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By: Hugh Lofting (1886-1947)

The Story of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting The Story of Doctor Dolittle

An adventurous children’s novel, The Story of Doctor Dolittle is the first book in the Doctor Dolittle series. The novel depicts the many adventures of Dr. John Dolittle as he learns the language of animals and takes on various feats including exotic travel, a dangerous encounter with pirates, and a mission to set right from wrong. The novel begins with the introduction of Dr. John Dolittle, an animal lover and respected physician, who lives in the small English town of Puddleby-on-the-Marsh with his unmarried sister...

By: Hyakuzō Kurata (1891-1943)

Book cover Priest and His Disciples (Shaw Translation)

At the age of twenty-six (at the height of the Great War in Europe), the religious pilgrim and maverick Kurata Hyakuzō wrote a profoundly philosophical play called "The Priest & His Disciples" ("Shukke to sono deshi"). This stage play is based on the life and teachings of the 13th century Buddhist priest Shinran (1173-1263) and quickly became immensely popular. Shinran, the historical founder of the True Pure Land School of Buddhism (Jōdo Shinshū), encounters the poor family of Hino Saemon and his wife Okane, and converses with them about how to live in circumstances of change and turmoil and hardship...

By: J. M. Barrie (1860-1937)

Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie Peter Pan

His name has become a metaphor for one who will never grow old. Peter Pan by JM Barrie is the story of a boy who remains a boy while the world around him changes. Sir James Mathew Barrie was a Scottish playwright and novelist whose works were received with great critical and commercial success in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. He discovered the main inspiration for his creative genius in his friendship (and later guardianship) with the children of Arthur and Sylvia Llewellyn-Davies...

The Admirable Crichton by J. M. Barrie The Admirable Crichton

From the author of Peter Pan:Lord Loam, a British peer, considers class divisions to be artificial. He promotes his views during tea-parties where servants mingle with his aristocratic guests, to the embarrassment of all. Crichton, his butler, particularly disapproves of this.Loam, his family, a maid, and Crichton are shipwrecked on a deserted tropical island. The resourceful Crichton is the only one of the party with any practical knowledge. Eventually, social roles are reversed, and Crichton becomes the governor.

Book cover Dear Brutus

At a house in the country 8 guests are invited to enter a magical wood to see what might have happened had they made a different choice in life. Even though they are warned away from the wood, they take a chance and enter. The title comes from Shakespeare: "The fault lies in our selves, dear Brutus, not in our stars...," and summarizes the theme of this play: given a second chance, will people still make the same mistakes?

By: James Elroy Flecker (1884-1915)

Book cover King of Alsander (Dramatic Reading)

First published in 1914, the King of Alsander is the only novel by James Elroy Flecker, best known as a poet, but also a noted scholar, linguist and diplomat. Flecker's love of learning, language and travel, and his keen satirical insight into politics are all in evidence in this phantasmagoric tale. As the author himself describes it: Here is a tale all romance - a tale such as only a Poet can write for you, O appreciative and generous Public - a tale of madmen, kings, scholars, grocers, consuls,...

By: James Joyce (1882-1941)

Book cover Exiles

Exiles is a play by James Joyce, who is principally remembered for his novels. It was rejected by W. B. Yeats for production by the Abbey Theatre. Its first major London performance was in 1970, when Harold Pinter directed it at the Mermaid Theatre. The basic premise of Exiles involves a love triangle between Richard Rowan (a Dublin writer recently returned from exile in Rome), Bertha (his common law wife) and his old friend Robert Hand (a journalist). (There are obvious parallels to be drawn with...

By: Jane Austen (1775-1817)

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen Sense and Sensibility

Two sisters, one practical and full of commonsense, the other a passionate and emotional creature, an uncaring brother and his avaricious wife, a handsome rake and a faithful gentleman – these are some of the unforgettable characters who make Jane Austen's first published novel, Sense and Sensibility such a delightful, witty and timeless classic. The novel was published under the pseudonym “A Lady” by its shy and retiring nineteen-year-old author, Jane Austen, in 1811. She was the daughter of a country rector and lived all her life in the circle of her large and loving family in a little village in Hampshire, England...

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen Northanger Abbey

Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey is a book about the life of Catherine Morland and her romantic relationships. The novel is divided into two parts; the first part begins with Catherine’s visit to Bath and her relationship with Henry Tilney and the other people she met there, and the second part starts with the arrival of Frederick Tilney and her visit to Northanger Abbey. This book alongside Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility is considered one of the major works of Jane Austen. The novel had undergone many revisions before its publication and it was even originally titled “Catherine...

By: Jane D. Abbott (1881-1968)

Book cover Highacres (Dramatic Reading)

The story of a young mountain girl and her first year of city living and going to a high school. She knows nothing of town life, but she had dreams and longs to learn more and discover what the world is like outside of her mountain home. Go with her to the Westley's home, where she finds everyone kind, except the Wesley's oldest daughter, Isobel, who is proud and snubs her. With determination, and courage she enjoys her first year, and longs to continue at Highacres.

By: Jesse Lynch Williams (1871-1929)

Why Marry? by Jesse Lynch Williams Why Marry?

