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By: Mary Godolphin (1781-1864)

Robinson Crusoe in Words of One Syllable by Mary Godolphin Robinson Crusoe in Words of One Syllable

Mary Godolphin was the pseudonym of Lucy Aikin who undertook translating great literature into single-syllable words so that young readers could enjoy plots that were considerably more interesting than, say, the McGuffey readers of the 1880’s or the “Dick and Jane” primers of the 1950s (still around today as “decodable readers” in elementary schools). She produced this volume based on Daniel Defoe’s most famous work, considered by many to be the first English novel (1719). She also rendered Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress and Wyss’ Swiss Family Robinson, which she translated as well.

By: Francis Pharcellus Church (1839-1906)

Yes, Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus by Francis Pharcellus Church Yes, Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus

“Is There A Santa Claus?” was the headline that appeared over an editorial in the September 21, 1897 edition of the New York Sun. The editorial, which included the response of “Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus,” has become an indelible part of popular Christmas lore in the United States.

By: Hilaire Belloc

On Something by Hilaire Belloc On Something

“Now that story is a symbol, and tells the truth. We see some one thing in this world, and suddenly it becomes particular and sacramental; a woman and a child, a man at evening, a troop of soldiers; we hear notes of music, we smell the smell that went with a passed time, or we discover after the long night a shaft of light upon the tops of the hills at morning: there is a resurrection, and we are refreshed and renewed.” – Hilaire Belloc

On Nothing & Kindred Subjects by Hilaire Belloc On Nothing & Kindred Subjects

“I knew a man once, Maurice, who was at Oxford for three years, and after that went down with no degree. At College, while his friends were seeking for Truth in funny brown German Philosophies, Sham Religions, stinking bottles and identical equations, he was lying on his back in Eynsham meadows thinking of Nothing, and got the Truth by this parallel road of his much more quickly than did they by theirs; for the asses are still seeking, mildly disputing, and, in a cultivated manner, following the...

This, That, and the Other by Hilaire Belloc This, That, and the Other

“When Fame comes upon a man well before death then must he most particularly beware of it, for is it then most dangerous. Neither must he, having achieved it, relax effort nor (a much greater peril) think he has done his work because some Fame now attaches thereto.” -- Hilaire Belloc

On Anything by Hilaire Belloc On Anything

"Long before I knew that the speech of men was misused by them and that they lied in the hearing of the gods perpetually in those early days through which all men have passed, during which one believes what one is told, an old and crusty woman of great wealth, to whom I was describing what I intended to do with life (which in those days seemed to me of infinite duration), said to me, ( You are building castles in Spain.' I was too much in awe of this woman not on account of the wealth, but on account...

By: L. Frank Baum (1856-1919)

Aunt Jane's Nieces at Work by L. Frank Baum Aunt Jane's Nieces at Work

The novel carries forward the continuing story of the three cousins Louise Merrick, Beth De Graf, and Patsy Doyle, and their circle. The title is somewhat misleading; it could more accurately have been called Aunt Jane's Nieces in Politics. (Uncle John Merrick tells his nieces that politics is "work," which yields the title.)The story begins three days after the end of the previous book, Aunt Jane's Nieces at Millville; the freckled and red-haired Patsy still sports a sunburn from her summer in the Adirondacks...

Book cover Aunt Jane's Nieces Out West

After visiting Louise, Arthur and Toodlums at their ranch in Southern California, Beth and Patsy, together with Uncle John, decide to spend the winter at an hotel in the little village of Hollywood, where they get drawn into the new motion picture industry. New friends, adventures and mysteries await.

Book cover Policeman Bluejay

This is another "TWINKLE TALE" from Mr. Baum (written under the pen name Laura Bancroft) and celebrates the further adventures of Twinkle and Chubbins as they magically become child-larks and live the exciting, and often dangerous, life of birds in the forest.

Book cover Aunt Jane's Nieces In The Red Cross

The 10th and final book in the series for adolescent girls sees two of the three cousins react to atrocities in World War I by volunteering in the Red Cross. Written under the pseudonym of Edith Van Dyne, this is the 1915 version, which reflects United States' neutrality. A later version, published in 1918, differed significantly to reflect changes in the position of the United States.

Book cover Aunt Jane's Nieces In Society

Written under pseudonym of Edith Van Dyne. The story continues the adventures of three cousins, Louise, Patsy and Beth,with their debuts in society and the appearance of suitors, one of whom is rejected and kidnaps Louise.

