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By: William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare Julius Caesar

Though it's titled The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, the man himself appears only in five scenes in the entire play! However, such is his impact on the events that surrounded him that he still remains the central figure in this psychological drama that combines politics, honor, assassination, betrayal, the lust for power, patriotism and friendship. Set in 44 BC in ancient Rome, it is one of William Shakespeare's early Tragedies. First thought to have been performed in September 1599, William Shakespeare's original text or script have long vanished...

Othello by William Shakespeare Othello

In seventeenth century Venice, a wealthy and debauched man discovers that the woman he is infatuated with is secretly married to a Moorish general in the Venetian army. He shares his grief and rage with a lowly ensign in the army who also has reason to hate the general for promoting a younger man above him. The villainous ensign now plots to destroy the noble general in a diabolical scheme of jealousy, paranoia and murder, set against the backdrop of the bloody Turkish-Venetian wars. This timeless tale, Othello The Moor of Venice was one of the ten famous tragedies that William Shakespeare wrote...

The Tragedy of Hamlet by William Shakespeare The Tragedy of Hamlet

The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark is a tragedy by William Shakespeare. Set in the Kingdom of Denmark, the play dramatizes the revenge Prince Hamlet exacts on his uncle Claudius for murdering King Hamlet, Claudius's brother and Prince Hamlet's father, and then succeeding to the throne and taking as his wife Gertrude, the old king's widow and Prince Hamlet's mother. The play vividly portrays both true and feigned madness – from overwhelming grief to seething rage – and explores themes of treachery, revenge, incest, and moral corruption.

King Henry IV by William Shakespeare King Henry IV

King Henry IV, Part 1 is the second of Shakespeare’s eight Wars of the Roses history plays, with events following those of King Richard II. As the play opens, King Henry IV (formerly Henry Bolingbroke) and Henry Percy (Hotspur) argue over the disposition of prisoners from the Battle of Holmedon. The King’s attitude toward Mortimer and the Percy family prompts them to plot rebellion. In the meantime, his son Prince Hal is living the low life in the company of Sir John Falstaff. As the time of battle nears, Prince Hal joins his father and is given a high command...

Shakespeare's Sonnets by William Shakespeare Shakespeare's Sonnets

Shakespeare’s Sonnets, or simply The Sonnets, comprise a collection of 154 poems in sonnet form written by William Shakespeare that deal with such themes as love, beauty, politics, and mortality. The poems were probably written over a period of several years.

The Passionate Pilgrim by William Shakespeare The Passionate Pilgrim

The Passionate Pilgrim was published by William Jaggard, later the publisher of Shakespeare’s First Folio. The first edition survives only in a single fragmentary copy; its date cannot be fixed with certainty since its title page is missing, though many scholars judge it likely to be from 1599, the year the second edition appeared with the attribution to Shakespeare. This version of The Passionate Pilgrim, contains 15 romantic sonnets and short poems. The works contained, while disputed as to authorship are in this writer’s most humble opinion, among the best of the age.

The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare The Merchant of Venice

William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice was probably written between 1596 and 1598, and was printed with the comedies in the First Folio of 1623. Bassanio, an impoverished gentleman, uses the credit of his friend, the merchant Antonio, to borrow money from a wealthy Jew, Shylock. Antonio pledges to pay Shylock a pound of flesh if he defaults on the loan, which Bassanio will use to woo a rich heiress, Portia. A subplot concerns the elopement of Shylock's daughter Jessica with a Christian, Bassanio's friend Lorenzo...

The Tempest by William Shakespeare The Tempest

Banished from his own lands by a usurping brother, Prospero and his daughter Miranda have been living on a deserted island for years, until fate brings the brother within the range of Prospero's powers. Will he seek revenge, or reconcilement?

King Richard II by William Shakespeare King Richard II

The Tragedy of King Richard II, by William Shakespeare, is the first of the history series that continues with Parts 1 and 2 of King Henry IV and with The Life of King Henry V. At the beginning of the play, Richard II banishes his cousin Henry Bolingbroke from England. Bolingbroke later returns with an army and the support of some of the nobility, and he deposes Richard. Richard is separated from his beloved Queen, imprisoned, and later murdered. By the end of the play, Bolingbroke has been crowned King Henry IV...

Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare Much Ado About Nothing

Written around the middle of his career, Much Ado About Nothing is one of Shakespeare's great festive comedies. The men are back from the war, and everyone is ready for romance. The dashing young Claudio falls for Hero, the daughter of Leonato, governor of Messina, and his friend Don Pedro helps him secure her affection. These youthful lovers are contrasted with the more experienced (and more cynical) Benedick and Beatrice, who have to be tricked into falling in love. Don Pedro's bastard brother, Don John, provides the intrigue, and the dimwitted constable Dogberry provides the laughs.

The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare The Taming of the Shrew

The Taming of the Shrew is one of Shakespeare's earliest comedies, and was inspired by classical Roman comedy and the Italian commedia dell'arte. Baptista Minola, a rich gentleman of Padua, has two daughters: Katherina, renowned for her sharp tongue, and Bianca, who is sought after by multiple suitors. Baptista decides that Bianca cannot marry until her elder sister finds a husband. Enter Petruchio, who has come to "wive it wealthily in Padua," and who is convinced by Bianca's suitors to woo Katherina. The play ultimately poses the question of who is the bigger shrew: Kate or Petruchio. The subplot involves the subterfuge employed by Lucentio to woo the lovely Bianca.

Richard III by William Shakespeare Richard III

Richard III is an early history play probably written and performed around 1592-93. It is the culmination of Shakespeare's earlier three plays about Henry VI, and chronicles the bloody career of Richard, Duke of Gloucester. As the play opens, the Wars of the Roses are over, King Edward IV (Richard's brother) is on the throne, and all is ostensibly well. The problem? Richard wants to be king - and he'll stop at nothing to realize his ambition.

