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By: Edith Wharton (1862-1937)

Bunner Sisters by Edith Wharton Bunner Sisters

“Bunner Sisters,” like “The Age of Innocence” is set in 1870s New York, however the lives of Ann Eliza and Evelina Bunner reflect impoverished New York. The sisters run a “very small shop, in a shabby basement, in a sidestreet already doomed to decline.” Shabby as it is, the sisters are happy in their small orderly community of supportive women. The story tells of the destruction of this life, and how the once content sisters are thrown into the realistic world outside of their little shop.

The Glimpses of the Moon by Edith Wharton The Glimpses of the Moon

"The Glimpses of the Moon" (1922) is about Nick and Susy Lansing, both of whom live a decadent life in Europe by sponging off wealthy friends. They marry out of convenience and have an "open" relationship, but are unprepared for where their feelings will take them.

The Fruit of the Tree by Edith Wharton The Fruit of the Tree

When published in 1907, this novel about the lives of a wealthy mill owner, her socially progressive husband and friends caused a stir due to its treatment of drug abuse, mercy killing, divorce and second marriages.

The Touchstone by Edith Wharton The Touchstone

Stephen Glennard's career is falling apart and he desperately needs money so that he may marry his beautiful fiancee. He happens upon an advertisement in a London magazine promising the prospect of financial gain. Glennard was once pursued by Margaret Aubyn, a famous and recently deceased author, and he still has her passionate love letters to him. Glennard removes his name from the letters and sells them, making him a fortune and building a marriage based on the betrayal of another.

Sanctuary by Edith Wharton Sanctuary

Kate Orme, shocked by the discovery of her fiance's complicity in a tragedy, and by society's willingness to overlook such transgressions, nevertheless marries him. Years later, her son faces a moral crisis similar to the one that showed her his father's moral weakness. (Introduction by Christine Dufour)

The Greater Inclination by Edith Wharton The Greater Inclination

This is Edith Wharton's earliest published collection of short stories (1899). Like much of her later work, they touch on themes of marriage, male/female relationships, New York society, and the nature and purpose of art. One of the stories, "The Twilight of the God," is written as a short play. The role of Warland is read by mb, and the role of Oberville by Bruce Pirie.

Crucial Instances by Edith Wharton Crucial Instances

This is Edith Wharton's second published collection of short stories (1901). One of these seven stories, "Copy: A Dialogue," is written as a short play. The role of Hilda is read by Arielle Lipshaw, and the role of Ventnor by Mark F. Smith.

Madame de Treymes by Edith Wharton Madame de Treymes

Edith Wharton's 1907 novella explores the milieu of Americans living abroad in Paris. New Yorker John Durham travels to Paris to woo an old flame, Fanny Frisbee, now the Marquis de Malrive. Fanny is separated from her husband and wants to marry John and return to America, but she doubts whether her Catholic husband will grant her a divorce. When John meets Fanny's sister-in-law, the enigmatic Madame de Treymes, he hopes she may be able to help them in their quest for happiness. (Introduction by Elizabeth Klett)

Book cover Tales of Men and Ghosts

Tales of Men and Ghosts was published as a collection in 1910, though the first eight of the stories had earlier appeared in Scribner's and the last two in the Century Magazine. Despite the title, the men outnumber the ghosts, since only "The Eyes" and "Afterward" actually call on the supernatural. In only two of the stories are women the central characters, though elsewhere they play important roles. Wharton enjoys subjecting her subjects -- all of them American gentlemen and gentlewomen, in the conventional senses of the word -- to various moral tests and sometimes ironic tests...

Book cover The Valley of Decision
Book cover Xingu 1916
Book cover The Triumph Of Night 1916
Book cover The Choice 1916
Book cover Kerfol 1916
Book cover Autres Temps... 1916
Book cover The Long Run 1916

By: Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849)

The Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe The Murders in the Rue Morgue

This story opens with a mother and daughter found brutally murdered inside a locked room in an upstairs apartment on a street in Paris. The police are baffled by both the ferocity of the crime and the lack of clues. Neighbors give conflicting evidence. Two friends are intrigued by the entire situation as reported in the newspapers. They decide to do a little investigating on their own. What they come up with is one of the most shocking and strangest of conclusions. The Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe is perhaps the first modern detective tale, though similar stories by Voltaire and ETA Hoffman did appear a few decades earlier...

Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym by Edgar Allan Poe Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym

Published in 1838, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket is Poe’s only complete novel and concentrates on several sea adventures gone awry. The novel follows Arthur Gordon Pym, who finds himself in the center of gloomy occurrences on board numerous vessels, as his anticipated sea adventure takes a drastic shift in the wind. Shipwreck, starvation, mutiny, near death experiences and cannibalism are just some of the issues endured in the gripping, and at times gruesome novel. The adventure...

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.

