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By: Henry James (1843-1916)

The Spoils of Poynton by Henry James The Spoils of Poynton

The recently widowed Adela Gereth, a lover of beauty and passionate collector of fine objects, strikes up a friendship with the young Fleda Vetch, when both of them find themselves guests in the tasteless house of the Brigstock family. Mrs. Gereth fears that her son Owen, an honorable but somewhat unimaginative young man, may take up with one of the Brigstock girls, and indeed he presently announces his engagement to Mona, the eldest daughter. That means that Mrs. Gereth will have to leave Poynton, the beautiful house that she and her husband filled with the furniture, china, tapestries, and other objects that they lovingly collected over the years...

The Sacred Fount by Henry James The Sacred Fount

Published in 1901, The Sacred Fount delves into the interior observations and obsessions of one Englishman during a weekend gathering in the country. Regarding himself as a master of human psychology, the narrator watches the goings-on of the other guests and weaves theories about the interpersonal implications of what he witnesses, leaving the not infrequently perplexed reader the task of sorting out whether his conclusions are facts or fancies. (Introduction by S. Kovalchik)

Sir Dominick Ferrand by Henry James Sir Dominick Ferrand

“Levity” is not a word often applied to Henry James, but this story has about it an attractively lighthearted quality. It tells of Peter Baron, a poor, young struggling writer of adequate, if not transcendent, talent, who lives in a dreary London boarding house inhabited also by a mysteriously clairvoyant and beautiful young widow, with her small boy. When Baron buys himself a second-hand writing desk to stimulate the creative juices, he finds carefully hidden within it a cache of letters that appear to compromise a recently deceased statesman...

The Bostonians (Vol. 1 & 2) by Henry James The Bostonians (Vol. 1 & 2)

This bittersweet tragicomedy centers on an odd triangle of characters: Basil Ransom, a political conservative from Mississippi; Olive Chancellor, Ransom's cousin and a Boston feminist; and Verena Tarrant, a pretty, young protégée of Olive's in the feminist movement. The storyline concerns the struggle between Ransom and Olive for Verena's allegiance and affection, though the novel also includes a wide panorama of political activists, newspaper people, and quirky eccentrics.

The Birthplace by Henry James The Birthplace

Neither the name of Shakespeare nor that of Stratford appears directly in this short piece by James, and yet both are absolutely central to his plot. The story has to do with Mr. and Mrs. Gedge, tempted away from a dreary northern town library, which he runs, to become the wardens – caretakers and tour guides – of the house where the greatest writer of the English language was born, and in which he grew up.Or did he? There is, after all, a paucity of facts about His life (in James's text, that pronoun is always capitalized, as befits a deity) and only the slenderest of historical evidence about the existence of such a man...

The Coxon Fund by Henry James The Coxon Fund

This novella explores the relationship between Frank Saltram, a charismatic speaker who is also a freeloader; Ruth Anvoy, a young American who visits her widowed aunt, Lady Coxon, an American who married a Brit; and George Gravener, a British intellectual with a future in politics who becomes engaged to Ms. Anvoy. The story revolves around the dispersal of The Coxon Fund, a sum of money left by Ms. Anvoy’s father with the stipulation that is be given to a great man to publish and pursue moral truth.

Roderick Hudson by Henry James Roderick Hudson

Published as a serial in 1875, Roderick Hudson is James's first important novel. The theme of Americans in Europe, so important in much of James's work, is already central to the story. Hudson is a young law student in Northampton, Massachusetts, who shows such surprising ability as a sculptor that the rich Rowland Mallett, visiting a cousin in Northampton, decides to stake him to several years of study in Rome, then a center of expatriate American society. The story has to do not only with Roderick's growth as an artist and the problems it brings, but also as a man susceptible to his new environment, and indeed his occasional rivalries with his American friend and patron...

The Reverberator by Henry James The Reverberator

Another Jamesian look at Americans in Paris. What happens when a reporter for an American scandal sheet (The Reverberator) is looking for a good story, though one which might interfere with the marriage plans of a young American woman in the City of Light? This book has been described as "a delicious Parisian bonbon," and its generally good humor stands in contrast with some of the writer's other work.