Why Marry? is a comedy, which "tells the truth about marriage". We find a family in the throes of proving the morality of marriage to a New Age Woman. Can the family defend marriage to this self-supporting girl? Will she be convinced that marriage is the ultimate sacredness of a relationship or will she hold to her perception that marriage is the basis of separating two lovers."Why Marry?" won the first Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

By: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

Faust, Part 1 by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Faust, Part 1

Faust is the protagonist of a classic German legend; a highly successful scholar, but also dissatisfied with his life, and so makes a deal with the devil, exchanging his soul for unlimited knowledge and worldly pleasures.Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Faust is a tragic play in two parts. It is Goethe's most famous work and considered by many to be one of the greatest works of German literature.This first part of Faust is not divided into acts, but is structured as a sequence of scenes in a variety of settings. After a dedicatory poem and a prelude in the theatre, the actual plot begins with a prologue in Heaven and Scene 1 in Faust's study.

By: Johanna Spyri (1827-1901)

Book cover Heidi (version 2 dramatic reading)

"Heidi" takes us on a journey to the eventful childhood of a good-hearted girl from the Swiss Alps. A warm and loving story, full of touching moments, it reaches children and adults alike. It was written in 1880 and published in two parts: 1. Heidi's years of learning and travel. 2. Heidi makes use of what she has learned. This English translation from 1915 has "an especial flavor, that very quality of delight in mountain scenes, in mountain people and in child life generally, which is one of the chief merits of the German original...

By: John Fletcher (1579-1625)

Book cover The Woman's Prize, or The Tamer Tamed

John Fletcher's comedy (probably written and performed around 1611) is a sequel to Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, in which, as the title suggests, the tamer will be tamed. Petruchio, the shrew-tamer, has been widowed, and marries a second wife, Maria, a "chaste witty lady." At the instigation of her cousin Bianca, and with the fellowship of her sister Livia, Maria decides to go on strike for equal rights, refusing to behave as a proper 17th century wife. Fletcher's play addresses the issue of men and women's roles within marriage, a controversial issue for his day.

By: John Galsworthy (1867-1933)

Book cover Skin Game

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

Book cover Skin Game

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

By: John Milton (1608-1674)

Samson Agonistes by John Milton Samson Agonistes

“The Sun to me is darkAnd silent as the Moon,When she deserts the nightHid in her vacant interlunar cave.”Milton composes his last extended work as a tragedy according to the classical Unities of Time, Place and Action. Nevertheless it “never was intended for the stage” and is here declaimed by a single reader.Samson the blinded captive, in company with the Chorus of friends and countrymen, receives his visitors on their varying missions and through them his violent story is vividly recalled...

By: John Rae (1882-1963)

Book cover New Adventures of Alice (version 2 Dramatic Reading)

After reading and re-reading the book many time as a boy and wishing that Lewis Carroll would have written another Alice In Wonderland Book, John Rae began imagining what that girl would have gotten up to if he had done so. Telling these stories to his children over the years, where they were enthusiastically received, he finally decided to share them with the world. And here they are! The New Adventures of Alice

By: John Webster (c.1580 - c.1634)

The Duchess of Malfi by John Webster The Duchess of Malfi

John Webster's bloody Jacobean tragedy exposes the decadence of the Italian court. The virtuous Duchess of Malfi, a young widow, secretly marries her steward Antonio, and is subsequently persecuted by her brothers: the sexually obsessed and eventually mad Ferdinand, and the corrupt Cardinal.

The White Devil by John Webster The White Devil

John Webster's The White Devil (1612) is a Jacobean revenge tragedy, replete with adultery, murder, ghosts, and violence. The Duke of Brachiano and Vittoria Corombona decide to kill their spouses, Isabella and Camillo, in order to be together, aided by the crafty and ambitious Flamineo, Vittoria's brother. Their actions prompt vows of revenge from Isabella's brother Francisco, the Duke of Florence, and Count Lodovico, who was secretly in love with her. The title refers to the early modern proverb that "the white devil is worse than the black," indicating the hypocrisy practiced by many of the characters in the play.

By: Joseph Conrad (1857-1924)

One Day More by Joseph Conrad One Day More

A one-act play. Eccentric Captain Hagberd has been waiting for years for his son to come home from the sea. He has scrimped and saved, outfitting a house for Harry to inherit upon his return, which will be in only "one day more." He has also planned that Harry will marry Bessie, the repressed maiden next door. Note: The recording was done outside, so there will be some ambient noise (airplanes, lawn mowers, birds, children... etc).

By: Joseph Smith Fletcher (1863-1935)

Book cover Orange-Yellow Diamond

By: Karel Čapek (1890-1938)

Book cover R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots)

Helena Glory, as the daughter of a major industrial power's president, is a woman on a mission. She faces the island factory of Rossum's Universal Robots, the world's leading company in robotic engineering. She is convinced that these new creations called robots they make are deserving of rights like humans do. Everyone else is convinced robots are nothing more than tools for human use. Is it so, or is a robot rebellion becoming a more likely prospect as the robots start to seem more intelligent than first thought? First performed in English in 1922, R...

By: Kenneth McGaffrey (??-1938)

Book cover The Sorrows of a Show Girl

Originally printed in The Morning Telegraph in New York, this is the story of Miss Sabrina, the show girl, and her ups and downs with the unpredictable theatrical industry and the Great White Way, the lights and glamour of Broadway. "In order to set myself right with both the public and the vast army of Sabrinas that add youth and beauty to our stage, and brilliancy and gaiety to our well known cafes, I wish to say that she is all that she should be...”- Kenneth McGaffrey

By: L. Frank Baum (1856-1919)

Book cover Marvelous Land of Oz (version 2) (Dramatic Reading)

The Marvelous Land of Oz Being an account of the further adventures of the Scarecrow and Tin Woodman and also the strange experiences of the highly magnified Woggle-Bug, Jack Pumpkin-head, the Animated Saw-Horse and the Gump; the story being A Sequel to The Wizard of Oz.