Book cover The Fall of the House of Usher

By: James Joyce (1882-1941)

Ulysses by James Joyce Ulysses

Banned in the United States and United Kingdom throughout the 1920s, Ulysses turned conventional ideas of the novel inside out with its bold new form, style and theme. Deeply rooted in the Greek myth of the hero of the Trojan War, Joyce bases his novel on Ulysses or Odysseus, who is doomed to voyage for ten years before returning home to Ithaca. Joyce had been deeply influenced by the Iliad and the Odyssey, which he had read from Charles Lamb's adaptations as a child. In fact, he considered him the epitome of the heroic ideal and constantly thought of giving the myth a new dimension in modern literature...

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

His family name is derived from a Greek craftsman who created the Labyrinth and designed wings for himself and his son to fly away from the island they were imprisoned in. But Stephen Dedalus, the young hero of James Joyce's first novel, is a young man who rises above his baser instincts and seeks a life devoted to the arts. This quintessential coming of age novel describes the early life of Stephen Dedalus. It is set in Ireland during the nineteenth century which was a time of emerging Irish nationalism and conservative Catholicism...

Dubliners by James Joyce Dubliners

A young boy falls in love with his friend's much older sister and is desperate to get her the perfect gift from the Araby Fair. After a party, a man discovers something he had never known about his wife, which has a devastating impact on their marriage. An ambitious mother schemes to get her daughter a role in a series of concerts. A drunken legal clerk takes out his frustrations on his helpless young son. These and other brilliant stories are contained in the collection entitled Dubliners...

The Dead by James Joyce The Dead

This novella is the final story in Joyce’s collection Dubliners. It describes a Christmas party given by Kate and Julia Morkan, two elderly Dublin ladies, that is attended by their nephew, Gabriel Conroy, and his wife. While the party is festive, full of dancing, drinking, and eating, it is also pervaded by political, religious, and sexual tensions, as well as memories of loss. When Gabriel and his wife go home at the end of the night, she reveals a long-kept secret that leads to an epiphany.

By: Giovanni Boccaccio (1313-1375)

The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio The Decameron

Giovanni Boccaccio’s The Decameron is a collection of novellas or short novels written during the 14th century. There are 100 tales contained in the book which is presented together. The book’s title The Decameron combines the two Greek words “deka” meaning ten and “hemera” meaning day. The title can be literally translated as “ten day,” which is also the time frame in which the stories are told by the 7 young women and 3 young men. In the book, each of the ten persons took their turns to tell stories for a day...

By: H. Rider Haggard (1856-1925)

King Solomon's Mines by H. Rider Haggard King Solomon's Mines

King Solomon’s Mines is the story of the leader Allan Quatermain and his adventurous group of followers on their mission to find the lost brother of an aristocrat, Sir Henry Curtis. Considered similar to Robert Louise Stevenson’s novel Treasure Island, Haggard’s book proved to be another must-read adventure novel in the international literary world. The African desert hides underneath its sands myths and legends that lasted for centuries in the minds of the locals. Quatermain has a mysterious map that could lead to the ancient mines of the wise King Solomon...

Allan Quatermain by H. Rider Haggard Allan Quatermain

“An Adventurer – He that goes out to meet whatever may come!” This is the credo of Allan Quatermain, the quintessential, swashbuckling protagonist of Allan Quatermain by H. Rider Haggard. Quatermain first makes his appearance as a character in Haggard's most famous bestselling adventure tale, King Solomon's Mines. Published in 1885, this Victorian action novel depicts a group led by Allan Quatermain who travel to a remote region in Africa in search of the missing brother of one of them. It is considered the very first English adventure tale set in what was perhaps disparagingly then called the “Dark Continent...

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. ...

Allan's Wife by H. Rider Haggard Allan's Wife

The story of Allan Quatermain's wife and further adventures of Allan Quatermain.

Book cover Allan and the Holy Flower

Further adventures of Allan Quatermain

The Tale of Three Lions by H. Rider Haggard The Tale of Three Lions

Taking place in the heart of Africa, “The Tale of Three Lions” is one more thrilling adventure from the eventful life of old hunter Quartermain, the famous hero of “King Solomons Mines”. This time, though there are no bloodthirsty people for the old hunter to deal with, the dangers are no less. He has to face the mighty and fierce King of Animals – the Lion.

Colonel Quaritch, V.C.: A Tale of Country Life by H. Rider Haggard Colonel Quaritch, V.C.: A Tale of Country Life

This is not your typical H. Rider Haggard adventure book yet it is full of mystery and intrigue including a coerced marriage, bigotry, adultery, murder and a buried treasure! This is the tale of an ancient family’s struggles to survive, one woman’s selflessness and another’s evil schemes; Two Gentlemen, two scoundrels and one very underestimated, loyal servant. Listen as the tale unfolds and guess where the treasure is hidden that can save them all!