The Last of the Valerii by Henry James The Last of the Valerii

An unnamed American painter resident in Rome serves as narrator in this story, watching as his god-daughter Martha, becomes the wife of Prince Marco Valerio. The young bride is eager to use some of her American fortune in the service of archeology at the Villa Valerio, her husband's somewhat run down Roman house. Archeology can be, her god-father suggests, a rather expensive hobby, but to his (and her) surprise, the dig brings to light a lovely marble statue of Juno. Martha is overjoyed, but it is soon clear that her husband is overcome by the discovery, and overcome in ways that are to be disquieting...

Sir Edmund Orme by Henry James Sir Edmund Orme

Henry James wrote a number of ghost stories -- The Turn of the Screw being the most famous. Did he believe in ghosts himself, as did many of his contemporaries? It's generally possible to find earthly interpretations, Freudian and other, for his ghosts. Sir Edmund Orme, though, is unquestionably a real ghost -- except of course that James's unnamed narrator tells the story in the voice of yet a third man, and the narrator himself passes no judgments on the factual nature of what he is reporting (there's a resemblance here to The Turn of the Screw)...

Book cover Tragic Muse

Art or politics, this is the question Nick Dormer dealls with in the course of this novel. Mirian Ruth, an aspiring actress, is the "tragic muse" of the title. Her concerns are a bit different: would proper society accept her as an actress, or would she have to choose between giving up acting and marrying well? A large and interesting cast of secondary characters accompany them along the way, for good or bad. This novel is for lovers of Trollope and Dickins, while James's sharp and keen observations and wit are there at all times. Enjoy a stroll in the park listening to this overlooked masterpiece. . - Summary by Stav Nisser

By: Henry Kuttner (1915—1958)

The Creature from Beyond Infinity by Henry Kuttner The Creature from Beyond Infinity

A lone space traveler arrives on Earth seeking a new planet to colonize, his own world dead. At the same time a mysterious plague has infected Earth that will wipe out all life. Can a lone scientist stop the plague and save the world? Or will the alien find himself on another doomed planet?

The Ego Machine by Henry Kuttner The Ego Machine

Celebrated playwright Nicholas Martin didn’t read the small print in his Hollywood options contract. Now he’s facing five years of servitude to a conceited director named Raoul St. Cyr, who’s taken a thoughtful play about Portuguese fishermen and added dancing mermaids. When it seems the plot has changed to include a robot from the future Nicholas looses all hope, but this robot may be just what he needs to win his freedom. – The Ego Machine was first published in the May, 1952 issue of Space Science Fiction magazine.

By: Henry Lee Mitchell Pike (1865-?)

Book cover Our Little Korean Cousin

This book is one of a series that aims at describing other cultures to children in an entertaining way that honors the culture, educates the child and keeps their minds open to the possibility of other people living wonderful lives in far off places. "Until very recently little has been known of the strange land in which the subject of this tale lives. Recent events have done much to introduce Korea and its people to the world at large. For this reason the story of Yung Pak's youthful days may be the more interesting to his Western cousins...

By: Henry Marriage Wallis (1854-1941)

Book cover Master Girl: A Romance

A stone age romance. Deh-Yun of the Little Moon comes across Pul-Yun of the Sun Disc, who has broken his leg while in search of a woman to kidnap and take as wife. Deserting her tribe, Deh-Yun nurses him back to health and as their adventures proceed she proves to be the more resourceful of the two. - Summary by Phil Benson

By: Henry Murger (1832-1861)

Book cover Bohemians of the Latin Quarter

As much as any other work of literature, Henri Murger’s 1851 collection of witty sketches Scènes de la vie de bohème shaped the later romanticized image of the bohemian artist: independent, insouciant, exuberantly lustful, devoted to Art for Art’s sake no matter how cold and hungry the artist might be. Four young Parisian artists, Schaunard the composer, Marcel the painter, Rodolphe the poet, and Colline the philosopher, form an informal Bohemian alliance dedicated to Art and the joy of Life...

By: Henry Oyen (1882-1921)

Book cover The Snow-Burner

The Snow-Burner is what the Native Americans called Reivers, and it was a rough and tumble life in the land where Reivers chose to live up to his name. The name was attributed to Reivers upon his proof after arriving in the north country because of his ability to defeat all perceived enemies in whatever means was necessary; whether by brute force and tough action, or by sheer cunning which he had gained living in the city in his earlier days. When assigned to oversee a group of foreigners in a work camp, he treated them with utter cruelty...