All's Well That Ends Well by William Shakespeare All's Well That Ends Well

Despite its optimistic title, Shakespeare's All's Well That Ends Well has often been considered a "problem play." Ostensibly a comedy, the play also has fairy tale elements, as it focuses on Helena, a virtuous orphan, who loves Bertram, the haughty son of her protectress, the Countess of Rousillon. When Bertram, desperate for adventure, leaves Rousillon to serve in the King's army, Helena pursues him.

Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare Twelfth Night

Shakespeare's great festive comedy, probably written and first performed around 1601, follows the adventures of twins Viola and Sebastian, who are separated from each other by a shipwreck. Viola, believing her brother dead, disguises herself as a page in order to serve the lovesick Duke Orsino, who has been rejected by the Countess Olivia. The ensemble cast includes a roster of wonderfully comic characters: Olivia's drunken uncle Sir Toby Belch, his foolish friend Sir Andrew Aguecheek, the witty serving woman Maria, the social-climbing steward Malvolio, and the clever, riddling clown Feste.

Some Poems of Shakespeare by William Shakespeare Some Poems of Shakespeare

A selection of Shakespeare’s poems from The Oxford Book of English Verse: 1250–1900.

The Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare The Comedy of Errors

The Comedy of Errors is one of William Shakespeare's earliest plays, believed to have been written between 1592 and 1594. It is his shortest and one of his most farcical comedies, with a major part of the humour coming from slapstick and mistaken identity, in addition to puns and word play. The Comedy of Errors tells the story of two sets of identical twins that were accidentally separated at birth. Antipholus of Syracuse and his servant, Dromio of Syracuse, arrive in Ephesus, which turns out to be the home of their twin brothers, Antipholus of Ephesus and his servant, Dromio of Ephesus...

Henry V by William Shakespeare Henry V

After the turmoil and uncertainty of Henry IV a new era appears to dawn for England with the accession of the eponymous Henry V. In this sunny pageant, the Chorus guides us along Henry's glittering carpet ride of success as the new king completes his transformation from rebellious wastrel to a truly regal potentate. Of course, there is an underlying feeling that the good times won't last, and this is all the more reason to enjoy the Indian summer before the protracted and bitter fall of the house of Lancaster.

The Winter's Tale by William Shakespeare The Winter's Tale

Mad with jealousy, King Leontes of Sicilia orders his best friend Polixenes killed, his child abandoned, and his wife put on trial for adultery. Sixteen years later, Perdita, raised as a shepherd's daughter, falls in love with Polixenes's royal son and returns to her father's kingdom.

Measure For Measure by William Shakespeare Measure For Measure

Generally considered one of Shakespeare's problem plays, Measure for Measure examines the ideas of sin and justice. Duke Vincentio turns Vienna's rule over to the corrupt Angelo, who sentences Claudio to death for having impregnated a woman before marriage. His sister Isabella, a novice nun, pleads for her brother's life, only to be told that he will be spared if she agrees to relinquish her virginity to Angelo.

Love's Labour's Lost by William Shakespeare Love's Labour's Lost

Love's Labour's Lost is an early comedy by William Shakespeare. Ferdinand, the King of Navarre, and his three friends take a vow of study and seclusion for three years, during which they are forbidden to see or speak to women. Their vows are immediately tested by the arrival of the Pricess of France and her three ladies to the King's court.

Titus Andronicus by William Shakespeare Titus Andronicus

Titus Andronicus may be Shakespeare's earliest tragedy; it is believed to have been written in the early 1590s. It depicts a Roman general who is engaged in a cycle of revenge with his enemy Tamora, the Queen of the Goths. The play is by far Shakespeare's bloodiest work. It lost popularity during the Victorian era because of its gore, and it has only recently seen its fortunes revive.

Antony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare Antony and Cleopatra

Antony and Cleopatra is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written sometime between 1603 and 1607. It was first printed in the First Folio of 1623. The plot is based on Thomas North's translation of Plutarch's Life of Marcus Antonius and follows the relationship between Cleopatra and Mark Antony from the time of the Parthian War to Cleopatra's suicide. The major antagonist is Octavius Caesar, one of Antony's fellow triumviri and the future first emperor of Rome. The tragedy is a Roman play characterized by swift, panoramic shifts in geographical locations and in registers, alternating between sensual, imaginative Alexandria and the more pragmatic, austere Rome.

Henry VI by William Shakespeare Henry VI

Henry VI, Part 1 is a history play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1591, and set during the lifetime of King Henry VI of England. Whereas 2 Henry VI deals with the King's inability to quell the bickering of his nobles, and the inevitability of armed conflict, and 3 Henry VI deals with the horrors of that conflict, 1 Henry VI deals with the loss of England's French territories and the political machinations leading up to the Wars of the Roses, as the English political system is torn apart by personal squabbles and petty jealousy.

Cymbeline by William Shakespeare Cymbeline

Cymbeline is one of Shakespeare's late romances, which (like The Tempest and The Winter's Tale) combines comedy and tragedy. Imogen, the daughter of King Cymbeline of Britain, angers her father when she marries Posthumus, a worthy but penniless gentleman. The King banishes Posthumus, who goes to Rome, where he falls prey to the machinations of Iachimo, who tries to convince him that Imogen will be unfaithful. Meanwhile, the Queen (Imogen's stepmother) plots against her stepdaughter by trying to plan a match between Imogen and her worthless son Cloten.

The Two Gentlemen of Verona by William Shakespeare The Two Gentlemen of Verona

The Two Gentlemen of Verona is the earliest comedy written by Shakespeare (and possibly his first play), probably written around 1590-91. It focuses on two friends, Valentine and Proteus, whose friendship is disrupted by their mutual passion for the lovely Silvia. Proteus jilts Julia in order to pursue Silvia; she responds by enlisting the help of her maid Lucetta to dress as a boy and go after Proteus. The play also includes some wonderfully comic supporting characters, particularly Launce and his scene-stealing dog Crab.

