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By: Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906)

The Sport of the Gods by Paul Laurence Dunbar The Sport of the Gods

The Sport of the Gods is a novel by Paul Laurence Dunbar, first published in 1902, centered around urban black life.Forced to leave the South, a family falls apart amid the harsh realities of Northern inner city life in this 1902 examination of the forces that extinguish the dreams of African Americans.

By: Joseph Bédier (1864-1938)

Tristan and Iseult by Joseph Bédier Tristan and Iseult

He is a divinely handsome young man, valiant and fiercely loyal to his uncle who adopted and nurtured him from the time he was an abandoned orphan. She is the ethereally beautiful princess of a faraway country, betrothed to the middle-aged uncle. They meet when the young man is sent as an emissary to her country to bring her back for the grand wedding. On board the ship, the two fall tragically in love. Tristan and Iseult by Joseph Bedier is a retelling of an ancient legend which has been popular...

By: Lew Wallace (1827-1905)

Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ by Lew Wallace Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ

Ben-Hur is a story of two very different heroes. Judah Ben-Hur, a prince of Jerusalem, is involved in an accident to the Roman procurator which is taken to be intentional. He is seized and sent to the fleet as a galley-slave, while his family is imprisoned and the family goods confiscated. When Ben-Hur saves the fleet captain from drowning after his ship is sunk in a fight with pirates, that officer adopts him as son and heir. With Roman training, Ben-Hur distinguishes himself in the arena and the palistrae and appears to be on the way to high military command...

By: Upton Sinclair

The Jungle by Upton Sinclair The Jungle

Originally crafted as a scathing expose of the Chicago meatpacking industry of the early twentieth century, The Jungle by American journalist and author, Upton Sinclair, was based on his investigative work into the dark underbelly of capitalism in the country. Throughout his entire career, he wrote passionately about the inhuman conditions that lay behind the glittering facade of free market economics. Jurgis Rudkus is a Lithuanian immigrant. The novel opens on his wedding day to the lovely young Ona Lukoszaite...

King Coal by Upton Sinclair King Coal

King Coal is a book by Upton Sinclair, first published in 1917, that exposes the dirty working conditions in the coal mining industry in the western United States during the 1910s. As in an earlier work, The Jungle, Sinclair expresses his socialist viewpoints from the perspective of a single protagonist, Hal Warner, caught up in the schemes and plots of the oppressive American capitalist system. The book itself is based on the 1914-1915 Colorado coal strikes.Reader’s note: In Book 4, there is no chapter numbered Section 16 in the public domain Gutenberg e-text. However, no actual text from the book appears to be missing.

A Prisoner of Morro by Upton Sinclair A Prisoner of Morro

Upton Sinclair, born in 1878 was a Pulitzer Prize-winning American author. He wrote over 90 books in many genres. Best known for his muckraking novel, The Jungle, Sinclair also wrote adventure fiction. Many of these works were written under the pseudonym, Ensign Clark Fitch, U.S.N. A Prisoner of Morrow, published in 1898 when Sinclair was but 20 years old, is one of these efforts. The period for this work is the ten-week Spanish–American War which occurred in 1898. Revolts against Spanish rule had been prevalent for decades in Cuba and were closely watched by Americans...

Book cover The Moneychangers

A story of white collar crime and intrigue told from the point of view of Montague, a member of the privileged class of New York. Montague witnesses the manipulation and upset of the stock market by high financier Dan Waterman who is motivated by revenge. Waterman's character is loosely based on J.P. Morgan.

By: Charles Morris (1833-1922)

Historical Tales by Charles Morris Historical Tales

Volume I of a series containing anecdotes and stories, some well-known, others less so, of particular countries. This first volume comprises the discovery, colonization, founding, and early years of the United States of America, describing history for children and young adults in an exiting and novel manner.

Historic Tales by Charles Morris Historic Tales

Historical Tales, The Romance of RealityBy CHARLES MORRISPREFACE.It has become a commonplace remark that fact is often stranger than fiction. It may be said, as a variant of this, that history is often more romantic than romance. The pages of the record of man's doings are frequently illustrated by entertaining and striking incidents, relief points in the dull monotony of every-day events, stories fitted to rouse the reader from languid weariness and stir anew in his veins the pulse of interest in human life...

