published in 1796, Letters Written During a Short Residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark is a personal travel narrative by the eighteenth-century British feminist writer Mary Wollstonecraft. The twenty-five letters cover a wide range of topics, from sociological reflections on Scandinavia and its peoples to philosophical questions regarding identity. Published by Wollstonecraft's career-long publisher, Joseph Johnson, it was the last work issued during her lifetime. Wollstonecraft undertook her tour of Sweden, Norway, and Denmark in order to retrieve a stolen treasure ship for her lover, Gilbert Imlay...

Book cover Mary: A Fiction

Eliza, Mary's mother, is obsessed with novels, rarely considers anyone but herself, and favours Mary's brother. She neglects her daughter, who educates herself using only books and the natural world. Ignored by her family, Mary devotes much of her time to charity. When her brother suddenly dies, leaving Mary heir to the family's fortune, her mother finally takes an interest in her; she is taught "accomplishments", such as dancing, that will attract suitors. However, Mary's mother soon sickens and requests on her deathbed that Mary wed Charles, a wealthy man she has never met. Stunned and unable to refuse, Mary agrees. Immediately after the ceremony, Charles departs for the Continent.

By: Robert Smythe Hichens (1864-1950)

The Spell of Egypt by Robert Smythe Hichens The Spell of Egypt

The author, a British journalist and novelist, is interested in the feel of the places he visits. He describes at length a visit he has made to Egypt, with emphasis on the emotional response the places generate.

The Return of the Soul by Robert Smythe Hichens The Return of the Soul

Can the soul of the dead come back to haunt the one who was responsible for its death? What would happen if the responsible one did not believe it could be so, and yet was in love with the returned soul? The Return of the Soul is a horror story of a man who is visited by the returning soul of a deceased, and who has some very perplexing issues to deal with upon that return. (Introduction by Roger Melin)

Book cover Green Carnation

The Green Carnation, first published anonymously in 1894, was a scandalous novel by Robert Hichens whose lead characters are closely based on Oscar Wilde and Lord Alfred Douglas - also known as 'Bosie', whom the author personally knew. It was an instant succès de scandale on both sides of the Atlantic. The book features the characters of 'Esmé Amarinth' (Wilde), and 'Lord Reginald (Reggie) Hastings' (Douglas). The words put in the mouths of the hero and his young friend in the story are mostly gathered from the sayings of their originals...

Book cover Tongues of Conscience

Tongues of Conscience (1898) is a collection of five thought-provoking stories where an innocent, but selfish, action leads to horrific consequences. Robert Hichens writes some wonderfully evocative descriptions of nature: from a raw and exposed violent seascape, to the serene and idyllic countryside “…the violets seemed to sing in odours…” , to a train pushing through the white-out of a blizzard. In Sea Change an artist with a dark secret (“…I painted for him in words, the varying colors of waves in different seas… I drowned little Jack in the sea...

By: Charlton Miner Lewis

Gawayne and the Green Knight by Charlton Miner Lewis Gawayne and the Green Knight

Published in 1903, Gawayne and the Green Knight is a modern-language retelling of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, a 14th-century verse romance following a young knight of the Round Table. During Christmas celebrations, a mysterious, entirely green knight presents a challenge to King Arthur’s court: that any may strike the stranger a single blow with his green axe, provided he assent to receiving the same a year later. Gawayne accepts the challenge, and its unexpected outcome leads to a great test of his courage and knighthood. A significant addition to this version is the Lady Elfinhart, whose back-story and romance with Gawayne are tightly interwoven with the plot.

By: Robert Benchley (1889-1945)

Love Conquers All by Robert Benchley Love Conquers All

Sixty-three essays on a variety of topics as wide apart as Family Life in America, Opera Synopses, Bigamy, International Finance and many more, Love Conquers All by Robert Benchley strangely enough does not touch upon romance at all! However, these delightful notes provide hours of browsing pleasure for young and old readers alike. Robert Benchley was a well-known humorist and newspaper columnist, radio and television presenter, actor, scriptwriter and broadcaster. He is also credited with creating the first ever television entertainment show and one of his iconic short films, How to Sleep won an Academy Award in 1936...

