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By: Grant Allen (1848-1899)

The British Barbarians by Grant Allen The British Barbarians

After Civil Servant Philip Christy crosses paths with the mysterious Bertram Ingledew in the respectable suburb of Brackenhurst, Philip and his sister Frida, married to the wealthy Scot Robert Monteith, become friends with the stranger. Bertram has some unconventional concepts about society, and as the story unfolds, his beliefs and actions cause much disruption in the family and the neighbourhood.Who is Bertram? Where does he come from? Allen explores some interesting ideas about society, some of which are curiously relevant today...

Hilda Wade, A Woman With Tenacity of Purpose by Grant Allen Hilda Wade, A Woman With Tenacity of Purpose

In this early detective novel, the detective is Hilda Wade. She is a very capable nurse, but there is something mysterious about her from the moment she arrives at the hospital. Upon meeting her, Dr. Hubert Cumberledge greatly admires her and becomes a devoted friend. It turns out that Hilda has one purpose in life, and in pursuit of that purpose she will travel across the world, from London to South Africa, Rhodesia, India, Nepaul, Tibet and back. With Cumberledge's support, her extraordinary logic and clear thinking lead her on through deadly perils. But will that be enough to accomplish the secret purpose which has driven her so long and so far?

The Type-Writer Girl by Grant Allen The Type-Writer Girl

“There is no more pathetic figure in our world to-day than the common figure of the poor young lady, crushed between classes above and below, and left with scarce a chance of earning her bread with decency.” So says Juliet Appleton’s boss, encouraging her to put her story into print. How will this college-educated 23-year-old survive the Darwinian Battle of Life in late Victorian England? She’s fundless in London but armed, by way of adaptive structures, with those two high-tech devices of the day: a bicycle for mobility and a typewriter for utility.

Miss Cayley's Adventures by Grant Allen Miss Cayley's Adventures

Fun stories of Miss Lois Cayley, independent young woman, as she, beginning with only twopence in her pocket, travels the world.

By: William H. Hudson

Green Mansions: A Romance of the Tropical Forest by William H. Hudson Green Mansions: A Romance of the Tropical Forest

“Green Mansions: A Romance of the Tropical Forest” is a narration of his life story by Abel, a Venezuelan, to a comrade. Once a wealthy young man, he meddled in politics to the extent of provoking a revolution… which failed.Escaping into the tropical forests of Guyana Abel takes up gold hunting, then journal-writing, and fails at both. Now with no aim for his life, he drifts until he takes up residence with a remote Indian tribe. Soon he learns of a wood the Indians avoid, as it is inhabited by a dangerous Daughter of the Didi, who, they say, slew one of them with magic...

By: W. M. Flinders Petrie

Egyptian Tales, translated from the Papyri, Series One by W. M. Flinders Petrie Egyptian Tales, translated from the Papyri, Series One

Brief, and in some cases incomplete, stories of magic from ancient Egypt.

By: Edward George Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873)

The Coming Race by Edward George Bulwer-Lytton The Coming Race

Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton (1803-1873) was an English novelist, poet, playright, and politician. Lord Lytton was a florid, popular writer of his day, who coined such phrases as “the great unwashed”, “pursuit of the almighty dollar”, “the pen is mightier than the sword”, and the infamous incipit “It was a dark and stormy night.” Despite his popularity in his heyday, today his name is known as a byword for bad writing. San Jose State University holds...

By: Adele Garrison

Revelations of a Wife by Adele Garrison Revelations of a Wife

Adele Garrison was the nom de plume of Nana Springer White, an American writer. Her career included time as a schoolteacher in Milwaukee. She later worked as an editor for the Milwaukee Sentinel and then a reporter and writer for the Chicago Examiner and Chicago American. “Revelations of a Wife” ran as a serial story in her daily newspaper column in multiple American newspapers from 1915 until the Depression. It told the story of the marital ups and downs of Margaret “Madge” Graham, an independent-minded former schoolteacher, and her husband Dicky, an artist. At the height of the story’s popularity, it had one million regular readers.

