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By: Edgar Allan Poe

Two Poe Tales by Edgar Allan Poe Two Poe Tales

Edgar Allan Poe is best known for his famous short horror stories; however, horror is not the only genre in which he wrote. How To Write a Blackwood Article and its companion piece A Predicament are satirical works exploring the pieces of the formula generally seen in short horror stories (”articles”) found in the Scottish periodical “Blackwood’s Magazine” and the successful misapplication of said formula by – horrors! – a woman author! – respectively.

By: H. Rider Haggard (1856-1925)

She by H. Rider Haggard She

A timeless classic of fantasy literature, She is recognized as the groundwork for the lost world literary sub- genre. First published serially in The Graphic magazine from 1886 to 1887, the novel has reached critical acclaim with approximately 100 million copies sold and is regarded as one of the best-selling books of all time. Exploring themes of imperialism, lost civilization, female authority and psyche, the novel also serves as a mirror to reflect Victorian issues such as gender and race. ...

The Ivory Child by H. Rider Haggard The Ivory Child

Allan Quatermain's first adventure with Lord Ragnall. (Introduction by laineyben)

By: George MacDonald

Lilith by George MacDonald Lilith

A fantasy novel first published in 1895, Lilith follows a young man on his inter-dimensional journey of spiritual discovery, as he acquaints himself with his family’s past and unearths a life-changing secret. Moreover, it deals with the introspection of its protagonist, as he is hurled into a mysterious setting where he encounters bizarre creatures that challenge the validity of his temporal values. Examining issues including the essence of life, wisdom, death, redemption, and salvation, the novel presents a masterfully woven plot that marks the piece as one of MacDonald’s darkest and most intense contributions to the fantasy genre...

The Day Boy and the Night Girl by George MacDonald The Day Boy and the Night Girl

First appearing in Harper’s Young People as a serial, the piece focuses on the extraordinary tale of a young boy and a girl who have been brought up in a secluded and controlled environment by a wicked witch, incognizant of the world outside of their custom tailored settings. Enriched with magic, fantasy, romance, and allegory, The Day Boy and the Night Girl is a great instance of MacDonald’s excellent use of metaphors to express a deeper meaning to a seemingly simple fairy tale. The novel begins with the introduction of Watho, a wicked witch who has an insatiable thirst for knowledge...

The Princess and Curdie by George MacDonald The Princess and Curdie

The Princess and Curdie is the sequel to The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald. It’s been a year since the Princess Irene and Curdie first met, and a year since the goblin incident and all appears to be going well in the Kingdom. Or is it? After a visit from Irene’s great-great-grandmother, Curdie finds himself on a mission to save the kingdom, with a rather strange companion in tow.

The Shadows by George MacDonald The Shadows

“Old Ralph Rinkelmann made his living by comic sketches, and all but lost it again by tragic poems. So he was just the man to be chosen king of the fairies…” George MacDonald (December 10, 1824 – September 18, 1905) was a Scottish author, poet, and Christian minister. Though no longer well known, his works (particularly his fairy tales and fantasy novels) have inspired admiration in such notables as W. H. Auden, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Madeleine L’Engle. The Shadows is one such fairy tale...

Phantastes by George MacDonald Phantastes

A young man named Anodos experiences dream-like adventures in Fairy Land, where he meets tree-spirits, endures the presence of the overwhelming shadow, journeys to the palace of the fairy queen, and searches for the spirit of the earth. The story conveys a profound sadness and a poignant longing for death. (Brad Powers)

Book cover The Cruel Painter

This is the story of a daring college student's quest to win the icy heart of a beautiful girl. Unfortunately, the girl is the daughter of a cunning and sadistic master artist, who takes the student as an apprentice with the express intent of torturing the youth with his own hopeless love. The story is set in late 16 century Prague, amid mysterious happenings and the terrifying rumors of a vampire on the loose.

By: Voltaire (1694-1778)

Candide by Voltaire Candide

A picaresque novel written by French satirical polemicist and philosopher Voltaire, Candide blatantly attacks the ideology of philosopher Leibniz. Candide follows the series of unfortunate events encountered by the young, yet blindly optimistic Candide. Shifting from one adventure to the next, Voltaire’s signature piece does not cease to grip its audience with its humorous criticism of power, wealth, love, religion, philosophy and especially optimism. The novel begins with the introduction of the protagonist Candide, who lives in the castle of an influential German Baron, along with the Baron’s daughter Cunégonde, and tutor Dr...

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: Jacob & Wilhelm Grimm (1785-1863; 1786-1859)

Grimms' Fairy Tales by Jacob & Wilhelm Grimm Grimms' Fairy Tales

Talking animals, wicked stepmothers, valiant tailors, cruel witches! Sixty-two stories that feature familiar figures like Hansel and Gretel, Rapunzel, Rumplestiltskin, The Twelve Dancing Princesses and Snow-White and Rose Red as well as lesser-known characters like The White Snake, Sweetheart Roland and Clever Elsie are contained in this volume of Grimms' Fairy Tales by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. The original volume published in 1812 contained more than 85 tales and this number kept increasing till it got to the seventh edition which contained more than two hundred stories...