By: Sarah Orne Jewett (1849-1909)

Country of the Pointed Firs by Sarah Orne Jewett Country of the Pointed Firs

The Country of the Pointed Firs (1896) is considered Jewett’s finest work, described by Henry James as her “beautiful little quantum of achievement.” Despite James’s diminutives, the novel remains a classic. Because it is loosely structured, many critics view the book not as a novel, but a series of sketches; however, its structure is unified through both setting and theme. Jewett herself felt that her strengths as a writer lay not in plot development or dramatic tension, but in character development...

Deephaven by Sarah Orne Jewett Deephaven

Sarah Orne Jewett is best known for her clean and clear descriptive powers that at once elevate common-place daily events to something remarkable, and lend dignity and grace to the most humble and homely human character. In Deephaven, go with her on vacation to an unforgettable seaside village where time runs slower and small pleasures are intensified. Much space is given to outdoor rambles and sights and events of daily living that draw you into another era. Jewett’s loving and gentle descriptions of the people and life of Deephaven will make you sorry when the book is over, and long to be able to find that village for yourself.

The Gray Mills of Farley by Sarah Orne Jewett The Gray Mills of Farley

As contemporary today as it was over a century ago, this relatively unsentimental tale of labor relations still packs a punch.

By: John Habberton

Helen's Babies by John Habberton Helen's Babies

Harry Burton, salesman of white-goods, bachelor of twenty-eight leads a charmed existence. A letter from his sister, Helen changes his life forever. She and her husband have been invited for a holiday but they can't find anyone to baby-sit their two toddlers, five-year-old Budge and three-year-old Toddie. Ever the gallant helpful, Harry steps in, foreseeing nothing but a relaxed vacation with lots of books to read and thinks baby-sitting's a breeze. But destiny has other plans. Harry has long adored a lovely lady from afar and hopes to convince her that he is marriage material by displaying his nurturing side...

By: George Alfred Henty

Book cover The Cat of Bubastes

G.A. Henty’s “tale of ancient Egypt” tells the story of Amuba, prince of the Rebu, who is taken captive when his people are conquered by the Egyptians, and then becomes the servant and companion of Chebron, son of the high priest of Osiris. A mystery unfolds as the lads find evidence of a murderous conspiracy within the ranks of the priesthood; but they must then flee for their lives when they unintentionally kill the cat selected as the successor to the Cat of Bubastes, one of the most sacred animals of Egypt. Amuba and Chebron are strong, courageous, and resourceful – but will this be enough to carry them beyond the long reach of the power of Egypt?

Among Malay Pirates and Other Tales of Peril and Adventure by George Alfred Henty Among Malay Pirates and Other Tales of Peril and Adventure

G. A . Henty was a prolific writer of historical fiction for young adults. In this collection of shorter stories we visit Malay pirates, have a couple of tales of India, a shipwreck off the Channel Islands and a bursting dam in California, and finish off escaping from captivity in China

The Dragon and the Raven by George Alfred Henty The Dragon and the Raven

During the reign of King Alfred, Danish forces have invaded the English countryside. Although the English try to repulse these attacks, they are overrun by the savagery and sheer numbers of the Danes.One of those deeply touched by these attacks is young Edmund. As a boy, he watched as his father was slain in battle fighting the Danes. Although young, he was intelligent, and noted the mistakes made on the battlefield. As he grew into a man, he put that knowledge into use and created a uniquely trained group of soldiers and built a new, stronger ship called the Dragon...

St. Bartholomew's Eve by George Alfred Henty St. Bartholomew's Eve

Set in the days of the religious wars of Europe, St. Bartholomew’s Eve is the tale of the Huguenot’s desperate fight for freedom of worship in France. As the struggle intensifies the plot thickens, culminating in the dreadful Massacre of St. Bartholomew’s Eve. Henty, “The Boy’s Own Storyteller” weaves the life and adventures of Philip Fletcher and his cousin, Francois DeLaville, into the historical background with thrilling battles, sieges and escapes along the way (not to mention a fair damsel in distress!).

