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By: Owen Wister (1860-1938)

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...

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.

By: Regina Victoria Hunt

A Candle For Our Lady by Regina Victoria Hunt A Candle For Our Lady

Dark times for British Catholics hung over England in the days of King Henry VIII. Henry, influenced by the hated Thomas Cromwell, fell into opposition with them, suppressing them, and closing religious houses. In that period a famous shrine, erected centuries earlier at Walsingham and dedicated to our Lady, drew people from far and near for it was a favorite place of pilgrimage and the site of many miracles.On their grandmother's and uncle's farm, far removed from this scene of persecution, were Jemmy Reynolds and his sister Joan...

By: Rex Beach (1877-1949)

The Spoilers by Rex Beach The Spoilers

MANUAL OF SURGERY, OXFORD MEDICAL PUBLICATIONSBY ALEXIS THOMSON, F.R.C.S.Ed.PREFACE TO SIXTH EDITION Much has happened since this Manual was last revised, and many surgical lessons have been learned in the hard school of war. Some may yet have to be unlearned, and others have but little bearing on the problems presented to the civilian surgeon. Save in its broadest principles, the surgery of warfare is a thing apart from the general surgery of civil life, and the exhaustive literature now available on every aspect of it makes it unnecessary that it should receive detailed consideration in a manual for students...

By: Richard D. Blackmore

Lorna Doone, a Romance of Exmoor by Richard D. Blackmore Lorna Doone, a Romance of Exmoor

“If anybody cares to read a simple tale told simply” … thus opens Lorna Doone, one of the best love stories ever written. The novel has inspired at least ten movies and mini-series. “John (in West Country dialect this is pronounced Jan) Ridd is the son of a respectable farmer who was murdered in cold blood by a member of the notorious Doone clan, a once-noble family now living in the isolated Doone Valley. Battling his desire for revenge, John also grows into a respectable farmer and continues to take good care of his mother and two sisters...

By: Robert Barr (1849-1912)

A Prince of Good Fellows by Robert Barr A Prince of Good Fellows

Robert Barr (1849 - 1912) was a Scottish Journalist, editor, humorist and author. A Prince of Good Fellows was published in 1902, and is a series of Historical Fiction stories about the young James V, King of Scots (1512 – 1542). The chapters are full of humor and adventure and portrays a young King who is both wise and adventurous.

By: Robert Ervin Howard (1906-1936)

Red Shadows by Robert Ervin Howard Red Shadows

Red Shadows is the first of a series of stories featuring Howard’s puritan avenger, Solomon Kane. Kane tracks his prey over land and sea, enters the jungles of Africa, and even faces dark Gods and evil magic — all to avenge a woman he’d never met before.

By: Robert Henry Newell (1836-1901)

Book cover The Orpheus C. Kerr Papers

These are a collection of humorous "letters" written by a fictional character to a relation in the north during the Civil War. They were published regularly in the New York Mercury Sunday newspaper for the four years of the war. In the letters, Newell pokes fun at northern generals, politicians, and has hard things to say about southerners. Although Newell is rarely serious, I imagine the letters reflect the bitterness and frustration of many northerners at the time. (Introduction by Margaret)

By: Robert Hugh Benson (1871-1914)

Come Rack! Come Rope! by Robert Hugh Benson Come Rack! Come Rope!

Come Rack! Come Rope! is a historical novel by the English priest and writer Robert Hugh Benson, a convert to Catholicism from Anglicanism. Set in Derbyshire at the time of the Elizabethan persecution of Catholics, when being or harboring a priest was considered treason and was punishable with death, it tells the story of two young lovers who give up their chance of happiness together, choosing instead to face imprisonment and martyrdom, so that "God's will" may be done.The book was written nearly nine years after Benson's reception into the Catholic Church...

By: Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894)

Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson Kidnapped

Kidnapped is the story of a 16-year old young man who is searching for his true birthright and is determined to make a fortune after the death of his parents. This timeless tale by Robert Louis Stevenson follows the life of David Balfour who leaves his home in Scotland after the death of his parents. First he meets his uncle for the first time in his life. His uncle is a very mean person who, at first, tried to kill David by devious means but then got him kidnapped onto a slave ship. In the ship, David makes friends with a Scottish rebel and together they successfully defeat the ship’s crew...