Troilus and Cressida by William Shakespeare Troilus and Cressida

Troilus and Cressida is Shakespeare's "problem" play about the Trojan War. As the opening Chorus tells us, the play "begins in the middle" of the epic conflict, and counterpoints the drama of battle with the romance of the title characters. Just as Agamemnon and his Greek forces (particularly the smooth-tongued Ulysses) attempt to woo the invincible Achilles to resume fighting on their side, the Trojan go-between Pandarus tries to bring together Troilus, a son of King Priam, with his niece, the lovely Cressida.

Henry VIII by William Shakespeare Henry VIII

This is Shakespeare's dutiful tribute to one of the most imposing and terrifying rulers in European history. The kingdom trembles as the giant monarch storms through his midlife crisis, disposing of the faithful Katharine of Aragon and starting a new life and, the king hopes, a line of succession with the captivating young Anne Bullen. Unlike his predecessors, Henry has no doubt about the security of his tenure on the throne, and dominates the royal court with absolute authority. The extent of the King's power is graphically illustrated by the fate of the Duke of Buckingham, who goes calmly to execution while deploring, not the unjust despotism of the king...

King John by William Shakespeare King John

The Life and Death of King John, a history play by William Shakespeare, dramatises the reign of John, King of England (ruled 1199–1216), son of Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine and father of Henry III of England. It is believed to have been written in the mid-1590s but was not published until it appeared in the First Folio in 1623. John (24 December 1166 – 19 October 1216), also known as John Lackland or Softsword, was King of England from 6 April 1199 until his death. His reign...

The Merry Wives of Windsor by William Shakespeare The Merry Wives of Windsor

The Merry Wives of Windsor is a comedy by William Shakespeare, first published in 1602, though believed to have been written prior to 1597. It features the fat knight Sir John Falstaff, and is Shakespeare's only play to deal exclusively with contemporary Elizabethan era English middle class life.

Timon of Athens by William Shakespeare Timon of Athens

The Life of Timon of Athens is a play by William Shakespeare about the fortunes of an Athenian named Timon (and probably influenced by the philosopher of the same name, as well), generally regarded as one of his most obscure and difficult works. Originally grouped with the tragedies, it is generally considered such, but some scholars group it with the problem plays. The play has caused considerable debate among scholars. It is oddly constructed, with several lacunae (gaps) and for this reason is often described as unfinished, multi-authored, and/or experimental...

By: Charles Dickens

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens Great Expectations

From the opening passage itself of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, the reader is drawn into the world of the hero, Pip, who is at that time, seven years old. The author creates an unforgettable atmosphere: the gloom of the graveyard, the melancholy of the orphan boy, the mists rising over the marshes and the terrifying appearance of an escaped convict in chains. Told in first person (one of the only two books that Dickens used this form for, the other being David Copperfield) Great Expectations is a classic coming of age novel, in which we trace the growth and evolution of Pip or Philip Pirrip to give his full name...

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens Oliver Twist

Set in the first half of the 19th century, the classic novel presents the story of young orphan Oliver Twist, who endures tumultuous events in a society burdened by poverty, crime and malice. After being poorly treated in a workhouse, Oliver escapes to London where instead of finding a better life he ends up tangled in a web of criminal activities. The novel opens with the introduction of Oliver, a waif who has spent his short life living in miserable conditions in a workhouse. Along with other fellow orphans, he is regularly beaten and underfed...

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens David Copperfield

Charles Dickens is one of the most appreciated Victorian writers, his novels gaining worldwide recognition by both critics and readers. First published in 1850, David Copperfield begins with avid the tragedy of David's brother dying when David is just a boy. After this episode he is sent by his step-father to work in London for a wine merchant. When conditions worsen he decides to run away and embarks on a journey by foot from London to Dover. On his arrival he finds his eccentric aunt, Betsey Trotwood who becomes his new guardian...

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens A Tale of Two Cities

Its immortal opening lines, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..." set the stage for a sweeping narrative that combines drama, glory, honor, history, romance, brutality, sacrifice and resurrection. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens is one of the most widely read and famous works of historical fiction in the English language. Dickens had recently launched his magazine All the Year Round in 1859. In the same year, he began featuring A Tale of Two Cities in 31 weekly installments in his new magazine...

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol

“A squeezing, wrenching, grasping, biting, clutching, covetous old sinner” is hardly hero material, but this is exactly what makes A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens such an unforgettable book and its hero, Ebenezer Scrooge such an extraordinarily enduring character. In the book's celebrated opening scene, on the night before Christmas the old miser Ebenezer Scrooge sits in his freezing cold counting house, oblivious to the discomfort of his shivering young assistant Bob Cratchit. Scrooge is unremittingly rude to relatives and visitors alike who drop in to convey their Christmas greetings or ask for a contribution to charity...

Bleak House by Charles Dickens Bleak House

Over twenty consecutive months, Charles Dickens enthralled readers with his monthly installments of the novel Bleak House, a complex and compelling portrayal of the English judicial system. Serialized in his own magazine, Household Words, between 1852 and 1853, the book is deemed to be his finest work and is his ninth novel. Using an innovative literary technique known as “free indirect discourse,” where the narrator himself speaks through the medium of one of his main characters, Dickens uses the heroine Esther Summerson and an unidentified narrator as the vehicle for his story...

Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens Our Mutual Friend

As the last published novel of a writer whose career spanned over a dozen novels, innumerable short stories, plays and nonfiction, Our Mutual Friend is indeed a great composition by Charles Dickens. Considered to be one of his most mature, insightful and refined works, Our Mutual Friend takes a long, hard look at what many Victorians loved but hated to admit they did—money. Dickens uses satire, irony, symbolism and biting wit to portray this unlovely picture of a society obsessed with material comforts and its hypocrisy about the means it uses to achieve its ends...

