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By: Lew Wallace (1827-1905)

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

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

By: Louis Ulbach (1822-1889)

The Steel Hammer by Louis Ulbach The Steel Hammer

A large inheritance greatly transforms the lives of three people: a good man, who would have inherited at least a part of the fortune if his uncle hadn't passed away before he could alter the will, his cousin, who inherits all but is prevented from enjoying it, and a gambler, who is in desperate need of such a sum of money. The connection of the three ends fatal for at least one of them.

By: Louisa May Alcott

Shoes and Stockings: A Collection of Short Stories by Louisa May Alcott Shoes and Stockings: A Collection of Short Stories

Here are tales of love and war, modesty and frivolity, laughter and tears. Louisa May Alcott wrote many, many short stories. This collection shares but 7 of them.

By: Lucy Foster Madison (1865-1932)

Book cover In Doublet and Hose A Story for Girls

By: Lucy Maud Montgomery (1874-1942)

Rainbow Valley by Lucy Maud Montgomery Rainbow Valley

If you've read and loved Anne of Green Gables, you'd definitely like to add Rainbow Valley by Lucy Maud Montgomery to your collection. Published in 1919, it is the seventh book in the series and follows the further life and adventures of Anne Shirley. At Ingleside, Anne is now happily married to her childhood friend the devoted Gilbert Blythe and have now been together blissfully for fifteen years. They have six children. The book opens with the return of Anne and Gilbert (who is now a brilliant doctor) from a sojourn in London, where they had gone to attend a big medical congress...

By: Luis Vaz de Camões (1524-1580)

The Lusiads by Luis Vaz de Camões The Lusiads

The Lusiads (Os Lusíadas) is a Portuguese epic poem, written in the 16th century by Luis Vaz de Camões. The poem tells the tale of the Portuguese discoveries in the 15th and 16th centuries, specially the voyage to India by Vasco da Gama. Modelled after the classic epic tradition, Camões' Lusiads are considered not only the first literary text in Modern Portuguese, but also a national epic of the same level as Vergil's Aeneid. In the 19th century, Sir Richard Francis Burton translated Camões' Lusiads, in what he considered "the most pleasing literary labour of his life".

By: Madame de La Fayette (1634-1693)

Book cover The Princess of Cleves

By: Marcus Clarke

For the Term of His Natural Life by Marcus Clarke For the Term of His Natural Life

For the Term of his Natural Life, written by Marcus Clarke, was published in the Australian Journal between 1870 and 1872 (as His Natural Life), appearing as a novel in 1874. It is the best known novelisation of life as a convict in early Australian history. Described as a “ripping yarn”, and at times relying on seemingly implausible coincidences, the story follows the fortunes of Rufus Dawes, a young man transported for a murder which he did not commit. The harsh and inhumane treatment meted out to the convicts, some of whom were transported for relatively minor crimes, is clearly conveyed...

By: Margaret S. Comrie (1851-?)

Book cover Key to the Riddle

Young Azerole Montoux and her brother Leon find themselves separated from their family by the religious persecutions of 1686. Threatened by the authorities and forced to depend on strangers, they must decide whether they can trust God to make sense out of the riddle of their lives.

By: Maria Edgeworth (1768-1849)

Book cover Castle Rackrent

By: Mark Twain (1835-1910)

The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain The Prince and the Pauper

A poor young boy from the slums of London watches a royal procession pass, with the youthful Prince of Wales riding at its head. He ventures too close and is caught and beaten by the Prince's guards. However, the young royal stops them and invites the vagrant to the palace. Here the two boys sup alone and are stunned to discover that they bear a startling resemblance to each other. The Prince is Edward, long awaited heir of the monarch, Henry VIII, while the vagrant is Tom Canty, the son of a thief and a beggar...

1601: Conversation, as it was by the Social Fireside, in the Time of the Tudors by Mark Twain 1601: Conversation, as it was by the Social Fireside, in the Time of the Tudors

An atypical piece of writing by Mark Twain, the short bawdy skit documents a conversion between Queen Elizabeth and several notable writers of the time, including Sir Walter Raleigh, Francis Beaumont, Ben Jonson, and William Shakespeare. Despite first being published in 1880, the piece remained anonymous for a period of time, until it was later acknowledged by Twain in 1901 as his own. Comprised of humor, descriptive imagery, ribald connotations, and vulgar language, the faux conversation is simultaneously humorous and repulsing, but nonetheless a wonder for its satirical precision...

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

When Hank Morgan, a practical, no-nonsense Yankee who works in an ammunition factory as a head superintendent gets into a fight with an aggressive employee, little does he know what's in store for him. The bully lays Morgan low with a skull-crushing blow delivered with a crowbar and knocks him out. When Morgan regains consciousness, he finds himself transported back in time, to the sixth century. From here on, the story describes the travails of a hard-boiled, true blue American with strong democratic values who has to deal with medieval feudalism and ancient customs! A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court was published in 1889...