By: Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)

Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift Gulliver's Travels

Comprised of four parts, Gulliver’s Travels documents the bizarre, yet fascinating voyages of Lemuel Gulliver as he makes his way through several uncharted destinations, experiencing the lives of the small, the giant, the scientific, and downright eccentric societies. Narrated in first person, Swift successfully portrays Gulliver’s thoughts and reactions as he faces struggles of integration throughout his travels. Beginning with the introduction of Gulliver, an educated ship’s surgeon, who after a series of unfortunate events is victim to repeated shipwrecks, desertions, and set adrift...

By: Edith Nesbit (1858-1924)

The Enchanted Castle by Edith Nesbit The Enchanted Castle

A children’s fantasy novel first published in 1907, The Enchanted Castle recounts the marvelous adventures encountered by a curious group of children searching to enliven their summer holiday. Written in episodes, the novel has a different adventure in store for its young heroes in each chapter, including vibrant statues, banquets with Greek gods, and reunited lovers. The novel begins when siblings Gerald, James and Kathleen are required to spend their summer holiday in a boarding school, due to unfortunate events at home and are consequently left under the supervision of a French schoolmistress...

The Story of the Treasure Seekers by Edith Nesbit The Story of the Treasure Seekers

The six Bastable children are plunged into grief when their mother dies and their father's business partner cheats him of all his money. As a result, he loses not only his fortune but also his good name. However, the children decide to lend a hand. Determined to restore both, the children set out to find some way of making money. A variety of amusing and exciting events follow as they plunge into a series of scrapes in search of a legendary lost treasure. Published in 1899, The Story of the Treasure Seekers by E Nesbit was her first children's novel...

Five Children and It by Edith Nesbit Five Children and It

The first book in the Psammead Trilogy, Five Children and It follows the fantastical adventures of five siblings who encounter an outlandish creature with a strange ability to grant wishes. Though the idea of having their wishes brought to life, the children quickly discover that not every wish turns out to be as wondrous as initially believed. The children’s novel offers a generous amount of fantasy, humor, and adventure, as the children are repeatedly subject to wishes gone amusingly awry. The magic begins when playful siblings Robert, Anthea, Cyril, Jane and their baby brother move to the countryside during the summer, not yet aware of the excitement to follow...

The Magic City by Edith Nesbit The Magic City

Philip and Lucy discover that the city Philip has built using toys, books and household objects, has come alive. This is the account of their incredible adventures in those magical lands, where they meet characters from books and history, mythical beasts, and many other nice (and not so nice) people and creatures. As with all Edith Nesbit’s tales, The Magic City has generous helpings of humour, imagination and interesting ideas, as well as the over-arching story of how a boy and girl who have unwillingly become step-brother and sister eventually learn to like each other. A story that works on many levels and will be equally enjoyed by adults and children.

The Wonderful Garden or The Three C.'s by Edith Nesbit The Wonderful Garden or The Three C.'s

Do you believe in magic? Caroline, Charles and Charlotte do, and nothing that happens during their summer holiday at their great uncle's house does anything to diminish that belief. There the Three C.'s find a wonderful garden and some very old books, resulting in escapades which do not necessarily please the grown-ups.E. Nesbit, as usual, transports us back to the hazy summer days of a well-to-do Edwardian childhood, liberally spiced with magic, humour and lessons learned.Published exactly 100 years ago, this is one of her least-known children's books, out of print for many years, and with no text available online at the time of recording...

By: Thornton W. Burgess (1874-1965)

The Adventures of Buster Bear by Thornton W. Burgess The Adventures of Buster Bear

Known to generations of children and their parents as the Bedtime Story Man, Thornton Waldo Burgess wrote nearly two hundred much loved children's books. They were tales that recounted the doings of delightful characters who inhabited the Green Meadow and the Green Forest. Burgess, who was also an ardent conservationist besides being a writer and journalist shared his love of Nature and respect for all beings who share this earth with us. The Adventures of Buster Bear is a fun children's book that helps children understand that animals and the forest deserve respect and it is also a sincere call for responsible conservationism...

By: Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864)

The Marble Faun by Nathaniel Hawthorne The Marble Faun

The Marble Faun is Hawthorne's most unusual romance. Writing on the eve of the American Civil War, Hawthorne set his story in a fantastical Italy. The romance mixes elements of a fable, pastoral, gothic novel, and travel guide. In the spring of 1858, Hawthorne was inspired to write his romance when he saw the Faun of Praxiteles in a Roman sculpture gallery. The theme, characteristic of Hawthorne, is guilt and the Fall of Man. The four main characters are Miriam, a beautiful painter who is compared...

By: William Blake

The First Book of Urizen by William Blake The First Book of Urizen

The Book of Urizen is one of the major prophetic books of the English poet William Blake, illustrated by Blake’s own plates. It was originally published as The First Book of Urizen in 1794. Later editions dropped the word “first”. The book takes its name from the character Urizen in Blake’s mythology, who represents alienated reason as the source of oppression. The book describes Urizen as the “primeaval priest”, and describes how he became separated from the other Eternals to create his own alienated and enslaving realm of religious dogma...