By: Israel Zangwill (1864-1926)

The Big Bow Mystery by Israel Zangwill The Big Bow Mystery

Regarded as the first full-length locked room mystery, the novel focuses on a murder that has occurred inside a locked room, with no clear indication as to the weapon used, the perpetrator of the horrendous crime, or a possible escape route. Needless to say, The Big Bow Mystery has all the elements necessary to engage its audience and encourage them to look between the lines in an attempt to unravel the complex murder. Set in Bow, east London, the novel opens when Mrs. Drabdump, a widow who rents out rooms, panics when one of her lodgers does not respond to her fervent attempts to wake him...

The King of Schnorrers by Israel Zangwill The King of Schnorrers

Manasseh da Costa is a schnorrer (beggar) who lives on the charitable contributions of the Jews of late 18th-century London. But Manasseh is far from being a humble panhandler for, as every schnorrer knows, supporting the poor is a commandment from God (a mitzvah) not just a favour. And as the descendant of Portuguese Jews who had lived in England for many generations, Manasseh is the social superior of those newly arrived from Eastern Europe (called ‘Tedesco’), even his wealthy patron Joseph Grobstock...

By: L. Frank Baum (1856-1919)

Mother Goose in Prose by L. Frank Baum Mother Goose in Prose

Before he wrote the Oz books, L. Frank Baum wrote this book which was the best selling book of 1897. Taking 22 beloved nursery rhymes, he explains their meaning and fascinating history. What is the true story of Little Boy Blue? Why was Mary contrary?As he says in the introduction, "Many of these nursery rhymes are complete tales in themselves, telling their story tersely but completely; there are others which are but bare suggestions, leaving the imagination to weave in the details of the story...

By: Robert W. Chambers (1865-1933)

The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers The King in Yellow

Robert W. Chambers (1865-1933) studied art in Paris in the late 80’s and early 90’s, where his work was displayed at the Salon. However, shortly after returning to America, he decided to spend his time in writing. He became popular as the writer of a number of romantic novels, but is now best known as the author of “The King In Yellow”. This is a collection of the first half of this work of short stories which have an eerie, other-worldly feel to it; but the stories in the second half are essentially love stories, strongly coloured by the author’s life as an artist in France...

The Flaming Jewel by Robert W. Chambers The Flaming Jewel

During the last two years, Fate, Chance, and Destiny had been too busy to attend to Mike Clinch. But now his turn was coming in the Eternal Sequence of things. The stars in their courses indicated the beginning of the undoing of Mike Clinch. In the North Woods, mayhem ensues as three parties vie for possession of the Flaming Jewel. Become immersed in the chasing and slinking to determine who will possess this famed jewel. Better than typical adventure writing magnificently describe the 19th Century Northeastern US in this great novel.

By: Honore de Balzac (1799-1850)

Letters of Two Brides by Honore de Balzac Letters of Two Brides

An epistolary novel written by renowned French novelist Balzac, who is regarded as one of the founders of realism and a significant influence to later novelists, the novel focuses on two young women who preserve their friendship through regular correspondence. Originally published in the French newspaper La Presse in 1841 as a serial, the piece later became a part of Balzac’s distinguished novel sequence La Comédie Humaine, or The Human Comedy. Furthermore, Letters of Two Brides surrounds intriguing topics including love, romance, confusion, duty, and the complexity of relationships...

By: Henrik Ibsen

A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen A Doll's House

Nineteenth century attitudes towards marriage, the role of women, morality and the search for identity are brilliantly explored in Henrik Ibsen's three act play, A Doll's House. It was highly controversial and received with a sense of outrage among opinion leaders in Europe. Many thinkers like August Strindberg lashed out at Ibsen for portraying the sacred institution of marriage in such a derogatory way. A Doll's House, written in the original Danish, was first performed at the Royal Theater in Copenhagen in 1879...