By: Henry Peterson (1818-1891)

Dulcibel A Tale of Old Salem by Henry Peterson Dulcibel A Tale of Old Salem

Dulcibel is a young, pretty and kind-hearted fictional character charged with Witchcraft during the infamous Salem Witch trials. During this time there is a group of "afflicted girls" who accuse Dulcibel and many others of Witchcraft, and during their trials show "undoubtable" proof that these people really are Witches. Will Master Raymond, Dulcibel's lover, be able to to secure Dulcibel's release from jail? Or will Dulcibel's fate be the gallows like so many other accused Witches of her time?

By: Henry Rider Haggard (1856-1925)

Book cover Pearl Maiden

This is the story of Miriam, an orphan Christian woman living in Rome in the first century. She falls in love with a Roman officer, but knows that her Jewish childhood playmate loves her too and will do anything in order to get her love in return.

By: Henry Thayer Niles (1825-1901)

The Dawn and the Day by Henry Thayer Niles The Dawn and the Day

The Dawn and the Day, or, The Buddha and the Christ, Part 1 is a text similar to the epic poetry of Homer or, more accurately, classic Hindu texts, such as the Baghavad-Gita.

By: Henry van Dyke (1852-1933)

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: Henry W. Lucy (1845-1924)

Faces and Places by Henry W. Lucy Faces and Places

Faces and Places is a collection of articles on nineteenth century travel, events and personalities by the British journalist Henry Lucy, who wrote for the Daily News, a London newspaper. His open letter To Those About to Become Journalists rings as true today as when it was written.The first article, “Fred” Burnaby, includes a lively account of a balloon trip, while Night and Day on the Cars in Canada and Easter on Les Avants relate Lucy’s experiences of rail travel at that time. Other travel tales (A Night on a Mountain, Mosquitoes and Monaco, and Oysters and Arcachon) provide an insight into the Victorian Englishman’s attitude to Europe...

By: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)

Book cover Devil's Bridge

Taken from Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes, Switzerland and Austria: Vol. XVI, edited by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

By: Henryk Sienkiewicz (1846-1916)

Quo Vadis by Henryk Sienkiewicz Quo Vadis

Sienkiewicz’s epic novel of ancient Rome finds the Empire at the height of her power and splendor, but struggling with the madness and cruelty of the Emperor Nero. A new religion is sweeping across the world, causing many Romans to wonder and leading many others to sacrifice everything for it. Yet, even as a great city burns and darkness threatens to overwhelm the age, hope is found in the love of the Roman tribune Marcus Vinicius for the beautiful Christian maiden Lygia, and in his journey toward his life’s true purpose (Introduction by D. Leeson).

By: Herbert Escott Inman (1860-1915)

Book cover One-Eyed Griffin and Other Tales

collection of children's fairytales including the tale of how the griffin lost one eye and Can't Shan't and Don't Care came to be giants.

By: Herbert George Jenkins (1876-1923)

Book cover Malcolm Sage, detective

A collection of short stories that chronicles the first year of the Malcolm Sage Detective Bureau.

Book cover The Return of Alfred

The hero of the book is at a loose end, weary and bored of his old life after returning from the Great War. After an argument with his uncle and a railway strike he finds himself lost in the county of Norfolk at ten o’clock one night. When he seeks shelter in a country home, the butler immediately recognizes him as “Mr. Alfred”, the missing son of the house. From that point onwards, our hero, who gives his name as “James Smith”, finds himself in for an exciting time.Not only does he inherit the friends of “Mr...

John Dene of Toronto; a Comedy of Whitehall by Herbert George Jenkins John Dene of Toronto; a Comedy of Whitehall

John Dene comes to England with a great invention, and the intention of gingering-up the Admiralty. His directness and unconventional methods bewilder and embarrass the officials at Whitehall, where, according to him, most of the jobs are held by those "whose great-grandfathers had a pleasant way of saying how-do-you-do to a prince." Suddenly John Dene disappears, and the whole civilised world is amazed at an offer of £20,000 for news of him. Scotland Yard is disorganised by tons of letters and thousands of callers...