By: Langdon Mitchell (1862-1935)

The New York Idea by Langdon Mitchell The New York Idea

I find it very hard to classify "The New York Idea" under any of the established rubrics. It is rather too extravagant to rank as a comedy; it is much too serious in its purport, too searching in its character-delineation and too thoughtful in its wit, to be treated as a mere farce. Its title—not, perhaps, a very happy one—is explained in this saying of one of the characters: "Marry for whim and leave the rest to the divorce court—that's the New York idea of marriage." Like all the plays,...

By: Lewis Carroll

Sylvie and Bruno by Lewis Carroll Sylvie and Bruno

The novel has two main plots; one set in the real world at the time the book was published (the Victorian era), the other in the fantasy world of Fairyland. While the latter plot is a fairytale with many nonsense elements and poems, similar to Carroll’s Alice books, the story set in Victorian Britain is a social novel, with its characters discussing various concepts and aspects of religion, society, philosophy and morality. This book is the first of two volumes and the two intertwining stories are brought to a close in the second volume, Sylvie and Bruno Concluded.

By: Lord George Gordon Byron (1788-1824)

Manfred by Lord George Gordon Byron Manfred

Manfred is a dramatic poem in three acts by Lord Byron, and possibly a self confessional work. A noble, Manfred, is haunted by the memory of some unspeakable crime. In seeking for forgetfulness and oblivion, he wanders between his castle and the mountains. He has several encounters with the people who try to assist him, as well as spirits that rule nature and human destiny. The poem explores themes of morality, religion, guilt and the human condition.

By: Lorenzo Da Ponte (1749-1838)

Book cover Don Juan

Don Juan (Spanish), Don Giovanni (Italian) is a legendary, fictional libertine. Although the various iterations of the Don Juan myth show some variation, the basic story remains the same. Don Juan is portrayed as a wealthy, seductive libertine who devotes his life to seducing women, taking great pride in his ability to seduce women of all ages and stations in life. Don Giovanni, an opera composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart with libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte, is arguably the best-known version. First performed in Prague in 1787, it inspired works by E...

By: Louisa May Alcott

Comic Tragedies by Louisa May Alcott Comic Tragedies

Fans of Louisa May Alcott's Little Women will remember the elaborate plays which the March sisters loved to perform. This volume, published after Alcott's death, is a compilation of the real plays written by her and her sisters, which were fictionalized in Little Women.

By: Lucy Maud Montgomery (1874-1942)

Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery Anne of Green Gables

Montgomery’s literary classic recounts the exciting adventures undertaken by the fiery eleven-year-old Anne Shirley, an orphan girl accidentally adopted by middle aged siblings Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert. A coming-of-age novel, Anne of Green Gables focuses on Anne’s new life at Green Gables farm in Avonlea and her adjustment into the Prince Edward Island community. The story launches when the aging siblings Matthew and Marilla decide that they could use an extra hand around their farm, and believe that adopting an orphan boy would be an appropriate solution...

Anne of the Island by Lucy Maud Montgomery Anne of the Island

Anne of the Island is the third book in the Anne of Green Gables series following the adventures of its heroine Anne Shirley as she leaves for Redmond College in the busy city of Kingsport to study for her bachelor’s degree. The third installment in the series sees the beloved protagonist experience new adventures and challenges outside the familiar setting of Avonlea. The novel kicks off when Anne decides to pursue her dream of a higher education, and subsequently leaves her two year teaching position at the school in Avonlea and begins her studies at Redmond College...

Anne of Avonlea by Lucy Maud Montgomery Anne of Avonlea

If you've read and loved Anne of Green Gables you will surely be delighted to follow Anne's further adventures in Anne of Avonlea. In this sequel, we find Anne Shirley teaching in Avonlea School though she continues her studies at home with Gilbert Blythe. Lucy Maud Montgomery first published the best selling Anne of Green Gables in 1908. Enthused by the amazing success of this account of a young orphan girl who arrives by mistake on Prince Edward Island, Canada, the author followed it up with five more sequels, tracing Anne's career and life...

Chronicles of Avonlea by Lucy Maud Montgomery Chronicles of Avonlea

A collection of short stories first published in 1912, the book focuses on events occurring in the popular fictional village of Avonlea, which is notorious as the hometown of Anne Shirley. Comprised of 12 short stories, the Chronicles of Avonlea present a different view of the town, with the introduction of many new gripping characters, which prove to be just as endearing as their most renowned resident. Tales of everyday snippets of life proving to be humorous, identifiable, and heartwarming, the collection is an effective reinvigoration to the classic setting...

Further Chronicles of Avonlea by Lucy Maud Montgomery Further Chronicles of Avonlea

Further Chronicles of Avonlea is a collection of short stories by L.M. Montgomery and is a sequel to Chronicles of Avonlea. Published in 1920, it includes a number of stories relating to the inhabitants of the fictional Canadian village of Avonlea and its region, located on Prince Edward Island. The book was published without the permission of L.M. Montgomery, and was formed from stories she had decided not to publish in the earlier Chronicles of Avonlea. Montgomery sued her publishers, L.C. Page & Co, and won $18,000 in damages after a legal battle lasting nearly nine years.

Book cover Kilmeny of the Orchard (version 2 Dramatic Reading)

A short and sweet romance by the author of "Anne of Green Gables", Kilmeny of the Orchard is a story about a schoolteacher (Eric) who goes to Prince Edward Island and meets a beautiful but mysterious girl. Who is she? Why doesn't she speak? Why don't her guardians ever let her out? As Eric explores the answers to these questions, he slowly but surely falls in love with the mysterious girl. Will she ever speak to him?