The Tiger of Mysore by George Alfred Henty The Tiger of Mysore

During the Indian war with Tippoo Saib, 15 year old Dick Holland and his mother set out from England to find and rescue his father, shipwrecked 6 years earlier, and believed to be held prisoner by the 'Tiger of Mysore'.

At Agincourt - White Hoods of Paris by George Alfred Henty At Agincourt - White Hoods of Paris

The story begins in a grim feudal castle in Normandie. The times were troublous, and soon the king compelled Lady Margaret de Villeroy, with her children, to go to Paris as hostages. Guy Aylmer went with her.Paris was turbulent. Soon the guild of the butchers, adopting white hoods as their uniform, seized the city, and besieged the house where our hero and his charges lived. After desperate fighting, the white hoods were beaten and our hero and his charges escaped from the city, and from France. (Summary from the original back cover)

True to the Old Flag by George Alfred Henty True to the Old Flag

This book tells the story of the American war of Independence from the side of the British. The old flag mentioned in the title is the flag of England. This is a book for young readers, but - as a good book should be - everybody can enjoy it".

St George for England by George Alfred Henty St George for England

A tale set in England in the time of Cressy and Pointiers. A child of noble birth whose parents have fallen foul of the current royalty is taken by his dying mother and placed in hiding. He grows up with a bowyer and then apprenticed to an armourer just outside the gates of the City of London, becomes accomplished in arms and joins the campaign in France.A tale of heroism and 14th century viciousness. Great fun.

One Of The 28th - a Tale of Waterloo by George Alfred Henty One Of The 28th - a Tale of Waterloo

A tale of Victorian-style romance, maritime battles and even the penultimate Napoleanic battle - Waterloo. (Introduction by Mike Harris)

On the Irrawaddy, A Story of the First Burmese War(1897) by George Alfred Henty On the Irrawaddy, A Story of the First Burmese War(1897)

With the exception of the terrible retreat from Afghanistan, none of England's many little wars have been so fatal--in proportion to the number of those engaged--as our first expedition to Burma. It was undertaken without any due comprehension of the difficulties to be encountered, from the effects of climate and the deficiency of transport; the power, and still more the obstinacy and arrogance of the court of Ava were altogether underrated; and it was considered that our possession of her ports would assuredly bring the enemy, who had wantonly forced the struggle upon us, to submission...

Through Russian Snows by George Alfred Henty Through Russian Snows

There are few campaigns that, either in point of the immense scale upon which it was undertaken, the completeness of its failure, or the enormous loss of life entailed, appeal to the imagination in so great a degree as that of Napoleon against Russia. Fortunately, we have in the narratives of Sir Robert Wilson, British commissioner with the Russian army, and of Count Segur, who was upon Napoleon's staff, minute descriptions of the events as seen by eye-witnesses, and besides these the campaign has been treated fully by various military writers...

In Freedom's Cause by George Alfred Henty In Freedom's Cause

Another stirring tale from the master of historical fiction set in the time of Robert Bruce and William Wallace and their struggle for Scotland's independence.

Through the Fray by George Alfred Henty Through the Fray

Ned Sankey is a quick-tempered, strong-willed boy during the Luddite riots in Yorkshire. The happy times at the beginning of the story are soon marred by the death of his father. From there things only get worse. When things take a turn for the worst, how will he respond?

By: Andy Adams (1859-1935)

Cattle Brands by Andy Adams Cattle Brands

Cattle Brands is a collection of 14 entertaining short stories depicting not only the life of cowboys in the wild, wild West, but also the harrowing skirmishes with banditos, thrilling shoot-outs, attempt at and the recapture of stolen chattel from fierce desperados, and much, much more exciting accounts that make one think it all actually happened.

The Log of a Cowboy by Andy Adams The Log of a Cowboy

The Log of a Cowboy is an account of a five-month drive of 3,000 cattle from Brownsville, Texas, to Montana in 1882 along the Great Western Cattle Trail. Although the book is fiction, it is firmly based on Adams's own experiences on the trail, and it is considered by many to be the best account of cowboy life in literature. Adams was disgusted by the unrealistic cowboy fiction being published in his day; The Log of a Cowboy was his response. It is still in print, and even modern reviewers consider it a compelling classic...