The Black Arrow; a Tale of Two Roses by Robert Louis Stevenson The Black Arrow; a Tale of Two Roses

The Black Arrow tells the story of Richard (Dick) Shelton during the Wars of the Roses: how he becomes a knight, rescues his lady Joanna Sedley, and obtains justice for the murder of his father, Sir Harry Shelton. Outlaws in Tunstall Forest organized by Ellis Duckworth, whose weapon and calling card is a black arrow, cause Dick to suspect that his guardian Sir Daniel Brackley and his retainers are responsible for his father’s murder. Dick’s suspicions are enough to turn Sir Daniel against him, so he has no recourse but to escape from Sir Daniel and join the outlaws of the Black Arrow against him...

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.

Book cover Post Haste

In this book, Ballantyne weaves the story of Phillip Mayland and his friend, George Aspel with an interesting portrayal of the British Post Office as it existed in the 19th century. In the words of R. M. Ballantyne himself: "This tale is founded chiefly on facts furnished by the Postmaster-General’s Annual Reports, and gathered, during personal intercourse and investigation, at the General Post-Office of London and its Branches. It is intended to illustrate—not by any means to exhaust—the subject of postal work, communication, and incident throughout the Kingdom...

By: Robert W. Service (1874-1958)

Book cover Ottawa Folk Festival Robert Service Collection

The Spell of the Yukon by Robert Service with patrons, musicians and organizers. Robert Service is an iconic Canadian poet.

By: Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

The Brushwood Boy by Rudyard Kipling The Brushwood Boy

The experiences in public school, Sandhurst and military life in India of Major George Cottar together with his adventures in the dream world he discovers and frequents.

By: S. Baring-Gould (1834-1924)

Bladys of the Stewponey by S. Baring-Gould Bladys of the Stewponey

The setting, geography and history of this story by Rev'd Sabine Baring-Gould, author of Onward Christian Soldiers and other well-known hymns, are all accurate, or at least as accurate as local lore will allow. Kinver has long been a midlands beauty spot, and the UK National Trust own and open one of the rock-dwellings mentioned. The 'Stewponey' too was an inn until a year or two into the twenty-first century - the present reader having stopped there for a drink and a meal many times.The story, whether...

By: Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

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

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

By: Sarah Orne Jewett (1849-1909)

The Gray Mills of Farley by Sarah Orne Jewett The Gray Mills of Farley

As contemporary today as it was over a century ago, this relatively unsentimental tale of labor relations still packs a punch.

By: Sholem Aleichem (1859-1916)

Jewish Children (Yudishe Kinder) by Sholem Aleichem Jewish Children (Yudishe Kinder)

Although written from a child’s perspective, this is not a kids book but a series of funny, poignant, and sometimes disturbing stories about life in a late 19th-century Russian-Jewish village — the world of my grandparents. Sholem Rabinovich (1859-1916) was born in Pereiaslav, Ukraine and later immigrated to New York. His short stories about Tevye and his daughters were freely adapted into the musical FIDDLER ON THE ROOF. Rabinovich’s will contained the following injunction: “Let my name be recalled with laughter or not at all.” His translator, Hannah Berman, was Irish of Lithuanian descent.Some of these stories may be too intense for younger children.

By: Silas Hocking (1850-1935)

Her Benny by Silas Hocking Her Benny

A very heart touching story about two homeless children, a brother and sister, living on the streets of Liverpool, England during Victorian times.

By: Sinclair Lewis (1885-1951)

Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis Babbitt

By: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930)

The Adventures of Gerard by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle The Adventures of Gerard

These lesser known stories were penned by Conan Doyle during the period between killing off Sherlock Holmes in 1893 and reluctantly resurrecting him some ten years later. The swashbuckling, eponymous hero, Etienne Gerard, is one of Napoleon's gallant French Hussars, who considers himself the finest of them all. Through these "Boys Own Adventures", Conan Doyle pokes gentle fun at both the French and the English. This is the second volume containing eight adventures.

The White Company by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle The White Company

Set during the Hundred Years’ War with France, The White Company tells the story of a young Saxon man who is learning what it is to be a knight. Raised by Cistercian Monks and rejected by a violent elder brother, Alleyn Edricson takes service with one of the foremost knights in the country. When Alleyn falls in love with the knight’s daughter, he must prove himself to be a courageous and honourable knight before he can win her hand. Alleyn and his friends set forth with the other men-at-arms to join Prince Edward in Bordeaux, from where they will take part in the Prince’s campaign into Spain...