By: Luigi Pirandello (1867-1936)

Book cover Henry IV, A Tragedy in Three Acts

A talented actor and historian falls off his horse in a historical pageant while playing the role of Henry IV. When he comes to, he believes himself to be Henry. For the next twenty years his nephew, Count de Nolli, funds an elaborate hoax in a remote villa, where actors play the roles of Henry's privy councillors and simulate the 11th century court.On request from his dying mother, de Nolli brings a Doctor referred to as the latest in a succession to try to cure Henry (whose real name, if it is not Henry, is never mentioned). All the action of the play occurs in this one day of the visit.

By: Mark Twain (1835-1910)

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

If ever there was a story written based unabashedly on adventure and trouble, this is it. There are treasure hunts and murderers on the run in this book that will keep you spellbound. Tom and his half-brother, Sid, lived with their aunt, Polly. Tom was a boisterous young fellow who constantly found himself in rather awkward situations that landed him into trouble. These situations were however exceedingly hilarious. On one occasion, Tom dirtied his clothes in a fight and his punishment was to whitewash the fence the following day...

1601: Conversation, as it was by the Social Fireside, in the Time of the Tudors by Mark Twain 1601: Conversation, as it was by the Social Fireside, in the Time of the Tudors

An atypical piece of writing by Mark Twain, the short bawdy skit documents a conversion between Queen Elizabeth and several notable writers of the time, including Sir Walter Raleigh, Francis Beaumont, Ben Jonson, and William Shakespeare. Despite first being published in 1880, the piece remained anonymous for a period of time, until it was later acknowledged by Twain in 1901 as his own. Comprised of humor, descriptive imagery, ribald connotations, and vulgar language, the faux conversation is simultaneously humorous and repulsing, but nonetheless a wonder for its satirical precision...

By: Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (1797-1851)

Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Frankenstein

A precursor to gothic literature and science fiction genres, Frankenstein is a novel fuming with imagination as it depicts a well known horror story. Shelly’s gothic fiction is written in epistolary form as a means of correspondence between the failed writer Robert Walton and his sister, while he is away on a dangerous expedition in search of fame. Some major themes explored in the gothic classic are the fallibility of ambition and knowledge, revenge, prejudice, isolation, and the imperfections of society...

By: Molière

Tartuffe by Molière Tartuffe

Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, known by his stage name Molière, was a French playwright and actor who is considered to be one of the greatest masters of comedy in Western literature. Among Molière's best-known works is Tartuffe or The Hypocrite, written in 1664. Though Tartuffe was received well by the public and even by Louis XIV, its popularity was lessened when the Archbishop of Paris issued an edict threatening excommunication for anyone who watched, performed in, or read the play.Tartuffe, a pious fraud who pretends to speak with divine authority, has insinuated himself into the household of Orgon...

By: Moliere (1622-1673)

Book cover The Imaginary Invalid

The Imaginary Invalid is a three-act comédie-ballet by the French playwright Molière. It was first performed in 1673 and was the last work he wrote. The plot centers around Argan, the 'imaginary invalid' who is completely dependent on his doctors and wants to marry his daughter to a doctor against her will, so that he will always have medical care freely available to him. In an ironic twist of fate, Molière collapsed during his fourth performance as Argan on 17 February and died soon after.

By: Myrtle Reed (1874-1911)

A Spinner in the Sun (dramatic reading) by Myrtle Reed A Spinner in the Sun (dramatic reading)

Myrtle Reed may always be depended upon to write a story in which poetry, charm, tenderness and humor are combined into a clever and entertaining book. Her characters are delightful and she always displays a quaint humor of expression and a quiet feeling of pathos which give a touch of active realism to all her writings. In "A Spinner in the Sun" she tells an old-fashioned love story, of a veiled lady who lives in solitude and whose features her neighbors have never seen. There is a mystery at the heart of the book that throws over it the glamour of romance.

By: Nahum Tate (1652-1715)

The History of King Lear by Nahum Tate The History of King Lear

The History of King Lear is an adaptation by Nahum Tate of William Shakespeare's King Lear. It first appeared in 1681, some seventy-five years after Shakespeare's version, and is believed to have replaced Shakespeare's version on the English stage in whole or in part until 1838. Unlike Shakespeare's tragedy, Tate's play has a happy ending, with Lear regaining his throne, Cordelia marrying Edgar, and Edgar joyfully declaring that "truth and virtue shall at last succeed." Regarded as a tragicomedy, the play has five acts, as does Shakespeare's, although the number of scenes is different, and the text is about eight hundred lines shorter than Shakespeare's...

By: Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde The Picture of Dorian Gray

A novel that disturbs you 160 years after it first appeared in print, The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, has so much relevance and resonance even today. Dorian Gray is a strikingly handsome young man whose beauty attracts a debauched aristocrat Sir Henry Wotton. Dorian's picture has been painted by a talented artist Basil Hallward and Sir Henry becomes desperate to meet Dorian, though Basil himself is against it. Sir Henry persuades Dorian to pose for a picture painted by Basil and during the painting sessions, Henry “educates” the young and impressionable Dorian about life...

The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde The Importance of Being Earnest

A wealthy philanthropist adopts an abandoned baby he finds in a railway station waiting room. The child grows into a fine, upstanding young man. When his benefactor dies, he is made the guardian of the old man's lovely young daughter. But unknown to everyone, he leads a double life that even his best friend knows nothing about... If you thought that this has all the makings of a most sinister and diabolical plot, you couldn't be more mistaken. The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde is a light as a feather confection, full of mischief, fun and laughter! Written in 1894, this was Wilde's last play...