The Ivory Child by H. Rider Haggard The Ivory Child

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

Book cover The Wizard

Described by the author, best known for his King Solomon's Mines, as "a tale of victorious faith," this story begins on a Sunday afternoon in an English church. Most of the book, though, is set in Africa, and the adventure story is as engaging as any of Haggard's African tales. What makes this one different is the religious question: What has happened to miracles in the church? Is there any power left in Jesus' promise, "Whoso that believeth in me, the works that I do he shall do also, and whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do"?

Black Heart and White Heart by H. Rider Haggard Black Heart and White Heart

Black Heart and White Heart, is a story of the courtship, trials and final union of a pair of Zulu lovers in the time of King Cetywayo. (Introduction by H. Rider Haggard)

Book cover Eric Brighteyes

The Saga of Eric Brighteyes is the title of an epic viking novel by H. Rider Haggard, and concerns the adventures of its eponymous principal character in 10th century Iceland. Eric Thorgrimursson (nicknamed 'Brighteyes' for his most notable trait), strives to win the hand of his beloved, Gudruda the Fair. Her father Asmund, a priest of the old Norse gods, opposes the match, thinking Eric a man without prospects. But deadlier by far are the intrigues of Swanhild, Gudruda's half-sister and a sorceress who desires Eric for herself. She persuades the chieftain Ospakar Blacktooth to woo Gudrida, making the two men enemies. Battles, intrigues, and treachery follow.

By: Stephen Leacock

Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town by Stephen Leacock Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town

Known as the Canadian Mark Twain, Stephen Leacock was a humorist whose gentle parodies and spoofs still evoke a smile and a chuckle more than a hundred years after they were first published. Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town was published in 1912. Set in the fictional town of Mariposa in Canada, which is peopled by a delightful assortment of characters, the book has proved to be an enduring classic in the humor genre. Readers around the world continue to enjoy these little stories about the inhabitants of Mariposa because Leacock portrays people whom we have all met at some time or the other in our own lives...

Frenzied Fiction by Stephen Leacock Frenzied Fiction

From the cave man to Santa Claus; spies, know-it-alls, and journalists: all are fair game for Leacock’s special brand of humor. He touches on the changes time has brought about in the city, education, and work habits. Among the other topics in this work are nature, fishing, gardening, success, and spirits–both of the departed and of the variety Prohibition prohibited. Each chapter of this book is a standalone story and if you love a good laugh, these stories are for you. In me, Leacock’s wit produced the full range of laughter: smiles, chuckles, guffaws, and some uncontrollable giggles. Also, occasionally, I found myself shedding a tear or two. (Review by Debra Lynn)

Arcadian Adventures with the Idle Rich by Stephen Leacock Arcadian Adventures with the Idle Rich

“Arcadian Adventures with the Idle Rich” is a work of humorous fiction by Stephen Leacock first published in 1914. It is the follow-up to his 1912 classic “Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town.” Like that work, it is a sequence of interlocking stories set in one town, but instead of focusing on a small Canadian town in the countryside, it is set in a major American metropolis and its characters are the upper crust of society. Although currently not as well-known as the earlier book, “Arcadian Adventures” was extremely popular in North America at the time of its publication and for a while was considered the greater success...

Winsome Winnie and other New Nonsense Novels by Stephen Leacock Winsome Winnie and other New Nonsense Novels

Eight silly stories by Canadian humourist Stephen Leacock.

Soaked In Seaweed and 7 other Nonsense Novels by Stephen Leacock Soaked In Seaweed and 7 other Nonsense Novels

8 great spoofs of 'types' of fiction by the premier Canadian humorist Leacock, taken from his book Nonsense Novels. The title of each parody gives away it's genre. Soaked in Seaweed or, Upset in the Ocean; Maddened by Mystery: or, The Defective Detective; "Q." A Psychic Pstory of the Psupernatural; Guido the Gimlet of Ghent: A Romance of Chivalry; The Man in Asbestos: an Allegory of the Future; Sorrows of a Super Soul: or, The Memoirs of Marie Mushenough; A Hero in Homespun: or, The Life Struggle of Hezekiah Hayloft and Caroline's Christmas: or, The Inexplicable Infant...

Further Foolishness by Stephen Leacock Further Foolishness

Seventeen goofy stories and essays by Canadian humourist Stephen Leacock. "Professor Leacock has made more people laugh with the written word than any other living author. One may say he is one of the greatest jesters, the greatest humorist of the age." – A. P. Herbert (Introduction by TriciaG & Wikipedia)

Literary Lapses by Stephen Leacock Literary Lapses

Short sketches relating the humourous side of life in 1910. "Professor Leacock has made more people laugh with the written word than any other living author. One may say he is one of the greatest jesters, the greatest humorist of the age." – A. P. Herbert

The Hohenzollerns in America by Stephen Leacock The Hohenzollerns in America

More stories by Canadian Stephen Leacock. Some of these stories carry over characters introduced in Further Foolishness. Some stories are humourous; some are more thoughtful. It helps to be familiar with WWI-era European politics to catch much of the humour. Full title: The Hohenzollerns in America With the Bolsheviks in Berlin and Other Impossibilities

Behind the Beyond by Stephen Leacock Behind the Beyond

A collection containing a parody on Problem Plays, as well as humorous anecdotes from Canadian humourist Stephen Leacock.