By: Herbert Jenkins (1876-1923)

Patricia Brent, spinster by Herbert Jenkins Patricia Brent, spinster

A romantic comedy, written in 1918, but with a modern feel to it. Patricia Brent one day overhears two fellow-boarders pitying her because she “never has a nice young man to take her out”. In a thoughtless moment of anger she announces that the following night she will be dining out with her fiance. When she arrives at the restaurant the next day, she finds some of the fellow-boarders there to watch her, so, rendered reckless by the thought of the humiliation of being found out, she goes up to a young man sitting alone at a table, and asks him to help her by “playing up”. Countless complications and adventures ensue…

By: Herman Landon

Book cover The Gray Phantom

A woman is apparently murdered in a New York auditorium under very suspicious circumstances one evening during a performance. Helen Hardwick happened to be in attendance that evening, as she had written the play that was being performed, and she was the only person to have caught a glimpse of something peculiar just before the murder. She also heard an ominous laughter which would continue to haunt her. Was it coincidence that the 'retired' Gray Phantom arrived in the city immediately after the murder...

By: Herman Melville (1819-1891)

Moby Dick by Herman Melville Moby Dick

“Call me Ishmael” is one of the most famous opening lines in American literature. With these words, opens one of the strangest and most gripping stories ever written about the sea and sea-faring. Moby Dick by Herman Melville is today considered one of the greatest novels written in America but paradoxically, it was a miserable failure when it first made its debut in 1851. Entitled Moby Dick or The Whale the book finally got its due after the author's death and is now regarded as a classic portrayal of mania and fatal obsession...

Typee by Herman Melville Typee

A whaling ship stops at a remote Polynesian island. The crew aboard is exhausted after a grueling six-month voyage in which they suffered ill-treatment and drudgery. Two men decide to abandon ship and hide on the island, living off the fruit of the land, until they can get on board a more conducive ship. However, to their consternation they discover that part of the island paradise is peopled by a savage and cannibalistic tribe called the Typees. As destiny would have it, they fall into the hands of the very people they dread...

Benito Cereno by Herman Melville Benito Cereno

On an island off the coast of Chile, Captain Amaso Delano, sailing an American sealer, sees the San Dominick, a Spanish slave ship, in obvious distress. Capt. Delano boards the San Dominick, providing needed supplies, and tries to learn from her aloof and disturbed captain, Benito Cereno, the story of how this ship came to be where she is. Dealing with racism, the slave trade, madness, the tension between representation and reality, and featuring at least one unreliable narrator, Melville's novella has both captivated and frustrated critics for decades.

Omoo: A Narrative of Adventures in the South Seas by Herman Melville Omoo: A Narrative of Adventures in the South Seas

Omoo: A Narrative of Adventures in the South Seas is Herman Melville's sequel to Typee, and, as such, was also autobiographical. After leaving Nuku Hiva, the main character ships aboard a whaling vessel which makes its way to Tahiti, after which there is a mutiny and the majority of the crew are imprisoned on Tahiti. The book follows the actions of the narrator as he explores Tahiti and remarks on their customs and way of life.Many sources incorrectly assert that Omoo is based on Melville's stay in the Marquesas. The novel is, in fact, exclusively based on his experiences in the Society Islands.

The Confidence-Man: His Masquerade by Herman Melville The Confidence-Man: His Masquerade

The Confidence-Man: His Masquerade was the last major novel by Herman Melville, the American writer and author of Moby-Dick. Published on April 1, 1857 (presumably the exact day of the novel's setting), The Confidence-Man was Melville's tenth major work in eleven years. The novel portrays a Canterbury Tales-style group of steamboat passengers whose interlocking stories are told as they travel down the Mississippi River toward New Orleans. The novel is written as cultural satire, allegory, and metaphysical treatise, dealing with themes of sincerity, identity, morality, religiosity, economic materialism, irony, and cynicism...