Ghosts by Henrik Ibsen Ghosts

Henrik Ibsen's Ghosts was first published in 1881 and staged in 1882, and like his earlier play A Doll's House, profoundly shocked his contemporaries. Dubbed "a dirty deed done in public" by one of its critics, the play focuses on (among other things) venereal disease, euthanasia, and incest. The original title literally means "the ones who return," and the play is about how we can deal with the awful legacy of the past.

By: Baroness Orczy (1865-1947)

The Old Man in the Corner by Baroness Orczy The Old Man in the Corner

Created by Baroness Orczy, author of the famous Scarlet Pimpernel series, The Old Man in the Corner was one of the earliest armchair detectives, popping up with so many others in the wake of the huge popularity of the Sherlock Holmes stories. The Old Man relies mostly upon sensationalistic “penny dreadful” newspaper accounts, with the occasional courtroom visit for extra laughs. He narrates all this information (while tying complicated knots in a piece of string) to a Lady Journalist who frequents the same tea-shop.

Lady Molly of Scotland Yard by Baroness Orczy Lady Molly of Scotland Yard

Lady Molly of Scotland Yard is a collection of short stories about Molly Robertson-Kirk, an early fictional female detective. It was written by Baroness Orczy, who is best known as the creator of The Scarlet Pimpernel, but who also invented two immortal turn-of-the-century detectives in The Old Man in the Corner and Lady Molly of Scotland Yard. First published in 1910, Orczy’s female detective was the precursor of the lay sleuth who relies on brains rather than brawn. The book soon became very popular, with three editions appearing in the first year...

By: Emma Orczy (1865-1947)

Book cover The League of the Scarlet Pimpernel

Written by Baroness Orczy and first published in 1919, The League of the Scarlet Pimpernel is a sequel book to the classic adventure tale, The Scarlet Pimpernel. The book consists of eleven short stories about Sir Percy Blakeney’s exploits in rescuing various aristos and French citizens from the clutches of the guillotine. The stories which are listed below, are set in 1793 but appear in no particular order. They occasionally refer to events in other books in the series.

By: Aldous Huxley (1894-1963)

Crome Yellow by Aldous Huxley Crome Yellow

A shy, introverted young poet. A weekend in a magnificent English country house. A beautiful young lady whom the poet is secretly in love with. An assorted group of guests with varied interests, motives, ambitions and aspirations, and the complex web of history and events that connect all of them. Crome Yellow by Aldous Huxley was his first book, published in 1921, when he was just 27 years old. It is typical of many books written during this period by writers like Thomas Love Peacock and Somerset Maugham, centered round a country mansion and the quaint, British tradition of being invited to spend a weekend with a group of people whom one may or may not know...

By: Henry van Dyke

The Spirit of Christmas by Henry van Dyke The Spirit of Christmas

A collection of short Christmas works by the author of The Story of the Fourth Wise Man

The Story of the Other Wise Man by Henry van Dyke The Story of the Other Wise Man

You know the story of the Three Wise Men of the East, and how they travelled from far away to offer their gifts at the manger-cradle in Bethlehem. But have you ever heard the story of the Other Wise Man, who also saw the star in its rising, and set out to follow it, yet did not arrive with his brethren in the presence of the young child Jesus? Of the great desire of this fourth pilgrim, and how it was denied, yet accomplished in the denial; of his many wanderings and the probations of his soul;...

Book cover First Christmas Tree

This is a folk tale of how the first tree came into being. It tells of a hero Winfried with his young companion stepping boldly into the pagan right of the passing into winter. He preaches the gospel of Christ and His birth on that night; then from the heavens came a miracle that resulted in the salvation of the people. To celebrate, they brought new life or the Christmas tree into their homes.

Book cover Blue Flower

"Sometimes short stories are brought together like parcels in a basket. Sometimes they grow together like blossoms on a bush. Then, of course, they really belong to one another, because they have the same life in them. ...There is such a thought in this book. It is the idea of the search for inward happiness, which all men who are really alive are following, along what various paths, and with what different fortunes! Glimpses of this idea, traces of this search, I thought that I could see in certain tales that were in my mind,—tales of times old and new, of lands near and far away...