The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit by Charles Dickens The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit

Dickens thought it was “in a hundred points, immeasurably the best” of his stories. Yet it was also one of his greatest flops. Compared to his other novels, The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit was a dismal failure in terms of sales and the main reason for Dickens falling out with his long term publisher Chapman & Hall. They invoked a penalty clause and demanded that he pay back a portion of the advance which he refused. Martin Chuzzlewit was also dimly received in Dickens friendly America...

Hard Times by Charles Dickens Hard Times

The shortest novel by far of Charles Dickens', Hard Times is also one of his most idea based works. In it, he launches a scathing attack on the prevailing fashion of believing in Utilitarianism, a philosophy that proposed the goal of society should be “the greatest good for the greatest number of people.” Dickens felt that such a philosophy saw people as mere statistics and not as individuals. The novel was published in serial form in his magazine Household Words. It is also the only novel where London is not featured...

Book cover The Pickwick Papers

A sportsman who doesn't hunt; a poet who doesn't write; a lover with no one to love; all three are devoted to their cheerful and benevolent leader, Mr. Pickwick. Join him and his friends, Winkle, Snodgrass, and Tupman, as they tour the country in search of adventures, knowledge, and stories. Along the way, they have their share of mishaps, and meet plenty of interesting characters, both the good and the not so good. (Mr. Pickwick's dedicated manservant, Sam Weller, is a scene-stealer sure to delight just about everybody...

Three Ghost Stories by Charles Dickens Three Ghost Stories

As a gifted writer with a strong interest in supernatural phenomena, Charles Dickens produced a string of ghost stories with enduring charm. Three of them are presented here, of which The Signal Man is one of the best known. Though quite different from his most celebrated realistic and humorous critical novels, these ghost stories, Gothic and grotesque as they are, are of good portrayal, and worth a read/listen. Summary by Vivian Chan

A Child's History of England by Charles Dickens A Child's History of England

A Child’s History of England first appeared in serial form, running from January 25, 1851 to December 10, 1853 and was first published in three volume book form in 1852, 1853, and 1854. Dickens dedicated the book to “My own dear children, whom I hope it may help, bye and bye, to read with interest larger and better books on the same subject”. The history covered the period between 50 BC and 1689, ending with a chapter summarising events from then until the ascension of Queen Victoria.

The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens The Old Curiosity Shop

The fourth novel published by Charles Dickens, The Old Curiosity Shop was initially published in weekly installments between 1840 and 1841 and follows the poignant journey of the virtuous young girl Nell and her loving grandfather as they are forced to bear the hardships of life. Dickens cleverly employs contrasting eloquent characters as a utility to bring out the dissimilarity and injustice present in society. The novel introduces orphan Nell Trent and her grandfather, who live in a run-down store that is distinctive for its worthless bits and pieces...

Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens Little Dorrit

Originally published in monthly installments between 1855 and 1857, the novel focuses on the various forms of imprisonment, both physical and psychological, while also concentrating on dysfunctional family ties. Accordingly, Dickens avidly criticizes the social deficiencies of the time including injustice, social hypocrisy, the austerity of the Marshalsea debtors’ prison, and bureaucratic inefficiency. The novel kicks off with the introduction of William Dorrit, the oldest prisoner in the Marshalsea prison, who is also referred to as The Father of the Marshalsea...

The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Charles Dickens The Mystery of Edwin Drood

The Mystery of Edwin Drood is the final novel by Charles Dickens. It is a mystery indeed; the serial novel was just half completed at the time of Dickens’ death – leading to much speculation how it might have ended.The novel is named after Edwin Drood, one of the characters, but it mostly tells the story of his uncle, a choirmaster named John Jasper, who is in love with his pupil, Rosa Bud. Miss Bud is Drood’s fiancée, and has also caught the eye of the high-spirited and hot-tempered Neville Landless! Landless comes from Ceylon with his twin sister, Helena...

No Thoroughfare by Charles Dickens No Thoroughfare

Two boys from the Foundling Hospital are given the same name, with disastrous consequences in adulthood. Two associates, wishing to right the wrong, are commissioned to find a missing heir. Their quest takes them from fungous wine cellars in the City of London to the sunshine of the Mediterranean — across the Alps in winter. Danger and treachery would prevail were it not for the courage of the heroine and the faithful company servant. The story contains crafted descriptions, well-drawn and diverse...

Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens Barnaby Rudge

One of the two Historical novels Charles Dickens wrote, Barnaby Rudge is set around the ‘Gordon’ riots in London in 1780. The story begins in 1775 with Barnaby, his Mother, and his talking Raven Grip, fleeing their home from a blackmailer, and going into hiding. Joe Willet similarly finds he must leave his home to escape his Father’s ire, leaving behind the woman he loves. Five years later these characters, and many others whose lives we have followed, find themselves caught up in the horrific Protestant rioting led by Sir George Gordon...

Dombey and Son by Charles Dickens Dombey and Son

Dombey and Son is a novel by the Victorian author Charles Dickens. The story concerns Paul Dombey, the wealthy owner of the shipping company of the book’s title, whose dream is to have a son to continue his business. The book begins when his son is born, and Dombey’s wife dies shortly after giving birth. As with most of Dickens’ work, a number of socially significant themes are to be found in this book. In particular the book deals with the then-prevalent common practice of arranged marriages for financial gain...

A House to Let by Charles Dickens A House to Let

A House to Let is a novella originally published in 1858 in the Christmas edition of Dickens’ Household Words magazine. Each of the contributors wrote a chapter (stories within a story, and in the case of Adelaide Anne Procter, as a story in verse) and the whole was edited by Dickens. The plot concerns an elderly woman, Sophonisba, who notices signs of life in a supposedly empty dilapidated house (the eponymous “House to Let”) opposite her own, and employs the efforts of an elderly admirer, Jabez Jarber, and her servant, Trottle, to discover what is happening within.

Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens Nicholas Nickleby

Nicholas Nickleby is a young Devonshire man of nineteen, handsome and hot headed, devoted to his sister Kate and his parents. Following the death of Nicholas’s father, they find themselves penniless, and travel to London to seek help from his uncle, Ralph Nickleby, a heartless, cunning rogue. He grudgingly finds employment for Nicholas in Dotheby Hall, a school in Yorkshire run by the brutal Mr. and Mrs. Wackford Squeers. Appalled at the condition and treatment of the school children, Nicholas rebels, escaping with Smike, a young man/child who has become devoted to him...

The Battle of Life by Charles Dickens The Battle of Life

While "The Battle of Life" is one of Charles Dickens' Christmas Books - his annual release of a story just before Christmas - this one breaks the tradition by not being concerned with Christmas. Rather, its subtitle, "A Love Story", reveals more of the plot. The major events of this book take place on land that once was a battleground. That is just a backdrop for Dickens' idea of the real battle of life - finding and winning the right partner, so that life will go on to the next generation. The family that lives there is rather confused in its affections and intentions regarding who should end up with whom...

The Cricket on the Hearth by Charles Dickens The Cricket on the Hearth

The tale of John Peerybingle, the good-hearted carrier, and his young wife Mary ('Dot'), interwoven with the story of poor toymaker Caleb Plummer, his beloved blind daughter Bertha, and the harsh old toy merchant Tackleton, who is due to marry May Fielding, a childhood friend of Dot. Comic relief is provided by Tilly Slowboy, the disaster-prone nursemaid of John and Dot's baby, and Boxer, the family dog.The cricket who chirps on the family hearth assumes fairy form to save the day when disaster looms in the form of a mysterious stranger...

The Seven Poor Travellers by Charles Dickens The Seven Poor Travellers

One of Dickens’ Christmas stories, this was first published as part of the Christmas number of Household Words for 1854. The first chapter relates Dickens’ visit to the ancient Richard Watts’s Charity at Rochester. The second chapter is the touching story of “Richard Doubledick”, which Dickens supposedly told the travellers, and Dickens’ journey home on Christmas morning provides the short concluding chapter.

The Chimes by Charles Dickens The Chimes

The Chimes: A Goblin Story of Some Bells that Rang an Old Year Out and a New Year In is the second of Charles Dickens' Christmas books, published in 1844. Its contemporary setting is the "Hungry Forties", a time of social and political unrest, and the book has a strong moral message. It remained popular for many years, although its fame has since been eclipsed by that of A Christmas Carol, the first of the series. Our hero Toby ("Trotty") Veck is a poor but hard-working man, whose beloved daughter Meg is due to marry on New Year's Day...

Sketches by Boz: Illustrative of Every-Day Life and Every-Day People by Charles Dickens Sketches by Boz: Illustrative of Every-Day Life and Every-Day People

"Sketches by "Boz," Illustrative of Every-day Life and Every-day People (commonly known as Sketches by Boz) is a collection of short pieces published by Charles Dickens in 1836 accompanied by illustrations by George Cruikshank. The 56 sketches concern London scenes and people and are divided into four sections: "Our Parish", "Scenes", "Characters", and "Tales". The material in the first three of these sections is non-fiction. The last section comprises fictional stories. Originally, the sketches were published in various newspapers and periodicals from 1833-1836."

The Haunted Man and the Ghost's Bargain by Charles Dickens The Haunted Man and the Ghost's Bargain

The Haunted Man and the Ghost’s Bargain, A Fancy for Christmas-Time, (better known as The Haunted Man and the Ghost’s Bargain) is a novella by Charles Dickens first published in 1848. It is the fifth and last of Dickens' Christmas novellas. The story is more about the spirit of the holidays than about the holidays themselves, harking back to the first of the series, A Christmas Carol. The tale centers around a Professor Redlaw and those close to him.

American Notes for General Circulation by Charles Dickens American Notes for General Circulation

American Notes for General Circulation is a travelogue by Charles Dickens detailing his trip to North America from January to June, 1842. While there he acted as a critical observer of these societies almost as if returning a status report on their progress. This can be compared to the style of his Pictures from Italy written four years later, where he wrote far more like a tourist. His American journey was also an inspiration for his novel Martin Chuzzlewit.

The Wreck of the Golden Mary by Charles Dickens The Wreck of the Golden Mary

A short story of a ship wreck in 1851 trying to round Cape Horn on its way to the California gold fields. Poignant and well written. (

The Uncommercial Traveller by Charles Dickens The Uncommercial Traveller

The Uncommercial Traveller is a collection of literary sketches and reminiscences written by Charles Dickens. In 1859 Dickens founded a new journal called All the Year Round and the Uncommercial Traveller articles would be among his main contributions. He seems to have chosen the title and persona of the Uncommercial Traveller as a result of a speech he gave on the 22 December 1859 to the Commercial Travellers' School London in his role as honorary chairman and treasurer. The persona sits well with a writer who liked to travel, not only as a tourist, but also to research and report what he found; visiting Europe, America and giving book readings throughout Britain...

Mudfog and Other Sketches by Charles Dickens Mudfog and Other Sketches

The Mudfog Papers was written by Victorian era novelist Charles Dickens and published from 1837–38 in the monthly literary serial Bentley's Miscellany, which he then edited. They were first published as a book as 'The Mudfog Papers and Other Sketches. The Mudfog Papers relates the proceedings of the fictional 'The Mudfog Society for the Advancement of Everything', a Pickwickian parody of the British Association for the Advancement of Science founded in York in 1831, one of the numerous Victorian learned societies dedicated to the advancement of Science...

Book cover Pictures from Italy

e: Dickens takes time off his novels to give an account of travels which he and his family undertook in France and Italy. There are vivid descriptions of the places, but also of the people and their lives.

By: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930)

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

A concoction of twelve stories, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes is the third book in the original Sherlock Holmes series. It shadows the experiences of detective Sherlock Holmes, an enigmatic genius, as he tries to unravel the mystery of each investigation he partakes in. Set in late 19th century London, the novel not only creates a successful mystery plot, but also circulates through real locations including Hyde Park, the river Thames, St George’s Church in Hanover Square, as well as adding fictional places to spice things up...