White Jacket, or The World in a Man-of-War by Herman Melville White Jacket, or The World in a Man-of-War

This is a tale based on Melville's experiences aboard the USS United States from 1843 to 1844. It comments on the harsh and brutal realities of service in the US Navy at that time, but beyond this the narrator has created for the reader graphic symbols for class distinction, segregation and slavery aboard this microcosm of the world, the USS Neversink. (Introduction by James K. White)

Book cover The Encantadas, Or Enchanted Isles

The Encantadas or Enchanted Isles is a novella by American author Herman Melville. First published in Putnam's Magazine in 1854, it consists of ten philosophical "Sketches" on the Encantadas, or Galápagos Islands. It was collected in The Piazza Tales in 1856. The Encantadas was to become the most critically successful of that collection. All of the stories are replete with symbolism reinforcing the cruelty of life on the Encantadas. (Introduction excerpted from Wikipedia)

By: Hermann Hesse (1877-1962)

Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse Siddhartha

Once regarded as a cult book in the 1960s by the Flower Power generation, Siddhartha by Herman Hesse remains even today a simple and fresh tale of a man's spiritual quest. Penned by a deeply spiritual German author, Siddhartha explores multiple themes of enlightenment, thinking beyond set rules, love and humanity. Siddhartha is a young contemporary of the spiritual master Gautam Buddha who lived in India at some time during the 4th century BC. The story has striking parallels to Buddha's own life story in which he abandons his wealth and status as the young prince of Kapilavastu, his wife and young son and his family to embark on a voyage of self discovery...

By: Hesba Stretton (1832-1911)

Little Meg's Children by Hesba Stretton Little Meg's Children

This is the touching and endearing story of Little Meg and her trials and difficulties as she does her best to look after 'her children' after their mother dies. Father is away at sea and is expected every day, but when father's ship comes in he is not aboard! With the help of her new friend and neighbour Kitty, she finds out that he was 'took bad' on the other side of the world, who knows when or if he will ever make it back. Meanwhile, Little Meg must take care of Robby and baby. There are better days and worse days...

By: Hesketh Vernon Hesketh-Prichard (1876-1922)

Book cover Ghosts, Being The Experiences of Flaxman Low

A collection of ghost stories featuring Flaxman Low, the first psychic detective of fiction. The stories were first written for Pearson's Magazine and the tales were disconcertingly being promoted by Pearson as "real ghost stories". - Summary by Rapunzelina

By: Heywood Broun (1888-1939)

Seeing Things at Night by Heywood Broun Seeing Things at Night

This Book is a collection of humorous short stories which describe the comedy in everyday things and situations.

Pieces of Hate and other Enthusiasms by Heywood Broun Pieces of Hate and other Enthusiasms

This book is a collection of humorous short stories about ordinary instances in daily life. We learn many interesting things about life, such as how to court women successfully, what it feels like to be a god, and why sometimes it would be a good idea to exchange one's own newborn baby for a better one at the hospital.

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: Homer

The Odyssey by Homer The Odyssey

A wandering king who's a war-hero doomed to roam the earth by a vengeful God, a plethora of fantastic experiences, a wife battling the invasion of suitors who wish to replace her missing husband, a son in search of his father - the Odyssey is a rich tapestry of incredible experiences and unforgettable characters. A must-read classic for anyone who wants to understand the fundamentals of Western mythology, it is a sequel to the Illiad which recounts the magnificent saga of the Trojan War. The Odyssey continues on, describing the trials and tribulations of the Greeks under the leadership of Odysseus...

By: Homer Eon Flint (1888-1924)

Book cover The Lord of Death and the Queen of Life

A doctor, an architect, an engineer, and a geologist step into a space car. In their new invention, they set off on an expediton to Mercury, planning to visit Venus on the return voyage. On Mercury they find a strange city eerily abandoned. Sculptures of giant figures alarm them. In a building they discover a machine. The engineer gets it running, and blaring out of the machine a thundering voice speaking Mercurian begins to sound in a way that conveys to them that it is telling a story. After an enormous effort the men translate the audio book...

By: Homer Greene (1853-1940)

Book cover Blind Brother

This is the first book written by Homer Greene, whose primary occupation was lawyer. It tells of 14-year-old Tom Taylor, and his 12-year-old blind brother Bennie, who work in the Pennsylvania coal mines in the late 1800s, earning money for an operation for the younger lad. A story of strikes and mine "falls" (cave-ins) along the way.

