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By: Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896)

Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe Uncle Tom's Cabin

Uncle Tom’s Cabin is one of the most controversial novels of the last century, with it’s sentimental portrayal of the anti-slavery movement in the USA. Written in 1852, the novel instantly rose to fame and split Americans up and down the country. Stowe was a passionate abolitionist and was inspired to write Uncle Tom when she spent time in Cincinnati in the early part of the 18th century. She met many slaves who had escaped from Kentucky and was touched by the friendships she built. It was with this sentiment that the novel was born and the deep empathy Stowe had for slaves is evident throughout...

By: Jacob Abbott (1803-1879)

Margaret of Anjou by Jacob Abbott Margaret of Anjou

Margaret of Anjou, wife of England’s Henry VI, played a key role in launching the storied War of the Roses – the 30-year civil conflict fuelled by the Lancasters and the Yorks, each vying for the British throne in the 15th century. (Summary by Cathy Barratt.)

By: Emma Orczy (1865-1947)

The Scarlet Pimpernel by Emma Orczy The Scarlet Pimpernel

The Scarlet Pimpernel narrates the story of a rich English baronet who rescues French aristocrats facing the guillotine. He also taunted his enemies after each rescue by leaving behind a card that has a small flower on it – the scarlet pimpernel. It is a brilliant adventure story set at the time of the French Revolution. The plot is fantastic and rarely lets the readers pause for breath as it oscillates between London society and the dark night in Coastal France. The story follows a beautiful Countess who escapes from Paris as a committee there was making arrangements to send her to the guillotine...

By: Baroness Emmuska Orczy (1865-1947)

El Dorado by Baroness Emmuska Orczy El Dorado

If you've read and loved the exciting classic The Scarlet Pimpernel then you'd probably be delighted to follow the further adventures of the dashing Sir Percy Blakeney. El Dorado by Baronness “Emmuska” Orczy depicts the intrepid swordsman and escape artist in the role of savior of the French royal family. Published in 1913, El Dorado was the fourth in the Pimpernel series of eleven books, numerous short stories and other related writings about her famous British adventurer. However, Orczy did not always follow a strict chronological sequence while publishing the novels and hence, there is plenty of overlap between the time frames of the stories...

The Elusive Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy The Elusive Pimpernel

First Published in 1908, The Elusive Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy is the 4th book in the classic adventure series about the Scarlet Pimpernel.

By: Anthony Trollope (1815-1882)

Can You Forgive Her? by Anthony Trollope Can You Forgive Her?

The first book in the political Palliser series, the novel deals with parliamentary politics, while concurrently devoting its pages to much more intricate issues. Presenting three parallel stories, the parliamentary novel draws its attention to three contrasting young women, who are beset with arduous decisions concerning courtship and marriage. Additionally, the novel covers topics including women in conventional society and their discernment, while illustrating the tentative stages of marriage with all the attributes of sacrifice, compromise and temptation...

The Eustace Diamonds by Anthony Trollope The Eustace Diamonds

Lizzie Greystock, a fortune-hunter who ensnares the sickly, dissipated Sir Florian Eustace, is soon left a very wealthy widow and mother. While clever and beautiful, Lizzie has several character flaws; the greatest of these is an almost pathological delight in lying, even when it cannot benefit her. Before he dies, the disillusioned Sir Florian discovers all this, but does not think to change the generous terms of his will. The diamonds of the book’s title are a necklace, a Eustace family heirloom that Sir Florian gave to Lizzie to wear...

Phineas Redux by Anthony Trollope Phineas Redux

Phineas Redux is the fourth in Trollope’s series of six Palliser novels. At the end of Phineas Finn, the second novel in the series, Phineas had to return to Ireland to marry his childhood sweetheart, who was expecting their child. As Phineas Redux opens, Phineas is working as a Poorhouse Inspector in Ireland. His wife having died in childbirth, he finds his existence dull and unsatisfying. Phineas’ returns to England; his career advances and his romantic adventures continue, while we encounter many familiar characters including Glencora and Plantagenet Palliser, Madame Goesler, and Lizzie Eustace and her husband the Reverand Mr. Aemelius.

The Prime Minister by Anthony Trollope The Prime Minister

The Prime Minister is the fifth in Trollope's series of six Palliser novels. With Phineas' difficulties resolved, Trollope introduces new characters. A respectable young girl forsakes the man her family had always intended her to marry when she falls in love with a man of foreign extraction and an unknown family. He has a gentleman's education and manners, but his family background and financial means are mysterious. Is he really a gentleman? Meanwhile, Plantagenet Palliser becomes Prime Minister of a shaky coalition government, and Glencora and Madame Goessler are busy with the ensuing social obligations.