Moonbeams from the Larger Lunacy by Stephen Leacock Moonbeams from the Larger Lunacy

Humorous, ironic, and sometimes cynical observations of life in 1915 from Canadian humourist Stephen Leacock.

By: George MacDonald (1824-1905)

The Light Princess by George MacDonald The Light Princess

A king and queen are in despair. After years of marriage, they are yet to be blessed with a child. Finally a lovely daughter is born to them. They plan a grand christening ceremony for the baby, but as destiny would have it, they forget to invite the nastiest lady in the kingdom, who also happens to be the king's sister, the evil Princess Makemnoit. Now if all that seems distinctly familiar to you, it was meant to! Using the Sleeping Beauty/Briar Rose fairytale as a starting point, Scottish writer George MacDonald creates a story that's even more enchanting and gives it a nice little twist...

The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald The Princess and the Goblin

George MacDonald’s fairy stories and fantasy have inspired a number of writers including C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien and of this popular fairy story, which as you might suspect concerns a little princess plotted against by a race of goblins, G.K. Chesterton said that it “made a difference to my whole existence.”

At the Back of the North Wind by George MacDonald At the Back of the North Wind

Written by the man who mentored Lewis Carroll and encouraged him to submit Alice for publication, At the Back of the North Wind is today a forgotten classic of Victorian children's literature. The story tells of a young boy named Diamond, the son of a coachman in an English country mansion. Diamond sleeps in the hayloft above the stables and at night he finds he's disturbed by the wind blowing through the holes in the wall. He tries to plug them but one night, he hears an imperious voice scolding him for doing this! It is the magnificent North Wind that speaks to him and tells him that he's closed up her windows...

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 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...

The Hope of the Gospel by George MacDonald The Hope of the Gospel

Perhaps most well-known for his fairytales and fantasy stories such as The Golden Key and Phantastes, or for his poetry, George MacDonald was a great spiritual master of the nineteenth century. He spent several years as a minister in his native Scotland; however he was forced to resign his position due to ill health. He had a profound influence on such later writers as G. K. Chesterton and C. S. Lewis – the latter of whom considered MacDonald to be his spiritual father, and edited an anthology of his works...

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)

David Elginbrod by George MacDonald David Elginbrod

David Elginbrod was George Macdonald’s first real success, a novel of Scottish country life. Published in 1862, it was dedicated to the memory of Lady Noel Byron.

Book cover The Light Princess & Other Fairy Tales

George MacDonald claimed that he did not write for children, but for the child-like. Some of his longer works are clearly intended for adults, and this fantastic fiction influenced later writers such as G.K. Chesterton, J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. But you can find some of his best writing in the stories aimed squarely at children, and these are three of the finest.The Light Princess. A wicked aunt curses her baby niece so that gravity has no effect on her, and she floats through the air as if it were water...

Book cover The Lost Princess (or A Double Story, or The Wise Woman)

Also known as "A Double Story" or "The Wise Woman."The story of two very spoiled girls, a princess and a peasant, who are kidnapped by a strange woman for a lesson in life. They may not emerge the same... but will their parents be changed for the better too?

Robert Falconer by George MacDonald Robert Falconer

A Victorian novel devoted to beloved character first introduced to readers in MacDonald's David Elginbrod.

Mary Marston by George MacDonald Mary Marston

Written at the height of George MacDonald's literary career, the story centers around the life of a simple merchant's daughter. Mary Marston's unswerving commitment to love, God, and others is contrasted with a backdrop of an array of characters and a complex and sometimes mysterious plot. It is a story of a woman who loves a man, and teaches him to change. Not out of his love for her, but simply because it was the right thing to do. MacDonald allows the characters a range from delightful to devious. As such, they were intended to serve as models. His message is that all eventually must stand before God.

Book cover St. George and St. Michael, Volume 1

’St. George and St. Michael’ is a little-known historical romance telling the story of a young couple who find themselves on opposing sides during the tumultuous years of the English Civil Wars.Tensions are rising between king and parliament; the Church of England and the numerous independent puritans and rumours abound that Charles I will soon declare open war on the dissident elements within his realm. Seventeen-year-old Dorothy Vaughan knows little of the brewing conflict, yet is sure that her loyalty must be with her king and her nation...


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