By: Publius Ovidius Naso

Heroides by Publius Ovidius Naso Heroides

The Heroides, also known as the Heroines, the Letters of the Heroines or simply as Epistles are a very famous collection of poems by Ovid, not only for their interesting subject – letters by famous mythological characters addressed to their beloved ones – but also because it’s considered by some the first example of the Epistle as a literary genre – a statement made by Ovid himself in his Ars Amatoria. The book as we have it nowadays consists of 21 letters, divided in two parts. The first...

By: Edith Œnone Somerville (1858-1949)

Some Experiences of an Irish R.M. by Edith Œnone Somerville Some Experiences of an Irish R.M.

This is the first of three novels which Edith Somerville and her cousin Violet Martin wrote about the English Major Sinclair Yates who leaves the army to take up a position of Resident Magistrate in the West of Ireland in about 1895. The tales tell in a humorous way of his struggles with a new job, new culture, and with his landlord and neighbour Mr. ‘Flurry’ Knox whose prime, if not only, interest is in hunting, which forms the background to all the stories. Miss Somerville was herself the first woman anywhere to become an M.F.H.

By: Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935)

Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman Herland

Herland is a utopian novel from 1915, written by feminist Charlotte Perkins Gilman. The book describes an isolated society comprised entirely of Aryan women who reproduce via parthenogenesis (asexual reproduction). The result is an ideal social order, free of war, conflict and domination. It first appeared as a serial in Perkin’s monthly magazine Forerunner.

What Diantha Did by Charlotte Perkins Gilman What Diantha Did

Charlotte Perkins Gilman opens a window of history through which we see a small part of the determined efforts made by women to elevate the circumstances of women in the early 20th century.Diantha Bell is a normal young woman desiring marriage and a home, but also she desires a challenging career in new territory that raises many eyebrows and sets malicious tongues wagging. Her effort to elevate housework and cooking to a regulated and even a scientific business, for the relief of homemakers, is a depiction of the late 19th century movement to promote Domestic Science, or Home Economics, as a means of providing more healthful home life, as well as career paths for women...

By: Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875)

Book cover Little Mermaid

The Little Mermaid" (Danish: Den lille havfrue, literally: "the little sea lady") is a very well known fairy tale by the Danish author Hans Christian Andersen about a young mermaid willing to give up her life in the sea and her identity as a mermaid to gain a human soul and the love of a human prince. The tale was first published in 1837 and has been adapted to various media including musical theatre and animated film. But this tale is not the Disney version, all cleaned up and made pretty. This is the way Andersen wrote it...

Book cover Ice-Maiden: and Other Tales

Short-stories/fairy tales by H. C. Anderson, includes The Ice-maiden -- The Butterfly -- The Psyche -- The Snail and the Rose-treeThe Ice-Maiden: Written toward the end of Hans Christian Andersen's career, "The Ice-Maiden" is the story of Rudy, a boy who's mother died in the ice of the mountains while he survives, saved by the kiss of the Ice-Maiden. The Ice-Maiden, jealous that the boy she claimed has escaped her embrace, pursues him through the rest of his life.The Butterfly: A butterfly searches for the perfect flower to be his bride...

By: William Le Queux (1864-1927)

The Czar's Spy by William Le Queux The Czar's Spy

William Le Queux was a British novelist and prolific writer of mysteries. Indeed, mystery surrounds the author himself as to whether he was a spy or rather just a self-promoter. Regardless of which is true, Le Queux brings us a story of intrigue and espionage that travels across Europe in the true spirit of a good mystery. There are shootings, burglaries, romances, escapes from prisons, and intricate conspiracies that may surprise and leave you scratching your head as you try to solve this “whodunit”. In the best tradition of a good mystery however, you may need to wait for the final chapters to discover the truth.

Hushed Up! A Mystery of London by William Le Queux Hushed Up! A Mystery of London

A young man, Owen Biddulph, is drawn to a beautiful young woman with a mysterious past... a past that seems to have returned to cause her disappearance! Is she his new found love or his nemesis? And who is this mysterious clergyman that warns him to avoid this young woman, at risk of his very life! What possible harm could this sweet young woman inflict? Written by one of the Masters of Mystery, William Le Queux. (Introduction by Tom Weiss)

The Seven Secrets by William Le Queux The Seven Secrets

A true “whodunit” with as many twists and turns as an English country road. Old man Courtenay is found murdered in his bed. Dr. Ralph Boyd is summoned to Courtenay Manor to examine the slain man and discovers a clue that might solve the case. But, he decides to keep the clue private for personal reasons. In the meantime, Scotland Yard has no clues as the culprits or the motive. Dr. Boyd, because of his new found clue, is sure he knows who is the murderer. Or, is it a murderess? His intimate acquaintance, Ambler Jevons, is also investigating the crime but Dr...