An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde An Ideal Husband

This story opens at a fashionable dinner party in Sir Robert Chiltern's home in the heart of London's stylish Grosvenor Square. One of Lady Chiltern's old school-friends, Mrs. Cheveley, a woman with a dubious past, accosts Sir Robert and threatens to expose a financial crime that he had once participated in, unless he agrees to finance a fraudulent construction project that she's promoting. Lady Chiltern is astounded when her husband who had been the severest critic of this project suddenly begins to speak in its favor...

The Happy Prince and Other Tales by Oscar Wilde The Happy Prince and Other Tales

The Happy Prince and Other Tales (also sometimes called The Happy Prince and Other Stories) is an 1888 collection of stories for children by Oscar Wilde. It is most famous for The Happy Prince, the short tale of a metal statue who befriends a migratory bird. Together, they bring happiness to others, in life as well as in death. The stories included in this collection are:The Happy PrinceThe Nightingale and the RoseThe Selfish GiantThe Devoted FriendThe Remarkable RocketThe stories convey an appreciation for the exotic, the sensual and for masculine beauty.

Lady Windermere's Fan by Oscar Wilde Lady Windermere's Fan

Lady Windermere’s Fan: A Play About a Good Woman is a four act comedy by Oscar Wilde, published in 1893. As in some of his other comedies, Wilde satirizes the morals of Victorian society, and attitudes between the sexes. The action centres around a fan given to Lady Windermere as a present by her husband, and the ball held that evening to celebrate her 21st birthday.

Salome by Oscar Wilde Salome

The original 1891 version of the play was in French. Three years later an English translation was published. The play tells in one act the Biblical story of Salome, stepdaughter of the tetrarch Herod Antipas, who, to her stepfather's dismay but to the delight of her mother Herodias, requests the head of Iokanaan (John the Baptist) on a silver platter as a reward for dancing the Dance of the Seven Veils.

A Florentine Tragedy and La Sainte Courtisane by Oscar Wilde A Florentine Tragedy and La Sainte Courtisane

Two short fragments: an unfinished and a lost play. A Florentine Tragedy, left in a taxi (not a handbag), is Wilde’s most successful attempt at tragedy – intense and domestic, with surprising depth of characterisation. It was adapted into an opera by the Austrian composer Alexander Zemlinsky in 1917. La Sainte Courtisane, or The Woman Covered in Jewels explores one of Wilde’s great idées fixes: the paradox of religious hedonism, pagan piety. Both plays, Wildean to their core, revel in the profound sadness that is the fruit of the conflict between fidelity and forbidden love...

A Woman of No Importance by Oscar Wilde A Woman of No Importance

A Woman of No Importance is a play by Irish playwright Oscar Wilde. The play premièred on 19 April 1893 at London's Haymarket Theatre. It is a testimony of Wilde's wit and his brand of dark comedy. It looks in particular at English upper class society and has been reproduced on stages in Europe and North America since his death in 1900.

The Duchess of Padua by Oscar Wilde The Duchess of Padua

Guido Ferranti, a young man, travels to Padua with his friend Ascanio after receiving a mysterious letter from a stranger, claiming to know the true secret of Guido's birth. His plan of revenge goes awry, however, when he falls in love with his enemy's beautiful wife, the Duchess of Padua.

By: Plato (428-347)

The Symposium by Plato The Symposium

The Symposium (Ancient Greek: Συμπόσιον) is a philosophical book written by Plato sometime after 385 BCE. On one level the book deals with the genealogy, nature and purpose of love, on another level the book deals with the topic of knowledge, specifically how does one know what one knows. The topic of love is taken up in the form of a group of speeches, given by a group of men at a symposium or a wine drinking party at the house of the tragedian Agathon at Athens. Plato constructed the Symposium as a story within a story within a story...

By: Rachel Crothers (1878-1958)

Book cover He and She

A feminist drama that gained considerable critical and commercial success when it originally ran on Broadway. The play is about a husband and wife who also happen to be artists. A socially conscious battle of the sexes ensues over professional jealousy and whether the woman's place in the home should be thrown over for occupational dreams.

By: Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751-1816)

The Rivals by Richard Brinsley Sheridan The Rivals

The play is set in Bath in the 18th century, a town legendary for conspicuous consumption and fashion at the time. Wealthy, fashionable people went there to "take the waters", which were believed to have healing properties. The plot centres on the two young lovers, Lydia and Jack. Lydia, who reads a lot of popular novels of the time, wants a purely romantic love affair. To court her, Jack pretends to be "Ensign Beverley", a poor officer. Lydia is enthralled with the idea of eloping with a poor soldier in spite of her guardian, Mrs...

By: Richard Harding Davis (1864-1916)

Miss Civilization by Richard Harding Davis Miss Civilization

Miss Civilization, a one act comedy, tells the story of a young woman who matches wits with three burglars attempting to rob her house.

By: Robert Browning (1812-1889)

Pippa Passes by Robert Browning Pippa Passes

Pippa Passes was a dramatic piece, as much play as poetry, by Robert Browning published in 1841 as the first volume of his Bells and Pomegranates series. The author described the work as the first of a series of dramatic pieces. His original idea was of a young, innocent girl, moving unblemished through the crime-ridden neighbourhoods of Asolo. The work caused outrage when it was first published, due to the matter-of-fact portrayals of many of the area’s more disreputable characters – notably the adulterous Ottima – and for its frankness on sexual matters...