By: Andre Norton (1912-2005)

Storm Over Warlock by Andre Norton Storm Over Warlock

The Throg task force struck the Terran survey camp a few minutes after dawn, without warning, and with a deadly precision which argued that the aliens had fully reconnoitered and prepared that attack. Eye-searing lances of energy lashed back and forth across the base with methodical accuracy. And a single cowering witness, flattened on a ledge in the heights above, knew that when the last of those yellow-red bolts fell, nothing human would be left alive down there. And so Shann Lantee, most menial of the Terrans attached to the camp on the planet Warlock, was left alone and weaponless in the strange, hostile world, the human prey of the aliens from space and the aliens on the ground alike...

By: Joseph Smith Fletcher (1863-1935)

Dead Men's Money by Joseph Smith Fletcher Dead Men's Money

A naïve but sincere young lawyer's assistant who only dreams of marrying his childhood sweetheart and yearns to have a home and family with her. His sharp witted boss keeps the firm going by dint of shrewd business sense and legal talent. When the assistant accidentally stumbles into a murder case, the scene is set for events that change all their lives. Dead Men's Money by Joseph Smith Fletcher was published in 1920, the era considered to be the Golden Age of detective fiction. Writers like Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh, Dorothy L...

By: H. Beam Piper (1904-1961)

Four-Day Planet by H. Beam Piper Four-Day Planet

Fenris isn't a hell planet, but it's nobody's bargain. With 2,000-hour days and an 8,000-hour year, it alternates blazing heat with killing cold. A planet like that tends to breed a special kind of person: tough enough to stay alive and smart enough to make the best of it. When that kind of person discovers he's being cheated of wealth he's risked his life for, that kind of planet is ripe for revolution. (Introduction from the Gutenberg text)

By: Arnold Bennett (1867-1931)

Book cover Ghost: A Modern Fantasy

The novel opens with Carl Foster, a recently qualified doctor, coming to London to try and make his fortune. He meets a famous tenor, Signor Alresca, who suffers a dreadful injury backstage and Foster tends to him. He thus meets the lead soprano, Rosetta Rosa, and falls hopelessly in love with her.Alresca takes Foster under his wing and they travel to Alresca's home in Bruges. It is clear to Foster that Alresca has some strange obsession. Foster also notices a stranger who seems to be dogging his footsteps.Things take an even more sinister turn when Alresca inexplicably dies. . .

By: John Bunyan

The Holy War by John Bunyan The Holy War

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

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...

By: Charles Lamb

The Adventures of Ulysses by Charles Lamb The Adventures of Ulysses

In The Adventures of Ulysses, Charles Lamb re-tells the story of Ulysses’s journey from Troy to his own kingdom of Ithaca. The book uses Homer’s The Odyssey as the basis for the story, but it isn’t a direct translation of the Greek classic. The book is considered a modern version of the epic tale when it was published in 1808. In the preface of the book, Lamb said that he made the narration of the story faster so that more readers would be attracted to it. To begin with, Homer’s Odyssey is already a classic and in re-telling this story, Charles Lamb aimed to make this epic poem more comprehensible to the average person...

By: Hugh Lofting (1886-1947)

The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle

The delightfully eccentric Doctor Dolittle, rendered immortal on screen by the gifted Rex Harrison, has remained a firm favorite with generations of children ever since he made his debut in an earlier novel, The Story of Doctor Dolittle. In his second outing titledThe Voyages of Doctor Dolittle, the maverick physician takes on a new assistant, Tommy Stubbins. The story is structured as a first person account given by Tommy, who is now a very old man. The boy who was the son of the village cobbler first meets Doctor Dolittle when he takes a hurt squirrel to the doctor for treatment...

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: Andrew Lang (1844-1912)

The Pink Fairy Book by Andrew Lang The Pink Fairy Book

All people in the world tell nursery tales to their children, and the stories are apt to be like each other everywhere. A child who has read the Blue and Red and Yellow Fairy Books will find some old friends with new faces in the Pink Fairy Book. Courage, youth, beauty, kindness, have many trials, but they always win the battle; while witches, giants, unfriendly cruel people, are on the losing hand. So it ought to be, and so, on the whole, it is and will be; and that is all the moral of fairy tales...

By: Ayn Rand (1905-1982)

Anthem by Ayn Rand Anthem

The title 'Anthem' is derived as an anthem to sense of self and self-governing thoughts. Anthem is a story of Equality 7-2521 who is a young man living in some unspecified future time and place. In this future era freedom and individual rights have been eradicated. The starring character of the novel is an inquisitive street cleaner. He lives in a society where people have lost their knowledge of individualism, to the extreme that people do not know words like 'I' or 'mine'. All the people live and work for their livelihood in collective groups, along with the people with power, namely the 'Councils'...


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