The Return of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle The Return of Sherlock Holmes

A young gambler is found shot dead in a closed room. Dr. Watson, who still mourns the disappearance of his famous friend is intrigued enough to step out of his house and take a look at the crime scene. A crowd has gathered there, curiously gazing up at the room where the crime is supposed to have taken place. Watson inadvertently jostles against an elderly, deformed man and knocks a stack of books from the fellow's hand. The man curses Watson vilely and disappears into the throng. It suddenly occurs to Watson that one of the books that he had helped the stranger pick up had seemed familiar...

The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes

For more than a century and a quarter, fans of detective fiction have enjoyed the doings of the iconic sleuth, Mr. Sherlock Holmes. In the company of his faithful companion, Dr Watson, Holmes has consistently delighted generations of readers. Created by a Scottish writer and physician, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, this immortal private eye has solved cases for kings and commoners, lovely damsels and little old ladies, engineers and country squires and a legion of others who come to him in distress and perplexity...

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle The Hound of the Baskervilles

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle thought he had finished forever with his immortal sleuth Sherlock Holmes and his chronicler, Dr Watson. Exhausted and bored with the Holmes saga, he wanted to turn to more serious writing. In the short story The Final Problem, published in 1893 as part of the collection The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, the author had sent Holmes plunging to his doom into the Reichenbach Falls. However, by 1901, Doyle found himself in severe financial difficulties. It was then that he resurrected his popular detective...

Tales of Terror and Mystery by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Tales of Terror and Mystery

Though Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is best known for his detective stories, he also wrote other short stories which are masterpieces of mystery and suspense. In some of the stories in “Tales of Terror and Mystery”, a suppressed uneasiness gradually builds up and evolves into sheer terror. In others, the story line unexpectedly changes and comes to a horrific conclusion. Sit back in the comfort of your armchair and let yourself be transported to the strange but compelling world created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

The Sign of the Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle The Sign of the Four

A secret shared by four convicts and two prison guards, a daughter in search of her missing father, a strange gift of a single pearl received every year, a fabulous treasure buried in the ancient Agra Fort in India, an eccentric detective being consulted to solve a deadly puzzle. All these events are set against the turbulent backdrop of the Great Indian Mutiny of 1857 in the second Sherlock Holmes novel by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Sign of the Four. Mary Morstan, a lovely young woman, comes to the Baker Street lodgings shared by Holmes and Dr Watson...

His Last Bow by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle His Last Bow

The disappearance of a German spy and the gathering storm that foretells the prelude to World War I is what greets you in this riveting book. The further you read the more mysteries unfold like secret submarine plans with some pages missing found in the hands of a corpse. There's also family insanity in Cornwall, a dead Spaniard and mafia hiding in an empty London flat. His Last Bow was published in the Strand Magazine circa 1908 and included several other short stories as well. Even during Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's own lifetime, Holmes had acquired cult status...

The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle The Lost World

A journalist who undertakes a life threatening mission to impress the woman he loves, a mysterious plateau in South America that none of the locals dare to enter and an adventurous English aristocrat are all charectors you will encounter in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World. With Dinosaurs, ape-men, diamonds and secret tunnels the book is filled with enough action, excitement, drama and adventure to go around. For Sherlock Holmes enthusiasts, Conan Doyle's hero in this book Professor Challenger is almost the antithesis of the cerebral sleuth...

A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle A Study in Scarlet

Sherlock Holmes fans who haven't yet read A Study in Scarlet would be delighted to discover this book in which the iconic detective makes his grand entrance into the world! From hence on, the deer stalker hat, his Stradivarius violin, the occasional descent into cocaine induced hell, the Persian slipper in which he stores his tobacco and of course, his meeting with the eternally loyal Dr. Watson and so many other details become common for generations of enthralled devotees. Strangely enough, Sherlock Holmes' first outing went almost unnoticed in the 1887 Christmas Annual edition of Beeton's Magazine...

The Valley of Fear by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle The Valley of Fear

Doyle's final novel featuring the beloved sleuth, Sherlock Holmes, brings the detective and his friend to a country manor where they are preceded by either a murder or a suicide. A secretive organization lies culprit and an infiltration of it is in order.

The Adventures of Gerard by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle The Adventures of Gerard

These lesser known stories were penned by Conan Doyle during the period between killing off Sherlock Holmes in 1893 and reluctantly resurrecting him some ten years later. The swashbuckling, eponymous hero, Etienne Gerard, is one of Napoleon's gallant French Hussars, who considers himself the finest of them all. Through these "Boys Own Adventures", Conan Doyle pokes gentle fun at both the French and the English. This is the second volume containing eight adventures.

The Poison Belt by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle The Poison Belt

Three years after the events that took place in The Lost World, Professor Challenger urgently summons his fellow explorers (Professor Summerlee, Lord John Roxton, and reporter E.D. Malone) to a meeting. Oddly, he requires each to bring an oxygen cylinder with him. What he soon informs them is that from astronomical data and just-received telegraphs of strange accidents on the other side of the world, he has deduced that the Earth is starting to move through a region of space containing something poisonous to humankind...

The White Company by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle The White Company

Set during the Hundred Years’ War with France, The White Company tells the story of a young Saxon man who is learning what it is to be a knight. Raised by Cistercian Monks and rejected by a violent elder brother, Alleyn Edricson takes service with one of the foremost knights in the country. When Alleyn falls in love with the knight’s daughter, he must prove himself to be a courageous and honourable knight before he can win her hand. Alleyn and his friends set forth with the other men-at-arms to join Prince Edward in Bordeaux, from where they will take part in the Prince’s campaign into Spain...

Book cover The Parasite

Being a physiologist, Austin Gilroy is unconvinced that the occult is real. His friend Professor Wilson, however, is not only convinced that psychical powers are real, but eagerly desires that Gilroy should be persuaded. To this end, Wilson invites Austin to his house for a demonstration. The effect is that Austin, although still skeptical, now concedes that there is more in the matter than he at first believed. But when the psychic, Miss Penclosa, controls his actions to the point where he nearly murders his fiancee, Austin Gilroy doubts no longer.