By: Rupert Hughes (1872-1956)

Book cover Excuse Me! (Dramatic Reading)

What happens when a mix of lovers get stuck together on a coast-to-coast train? Mainly hilarity. There is every kind of couple imaginable. One serviceman and his bride-to-be are trying desperately to get married but can't find a clergyman to perform the rites. They don't know that right in their midst is a preacher disguised as a man of the world so he and his wife can enjoy a carefree vacation. Then there is a drunk mourning his separation from the wife who just happens to be on the same train. There is even a confirmed bachelor who discovers that a confirmed spinster is his long-lost love from years ago...

By: Ruth Plumly Thompson (1891-1976)

The Royal Book of Oz by Ruth Plumly Thompson The Royal Book of Oz

The Royal Book of Oz (1921) is the fifteenth in the series of Oz books, and the first to be written by Ruth Plumly Thompson after L. Frank Baum’s death. Although Baum was credited as the author, it was written entirely by Thompson. The Scarecrow is upset when Professor Wogglebug tells him that he has no family, so he goes to where Dorothy Gale found him to trace his “roots.” Then he vanishes from the face of Oz. Dorothy and the Cowardly Lion mount a search for their friend, but when that is successful, they will need to become a rescue party!

By: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930)

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 Hound of the Baskervilles (dramatic reading) by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle The Hound of the Baskervilles (dramatic reading)

The Hound of the Baskervilles is the third of four crime novels by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle featuring the detective Sherlock Holmes. Originally serialised in The Strand Magazine from August 1901 to April 1902, it is set largely on Dartmoor in Devon in England's West Country and tells the story of an attempted murder inspired by the legend of a fearsome, diabolical hound.

Book cover Return of Sherlock Holmes (version 2 Dramatic Reading)

The Return of Sherlock Holmes is set three years after the detective fell to his death in the Reichenbach Falls in his final struggle with Moriarty. Or did he? In the first story of the series Holmes explains to Watson what really happened that day, followed by twelve more adventures of the dynamic duo including two of Doyle's own favourite stories: The Dancing Men and The Second Stain. Other notable characters in this book include Black Peter and Charles Augustus Milverton. Watson: Cori SamuelHolmes:...

By: Sophocles (c. 497 BC - c. 406 BC)

Oedipus Rex by Sophocles Oedipus Rex

Oedipus the King (often known by the Latin title Oedipus Rex) is an Athenian tragedy by Sophocles that was first performed c. 429 BC. It was the second of Sophocles's three Theban plays to be produced, but it comes first in the internal chronology, followed by Oedipus at Colonus and then Antigone. Over the centuries, it has come to be regarded by many as the Greek tragedy par excellence.

Antigone by Sophocles Antigone

This is the final installment in Sophocles's Theban Plays, following Oedipus Rex and Oedipus at Colonus. Oedipus's daughter Antigone deliberately breaks the laws of Thebes when she buries her brother's body and is sentenced to death. She clashes with Creon, the King of Thebes, over what constitutes justice and morality: the laws of the state or the laws of the individual.

Oedipus at Colonus by Sophocles Oedipus at Colonus

This is the second installment in Sophocles's Theban Plays that chronicles the tragic fates of Oedipus and his family. After fulfilling the prophecy that predicted he would kill his father and marry his mother, Oedipus blinds himself and leaves Thebes, to wander in the wilderness accompanied by his daughters Antigone and Ismene.

Book cover Electra

Sophocles' play dramatizes the aftermath of Agamemnon's murder by his wife Clytemnestra and her lover Aegisthus. His daughter Electra is hungry for revenge and longs for the return of her brother Orestes to help her achieve her ends.

Book cover Philoctetes

Sophocles' play recounts an episode from the Trojan War, in which the wily Odysseus and Achilles' son Neoptolemus travel to a remote island to persuade Philoctetes to come with them to Troy. A prophet has foreseen that the Greeks will need Philoctetes and his bow (given to him by Heracles before his death) in order to defeat the Trojans. The problem is that years before Odysseus had engineered Philoctetes' abandonment on the island, due to a festering, stinking wound he had received from a snakebite. Will Philoctetes forgive and forget, or will he take his revenge?

By: Stanley Houghton (1881-1913)

Book cover Hindle Wakes (with accompanying essay)

Alan Jeffcote, son of Nat Hawthorn, Hindle's richest factory owner, meets Fanny Hawthorn, daughter of Nat's 'slasher' and oldest friend, in Blackpool and the two go off for what they believe to be secret fling in Llandudno. But after the death of Fanny's friend, Mary, in a pleasure boat accident at Blackpool the secret is revealed and the the two families are thrown into disarray. The leading light of the so-called Manchester School of realist dramatists, Stanley Houghton wrote Hindle Wakes in 1911 and it was a hit both in Mrs...

By: Susan Glaspell (1876-1948)

Book cover Trifles

On the surface, this short play is a slice-of-life story about a murder investigation in the rural United States. However, it is also a story about the relationships between men and women, husbands and wives, and the often-overlooked "trifles" which can say so much about a person's life.

Inheritors by Susan Glaspell Inheritors

Inheritors, (1921) by American dramatist Susan Glaspell concerns the legacy of an idealistic farmer who wills his highly coveted midwest farmland to the establishment of a college (Act I.) Forty years later, when his granddaughter stands up for the rights of Hindu nationals to protest at the college her grandfather founded, she jeopardizes funding for the college itself and sets herself against her own uncle, president of the institution's trustees (Acts II & III.) Ultimately, she defies her family's wishes, and as a consequence is bound for prison herself (Act IV...

