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By: Edgar Wallace (1875-1932)

The Secret House by Edgar Wallace The Secret House

A stranger and foreigner arrives at the offices of a small publication in London only to be faced by the “editor” whose face is completely swathed in a veil. Nothing is as it seems, and it quickly becomes evident that both are bent on more than lively gossip about the elite. Blackmail and opportunism is the order of the day. When two men are found shot to death outside the door of Mr. Farrington the millionaire who just happens to live a few doors from T. B. Smith, the head of the secret police, the connections to blackmail are not long in coming. Were these men shot by the blackmailer? Who is actually what he seems to be?

Book cover The Man Who Knew
Book cover Bones in London
Book cover The Keepers of the King's Peace

By: Edith Nesbit (1858-1924)

Railway Children by Edith Nesbit Railway Children

A thrilling spy story, a children's adventure, a charming portrait of early twentieth century life in London and the countryside and a heart warming family tale are all combined in this classic of children's literature The Railway Children by E Nesbit. The book has remained on the list of the best-loved children's books ever since it was first published as a serial story in The London Magazine in 1905. Later, it was published in book form and won acclaim from critics and readers across the world for its wonderful elements of character and plot...

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...

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.

Nine Unlikely Tales for Children by Edith Nesbit Nine Unlikely Tales for Children

Nine original and, yes, unlikely fairy-tales, which include stories of the arithmetic fairy, the king who became a charming villa-residence and the dreadful automatic nagging machine. All are classic-Nesbit: charming, novel and not afraid to squeeze in a moral or two — told with proper fairy-tale style. Summary by Cori

The Magic World by Edith Nesbit The Magic World

Talking cats, birds, fish and bells, wicked fairies, uglified princesses – adventure, magic, and more magic. A delightful collection of stories for children of all ages. The Magic World is an influential collection of twelve short stories by E. Nesbit. It was first published in book form in 1912 by Macmillan and Co. Ltd., with illustrations by H. R. Millar and Gerald Spencer Pryse. The stories, previously printed in magazines (like Blackie’s Children’s Annual), are typical of Nesbit’s arch, ironic, clever fantasies for 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 Reddy Fox by Thornton W. Burgess The Adventures of Reddy Fox

These delightful stories created by the writer known famously as the Bedtime Story Man provide hours of endless enjoyment for readers both young and old. His daily newspaper column which he wrote without a break from 1912 through to 1960 featured a host of engaging characters and their lively pranks and doings. In this charmingly illustrated volume, Reddy Fox, the young hero is sent to stay with his grandma. Grandmother Fox is the “wisest, slyest and smartest fox in all the country around” and she takes it upon herself to educate Reddy in the things that every fox should know! Thus begins a battle of wits between Farmer Brown, Farmer Brown's Boy, Reddy and Grandmother Fox...

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...

The Adventures of Jimmy Skunk by Thornton W. Burgess The Adventures of Jimmy Skunk

The Adventures of Jimmy Skunk is another in the long list children’s books by the conservationist, Thornton W. Burgess. In this book, Jimmy Skunk has encounters with Reddy Fox, Peter Rabbit, Unc’ Billy Possum and other acquaintances of his in the Green Meadows and Green Forest. Along the way, we learn some of the habits of Jimmy and his friends and we learn little lessons about life such as the importance of always keeping one’s temper, keeping promises and not playing practical jokes. We are also treated to a philosophical discussion by Jimmy Skunk on the advantages of defensive weaponry.

The Adventures of Paddy Beaver by Thornton W. Burgess The Adventures of Paddy Beaver

The Adventures of Paddy Beaver is another in the long list of children’s books by the conservationist, Thornton W. Burgess. In this book, the industrious and clever Paddy Beaver, a newcomer to the Green Forest, has encounters with Sammy Jay, Jerry Muskrat, Ol’ Man Coyote and other inhabitants of the Green Forest. Along the way, we learn how Paddy builds his dam and his house, and how he stores his food. We also learn little lessons about life, such as the importance of planning before doing, caring for Nature, trusting others, the benefits of working together and how wonderful it is to have a job one can sink one’s teeth into.

Mother West Wind's Children by Thornton W. Burgess Mother West Wind's Children

“You can’t fool old Mother Nature. No, Sir, you can’t fool old Mother Nature, and it’s of no use to try.” The animals of the Green Meadows and Green Forest have little adventures while Grandfather Frog tells stories to Mother West Wind’s children, the Merry Little Breezes.

The Adventures of Johnny Chuck by Thornton W. Burgess The Adventures of Johnny Chuck

The Adventures of Johnny Chuck is another in the long list of children’s books by conservationist Thornton W. Burgess. In this story, it is spring time and a young chuck’s fancy turns to thoughts of … traveling, protecting one’s turf, finding a new home, and yes, love. Along the way, we learn little lessons about life such as there are good and bad kinds of pride, the importance of keeping secrets and that, even in the animal world, the three most important factors in determining the desirability of property are “location, location, location.”

Old Mother West Wind by Thornton W. Burgess Old Mother West Wind

Thornton Waldo Burgess (January 14, 1874 – June 5, 1965) was a conservationist and author of children’s stories. He loved the beauty of nature and its living creatures so much that he wrote about them for 50 years. By the time he retired, he had written more than 170 books. Many of his outdoor observations in nature were used as plots for his stories. In his first book, “Old Mother West Wind,” published in 1910, the reader meets many of the characters found in later books and stories. These...

Mother West Wind 'Why' Stories by Thornton W. Burgess Mother West Wind 'Why' Stories

Thornton W. Burgess was a conservationist and prolific author of children’s books. His gently humorous stories about the animals of the meadows and woods teach little lessons about getting along with others; they are perfect bedtime stories for small children.