The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson by Mark Twain The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson

It was published in 1893–1894 by Century Magazine in seven installments, and is a detective story with some racial themes. The plot of this novel is a detective story, in which a series of identities — the judge’s murderer, Tom, Chambers — must be sorted out. This structure highlights the problem of identity and one’s ability to determine one’s own identity. Broader issues of identity are the central ideas of this novel. One of Twain’s major goals in this book was to exploit the true nature of Racism at that period...

Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc, Volumes 1 & 2 by Mark Twain Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc, Volumes 1 & 2

Mark Twain’s work on Joan of Arc is titled in full “Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc, by the Sieur Louis de Conte.” De Conte is identified as Joan’s page and secretary. For those who’ve always wanted to “get behind” the Joan of Arc story and to better understand just what happened, Twain’s narrative makes the story personal and very accessible. The work is fictionally presented as a translation from the manuscript by Jean Francois Alden, or, in the words of the published book, “Freely Translated out of the Ancient French into Modern English from the Original Unpublished Manuscript in the National Archives of France...

A Horse's Tale by Mark Twain A Horse's Tale

A Horse’s Tale is a novel by Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens), written partially in the voice of Soldier Boy, who is Buffalo Bill’s favorite horse, at a fictional frontier outpost with the U.S. 7th Cavalry. With a fanciful mix of points of view, we hear the story of Cathy and her relationship with Soldier Boy and the soldiers of the 7th Cavalry. A surprisingly graphic depiction of a Spanish bullfight leaves no doubt where Mark Twain’s sympathies lie. (Introduction by John Greenman & Wikipedia)

Goldsmith's Friend Abroad Again by Mark Twain Goldsmith's Friend Abroad Again

This satire on the U.S.A.'s myth of being the "Home of the Oppressed, where all men are free and equal", is unrelenting in its pursuit of justice through exposure. It draws a scathingly shameful portrait of how Chinese immigrants were treated in 19th century San Francisco. (Introduction by John Greenman)

The American Claimant by Mark Twain The American Claimant

The American Claimant is an 1892 novel by American humorist and writer Mark Twain. The story focuses on the class differences and expectations of monarchic, hierarchical Britain and the upstart, "all men are created equal" America. Twain wrote the novel with the help of phonographic dictation, the first author (according to Twain himself) to do so. This was also (according to Twain) an attempt to write a book without mention of the weather, the first of its kind in fictitious literature. Indeed, all the weather is contained in an appendix, at the back of the book, which the reader is encouraged to turn to from time to time.

By: Martha Finley (1828-1909)

Book cover Elsie's Children

This book continues the delightful "Elsie Dinsmore" series. Elsie's children, introduced in the previous volume, live life, grow up, and encounter various problems of their own. Additional Proof Listeners: AlaynaMay & Rachel.

By: Mary (Mary C. Johnson) Dillon

Book cover The Rose of Old St. Louis

By: Mary Elizabeth Braddon (1837-1915)

Lady Audley's Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon Lady Audley's Secret

Inspired by a true life story, Lady Audley's Secret is the story of a woman's overwhelming ambition and passion for social success. When the first book came out in 1862, Victorian readers were shocked and outraged by its portrayal of aspects like bigamy, insanity, yearning for social status and the will to commit murder to achieve one's goals. The novel belongs to a genre that became very popular during that era. Known as “sensation novels” they can probably be equated to today's pulp fiction...

The Doctor's Wife by Mary Elizabeth Braddon The Doctor's Wife

This is one of the Victorian “Sensationist” Mary Elizabeth Braddon's many novels (best known among them: “Lady Audley’s Secret”). It is extremely well written, fluid, humorous and, in places, self-mocking: one of the main characters is a Sensation Author. The motifs of the-woman-with-a-secret, adultery, and death are classic “sensationist” material. Yet this is also a self-consciously serious work of literature, taking on various social themes of the day. Specifically, Braddon presents...

By: Mary Esther Miller MacGregor (1876-1961)

Book cover Black-Bearded Barbarian

A fictionalized biography of George Mackay (1844-1901), an influential Presbyterian missionary in northern Taiwan.

By: Mary Hallock Foote (1847-1938)

Book cover In Exile and Other Stories

Six short stories by Mary Hallock Foote (1847–1938), an American author and illustrator. She is best known for her illustrated short stories and novels portraying life in the mining communities of the turn-of-the-century American West. She is famous for her stories of place, in which she portrayed the rough, picturesque life she experienced and observed in the old West, especially that in the early mining towns. She wrote several novels, and illustrated stories and novels by other authors for various publishers...

