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By: Joseph Alexander Altsheler (1862-1919)

Book cover Shades of the Wilderness

"The Shades of the Wilderness" is the seventh book of the Civil War Series by Joseph A. Altsheler. Picking up where "The Star of Gettysburg" left off, this story continues the Civil War experiences of Harry Kenton and his friends in the Southern army, from the retreat after Gettygurg, to Richmond, and then through the battles of the Wilderness and Spottsylvania, to Robert E. Lee's heroic stand during the siege of Petersburg. Other books in the Civil War series are: "The Guns of Bull Run," "The Guns of Shiloh," "The Scouts of Stonewall," "The Sword of Antietam", "The Star of Gettysburg","The Rock of Chickamauga", and "The Tree of Appomattox."

By: Joseph Conrad

The Point of Honor by Joseph Conrad The Point of Honor

Set during the Napoleonic Wars, “The Point of Honor” (English title: “The Duel”) features two French Hussar officers, D’Hubert and Feraud. Their quarrel over an initially minor incident turns into a bitter, long-drawn out struggle over the following fifteen years, interwoven with the larger conflict that provides its backdrop. At the beginning, Feraud is the one who jealously guards his honor and repeatedly demands satisfaction anew when a duelling encounter ends inconclusively; he aggressively pursues every opportunity to locate and duel his foe...

Book cover Under Western Eyes

Under Western Eyes (1911) is a novel by Joseph Conrad. The novel takes place in St. Petersburg, Russia, and Geneva, Switzerland, and is viewed as Conrad's response to the themes explored in Crime and Punishment, Conrad being reputed to have detested Dostoevsky. It is also, some say, Conrad's response to his own early life; his father was a famous revolutionary imprisoned by the Russians, but, instead of following in his father's footsteps, at the age of sixteen Conrad left his native land forever...

By: Jules Verne (1828-1905)

The Fur Country by Jules Verne The Fur Country

The Hudson's Bay Company is one of the earliest corporations in the world and the oldest commercial organization in North America. It began as a fur trading company in 1670 and today owns a variety of retail corporations selling a diverse range of goods. In The Fur Country by Jules Verne, the plot describes how a team of Hudson's Bay Company members travel through the Northwest Territory of Canada with the aim of establishing a mission on the Arctic Circle. The members are a mixed bunch. One of the ladies, Paulina Barnett, seeks adventure, while a meteorologist Thomas Black hopes to view a spectacular solar eclipse scheduled to occur during their travel...

Michael Strogoff by Jules Verne Michael Strogoff

This is the account of the perilous mission of Michael Strogoff, courier for Czar Alexander II, who is sent from Moscow to the besieged city of Irkutsk, where the governor, brother of the Czar, has taken his last stand against a Tartar rebellion led by the fearsome Feofar-Khan. When telegraph lines are cut between the Russian Far East and the mainland, Strogoff must make his way through hostile territory to warn the governor of the return of the traitor Ivan Ogareff, a disgraced former officer who seeks vengeance against the Tsar’s family by the destruction of Irkutsk.

The Blockade Runners by Jules Verne The Blockade Runners

Writing at the end of the American Civil War, Verne weaves this story of a Scottish merchant who, in desperation at the interruption of the flow of Southern cotton due to the Union blockade, determines to build his own fast ship and run guns to the Confederates in exchange for the cotton piling up unsold on their wharves. His simple plan becomes complicated by two passengers who board his new ship under false pretenses in order to carry out a rescue mission, one which Capt. Playfair adopts as his own cause. This is going make the Rebels in Charleston rather unhappy with him.Sure, his new ship is fast - but can it escape the cannonballs of both North and South?

By: Katharine S. Prichard (1883-1969)

The Pioneers by Katharine S. Prichard The Pioneers

The Pioneers is set against the background of pioneering life in the Gippsland region of Victoria in pre-Federation Australia. Mary and Donald Cameron are free-settlers who make a home in the wilderness and grow a prosperous cattle operation that establishes their position as prominent members of the new settlement.At first, the novel privileges Mary’s perspective as she encounters escaped convicts, bush fires, and raising a son in a remote community. Later, it follows her son, Davey, as he struggles for independence against his father’s harsh authority...

By: Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910)

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy War and Peace

Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace chronicles the lives of five Russian aristocratic families during Napoleon's invasion of Russia. Many considered this book to be the best Russian work of literature of all time and it is massive in scale. The book is divided in four volumes and the chapters don't just contain the narrative of the plot to the novel but philosophical discussions as well. This may be intimidating to average book readers but they shouldn't be discouraged to try reading War and Peace. After all, this book was written for all and not just for intellectuals...

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy Anna Karenina

Leo Tolstoy’s psychological novel Anna Karenina follows the life of the enchanting and rebellious Anna who seeks to break free from the shackles of society. Set in late 19th century Russia, Anna is portrayed as an ideal, cultivated aristocratic wife, mother and model for women alike. Although at first glance she seems to have it all in life, Anna yearns for love and affection- something her cold diplomatic husband cannot provide. She grows discontent of their loveless relationship, and is tired of the façade she has been putting up in order to sustain a positive social image...

Master and Man by Leo Tolstoy Master and Man

A land owner, Vasili Andreevich, takes along one of his peasants, Nikita, for a short journey to another town. He wishes to get to the town quickly ‘for business’. They find themselves in the middle of a blizzard, but the master in his avarice wishes to press on. They eventually get lost off the road and they try to camp. The master’s peasant soon finds himself about to die from hypothermia. The master leaves him on the horse to stubbornly try to find the road. When he returns, he attains a spiritual/moral revelation, and Tolstoy once again repeats one of his famous themes: that the only true happiness in life is found by living for others. (Wikipedia)

Book cover War and Peace Vol. 1 (Dole Translation)

”War and Peace” is a panoramic novel: It is its own justification, and perhaps needs no introduction. It always reminds the translator of a broad and mighty river flowing onward with all the majesty of Fate. On its surface, float swiftly by logs and stumps, cakes of ice, perhaps drowned cattle or men from regions far above. These floating straws, insignificant in themselves, tell the current. Once embark upon it, and it is impossible to escape the onward force that moves you so relentlessly. What landscapes you pass through, what populous towns, what gruesome defiles, what rapids, what cataracts! The water may be turbid, or it may flow translucent and pure, – but still it rushes on...

Book cover War and Peace Vol. 2 (Dole Translation)

I am inclined to rank Count Tolstoy not among the realists or naturalists, but rather as an impressionist. He is often careless about accuracy. Numberless incongruities can be pointed out. He is as willing to adopt an anachronism as a medieval painter. I would defy an historian to reconstruct the battle of Austerlitz from Count Tolstoy's description. And yet what a picture of a battle was ever more vivid! It is like a painting where the general impression is true, but a close analysis discovers...

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 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: 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 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.


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