By: Dante Alighieri (1265-1321)

The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri The Divine Comedy

The Divine Comedy (Italian: Commedia, later christened “Divina” by Giovanni Boccaccio), written by Dante Alighieri between 1308 and his death in 1321, is widely considered the central epic poem of Italian literature, the last great work of literature of the Middle Ages and the first great work of the Renaissance. A culmination of the medieval world-view of the afterlife, it establishes the Tuscan dialect in which it is written as the Italian standard, and is seen as one of the greatest works of world literature...

By: Julian Hawthorne, editor

Library of the World's Best Mystery and Detective Stories by Julian Hawthorne, editor Library of the World's Best Mystery and Detective Stories

The Library of the World's Best Mystery and Detective Stories is a six-volume edition, which contains one hundred and one tales written by authors as diverse and separated by history as Pliny the Younger (first century AD), Voltaire (17th century) and Guy de Maupassant (19th century) and also from different parts of the world. This volume which is the first, contains twenty interesting stories, and an introduction by the editor. The fascinating aspect of mystery stories is that sometimes the author allows the puzzle to solve itself without expert detective aid, while in other cases, a sleuth bends his or her deductive powers to the mystery...

By: Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778)

A Discourse Upon the Origin and the Foundation of the Inequality Among Mankind by Jean-Jacques Rousseau A Discourse Upon the Origin and the Foundation of the Inequality Among Mankind

This work presents Rousseau’s belief in the profoundly transformational effects of the development of civilization on human nature, which Rousseau claims other political philosophers had failed to grasp. Specifically, before the onset of civilization, according to Rousseau, natural man lived a contented, solitary life, naturally good and happy. It is only with the onset of civilization, Rousseau claims, that humans become social beings, and, concomitant with their civilization, natural man becomes corrupted with the social vices of pride, vanity, greed and servility.

By: Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

Lincoln at Cooper Union by Abraham Lincoln Lincoln at Cooper Union

On 27 February 1860, Abraham Lincoln gave this address at the Cooper Union in New York City. When he gave the speech, Lincoln was considered by many to be just a country lawyer. After he gave the speech, he soon became his party’s nominee for president.

By: Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864)

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne The Scarlet Letter

A beautiful woman who is punished for the mortal sin of loving a man other than her husband, a cowardly lover, a vengeful husband, a rebellious illegitimate child and the oppressive and patriarchal morality of 17th century Puritanism in Boston. Together these form an unforgettable and thought-provoking glimpse of how much social attitudes have changed over the centuries. Nathaniel Hawthorne was the creator of such beloved works as Twice-Told Tales, A Wonder Book for Boys and Girls, The House of the Seven Gables and spine-chilling tales like Roger Malvin's Burial...

Tanglewood Tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne Tanglewood Tales

A sequel to Nathaniel Hawthorne's earlier volume of Greek mythology interpreted and retold for young people, Tanglewood Tales includes more legends and tales of ancient heroes and monsters. In his earlier book, A Wonder-Book for Girls and Boys, Hawthorne had designed the book to be a book within a book. A young college student keeps a group of young children entertained by retelling Greek myths in a way in which they can easily understand. Nathaniel Hawthorne also wrote a brief introduction to Tanglewood Tales, entitled The Wayside...

The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne The House of the Seven Gables

“The wrongdoing of one generation lives into the successive ones and… becomes a pure and uncontrollable mischief.” Hawthorne’s moral for “The House of the Seven Gables,” taken from the Preface, accurately presages his story. The full weight of the gloomy mansion of the title seems to sit on the fortunes of the Pyncheon family. An ancestor took advantage of the Salem witch trials to wrest away the land whereon the house would be raised… but the land’s owner, about to be executed as a wizard, cursed the Pyncheon family until such time as they should make restitution...

Book cover Rappaccini's Daughter

The story is set in Padua in a distant, but unspecified past. From his quarters, Giovanni, a young student of letters, observes Beatrice, the beautiful daughter of Dr. Rappaccini, a scientist working in isolation. Beatrice is confined to the lush and locked gardens filled with poisonous plants by her father. Having fallen in love, Giovanni enters the garden and meets with Beatrice a number of times regardless of the warning of his mentor, Professor Baglioni, that Rappaccini is up to no good and he and his work should be avoided.

The Blithedale Romance by Nathaniel Hawthorne The Blithedale Romance

The Blithedale Romance is the story of four principal characters who work with -- and sometimes against -- each other on Blithedale, a communal farm antecedent to those that sprang up later in the 1960s, and similar to one on which Hawthorne himself lived in 1841. These communes arose out of the pressures on society and the individual brought by the Industrial Revolution. Some were organized around religious philosophies, some were secular. Among the secularists, the Transcendental movement mentioned in the novel espoused the idea that the individual's intuition, rather than religious dogma, was the true path to spiritual enlightenment...

The Great Stone Face and Other Tales of the White Mountains by Nathaniel Hawthorne The Great Stone Face and Other Tales of the White Mountains

A collection of four short stories by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the common theme of which is New Hampshire's White Mountains. Consists of: The Great Stone Face, written in 1850 and revolves around the 'Old Man of the Mountain (Cannon Mtn.) in New Hampshire which sadly collapsed on May 3, 2003; The Ambitious Guest, written in 1835; The Great Carbuncle, written in 1837; and Sketches From Memory, written sometime prior to The Great Carbuncle as will become obvious.

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...

Book cover Mosses from an Old Manse and other stories
Book cover From Twice Told Tales

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