Miss Mackenzie by Anthony Trollope Miss Mackenzie

The thirty-five year-old (hence utterly over-the-hill) Miss Margaret Mackenzie, having devoted her life to others, suddenly finds herself with no one to care for, and in possession of a moderate fortune. Having money, she is now much sought-after and no longer universally deemed too old to marry. Partly because she has spent her life taking care of the brother whose money she has now inherited, she has no experience of wealth or popularity. Miss Mackenzie is the definition of “other-oriented. (Indeed, Trollope originally considered naming the novel, and his heroine, “Griselda”, presumably to invoke the folkloric character’s qualities of stolid obedience and endless patience...

By: Trollope, Anthony (1815-1882)

Belton Estate, The by Trollope, Anthony Belton Estate, The

Clara Amedroz is the virtuous, intelligent, and quick-witted heroine of this novel. Like all women of her time, she has few options other than to marry. She is lucky enough to have two eligible suitors, and chooses the more urbane and worldly of the two. Alas, however, she realizes fairly quickly that Captain Aylmer is not a nice person. Throughout much of the novel we find her trying hard not to recognize that Will Belton - the suitor she rejected, and who still loves and wants to marry her - is...

By: Anthony Trollope (1815-1882)

The Golden Lion of Granpere by Anthony Trollope The Golden Lion of Granpere

Time to do a short Continental trip with Trollope and see if we agree with Walpole. "...not only Trollope's very best shorter book, but one of the most charming idylls in English literature. - . . It has all the colour and richness and cohesion of something done irresistibly." -Walpole . The storyline is simple - boy meets girl - parents object - trials and tribulations follow - and then the story reaches it's conclusion - but you will need to find what that is for yourself !

Book cover Castle Richmond
Book cover La Vendée

By: Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821-1881)

Book cover Possessed

By: Edward M. Forster (1879-1970)

Where Angels Fear to Tread by Edward M. Forster Where Angels Fear to Tread

On a journey to Tuscany with her young friend and traveling companion Caroline Abbott, widowed Lilia Herriton falls in love with both Italy and a handsome Italian much younger than herself, and decides to stay. Furious, her dead husband’s family send Lilia’s brother-in-law to Italy to prevent a misalliance, but he arrives too late. Lilia marries the Italian and in due course becomes pregnant again. When she dies giving birth to her child, the Herritons consider it both their right and their duty to travel to Monteriano to obtain custody of the infant so that he can be raised as an Englishman.

By: Geoffrey Chaucer (c. 1343-1400)

The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer The Canterbury Tales

Anyone who has ever been on a package tour with a group of strangers who soon become friends, and passed time swapping stories with them, would instantly identify with this timeless classic of English literature. The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer recounts twenty different stories recounted by a diverse group of pilgrims who gather at The Tabard Inn in Southwark, near London, before setting out for the shrine of Thomas Becket in Canterbury. The Host of the inn proposes that they entertain themselves by telling stories along the route and the one who tells the best tale would win a prize – a meal at Bailey's tavern, sponsored by the losers...

By: Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864)

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne The Scarlet Letter

A beautiful woman who is punished for the mortal sin of loving a man other than her husband, a cowardly lover, a vengeful husband, a rebellious illegitimate child and the oppressive and patriarchal morality of 17th century Puritanism in Boston. Together these form an unforgettable and thought-provoking glimpse of how much social attitudes have changed over the centuries. Nathaniel Hawthorne was the creator of such beloved works as Twice-Told Tales, A Wonder Book for Boys and Girls, The House of the Seven Gables and spine-chilling tales like Roger Malvin's Burial...

The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne The House of the Seven Gables

“The wrongdoing of one generation lives into the successive ones and… becomes a pure and uncontrollable mischief.” Hawthorne’s moral for “The House of the Seven Gables,” taken from the Preface, accurately presages his story. The full weight of the gloomy mansion of the title seems to sit on the fortunes of the Pyncheon family. An ancestor took advantage of the Salem witch trials to wrest away the land whereon the house would be raised… but the land’s owner, about to be executed as a wizard, cursed the Pyncheon family until such time as they should make restitution...