By: Anton Chekhov (1860-1904)

The Tales of Chekhov by Anton Chekhov The Tales of Chekhov

This is the first of thirteen volumes of Anton Chekhov’s short stories, translated by Constance Garnett. Anton Chekhov was a Russian doctor who turned to fiction as a hobby, and quickly blossomed into one of the masters of the short story genre. Though he is arguably best known for his dramatic works, such as The Cherry Orchard, his stories are widely considered to be some of the most perfect examples of short fiction ever written. Constance Black Garnett was an English housewife who taught herself Russian as a hobby, and subsequently introduced the English-speaking world to some of the greatest Russian authors, including Chekhov and Dostoevsky...

The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov The Cherry Orchard

The Cherry Orchard is Russian playwright Anton Chekhov's last play. It premiered at the Moscow Art Theatre 17 January 1904 in a production directed by Constantin Stanislavski. Chekhov intended this play as a comedy and it does contain some elements of farce; however, Stanislavski insisted on directing the play as a tragedy. Since this initial production, directors have had to contend with the dual nature of this play. The play concerns an aristocratic Russian woman and her family as they return to the family's estate (which includes a large and well-known cherry orchard) just before it is auctioned to pay the mortgage...

The Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov The Three Sisters

Three Sisters is a naturalistic play about the decay of the privileged class in Russia and the search for meaning in the modern world. It describes the lives and aspirations of the Prozorov family, the three sisters (Olga, Masha, and Irina) and their brother Andrei. They are a family dissatisfied and frustrated with their present existence. The sisters are refined and cultured young women who grew up in urban Moscow; however for the past eleven years they have been living in a small provincial town...

The Duel by Anton Chekhov The Duel

The plot centres around Laevsky, who is living in a small seaside town in the Caucasus after running away with another man's wife, Nadyezhda Fyodorovna, amid dreams of starting a new life.The dreams have come to nothing as Laevsky idles away his life drinking and playing cards, and Nadyezhda begins to have other affairs.Laevsky's scheme to run away again, this time without his mistress, brings him into conflict with the rationalist Von Koren, who believes in Darwinian principles of natural selection and extinction of the weak and useless.Matters come to a head when an outburst from Laevsky leads to a duel. Von Koren is determined to teach Laevksy a lesson.(Introduction by Phil)

By: Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797)

Maria: or, the Wrongs of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft Maria: or, the Wrongs of Woman

Maria: or, The Wrongs of Woman is Mary Wollstonecraft's unfinished novelistic sequel to her revolutionary political treatise A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. It was published posthumously in 1798 by her husband, William Godwin. Maria revolves around the story of a woman imprisoned in an insane asylum by her husband, and focuses on the societal rather than the individual "wrongs of woman". Publicised at the same time as Wollstonecraft's memoirs, both were considered scandalous. Not until the 20th century was the novel considered an important historical and feminist work.

Book cover Mary: A Fiction

Eliza, Mary's mother, is obsessed with novels, rarely considers anyone but herself, and favours Mary's brother. She neglects her daughter, who educates herself using only books and the natural world. Ignored by her family, Mary devotes much of her time to charity. When her brother suddenly dies, leaving Mary heir to the family's fortune, her mother finally takes an interest in her; she is taught "accomplishments", such as dancing, that will attract suitors. However, Mary's mother soon sickens and requests on her deathbed that Mary wed Charles, a wealthy man she has never met. Stunned and unable to refuse, Mary agrees. Immediately after the ceremony, Charles departs for the Continent.

By: Robert Smythe Hichens

The Return of the Soul by Robert Smythe Hichens The Return of the Soul

Can the soul of the dead come back to haunt the one who was responsible for its death? What would happen if the responsible one did not believe it could be so, and yet was in love with the returned soul? The Return of the Soul is a horror story of a man who is visited by the returning soul of a deceased, and who has some very perplexing issues to deal with upon that return. (Introduction by Roger Melin)


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