Book cover Aunt Jane's Nieces In Society

Written under pseudonym of Edith Van Dyne. The story continues the adventures of three cousins, Louise, Patsy and Beth,with their debuts in society and the appearance of suitors, one of whom is rejected and kidnaps Louise.

Book cover Aunt Jane's Nieces And Uncle John

Aunt Jane's Nieces and Uncle John picks up the continuing story of the three cousins Patsy Doyle, Beth De Graf, and Louise Merrick, and their family; the plot of the book begins three days after the wedding of Louise and her fiancé Arthur Weldon, the event that concluded the sixth book in the series, Aunt Jane's Nieces in Society. Uncle John hires a touring car and the party makes a tour of the South West, visiting New Mexico and Arizona.

Book cover Aunt Jane's Nieces on Vacation

Aunt Jane's Nieces on Vacation is a juvenile novel for girls, written by L. Frank Baum. It is the seventh in the ten volumes in the Aunt Jane's Nieces series, and carries forward the continuing story of the three cousins Lousie Merrick Weldon, Patsy Doyle, and Elizabeth De Graf. Like all the books in the series, it was issued under Baum's "Edith Van Dyne" pseudonym.

By: Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899)

Lectures of Col. R. G. Ingersoll by Robert Green Ingersoll Lectures of Col. R. G. Ingersoll

Colonel Robert Green Ingersoll (1833–1899) was a Civil War veteran, American political leader and orator during the Golden Age of Freethought, noted for his defense of atheism. This book is the first of two volumes collecting Ingersoll’s speeches.

By: E. E. Smith (1895-1965)

Spacehounds of IPC by E. E. Smith Spacehounds of IPC

When the Inter-Planetary Corporation's (IPC) crack liner “IPV Arcturus” took off on a routine flight to Mars, it turned out to be the beginning of a unexpected and long voyage. There had been too many reports of errors in ship's flight positions from the Check Stations and brilliant physicist Dr. Percival (“Steve”) Stevens is aboard the Arcturus on a fact-finding mission to find out what's really happening, and hopefully save the honor of the brave pilots of the space-liner Arcturus from the desk-jockeys' in the Check Stations implications of imprecision - the nastiest insult you could cast at a ships pilot...

Book cover Skylark Three

This is a sequel to The Skylark of Space. The novel concerns Richard Seaton and his allies who have encounters with aliens while fighting DuQuesne and the Fenachrone..

Book cover The Skylark of Space

The Skylark of Space is one of the earliest novels of interstellar travel and is considered a classic of pulp science fiction. Originally serialized in 1928 in the magazine Amazing Stories it is often categorized as the first literary space opera, complete with protagonists perfect in mind, body, and spirit, who fight against villains of absolute evil.

By: R. Austin Freeman (1862-1943)

The Eye of Osiris by R. Austin Freeman The Eye of Osiris

The Eye of Osiris is an early example from the Dr. Thorndyke series of detective stories written by R. Austin Freeman. In these stories, the author drew on his extensive medical and scientific knowledge for his main character, a medico-legal expert who relies on forensic evidence and logical deduction in solving cases. In this case, Thorndyke steps in to investigate the disappearance of one John Bellingham, an English gentleman and amateur Egyptologist, who has vanished under very mysterious circumstances...

Book cover The Mystery of 31 New Inn

Jeffrey Blackmore suspiciously made two wills, both deceptively alike, but still, in a cunning way, completely different. John Thorndyke, equally cunning and smart, smells something fishy. With stylish cool and logic, he leads the story up to its marvelous and fully credible climax.

The Red Thumb Mark by R. Austin Freeman The Red Thumb Mark

Missing diamonds, untouched safe, two blood smeared thumb prints and a mysterious Mr X. If these are present, Dr Thorndyke must be there too. Will he be able to solve this case?The Red Thumb Mark is the first novel of Freeman’s best-selling Thorndyke series.

The Uttermost Farthing by R. Austin Freeman The Uttermost Farthing

Humphrey Challoner is a solitary old man who spent a lifetime collecting for his private museum, primarily mammals exhibiting osteological abnormalities but also 24 articulated human skeletons without any apparent defect. His friend, Dr. Wharton, is puzzled by the collection, but he humors Challoner's eccentricities and tends to him in his final illness. When Wharton inherits the collection on Challoner's death, the dark mystery that ties the collection together is finally revealed.

By: Bret Harte (1837-1902)

Selected Stories by Bret Harte Selected Stories

Bret Harte (1837–1902) was an American author and poet, best remembered for his accounts of pioneering life in California.