Book cover The Snow Image and other stories
Book cover John Inglefield's Thanksgiving (From: "The Snow Image and Other Twice-Told Tales")
Book cover The Wives of the Dead (From: "The Snow Image and Other Twice-Told Tales")
Book cover Main Street (From: "The Snow Image and Other Twice-Told Tales")
Book cover The Man of Adamant (From: "The Snow Image and Other Twice-Told Tales")
Book cover Little Daffydowndilly (From: "The Snow Image and Other Twice-Told Tales")
Book cover Old Ticonderoga, a Picture of the Past (From: "The Snow Image and Other Twice-Told Tales")
Book cover Sylph Etherege (From: "The Snow Image and Other Twice-Told Tales")
Book cover Old News (From: "The Snow Image and Other Twice-Told Tales")

By: Andre Norton (1912-2005)

Book cover Rebel Spurs

In 1866, only men uprooted by war had reason to ride into Tubacca, Arizona, a nondescript town as shattered and anonymous as the veterans drifting through it. So when Drew Rennie, newly discharged from Forrest’s Confederate scouts, arrived leading everything he owned behind him—his thoroughbred stud Shiloh, a mare about to foal, and a mule—he knew his business would not be questioned. To anyone in Tubacca there could be only one extraordinary thing about Drew, and that he could not reveal: his name, Rennie...

Book cover Ride Proud, Rebel!

Drew Rennie, served as a cavalry scout in Confederate general John Hunt Morgan's command. He had left home in 1862 after a final break with his harsh grandfather, who despised him since his birth because of his mother's runaway marriage to a Texan. During the final year of conflict Drew has the additional responsibility of looking out for his headstrong fifteen-year-old cousin Boyd, who has run away from home to join Morgan's command and has a lot to learn in the school of hard knocks the army provides. The story follows the two of them and a new friend, Anson Kirby, through campaigns in Kentucky, Tennessee and later on deeper into the South, first with Morgan and later under Forrest.

By: George Eliot

Romola by George Eliot Romola

George Eliot's own favorite among her novels, this novel tells the story of Romola, the intelligent daughter of a blind scoller, who is falling in love with a man who is going to change her life and the politics of Florence in a way she doesn't like. Set in 15th century Florence, it is "a deep study of life in the city of Florence from an intellectual, artistic, religious, and social point of view".

By: H. Beam Piper (1904-1964)

Book cover Rebel Raider

By: Arnold Bennett (1867-1931)

Book cover Ghost: A Modern Fantasy

The novel opens with Carl Foster, a recently qualified doctor, coming to London to try and make his fortune. He meets a famous tenor, Signor Alresca, who suffers a dreadful injury backstage and Foster tends to him. He thus meets the lead soprano, Rosetta Rosa, and falls hopelessly in love with her.Alresca takes Foster under his wing and they travel to Alresca's home in Bruges. It is clear to Foster that Alresca has some strange obsession. Foster also notices a stranger who seems to be dogging his footsteps.Things take an even more sinister turn when Alresca inexplicably dies. . .

By: Stephen Crane (1871-1900)

The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane The Red Badge of Courage

The Red Badge of Courage is a fiction that tells the story of a soldier named Henry Fleming during the American Civil War. The novel gained widespread praise from critics and was also a commercial success shortly after its release and made Stephen Crane an instant celebrity at the young age of 24. In the novel, Henry was one of the enlisted soldiers in the 304th New York Regiment. He flees from battle in one of the skirmishes they had against the Confederates and to hide his cowardice, he attempted to inflict a wound to himself which is referred to as the “red badge of courage...

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

Last Days of Pompeii by Edward George Bulwer-Lytton Last Days of Pompeii

The Last Days of Pompeii, a novel by Edward George Bulwer-Lytton tells the love story of the Greeks Glaucus and Ione who were living in Pompeii when Mt. Vesuvius erupted and destroyed the city. But aside from telling their romance, the book is also full of insights about the decadent lifestyle of the Romans during the later part of their empire’s history. The different characters in the story represent the different civilizations which they come from. Glaucus, the main protagonist in the novel was portrayed as a handsome Greek nobleman...

By: James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851)

The Last Of The Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper The Last Of The Mohicans

The Last of the Mohicans is an epic novel by James Fenimore Cooper, first published in January 1826. It was one of the most popular English-language novels of its time, and helped establish Cooper as one of the first world-famous American writers.The story takes place in 1757 during the French and Indian War, when France and Great Britain battled for control of the American and Canadian colonies. During this war, the French often allied themselves with Native American tribes in order to gain an advantage over the British, with unpredictable and often tragic results.

The Spy by James Fenimore Cooper The Spy

Between 1865-73 the tumultuous American Revolution rages on in different battlefields. The air is thick with hatred and suspicion as the Continental and British armies clash in bloody warfare. In Westchester County, New York, an area is considered a neutral ground for both forces, Harvey Birch plies his dangerous mission. An innocuous peddler by day, he is in fact an American spy, though he does nothing to correct anyone who assumes he is a British spy. In a magnificent country mansion, The Locusts, live the wealthy Whartons...