By: Thomas Kyd (1558-1594)

The Spanish Tragedy by Thomas Kyd The Spanish Tragedy

The Spanish Tragedy, or Hieronimo is Mad Again is an Elizabethan tragedy written by Thomas Kyd between 1582 and 1592. Highly popular and influential in its time, The Spanish Tragedy established a new genre in English theatre, the revenge play or revenge tragedy. Its plot contains several violent murders and includes as one of its characters a personification of Revenge. The Spanish Tragedy was often referred to (or parodied) in works written by other Elizabethan playwrights, including William Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, and Christopher Marlowe...

By: Thomas Louis Buvelot Esson (1878-1943)

Book cover Time is Not Yet Ripe

Thomas Louis Buvelot Esson (1878 - 1943) was an Australian poet, journalist and playwright. He was born in Edinburgh but moved to Melbourne, Australia when he was three. He attended the University of Melbourne and began working as a journalist and playwright soon after. His best known work is the political comedy, The Time is Not Yet Ripe, first performed in 1912. It has since come to be acknowledged as an Australian classic, and has often been revived.

By: Thomas Love Peacock (1785-1866)

Book cover Headlong Hall

Headlong Hall is the first novel by Thomas Love Peacock, published in 1815 (dated 1816). As in his later novel Crotchet Castle, Peacock assembles a group of eccentrics, each with a single monomaniacal obsession, and derives humor and social satire from their various interactions and conversations. The setting is the country estate of Squire Harry Headlong Ap-Rhaiader, Esq. in Wales.

By: Thomas Middleton (1580-1627)

Book cover Women Beware Women

Thomas Middleton's masterful 17th century tragedy is packed with adultery, incest, intrigue, revenge, and inventive methods for murder. Leantio elopes with Bianca against her family's wishes and tries to hide her in the house he shares with his widowed mother. Yet the Duke sees Bianca at the window and is powerfully attracted to her, threatening Leantio's security. Livia, a wealthy widow, delights in intrigue, aiding the Duke to satisfy his desires with Bianca, and bringing together her brother Hippolito with her niece Isabella, despite their familial relationship...

By: Thomas Middleton and Thomas Dekker

Book cover The Roaring Girl

The Roaring Girl is a rip-roaring Jacobean comedy co-written by Thomas Middleton and Thomas Dekker and first published in 1611. The play is a fictionalized dramatization of the life of Mary Frith, known as "Moll Cutpurse", a woman who had gained a reputation as a virago in the early 17th century. (The term "roaring girl" was adapted from the slang term "roaring boy", which was applied to a young man who caroused publicly, brawled, and committed petty crimes.) The play combines the exploits of the cross-dressed Moll with the amorous adventures of a trio of merchants' wives, and the forbidden romance between Sebastian Wengrave and Mary Fitzallard.

By: Thornton W. Burgess (1874-1965)

The Adventures of Mr. Mocker by Thornton W. Burgess The Adventures of Mr. Mocker

When an innocent blue jay starts talking in his sleep, it’s up to him to find out what’s going on in this fun, naturalistic, Southern-style children’s story.

The Adventures of Jerry Muskrat by Thornton W. Burgess The Adventures of Jerry Muskrat

Join us as we follow Jerry Muskrat and his friends on an adventure to discover what is threatening their homeland; The Laughing Brook and The Smiling Pool.

Book cover Adventures of Danny Meadow Mouse (dramatic reading)

Danny begins his tale regretting the length of his tail until he is corrected by Mr. Toad. Then he has a series of stalkings by Reddy and Granny Fox. He is captured by Hooty the Owl and escapes mid-flight to Peter Rabbit's briar patch. Peter goes to Farmer Brown's peach orchard and gets caught in a snare and barely escapes himself. Finally Danny gets trapped in a tin can and must use his wits to escape Reddy Fox again.

By: Unknown

One-Act Play Collection by Unknown One-Act Play Collection

One-Act Play Collection includes 6 one-act plays in the public domain.

Everyman by Unknown Everyman

The Somonyng of Everyman (The Summoning of Everyman), usually referred to simply as Everyman, is a late 15th-century English morality play. Like John Bunyan's novel Pilgrim's Progress, Everyman examines the question of Christian salvation by use of allegorical characters, and what Man must do to attain it. The premise is that the good and evil deeds of one's life will be tallied by God after death, as in a ledger book. The play is the allegorical accounting of the life of Everyman, who represents all mankind...

The Drama: A Quarterly Review by Unknown The Drama: A Quarterly Review

This is a collection of theatrical essays from the American quarterly The Drama, including six non-fiction works -- 3 profiles: Schnitzler, Andreyev, and O'Neill, and 3 articles: Characterization vs Situation, The Actor in England, & The Evolution of The Actor.

By: Upton Sinclair (1878-1968)

The Machine by Upton Sinclair The Machine

Upton Sinclair is best known for his novel The Jungle, an expose of the meatpacking industry. He was also a playwright whose works for the stage reflected the same progressive viewpoints found in his other writing. In The Machine, published as part of Sinclair's 1912 collection Plays of Protest, Socialist activists show a rich man's daughter the truth about the society in which she has been raised.

By: Various

One-Act Play Collection 003 by Various One-Act Play Collection 003

This collection of ten one-act dramas features plays by Edward Goodman, Alice Gerstenberg, Arnold Bennett, John Galsworthy, Anton Chekhov, Frank Wedekind, Moliere, Theresa Helburn, John Kendrick Bangs, and Harold Brighouse.

One-Act Play Collection 002 by Various One-Act Play Collection 002

This collection of eight one-act dramas features plays by Eugene O'Neill, George Bernard Shaw, John Galsworthy, Susan Glaspell, William Dean Howells and John Millington Synge. It also includes a dramatic reading of a short story by Frank Richard Stockton.