By: Mary Jane Holmes (1828-1907)

Tempest and Sunshine by Mary Jane Holmes Tempest and Sunshine

Tempest and Sunshine is the first book written by Mary Jane Holmes. Set in the pre-Civil War south, it follows the struggles and romances of two sisters, as different as night and day; blonde Fanny and dark haired Julia. (Introduction by jedopi)

By: Mary Johnston (1870-1936)

To Have And To Hold by Mary Johnston To Have And To Hold

When I first started reading this book, I thought it to be a historical romance novel. As I read further, I pondered whether it might be a sea-faring story. Reading still further, I determined it to be an adventure story. Alas, it is all three. To Have And To Hold, written by Mary Johnston was the bestselling novel of 1900. The story takes place in colonial Jamestown during the 1600’s. Captain Ralph Percy, an English soldier turned Virginian explorer buys a wife - little knowing that she is the escaping ward of King James I...

Book cover 1492

By: Mary Roberts Rinehart (1876-1958)

The Amazing Interlude by Mary Roberts Rinehart The Amazing Interlude

It is the early days of The Great War. As the curtain rises, Sara Lee is sitting by the fire in her aunt and uncle’s home, knitting a baby afghan. Her beau’s name is Harvey. He has his eye on a little house that is just perfect for two and he will soon propose to Sara Lee. But in this play, the mise en scène is about to change. A fairyland transformation will take place and Sara Lee will step into a new and different story, where she is the princess in a forest of adventure. There is a prince, too, whose name is Henri...

Book cover More Tish

Mary Roberts Rinehart wrote 6 books about the elderly Letitia (Tish) Carberry and the escapades she gets her elderly lady cronies into. The series led to a 1942 movie with Marjorie Main. This particular book, the third in the series, was written after Mary's stint as a war correspondent in Belgium during the first World War.

By: Maurice Henry Hewlett (1861-1923)

Book cover The Forest Lovers
Book cover The Fool Errant Being the Memoirs of Francis-Anthony Strelley, Esq., Citizen of Lucca

By: Maurice Thompson (1844-1901)

Book cover Alice of Old Vincennes

By: Mór Jókai (1825-1904)

Eyes Like the Sea by Mór Jókai Eyes Like the Sea

He was a painter, a poet, a novelist. He lived during the Hungarian revolution and his love of freedom meant his life was often in peril. She was his first love, this girl with the eyes like the sea. She was at heart noble, good and loving. What an excellent lady might have been made out of this woman, if she had only met with a husband who, in the most ordinary acceptance of the word, had been a good fellow, as is really the case with about nine men out of every ten. But she always managed to draw the unlucky tenth out of the urn of destiny...

Book cover Tales from Jókai

Móric Jókay de Ásva, known as Mór Jókai or Maurus Jokai, was a Hungarian dramatist and novelist. He was a very prolific writer from an early age and wrote hundreds of novels, novellas, and short stories in his lifetime. The nine stories in this selection tell about hard times in Eastern Europe, especially in Hungary (Jokai was involved in the Hungarian uprising of 1848), as well as of ancient superstitions and folk lore. In the novella "The City of the Beast", Jokai gives his version of the sinking of Atlantis.

By: Myrtle Reed

Old Rose and Silver by Myrtle Reed Old Rose and Silver

The novel follows the lives of Rose and her widowed Aunt, Madame Francesca Bernard, along with young visitor and cousin Isabel, whose lives are changed by the return of an old friend and neighbour Colonel Kent, and his grown son, Allison. Other characters that help shape their lives in significant ways are the Crosby twins, unconventional and uninhibited youths that set society at naught, and an unconventional doctor who specializes in the impossible. Through the limited "wide-scope" descriptions...

By: Nathan Gallizier (1866-1927)

Book cover Under the Witches' Moon

The scene is Rome, 935 A.D. Thirty-year-old Tristan, dressed as a pilgrim, overhears a conversation between Basil, the Grand Chamberlain, and Il Gobbo, his assistant. After the two have left, Tristan continues to observe the revelry on the Eve of St. John. Suddenly a chariot containing a beautiful woman stops before him. They exchange words. He kisses her hand. Then she moves on, leaving him to ponder her beauty as he returns to the inn where he is staying. That night he has an enchanting and haunting dream of him together with another woman...

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: Neil Munro (1863-1930)

Book cover Doom Castle

Doom Castle is the story of young Count Victor's journey to Scotland after the Jacobite Rebellion, searching for a traitor to the Jacobite cause as well as a mysterious man under the name of "Drimdarroch", whom he swore revenge. After a perilious journey, Count Victor arrives at Doom Castle as a guest of the enigmatic Baron of Doom, his two strange servitors and his beautiful daughter... (Summary by Carolin)

By: Nikolai Chernyshevsky (1828-1889)

Book cover Vital Question, or, What is to be Done?