The Pathfinder by James Fenimore Cooper The Pathfinder

Natty Bumppo goes by many names: La Longue Carabine, Hawk Eye, Leatherstocking, and in this tale, The Pathfinder. Guide, scout, hunter, and when put to it, soldier, he also fills a lot of roles in pre-Revolution upstate New York. An old friend, Sergeant Dunham of the 55th Regiment of Foot, asks him to guide his daughter through the wilderness to the fort at Oswego where Dunham serves. With the French engaging native Indian allies against the British and the Yankee colonists, such a journey is far from safe...

The Pioneers by James Fenimore Cooper The Pioneers

The Pioneers: The Sources of the Susquehanna; a Descriptive Tale is one of the Leatherstocking Tales, a series of five novels by American writer James Fenimore Cooper. The Pioneers was first of these books to be published (1823), but the period of time covered by the book (principally 1793) makes it the fourth chronologically. (The others are The Deerslayer, The Last of the Mohicans, The Pathfinder, and The Prairie.)The story takes place on the rapidly advancing frontier of New York State and features...

Book cover Prairie - A Tale

The story opens with Ishmael, his family, Ellen and Abiram slowly making their way across the virgin prairies of the Midwest looking for a homestead, just two years after the Louisiana Purchase, and during the time of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. They meet the trapper (Natty Bumppo), who has left his home in New York state to find a place where he cannot hear the sound of people cutting down the forests. In the years between his other adventures and this novel, he tells us only that he has walked all the way to the Pacific Ocean and seen all the land between the coasts (a heroic feat, considering Lewis and Clark hadn’t yet completed the same trek).

Book cover The Two Admirals
Book cover The Chainbearer Or, The Littlepage Manuscripts

By: Rafael Sabatini (1875-1950)

Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini Captain Blood

An adventure novel with an unexpected hero, Captain Blood follows the unintended journey of chivalrous and well-educated gentleman Peter Blood, who without much choice was plunged into the world of piracy forcing him to leave his tranquil lifestyle behind. Sabatini first introduced his protagonist in a series of eight short stories published in magazine installments, until later weaving them together in 1922 as a novel. Set in the late 17th century, the novel begins with the image of Peter Blood, a physician, casually attending his geraniums and smoking a pipe...

Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini Scaramouche

“He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad!” The wonderful opening lines of this 1921 novel set the tone for the rest of this delightful story of an adventurer and romantic who dons several roles in his colorful life. Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini is an historical novel set in the turbulent times of the French Revolution. The plot describes Andre-Louis Moreau, a young lawyer adopted by his godfather who cannot reveal his parentage. Moreau inadvertently stumbles into political events and becomes a wanted man based on the evil machinations of a sinister Marquis...

The Sea Hawk by Rafael Sabatini The Sea Hawk

First published in 1915, The Sea Hawk follows the adventures of its protagonist Sir Oliver Tressilian, as he is unjustly betrayed and left to the mercy of others by his selfish brother, who seeks only to save his own skin no matter the cost. Exploring various themes including betrayal, vengeance, sacrifice, injustice, and tormented love, the novel successfully demonstrate Sabatini’s exceptional flair for adventure. Set in the late 16th century, the tale begins with the introduction of Sir Oliver Tressilian, a wealthy gentleman who lives together with his brother Lionel, haunted by his family’s bad-tempered reputation...

The Tavern Knight by Rafael Sabatini The Tavern Knight

Follow the exploits of Sir Crispin Galliard, also known as The Tavern Knight, in his defence of the King of England against Cromwell and his Puritan Entourage.

Book cover Mistress Wilding

By: D. H. Lawrence (1885-1930)

The Prussian Officer and Other Stories by D. H. Lawrence The Prussian Officer and Other Stories

The collection of short stories – of which The Prussian Officer is one – was Lawrence’s first such book. A German officer and his orderly are the focus of the piece and, while socially the superior of his orderly, the officer demonstrates his is the distinctly baser character. (Introduction by Cathy Barratt)

By: Zane Grey (1872-1939)

The Last Trail by Zane Grey The Last Trail

Return with us to those thrilling days of yesteryear as Mike Vendetti narrates this early Zane Grey novel of hardy pioneers taming the wild west. Yes, despite the difficult times, romance flourishes and the bad guys are eliminated almost single handedly as our heroes Jonathan Zane and his sidekick Lew “Deathwind” Wetzel fight their way through mud, blood, gore, savage Indians, and despicable outlaws, to make the land safe for pioneer families as they settle the wild west.