The Stretton Street Affair by William Le Queux The Stretton Street Affair

Hugh Gabriel has recently been repatriated from the war and has rejoined his old firm as an electrical engineer. On the way to visit his uncle one night, he is asked by a servant if he would be willing to meet with his wealthy master who is in some distress. Hugh becomes witness to, and directly involved with, a dastardly murder. Or has he? Who is this mysterious millionaire Oswald De Gex he has been asked to meet with? Is Doctor Moroni an honest physician or a diabolical monster? And what about...

The Great White Queen by William Le Queux The Great White Queen

How to describe this book? In a word – savage. For those regular Le Queux mystery listeners, this book is a step in a different direction by the author. The book starts out like most Le Queux. Our hero, Richard Scarsmere, befriends an individual (Omar) at an English boarding school who turns out to be an African prince from a kingdom called Mo. Omar receives a visit from one of his mother’s trusted advisers. His mother, the Great White Queen, seeks him to return home immediately. Omar convinces Scarsmere to return to Africa with him since there is little opportunity awaiting him in London. What follows is a tale of deceit, treachery, barbarity, and mystery.

The Four Faces by William Le Queux The Four Faces

Michael Berrington is a bachelor leading a quiet life in London. Overhearing a conversation at his club one day, he becomes interested in a discussion regarding a man named Gastrell. Gastrell is somewhat of a mystery to the club members in spite of his renting a house from one of them. Berrington’s interest in Gastrell intensifies as his fiancé, Dulcie Challoner, befriends a wealthy widow, Mrs. Connie Stapleton who evidently has some type of relationship with Gastrell. As the plot progresses,...

The Invasion by William Le Queux The Invasion

This novel, also known as The Invasion of 1910, is a 1906 novel written mainly by William Le Queux (with H. W. Wilson providing the naval chapters). It is one of the more famous examples of Invasion literature and is an example of pre-World War I Germanophobia, as it preached the need to prepare for war with Germany. The book takes the form of a military history and includes excerpts from the characters' journals and letters and descriptions of the fictional German campaign itself. The novel originally appeared in serial form in the Daily Mail newspaper from 19 March 1906, and was a huge success...

The Sign of Silence by William Le Queux The Sign of Silence

Edward Royle is the head of a well-known chemical manufacturer in England, which he has inherited. He is engaged to the daughter of his father’s former partner, Phrida Shand, who lives with her mother. One night he is asked by his friend, Sir Digby Kemsley – a very famous railroad engineer, to come to his flat to discuss something although Kemsley is quite mysterious on the telephone. Royle visits, then returns home only to be summoned again by Kemsley, this time imploring him to return at once...

By: Peter Newell (1862-1924)

The Slant Book by Peter Newell The Slant Book

The Slant Book is literally the shape of a parallelogram, with the spine of the book running down one side. When opened, facing pages form a “V” shape. All the pictures on the slanted recto pages show a way-too-precocious infant in a carriage [the "go-cart" of yesteryear] racing downhill who has somehow gotten away from his nanny, gleefully creating havoc all along the way! The facing verso pages contain two stanzas of commentary on the charming –if alarming!– illustrations. This book pioneered the “special format” children’s literature of today, such as pop-up books or cutout books like Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar...

The Rocket Book by Peter Newell The Rocket Book

The Rocket Book begins when the son of a building superintendent sets a match to a rocket he discovered in the basement. Suddenly, the rocket blasts its way up through apartment after apartment in a high-rise, disrupting and transforming the humdrum goings-on of twenty families till it is finally stopped cold by something in the attic. An elliptical hole is punched in each of the book’s pages and illustrations to signify where the rocket passed through every apartment! As in all of Newell’s books, the verse on the verso-page provides commentary on the recto-page illustration...