The Outlet by Andy Adams The Outlet

Andy Adams worked as a cowboy on trail drives from Texas for eight years. This is an account of a drive when he was the foreman of a herd of Texas cattle being driven to Montana. Expect the same quality writing as found in other books by Adams.

Reed Anthony, Cowman: An Autobiography by Andy Adams Reed Anthony, Cowman: An Autobiography

Adams breathes life into the story of a Texas cowboy who becomes a wealthy and influential cattleman.. (Introduction by Wikipedia)

By: Gelett Burgess (1866-1951)

More Goops and How Not to Be Them by Gelett Burgess More Goops and How Not to Be Them

Deep in the heart of every parent is the wish, the desire, to have other adults tell us, in an unsolicited way, just how very polite one’s child is! This perhaps was even more the case in 1903, when Gelett Burgess produced his second book on the Goops. With entertaining cartoons – cariacatures of misbehaving children – he described many different breaches of tact and good manners. Burgess wrote several books of poetry on the Goops, each poem describing some significant way in which an unthoughtful or unkind child could offend polite society and often offering the hope that the listener would never behave that way...

The Goop Directory by Gelett Burgess The Goop Directory

A funny collection of poems about bad children.

Find the Woman by Gelett Burgess Find the Woman

Who was Belle Charmion? If you really care to know, as John Fenton did, you must go with him on his quest, hither and yon over New York, into strange houses and through side streets at midnight, a shuttle in the secret loom of fate, weaving in and out through many-colored threads, until the pattern of the mystery is made clear. For the warp of his strange, adventurous career – love and beauty and diamonds. For the woof – some few cross currents of crime and misery. There, in brief, is the web of his drama. (From Prologue)

By: Walter de la Mare

Ophelia by Walter de la Mare Ophelia

Ophelia, poem of the week for February 25, 2007; read here by twelve of our readers. Ophelia loved Hamlet, was repulsed by him, and went insane. She drowned in a stream, gathering flowers of remembrance. This is one of a number of poems that de la Mare wrote about Shakespeare characters.

By: Walter De la Mare (1873-1956)

Book cover Return (de la Mare version)

A story of psychological horror, The Return explores ideas of identity, love, and alienation. Arthur grapples with the reactions of his family and community, and his own sanity, when he experiences a sudden and mysterious "transformation". (

By: Oliver Goldsmith (1728/1730-1774)

The Vicar of Wakefield by Oliver Goldsmith The Vicar of Wakefield

Published in 1766, The Vicar of Wakefield follows the turbulent shift in the fortune and status of the Primrose family, as they must endure various setbacks that threaten their ultimate wellbeing and prosperity. Focusing on themes including family, prudence, resilience, religion, deception, marriage, and social status, the classic is regarded as Goldsmith’s most notable literary achievement. The novel centers on Dr. Charles Primrose, a benevolent and naive vicar, who together with his wife and six children lives an idyllic and comfortable life in the affluent town of Wakefield, owing their position to a smart investment...

The Life of Richard Nash, Esq., Late Master of the Ceremonies at Bath by Oliver Goldsmith The Life of Richard Nash, Esq., Late Master of the Ceremonies at Bath

Beau Nash (1674–1762), born Richard Nash, was a celebrated dandy and leader of fashion in 18th-century Britain. He is best remembered as the Master of Ceremonies at the spa town of Bath. (Wikipedia)This, the best of Goldsmith's Biographies, was published the year after Nash's death. It was at once popular, and went through two editions in the same year in which it was published. To the second edition (it never reached a third), Goldsmith made many important additions. Yet strange to say none of these have been attended to by the editors of his Works...

Book cover She Stoops to Conquer

In She Stoops to Conquer, or The Mistakes of a Night, a young lady pretends to be a servant in order to win the notice of a young man who is painfully shy around women of his own class. Hilarious misadventures and mayhem ensue before matters are neatly wrapped up at the end. This play, one of the great English comedies, was first performed in 1773 and continues to be very popular with audiences today.