The Tragedy of the Korosko by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle The Tragedy of the Korosko
Book cover The Great Shadow

Set in an English-Scottish border village during the waning days of the Napoleonic era, this adventure story introduces us to Jock Calder, whose quiet way of life is shattered when a mysterious stranger steps ashore near his home. The stranger changes forever the lives of Jock, his cousin Edie, and his best friend Jim, sending the young men into the jaws of the final battle to defeat The Great Shadow that threatens to devour the whole of Europe. Don't look for Sherlock Holmes in this well-written tale, but do expect a wonderful glimpse of life at the end of the Napoleonic era, including an exciting rendition of The Battle of Waterloo. (Introduction by Christine Dufour)

The Exploits of Brigadier Gerard by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle The Exploits of Brigadier Gerard

The hero, Etienne Gerard, is a Hussar in the French Army during the Napoleonic Wars. Gerard's most notable attribute is his vanity - he is utterly convinced that he is the bravest soldier, greatest swordsman, accomplished horseman and gallant lover in all France. Gerard is not entirely wrong since he displays notable bravery on many occasions, but his self-satisfaction undercuts this quite often. Obsessed with honour and glory, he is always ready with a stirring speech or a gallant remark to a lady.

By: Aesop (620 BC - 563 BC)

Aesop's Fables by Aesop Aesop's Fables

As children, our first experience of the magic of talking animals, the conflict between good and evil, the battle of wits between the cunning and the innocent most probably came from Aesop's Fables. These delightful, pithy and brief narratives are simple, easy to understand and convey their message in a memorable and charming fashion. Aesop's Fables by Aesop consists of about 600 tales, some well-loved and familiar, others less known but just as entertaining and educative and help us map the perimeters of our moral universe...

The Aesop for Children by Aesop The Aesop for Children

THE AESOP FOR CHILDRENTHE WOLF AND THE KIDThere was once a little Kid whose growing horns made him think he was a grown-up Billy Goat and able to take care of himself. So one evening when the flock started home from the pasture and his mother called, the Kid paid no heed and kept right on nibbling the tender grass. A little later when he lifted his head, the flock was gone. He was all alone. The sun was sinking. Long shadows came creeping over the ground. A chilly little wind came creeping with them making scary noises in the grass...

By: Jules Verne (1828-1905)

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

An early science fiction novel written by the second most translated author, French writer Jules Verne, the classic tale depicts an incredible sea expedition on board a state-of-the-art submarine. First published in 1870 and a part of the Voyages Extraordinaires series, the novel is regarded as one of the most thrilling adventure stories and one of Verne’s greatest pieces of work. Immersed in themes of exploration, avant-garde technology, and man’s insatiable desire for knowledge and scientific progression, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea has been an influence for many writers as well as an inspiration for numerous film adaptations...

The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne The Mysterious Island

The Mysterious Island is another exquisite novel written by the master of adventure writing, Jules Verne. The novel has been seen as the sequel to two other famous novels written by the same author: Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and In Search of the Castaway. The story revolves around five Americans who live in a dark and harsh environment as prisoners of the American Civil War. Depleted by famine and death all around them, the five war prisoners take a big risk and escape by hijacking a hot air balloon...

A Journey to the Interior of the Earth by Jules Verne A Journey to the Interior of the Earth

A historical manuscript penned by a medieval Norse poet. A mysterious code. Three intrepid explorers. A subterranean world filled with prehistoric creatures and proto-humans. These are some of the brilliant ideas that are superbly blended in A Journey to the Interior of the Earth by Jules Verne. Jules Verne, the French writer who created several works of science fiction, adventure stories and very popular novels, wrote A Journey to the Interior of the Earth in 1864. Some of his other books explore different aspects of geography, space and time travel...

Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne Around the World in Eighty Days

Jules Verne is the master of classic adventure tales. Around the World in Eighty Days is just more proof that his excellent writing skills put the readers right in the book with Phileas Fogg and Passepartout. Because of a bet by his friends, Phileas sets out to get all the way around the world in eighty days. Phileas is a rich man, but also very precise about his life. He wants everything done the way he likes and will get rid of anyone who does not do that. The wager starts when he is at a local club and begins an argument about whether a person could get all the way around the world in such a short period of time...

From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne From the Earth to the Moon

One of the earliest examples of literature written in the science fiction genre, From the Earth to the Moon is a part of the Voyages Extraordinaires series by French novelist Jules Verne. Written more than a century before the Apollo mission, Verne’s classic is somewhat a prophetic novel of man’s travel to the moon with its thorough and descriptive detail. A remarkable blend of action, humor, science, and audacious schemes, the timeless classic is sure to fascinate with its unique vision of lunar exploration...

The Fur Country by Jules Verne The Fur Country

The Hudson's Bay Company is one of the earliest corporations in the world and the oldest commercial organization in North America. It began as a fur trading company in 1670 and today owns a variety of retail corporations selling a diverse range of goods. In The Fur Country by Jules Verne, the plot describes how a team of Hudson's Bay Company members travel through the Northwest Territory of Canada with the aim of establishing a mission on the Arctic Circle. The members are a mixed bunch. One of the ladies, Paulina Barnett, seeks adventure, while a meteorologist Thomas Black hopes to view a spectacular solar eclipse scheduled to occur during their travel...

Round the Moon: A Sequel to From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne Round the Moon: A Sequel to From the Earth to the Moon

Part of the Voyages Extraordinaires series by French novelist Jules Verne, and also a sequel to his classic science fiction novel From the Earth to the Moon, Round the Moon presents the continuation of the gripping tale which ended with a cliffhanger and left readers to ponder over endless possibilities. Published in 1870, the novel presents an unprecedented journey into space, while focusing on space navigation, scientific calculations, unforeseen circumstances and dangerous encounters, which in turn mark the novel as prophetic of its time...