Despised by Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy, What Is To Be Done? is a fascinating, sympathetic story of idealistic revolutionaries in mid-nineteenth century tsarist Russia; translator Nathan Haskell Dole affirms in his preface his conviction that it is a thriller that no one can put down once s/he begins it. Its variegated cast of characters includes Vera Pavlovna, a boldly independent woman in a time of great oppression, and the inspirational radical Rakhmetov. The author wrote the novel from the depths of the infamous Peter & Paul Fortress of St...

By: Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol

Dead Souls by Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol Dead Souls

Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol, Russian writer, was first published in 1842, and is one of the most prominent works of 19th-century Russian literature. Gogol himself saw it as an “epic poem in prose”, and within the book as a “novel in verse”. Despite supposedly completing the trilogy’s second part, Gogol destroyed it shortly before his death. Although the novel ends in mid-sentence (like Sterne’s Sentimental Journey), it is usually regarded as complete in the extant form. In Russia before the emancipation of the serfs in 1861, landowners were entitled to own serfs to farm their land...

By: Ottilie A. (Ottilia Adelina) Liljencrantz (1876-1910)

Book cover The Thrall of Leif the Lucky A Story of Viking Days

By: Owen Wister (1860-1938)

The Dragon of Wantley by Owen Wister The Dragon of Wantley

A novel, The Dragon of Wantley, was written by Owen Wister (best known as the author of The Virginian) in 1892. Published by Lipincott Press, the story is a comic "burlesque" (in the author's words), concerning the "true" story of the Dragon. It is a romantic story set at Christmastime in the early 13th century. The book was a surprise success, going through four editions over the next ten years. This is the 1895 edition.

Red Men and White by Owen Wister Red Men and White

These eight stories are made from our Western Frontier as it was in a past as near as yesterday and almost as by-gone as the Revolution; so swiftly do we proceed. They belong to each other in a kinship of life and manners, and a little through the nearer tie of having here and there a character in common. Thus they resemble faintly the separate parts of a whole, and gain, perhaps, something of the invaluable weight of length; and they have been received by my closest friends with suspicion. ...When...

Padre Ignacio, Or The Song Of Temptation by Owen Wister Padre Ignacio, Or The Song Of Temptation

Padre Ignacio has been the pastor of California mission Santa Ysabel del Mar for twenty years. In 1855 a stranger rides into the mission bringing news and a spiritual crisis. It's really more of a novella than a novel.

By: P. G. Wodehouse (1881-1975)

The Swoop! by P. G. Wodehouse The Swoop!

The Swoop! tells of the simultaneous invasion of England by several armies — “England was not merely beneath the heel of the invader. It was beneath the heels of nine invaders. There was barely standing-room.” (ch. 1) — and features references to many well-known figures of the day, among them the politician Herbert Gladstone, novelist Edgar Wallace, actor-managers Seymour Hicks and George Edwardes, and boxer Bob Fitzsimmons.

By: Paul Creswick (1866-1947)

Robin Hood by Paul Creswick Robin Hood

"Well, Robin, on what folly do you employ yourself? Do you cut sticks for our fire o' mornings?" Thus spoke Master Hugh Fitzooth, King's Ranger of the Forest at Locksley, as he entered his house.Robin flushed a little. "These are arrows, sir," he announced, holding one up for inspection.Dame Fitzooth smiled upon the boy as she rose to meet her lord. "What fortune do you bring us to-day, father?" asked she, cheerily.Fitzooth's face was a mask of discontent. "I bring myself, dame," answered he, "neither more nor less...

By: Pauline Elizabeth Hopkins (1859-1930)

Book cover Hagar's Daughter. A Story of Southern Caste Prejudice

Hagar's Daughter was first published serially in "The Colored American Magazine" in 1901-1902 by Pauline E. Hopkins, a prominent African-American novelist, journalist, historian, and playwright. The book was described as "a powerful narrative of love and intrigue, founded on events which happened in the exciting times immediately following the assassination of President Lincoln: a story of the Republic in the power of Southern caste prejudice toward the Negro." (From the January, 1901, issue of "The...

By: Rabindranath Tagore

The Home and the World by Rabindranath Tagore The Home and the World

Rabindranath Tagore (1861–1941), also known by the sobriquet Gurudev, was a Bengali poet, Brahmo religionist, visual artist, playwright, novelist, and composer whose works reshaped Bengali literature and music in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He became Asia’s first Nobel laureate when he won the 1913 Nobel Prize in Literature. The Home and the World is a 1916 novel, set in the estate of the rich Bengali noble Nikhil. He lives happily with his beautiful wife Bimala until the appearance of his friend and radical revolutionist, Sandip...

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...


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