Book cover Mrs. Skagg's Husbands and Other Stories

A collection of short stories set in the American West at the end of the 19th century.

By: William Harrison Ainsworth (1805-1882)

Rookwood by William Harrison Ainsworth Rookwood

A rich and complex Gothic-Romance centring on the murky deeds of an ancient family. It is a wonderfully atmospheric piece that combines narrative, poetry, song, and descriptive writing to great effect. The character of Dick Turpin that we know today – the dashing highwaymen and unmatched horseman – can be said to stem directly from this novel, as the most famous part of the book (often published on its own in the past), Turpin’s Ride To York, is devoted to him. Although seemingly little known to a modern audience, Ainsworth’s ‘Rookwood’ gave the world the image of the highwayman with which we are all so familiar.

Windsor Castle, Book 1 by William Harrison Ainsworth Windsor Castle, Book 1

Book 1 - Ann Boleyn. The focus of the novels is on the events surrounding Henry VIII's replacing Catherine of Aragon with Anne Boleyn as his wife. During Henry's pursuit of Boleyn, the novel describes other couples, including the Earl of Surrey and Lady Elizabeth Fitzgerald, a match Henry does not support. However, some of the individuals oppose Henry and his desires for Boleyn, including Thomas Wyat who wants her for himself and Cardinal Wolsey, who uses his own daughter, Mabel Lyndwood, to lure Henry away from Boleyn...

By: Samuel Butler (1835-1902)

Erewhon by Samuel Butler Erewhon

Erewhon, or Over the Range is a novel by Samuel Butler, published anonymously in 1872. The title is also the name of a country, supposedly discovered by the protagonist. In the novel, it is not revealed in which part of the world Erewhon is, but it is clear that it is a fictional country. Butler meant the title to be read as the word Nowhere backwards, even though the letters “h” and “w” are transposed. It is likely that he did this to protect himself from accusations of being unpatriotic, although Erewhon is obviously a satire of Victorian society.

The Way of All Flesh by Samuel Butler The Way of All Flesh

The Way of All Flesh (1903) is a semi-autobiographical novel by Samuel Butler which attacks Victorian-era hypocrisy. Written between 1873 and 1884, it traces four generations of the Pontifex family. It represents the diminishment of religious outlook from a Calvinistic approach, which is presented as harsh. Butler dared not publish it during his lifetime, but when it was published it was accepted as part of the general revulsion against Victorianism.

By: Richard D. Blackmore

Lorna Doone, a Romance of Exmoor by Richard D. Blackmore Lorna Doone, a Romance of Exmoor

“If anybody cares to read a simple tale told simply” … thus opens Lorna Doone, one of the best love stories ever written. The novel has inspired at least ten movies and mini-series. “John (in West Country dialect this is pronounced Jan) Ridd is the son of a respectable farmer who was murdered in cold blood by a member of the notorious Doone clan, a once-noble family now living in the isolated Doone Valley. Battling his desire for revenge, John also grows into a respectable farmer and continues to take good care of his mother and two sisters...

Erema by Richard D. Blackmore Erema

A few years before the great Civil War, a young English woman and her father, having left the security of their wagon train, are lost in the unforgiving Californian desert, looking in vain for the landmark that marks the short-cut across those last western mountains which would lead them to the home of an old friend. George Castlewood gives all the water and rations he has to his daughter, Erema, and dies just a short distance from help. Rescued by kind Sampson “Uncle Sam” Gundry, the family friend they had been seeking, Erema lives for a time at his saw mill...

By: Georgette Heyer

The Black Moth by Georgette Heyer The Black Moth

Jack Carstares, oldest son of the Earl Wyncham, has been disgraced by his brother. Gone for six years, living the life a highwayman he meets the woman he will fall in love with. Saving her from being kidnapped by a dastardly blackguard he is injured and must stay with her family until he is able to return to his life…will she discovery his true identity? Will he be able to leave her when the time comes? Mystery and humor follow this intriguing cast of characters until the very end. (Summary by Terra Mendoza)

By: Arthur Machen (1863-1947)

The White People by Arthur Machen The White People

Literary critics see Arthur Machen’s works as a significant part of the late Victorian revival of the gothic novel and the decadent movement of the 1890s, bearing direct comparison to the themes found in contemporary works like Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray. The White People is a highly influential horror story of a young girl’s discovery of ancient magic. It was written in the late 1890s as part of a longer unfinished novel, some sketches from which went into his book Ornaments in Jade. Fans of supernatural fiction often cite this story as a classic in the genre.


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