By: Douglas William Jerrold (1803-1857)

Mrs. Caudle's Curtain Lectures by Douglas William Jerrold Mrs. Caudle's Curtain Lectures

First serialized in Punch magazine in 1845, and officially published in book form in 1846, Mrs. Caudle's Curtain Lectures presents a collection of 37 lectures delivered by Mrs. Caudle to her husband as a means of reproach for his trivial infractions. Also, the author marvelously incorporates typical elements responsible for disagreements between spouses including the antipathetic mother-in-law, the ne’er-do-well friends, and the jealous outbursts. Jerrold’s charming piece of satire introduces the Victorian married couple, Mr...

By: L. T. Meade (1854-1914)

The Brotherhood of the Seven Kings by L. T. Meade The Brotherhood of the Seven Kings

“That a secret society, based upon the lines of similar institutions so notorious on the Continent during the last century, could ever have existed in the London of our day may seem impossible. Such a society, however, not only did exist, but through the instrumentality of a woman of unparalleled capacity and genius, obtained a firm footing. A century ago the Brotherhood of the Seven Kings was a name hardly whispered without horror and fear in Italy, and now, by the fascinations and influence of one woman, it began to accomplish fresh deeds of unparalleled daring and subtlety in London...

A Master of Mysteries by L. T. Meade A Master of Mysteries

“It so happened that the circumstances of fate allowed me to follow my own bent in the choice of a profession. From my earliest youth the weird, the mysterious had an irresistible fascination for me. Having private means, I resolved to follow my unique inclinations, and I am now well known to all my friends as a professional exposer of ghosts, and one who can clear away the mysteries of most haunted houses….I propose in these pages to relate the histories of certain queer events, enveloped at first in mystery, and apparently dark with portent, but, nevertheless, when grappled with in the true spirit of science, capable of explanation...

By: Mrs. L. T. Meade (1854-1914)

The Rebel of the School by Mrs. L. T. Meade The Rebel of the School

Kathleen O’Hara is a young pretty girl sent to school in England from Ireland by her father to get a good education, but Kathleen has other ideas. She quickly become friends with the girls of the school who don’t pay for their education and in turn these girls consider Kathleen to be their Queen. What trouble will Kathleen and her friends get into? And what will the school do with the naughty, “Rebel of the School?”

By: Agnes Ethel Conway (1885-1950)

The Book of Art for Young People by Agnes Ethel Conway The Book of Art for Young People

This is a charming book on Art History for children (and everyone else). Each chapter focuses on a great painting, reproduced in color in the original text. The authors explain the story behind the paintings, as well as the life, times, and techniques of the artists.

By: Charles Norris Williamson (1859-1920)

The Second Latchkey by Charles Norris Williamson The Second Latchkey

Jewelry thefts, society parties, clairvoyance, and romance marks this mystery, which is set in England and the US in the early 20th century.

It Happened In Egypt by Charles Norris Williamson It Happened In Egypt

Lord Ernest Borrow and Captain Anthony Fenton think they know a secret – a secret that could make them both rich. En route, they are sidetracked by Sir Marcus Antonius Lark, a woman who thinks she’s Cleopatra reincarnate, a Gilded Rose of an American Heiress, and Mrs. Jones, a mysterious Irish woman with a past. Will they find the secret? Or will the trip up the Nile on the Enchantress Isis net them another discovery altogether?

By: Alfred J. Church (1829-1912)

The Iliad for Boys and Girls by Alfred J. Church The Iliad for Boys and Girls

Echoing Homer’s epic poem The Iliad, Church offers a simplified rendering of the classic siege of Troy, as he retells the story which is regarded as one of the greatest masterpieces of Western literature. The Iliad for Boys and Girls is written in an easy to follow style that is certain to provide clarity to the otherwise perplexing tale presented in Homer’s original. Furthermore, the tale explores various themes including the destructive nature of pride, grueling revenge, honor, and the capricious interference of the Ancient Greek gods in temporal affairs...

By: Omar Khayyám (1048-1131)

The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam by Omar Khayyám The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám (Persian: رباعیات عمر خیام) is the title that Edward Fitz-Gerald gave to his translation of a selection of poems, originally written in Persian and of which there are about a thousand, attributed to Omar Khayyám (1048–1131), a Persian poet, mathematician and astronomer. A Persian ruba'i is a two-line stanza with two parts (or hemis-techs) per line, hence the word "Rubáiyát" (derived from the Arabic root word for "four"), meaning "quatrains".