By: Harrison Ainsworth

The Lancashire Witches by Harrison Ainsworth The Lancashire Witches

The Lancashire Witches is a highly fictionalised account of the activities of the notorious witches Demdike, Chattox and Alice Nutter who, together with others terrorised the district of Lancashire around Pendle Hill and the Forest of Bowland during the early seventeenth century. The witches named in the book were real enough, if not as witches then as people. Ainsworth, in his story brings in the dissolution of Whalley Abbey and the historic families of Assheton, Braddyll and Nowell and takes us through to the final trial and execution at Lancaster Castle in 1612. (Summary by Andy Minter)

By: Katherine Pyle (1863-1938)

The Counterpane Fairy by Katherine Pyle The Counterpane Fairy

A little boy, recuperating from a lengthy illness, is entertained by visits from the Counterpane Fairy, who treats him to stories associated with each of the squares in the counterpane (quilt) on his sickbed. She has him concentrate on one of the squares until it turns into something like a doorway into the story. Once inside the story, he becomes its lead character until it fades out as if he’s awakening from a dream.

By: Frank Froest (1858-1930)

The Grell Mystery by Frank Froest The Grell Mystery

Mr Robert Grell, millionaire and socialite, is found murdered in his study on a stormy evening. It’s up to Heldon Foyle, the detective, to unravel the mystery.

By: Marcus Tullius Cicero

The Philippics by Marcus Tullius Cicero The Philippics

A philippic is a fiery, damning speech delivered to condemn a particular political actor. The term originates with Demosthenes, who delivered an attack on Philip II of Macedon in the 4th century BCE.Cicero consciously modeled his own attacks on Mark Antony, in 44 BC and 43 BC, on Demosthenes’s speeches, and if the correspondence between M. Brutus and Cicero are genuine [ad Brut. ii 3.4, ii 4.2], at least the fifth and seventh speeches were referred to as the Philippics in Cicero’s time. They were also called the Antonian Orations by Aulus Gellius...

By: Giles Lytton Strachey (1880-1932)

Book cover Eminent Victorians

On Modern Library's list of 100 Best Non-Fiction books, "Eminent Victorians" marked an epoch in the art of biography; it also helped to crack the old myths of high Victorianism and to usher in a new spirit by which chauvinism, hypocrisy and the stiff upper lip were debunked. In it, Strachey cleverly exposes the self-seeking ambitions of Cardinal Manning and the manipulative, neurotic Florence Nightingale; and in his essays on Dr Arnold and General Gordon, his quarries are not only his subjects but also the public-school system and the whole structure of nineteenth-century liberal values.

By: Irwin Leslie Gordon (1888-1954)

Who Was Who: 5000 BC – 1914 by Irwin Leslie Gordon Who Was Who: 5000 BC – 1914

A short, humorous biography of famous people from 5000 BC to 1914. — S. McGaughey From the Introduction, “The editor begs leave to inform the public that only persons who can produce proper evidence of their demise will be admitted to Who Was Who. Press Agent notices or complimentary comments are absolutely excluded, and those offering to pay for the insertion of names will be prosecuted. As persons become eligible they will be included without solicitation, while the pages will be expurgated of others should good luck warrant.”

By: Haggard, H. Rider (1856-1925)

Ayesha, the Return of She by Haggard, H. Rider Ayesha, the Return of She

Ayesha, the return of She, is set 16 years after the previous novel She. Horace Holly and Leo Vincey have spent the years travelling the world looking for Ayesha, along the way they experience many adventures, including avalanches, glaciers and even death-hounds before finally arriving in the court of Kaloon. At the court, they hear tell of a woman who Leo suspects to be Ayesha, however things are never simple and conflict soon follows them to Ayesha’s court. (Summarised from Wikipedia)

By: Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia by Samuel Johnson Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia

In this enchanting fable (subtitled The Choice of Life), Rasselas and his retinue burrow their way out of the totalitarian paradise of the Happy Valley in search of that triad of eighteenth-century aspiration – life, liberty and happiness.According to that quirky authority, James Boswell, Johnson penned his only work of prose fiction in a handful of days to cover the cost of his mother’s funeral. The stylistic elegance of the book and its wide-ranging philosophical concerns give no hint of haste or superficiality...


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