One Act Play Collection 004 by Various One Act Play Collection 004

This collection of twelve one-act dramas features plays by James Allen, John Kendrick Bangs, Gordon Bottomley, Charles Dickens, Lord Dunsany, Susan Glaspell, George Bernard Shaw, August Strindberg, Marion Craig Wentworth, and William Butler Yeats. The plays were coordinated by Elizabeth Barr, Margaret Espaillat, Amanda Friday, Elizabeth Klett, Kristingj, David Lawrence, Algy Pug, Todd, and Chuck Williamson.

By: Victor Hugo (1802-1885)

Book cover Mary Tudor

If Queen Mary I of England wants something, you'd better not try and stop her, or else you might soon find yourself without a head! When this hot-headed young Royal's new favourite courtier, an Italian gentleman named Fabiano Fabiani who has already made himself very unpopular with the court, is caught sneaking around with another girl - a commoner no less! - the Queen begins to plan her revenge in the only way suitable for a Queen. Narrator: balaMary I of England: Kristin GjerløwJane Talbot:...

By: William Congreve (1670 -1729)

The Way of the World by William Congreve The Way of the World

The Way of the World is a play written by British playwright William Congreve. It premiered in 1700 in the theatre in Lincoln's Inn Fields in London. It is widely regarded as being one of the best Restoration comedies written and is still performed sporadically to this day.The play is based around the two lovers Mirabell and Millamant (originally famously played by John Verbruggen and Anne Bracegirdle). In order for the two to get married and receive Millamant's full dowry, Mirabell must receive the blessing of Millamant's aunt, Lady Wishfort...

By: William Dean Howells (1837-1920)

Five O'Clock Tea by William Dean Howells Five O'Clock Tea

A light-hearted romantic comedy in twelve short scenes, set during a tea party in the home of Mrs. Amy Somers, a widow who is courted by the ingenuous and delightful Mr. Willis Campbell.

By: William S. Gilbert (1836-1911)

The Pirates of Penzance by William S. Gilbert The Pirates of Penzance

The Pirates of Penzance; or, The Slave of Duty is a comic opera in two acts, with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert. The story concerns Frederic, who, having completed his 21st year, is released from his apprenticeship to a band of tender-hearted pirates. He meets Mabel, the daughter of Major-General Stanley, and the two young people fall instantly in love. Frederic finds out, however, that he was born on 29 February, and so, technically, he only has a birthday each leap year...

By: William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet

William Shakespeare’s most well-known play is more than most people realize. While it is the story of star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet, it is also the story of two families in the middle of a bitter feud. Many people avoid the story because they believe it will be too difficult to read, but this is not true at all. Within a few paragraphs, the play captures your imagination and attention. Juliet is 13 years old and is love with the son of her father’s enemy. Her father has promised that she will marry another boy when it is time, but she refuses to accept the suit...

Shakespeare Monologues by William Shakespeare Shakespeare Monologues

This is truly a delightful compilation of some of the best known and loved passages from William Shakespeare's plays. Most readers would be familiar with all or at least some of them. If you've studied Shakespeare in school or college, plays like The Merchant of Venice and Macbeth were probably assigned texts. However, if you haven't encountered these plays before, Shakespeare Monologues is a great volume to browse through and enjoy at leisure. It's important to know that there is a distinction between the terms “monologue” and “soliloquy...

King Lear by William Shakespeare King Lear

Considered to be one of Shakespeare's greatest plays, the tragedy King Lear portrays some of the darkest aspects of human nature that can be found in literature. The helplessness of the human condition, as we fall prey to our destinies, the injustice and random cruelties practiced by people, suffering and humiliation, the lust for power and the greed for wealth are all depicted in this magnificent play. And through it all, runs the golden thread of love and sacrifice, daughterly affection and the true nature of our relationship with our parents...

A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare A Midsummer Night's Dream

Summer nights, romance, music, comedy, pairs of lovers who have yet to confess their feelings to each other, comedy and more than a touch of magic are all woven into one of Shakespeare's most delightful and ethereal creations – A Midsummer Night's Dream. The plot is as light and enchanting as the settings themselves. The Duke of Athens is busy with preparations for his forthcoming wedding to Hippolyta the Amazonian Queen. In the midst of this, Egeus, an Athenian aristocrat marches in, flanked by his lovely daughter Hermia and her two suitors, Lysander and Demetrius...

The Tragedy of Macbeth by William Shakespeare The Tragedy of Macbeth

Right from its famous opening scene which begins, “Thunder and lightning. Enter Three Witches” The Tragedy of Macbeth by William Shakespeare holds the reader fast in a stirring, monumental experience that plumbs the depths of the human soul and reveals its most morbid secrets. The play is set in medieval Scotland. It is based partly on historical facts and recounts the tale of Macbeth, who was a king in Scotland, according to The Holinshead Chronicles, a book published in 1577. This book was extensively used by contemporary playwrights like Shakespeare and Marlowe as inspiration for their themes, characters and events...

As You Like It by William Shakespeare As You Like It

In a tiny French dukedom, a younger brother usurps his elder brother's throne. Duke Senior is banished to the Forest of Arden along with his faithful retainers, leaving his lovely daughter Rosalind behind to serve as a companion for the usurper's daughter, Celia. However, the outspoken Rosalind soon earns her uncle's wrath and is also condemned to exile. The two cousins decide to flee together and join Duke Senior in the forest. Meanwhile, a young nobleman, Orlando is thrown out of his home by his cruel older brother Oliver...

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.


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