By: Lewis Hodus (1872-1949)

Buddhism and Buddhists in China by Lewis Hodus Buddhism and Buddhists in China

Buddhism and Buddhists in China is an anthropological text describing Buddhism as practiced in China at the beginning of the 20th Century. Interestingly, it also compares and contrasts Buddhism with Christianity with respect to or in response to missionary work.

By: Meredith Nicholson (1866-1947)

The House of a Thousand Candles by Meredith Nicholson The House of a Thousand Candles

A reputedly wealthy and eccentric old man dies in Vermont. His home, the House of a Thousand Candles, so called for the owner's preference to candle light, is left empty save a faithful servant -- his fortune mysteriously vanished, though rumored to still have been hidden in the house somewhere. John Glenarm, the late old man's grandson, stands to inherit the estate (and so the secret fortune) under the stipulation that he live in the house for one year. If he fails, the house will be forfeited and awarded to Marian Devereaux, the niece of the nun who operates the nearby Saint Agatha's School for girls...

The Port of Missing Men by Meredith Nicholson The Port of Missing Men

Shirley Claiborne is fascinated by the tall handsome man named John Armitage who seemed to follow her and her brother, Captain Claiborne, as they traveled around Europe. Count von Stroebel had urged Armitage to do something for Austria. Now von Stroebel was dead – cut down by an assassin’s bullet – and Jules Chauvenet is one step closer to seeing the corrupt and worthless Francis ascend to the throne. When Shirley and Captain Claiborne sail for their home in Washington D.C., Armitage follows them. Monsieur Chauvenet also follows, but is he following Shirley or the mysterious John Armitage? And just who is John Armitage? (Introduction by MaryAnn)

By: William Carlos Williams (1883-1963)

Danse Russe by William Carlos Williams Danse Russe

Williams spent his life as a doctor practicing pediatric medicine in northern New Jersey, a few miles west of New York City. During the work day, between seeing patients, he often dashed off poems on the backs of blank prescription pads that he kept in his pocket. This particular poem was written in just such a spontaneous way, after seeing the Russian Ballet perform in Manhattan. Each of the 16 readers in this collection took the challenge to make the same kind of leap – reading it spontaneously.

Selected Early Poems of William Carlos Williams by William Carlos Williams Selected Early Poems of William Carlos Williams

Williams was born in Rutherford, New Jersey, a community near the city of Paterson. His father was an English immigrant, and his mother was born in Puerto Rico. He attended public school in Rutherford until 1897, then was sent to study at Château de Lancy near Geneva, Switzerland, the Lycée Condorcet in Paris, France, for two years and Horace Mann School in New York City. Then, in 1902, he entered the University of Pennsylvania Medical School. During his time at Penn, Williams befriended Ezra Pound, Hilda Doolittle (best known as H...

By: Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850-1919)

Book cover Poems of Passion

A collection of love poems.

Book cover Poems of Optimism

This is a volume of Poems by Ella Wheeler Wilcox. The topic of this volume is "optimism".

Book cover Poems of Purpose

This is a volume of poems by Ella Wheeler Wilcox, published in 1919.

Book cover Poems of Power

This is a volume in a series of books of poetry by Ella Wheeler Wilcox. This time, the theme is "Power".

Book cover Poems of Sentiment

This is a volume of poems by Ella Wheeler Wilcox. This time, the topic is "Sentiment".

Book cover Kingdom of Love

This is a volume of poetry by Ella Wheeler Wilcox, named after the poem 'the Kingdom of Love'.

Book cover Age of the Motored Things

LibriVox volunteers bring you 13 recordings of The Age of the Motored Things by Ella Wheeler Wilcox.This was the Fortnightly Poetry project for October 6, 2013.Ella Wheeler Wilcox was an American author and poet. Her best-known work was Poems of Passion. Her most enduring work was " Solitude", which contains the lines: "Laugh, and the world laughs with you; Weep, and you weep alone". Her autobiography, The Worlds and I, was published in 1918, a year before her death.A popular poet rather than a literary poet, in her poems she expresses sentiments of cheer and optimism in plainly written, rhyming verse...


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