An Antarctic Mystery or The Sphinx of the Ice Fields by Jules Verne An Antarctic Mystery or The Sphinx of the Ice Fields

A wonderful coming together of two writers who wrote their books more than half a century apart. Neither of them had ever visited the remote islands they were writing about yet they provided inspiration for a couple of exciting adventure tales. In 1838, Edgar Allan Poe published The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket. It was the only complete novel published by the American author. It was the story of a young boy who stows away on board a whaling ship and it goes on to relate the events that follow...

The Master of the World by Jules Verne The Master of the World

Published in 1904, The Master of the World is the penultimate novel in the Voyages Extraordinaires series, by renowned French novelist and pioneer of science fiction, Jules Verne. The novel acts as a sequel to Verne’s novel Robur the Conqueror, and consequently brings back some of its most notable characters, including the brilliant, yet villainous inventor Robur. Set in the summer of 1903, the adventure kicks off when a string of enigmatic events have been reported in the western part of North Carolina, leaving residents in fear of a possible volcanic eruption, even though the Blue Ridge Mountains are known to be non-volcanic ...

Five Weeks in a Balloon by Jules Verne Five Weeks in a Balloon

First published in 1863, Five Weeks in a Balloon depicts an insightful journey undertaken by a group of intrepid explorers into the partly uncharted African continent, as they aim to explore its exotic wonders. Apart from concentrating on themes including exploration, loyalty, friendship, determination, and honor, the novel also offers an endearing set of jovial characters and vivid imagery. Furthermore, the novel is the first book in Verne’s distinguished Voyages Extraordinaires series. The adventure begins when Dr...

In Search of the Castaways by Jules Verne In Search of the Castaways

The book tells the story of the quest for Captain Grant of the Britannia. After finding a bottle cast into the ocean by the captain himself after the Britannia is shipwrecked, Lord and Lady Glenarvan of Scotland decide to launch a rescue expedition. The main difficulty is that the coordinates of the wreckage are mostly erased, and only the latitude (37 degrees) is known.Lord Glenarvan makes it his quest to find Grant; together with his wife, Grant’s children and the crew of his yacht the Duncan they set off for South America...

Eight Hundred Leagues on the Amazon by Jules Verne Eight Hundred Leagues on the Amazon

First published in 1881, Eight Hundred Leagues on the Amazon is an adventure novel in two parts by Jules Verne, having a basis in codes and cryptography. Unlike many of his other stories, it is not a work of science fiction. Rather, it describes a voyage down the Amazon River on a large raft, or jangada). Many aspects of the raft, scenery, and journey are described in detail.

Dick Sands the Boy Captain by Jules Verne Dick Sands the Boy Captain

Dick Sands, a youth of fifteen, must assume command of a ship after the disappearance of its captain. Nature’s forces combined with evil doings of men lead him and his companions to many dangerous adventures on sea and in Central Africa.

Michael Strogoff by Jules Verne Michael Strogoff

This is the account of the perilous mission of Michael Strogoff, courier for Czar Alexander II, who is sent from Moscow to the besieged city of Irkutsk, where the governor, brother of the Czar, has taken his last stand against a Tartar rebellion led by the fearsome Feofar-Khan. When telegraph lines are cut between the Russian Far East and the mainland, Strogoff must make his way through hostile territory to warn the governor of the return of the traitor Ivan Ogareff, a disgraced former officer who seeks vengeance against the Tsar’s family by the destruction of Irkutsk.

The Blockade Runners by Jules Verne The Blockade Runners

Writing at the end of the American Civil War, Verne weaves this story of a Scottish merchant who, in desperation at the interruption of the flow of Southern cotton due to the Union blockade, determines to build his own fast ship and run guns to the Confederates in exchange for the cotton piling up unsold on their wharves. His simple plan becomes complicated by two passengers who board his new ship under false pretenses in order to carry out a rescue mission, one which Capt. Playfair adopts as his own cause. This is going make the Rebels in Charleston rather unhappy with him.Sure, his new ship is fast - but can it escape the cannonballs of both North and South?

Off on a Comet by Jules Verne Off on a Comet

The story starts with a comet that touches the Earth in its flight and collects a few small chunks of it. Some forty people of various nations and ages are condemned to a two-year-long journey on the comet. They form a mini-society and cope with the hostile environment of the comet (mostly the cold). The size of the 'comet' is about 2300 kilometers in diameter - far larger than any comet or asteroid that actually exists.

Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne Journey to the Centre of the Earth

The story involves a German professor (Otto Lidenbrock in the original French, Professor Von Hardwigg in the most common English translation) who believes there are volcanic tubes going toward the center of the Earth. He, his nephew Axel (Harry), and their guide Hans encounter many adventures, including prehistoric animals and natural hazards, eventually coming to the surface again in southern Italy.

The Underground City or The Child of the Cavern by Jules Verne The Underground City or The Child of the Cavern

Covering a time span of over ten years, this novel follows the fortunes of the mining community of Aberfoyle near Stirling, Scotland. Receiving a letter from an old colleague, mining engineer James Starr sets off for the old Aberfoyle mine, thought to have been mined out ten years earlier. Starr finds mine overman Simon Ford and his family living in a cottage deep inside the mine; he is astonished to find that Ford has made a discovery of the presence of a large vein of coal. Accompanying Simon Ford are his wife, Madge, and adult son, Harry.

Doctor Ox's Experiment by Jules Verne Doctor Ox's Experiment

An early, light-hearted short story, published in 1872 by Jules Verne. It takes place in the Flemish town of Quiquendone, where life moves at an extraordinarily tranquil pace. Doctor Ox has offered to light the town with a new gas, but actually has other plans in place.

Facing the Flag by Jules Verne Facing the Flag

Like The Begum's Millions, which Verne published in 1879, it has the theme of France and the entire world threatened by a super-weapon (what would now be called a weapon of mass destruction) with the threat finally overcome through the force of French patriotism.


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