The Last of the Plainsmen by Zane Grey The Last of the Plainsmen

Travel along as Mike Vendetti aka miketheauctioneer narrates an outstanding true account of a trip made in 1909 by Zane Grey and a plainsman, Buffalo Jones, through the Grand Canyon to lasso a cougar. That’s right lasso. Throw a rope around. That’s equivalent to catching one by the tail. As I narrated this book, I found fact to be as exciting as fiction. This part of the west was relatively wild and untamed at this time. Wolves, wild horses, buffalo and other wildlife were quite prevalent, and the Indians were not that friendly...

The Spirit of the Border by Zane Grey The Spirit of the Border

This is an early novel by the phenomenally successful author of frontier, western and sports stories. It deals with historical characters and incidents in the Ohio Valley in the late 18th century, especially with the foundation of Gnaddenhutten, a missionary village intended to bring Christianity to the Indians of Ohio, despite the violent opposition of both Indians and white renegades. This turbulent adventure romance features the heroics of a semi-legendary frontiersman, Lewis Wetzel, who attempts to protect the settlers from hostile Native Americans and the vicious white outlaws the Girty brothers. (Introduction by Leonard Wilson)

Book cover Betty Zane

By: Howard Pyle (1853-1911)

The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood

A modern day legend, Robin Hood is an archetypal hero of the common people who goes to great lengths to famously take from the rich and give to the poor. Luckily he is not alone in his mission, as his righteous views are shared by his band of Merry Men, a group of yeomen, and together they pursue an end to injustice and oppression. Set in medieval England, the tale begins with the introduction of a young archer, who is provoked into conflict and committing a crime against the formidable Sherriff of Nottingham and is immediately dubbed an outlaw...

Men of Iron by Howard Pyle Men of Iron

Men of Iron by Howard Pyle is historical fiction that transports us back to the 1400’s, a time of knighthood and chivalry. Myles Falworth is eight years old when news comes they must flee their home. His blind father is accused of treason. We see Myles grow up, train as a knight, and with perseverance, clear his father of any wrong-doing and restore their family name.

Otto of the Silver Hand by Howard Pyle Otto of the Silver Hand

The story of little Otto, a gentle, peace-loving child born into the heart of turmoil and strife in the castle of a feuding robber baron in medieval Germany. (Summary by Arctura)

Book cover Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates

Swashbuckling tales of legendary pirates, buccaneers, and marooners, terrors of the Spanish Main.

By: Washington Irving (1783-1859)

Book cover Old Christmas: From the Sketch Book of Washington Irving

Washington Irving's Old Christmas tells of an American's travels through England during the Christmas season. Through a chance meeting with an old friend he is able to experience Christmas in a stately manor house. Through his eyes as a houseguest he glimpses the uniquely British customs and celebrations of Christmas as it would have been experienced during the Middle Ages, rather than in the early 19th century.

By: James Oliver Curwood

The Alaskan by James Oliver Curwood The Alaskan

This story opens with a young woman who voyages alone into the wilds of Alaska to escape her tragic past. It then continues on to a young man who passionately protects the pristine environment, people and way of life in this snowbound country. Finally, a greedy profiteer arrives in the narrative whose only aim is to fill his pockets. When these three characters encounter each other on the stark and snowy plains, it's a clash of ideals and the sparks begin to fly. The Alaskan by James Oliver Curwood is one of his very engaging adventure romance conservationist stories and was an instant bestseller, like most of his books, when it was first published in 1923...

God's Country—And the Woman by James Oliver Curwood God's Country—And the Woman

James Curwood wrote many adventures of the far north. By 1909 he had saved enough money to travel to the Canadian northwest, a trip that provided the inspiration for his wilderness adventure stories. The success of his novels afforded him the opportunity to return to the Yukon and Alaska for several months each year that allowed him to write more than thirty such books. The Canadian North is often referred to as “God’s Country” God’s Country is a tale of adventure, mystery and romance!

By: Robert Michael Ballantyne (1825-1894)

Fast in the Ice by Robert Michael Ballantyne Fast in the Ice

At the age of 16 Ballantyne went to Canada and was six years in the service of the Hudson’s Bay Company. His rule in writing, being in every case, was to write as far as possible from personal knowledge of the scenes he described. In this book he details the lives of the crew as they must overwinter in the frozen north including their meetings with Eskimos and bears and their struggles with disease. This is a realistic account of what life was like for the explorers of the Arctic.


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