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: Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850)

Sarrasine by Honoré de Balzac Sarrasine

Published by Honoré de Balzac in the tempestuous year of 1830, the tale follows the undulating pathways of Sarrasine the sculptor’s shocking journey to his coming of age. As one of the “fathers of realism” Balzac painted with his words a vivid portrait of life in the swirling salons of Europe at the end of the Bourbon monarchy, and we follow Sarrasine from France to Italy in search of both his métier and his muse.However it is also the story of La Zambinella, an Italian singer with whom Sarrasine falls madly and passionately in love. But that passion holds a secret which Sarrasine spies too late.

The Girl with the Golden Eyes by Honoré de Balzac The Girl with the Golden Eyes

"Give me a feast such as men give when they love," she said, "and whilst I sleep, slay me..."Listeners who like to plunge straight into a story would do well to skip the lengthy preamble. Here, Balzac the virtuoso satirist depicts the levels of Parisian society as a version of the Inferno of Dante - but perhaps keeps the reader waiting too long for the first act of his operatic extravaganza.Our beautiful, androgynous hero, Henri de Marsay, is one of the bastard offspring of a depraved Regency milord and himself practises the cynical arts of the libertine...

Farewell by Honoré de Balzac Farewell

In his startling and tragic novella Farewell (‘Adieu’), Balzac adds to the 19th century’s literature of the hysterical woman: sequestered, confined in her madness; mute, or eerily chanting in her moated grange. The first Mrs Rochester lurks in the wings; the Lady of Shalott waits for the shadowy reflection of the world outside to shatter her illusion. Freud’s earliest patients will soon enter the waiting-room in their turn. Whilst out hunting two friends come across a strange waif-like woman shut up in a decaying chateau which one of them dubs “the Palace of the Sleeping Beauty”...

Modeste Mignon by Honoré de Balzac Modeste Mignon

Modeste Mignon, a young provincial woman of romantic temperament, imagines herself to be in love with the famous Parisian poet Melchior de Canalis. However, he is not moved by her attentions. He invites his secretary Ernest de la Brière to "deal with the matter". Ernest answers Modeste's letters in his name and acts as her lover, disguised as Canalis. The scene changes dramatically when Ernest discoveres that Modest is, in fact, a rich heiress. Would he be able to win her heart despite his lie?

Louis Lambert by Honoré de Balzac Louis Lambert

Louis Lambert is an 1832 novel by French novelist and playwright Honoré de Balzac (1799–1850), included in the Études philosophiques section of his novel sequence La Comédie humaine. Set mostly in a school at Vendôme, it examines the life and theories of a boy genius fascinated by the Swedish philosopher Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772). Balzac wrote Louis Lambert during the summer of 1832 while he was staying with friends at the Château de Saché, and published three editions with three different titles...

By: Horace Walpole

The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole The Castle of Otranto

The Castle of Otranto is a 1764 novel by HoraceWalpole. It is generally held to be the first gothic novel,initiating a literary genre which would become extremelypopular in the later 18th century and early 19thcentury. Thus, Castle, and Walpole by extension isarguably the forerunner to such authors as AnnRadcliffe, Bram Stoker, Daphne du Maurier, andStephen King.

By: Horacio Quiroga (1878-1937)

Book cover South American Jungle Tales

The stories in South American Jungle Tales center on the relationships between people and the different creatures Quiroga came into contact with on his farm in Misiones, a region of jungle in Uruguay along the banks of the Upper Parana river. Each story quickly evolves into a fantastical realm where the various animals take on familiar human characteristics. These stories, of course, are a metaphor for how man interacts with nature. They are used to show how human beings are an integral part of a greater ecosystem; and can either chose to exploit it to his detriment, or to live in harmony within it.

By: Horatio Alger, Jr. (1832-1899)

Adrift in New York by Horatio Alger, Jr. Adrift in New York

Set in 19th century New York, this is the story of a wealthy old man who adopts his orphaned nephew and niece after his own four year old son mysteriously disappears. However, under a smooth exterior, the nephew is a conniving and avaricious villain who wants to grab all the old man's wealth for himself. This is also the story of a young boy, who doesn't know he's the sole heir to a fabulous fortune, but grows up homeless in the streets of New York. The villainous nephew proposes marriage to his cousin with a view to grabbing the entire inheritance...


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