Book cover The Great Shadow

Set in an English-Scottish border village during the waning days of the Napoleonic era, this adventure story introduces us to Jock Calder, whose quiet way of life is shattered when a mysterious stranger steps ashore near his home. The stranger changes forever the lives of Jock, his cousin Edie, and his best friend Jim, sending the young men into the jaws of the final battle to defeat The Great Shadow that threatens to devour the whole of Europe. Don't look for Sherlock Holmes in this well-written tale, but do expect a wonderful glimpse of life at the end of the Napoleonic era, including an exciting rendition of The Battle of Waterloo. (Introduction by Christine Dufour)

The Mystery of Cloomber by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle The Mystery of Cloomber

This novel is written by the author of, among other novels, the Stories of Sherlock Holmes. It is narrated by John Fothergill West, who tries to discover why the tenant of Cloomber Hall, General Heatherstone, is nervous to the point of being paranoid. Why are his fears becoming stronger every year at the fifth of October? And why doesn't he let his children leave home? This is a great mystery novel with a sharp twist at the end.

Sir Nigel by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Sir Nigel

By 1348 the House of Loring has fallen on hard times. Together, the Black Death and the greedy monks of Waverley have bled away all of the Loring wealth. Even the manor house will have to go to pay their debts.Then a chance encounter with the King of England provides Nigel, the last of the Lorings, with the chance to seek his fortune in the constant wars with France. But more importantly for Nigel it also means that he may be able to do the "three small deeds" that will show he is worthy to ask for the hand of the Lady Mary in marriage.Filled with chivalry, humour, and high romance, Sir Nigel is simply a rattling good yarn.

Book cover Uncle Bernac: A Memory of the Empire

Looking for a replacement to Sherlock Holmes after the author had killed him off in 1894, Doyle wrote this murder mystery in the dying years of the 19th century. Set in Napoleon’s era, it involves a Frenchman returning to his native land to join the Emperor’s ranks.

Book cover Desert Drama: Being the Tragedy Of The Korosko

Also published under the title The Tragedy of the Korosko (1898). A group of European tourists are enjoying their trip to Egypt in the year 1895. They are sailing up the River Nile in a "a turtle-bottomed, round-bowed stern-wheeler", the Korosko. They intend to travel to Abousir at the southern frontier of Egypt, after which the Dervish country starts. They are attacked and abducted by a marauding band of Dervish warriors. The novel contains a strong defence of British Imperialism and in particular the Imperial project in North Africa. It also reveals the very great suspicion of Islam felt by many Europeans at the time.

By: Sir Harry Johnston (1858-1927)

Book cover Mrs. Warren's Daughter

Mrs. Warren's Daughter is a continuation, in novel form, of George Bernard Shaw's controversial play, Mrs. Warren's Profession. In the play, Vivie Warren, an emancipated young woman recently graduated from University, disavows her mother Kitty when she learns that Kitty's fortune comes from an ownership share in an international string of brothels, and that Kitty herself was once a prostitute. This novel, written by a world renowned botanist, explorer, and colonial administrator, follows Vivie's personal and political adventures through her involvement in the Suffragist movement and the years leading up to and during World War I.

By: Sir Stephen King-Hall

Diary of a U-boat Commander by Sir Stephen King-Hall Diary of a U-boat Commander

The infamous U boats deployed by Germany in the two World Wars have spawned several works of fiction and non-fiction. These deadly vessels were not just efficient and lethal killing machines, but they were also used very effectively in economic blockades. They were positioned primarily to obstruct the conveyance of fuel, food and other essential supplies which the enemy needed to sustain the war effort. In the Diary of a U Boat Commander, the author, Stephen King-Hall draws upon his vast personal experiences as a naval officer in World War I...

By: Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832)

Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott Ivanhoe

Medieval England in the 12th century. The evil Prince John rules England in place of his brother, the noble Richard the Lionheart, who is being held in an Austrian prison by Duke Leopold of Austria, while returning from one of his Crusades. Under the avaricious and Machiavellian John, the Norman aristocrats are in constant conflict with the native Saxon people. Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott is set in these turbulent times. The eponymous hero, Wilfred of Ivanhoe, the son of a Saxon nobleman has been disinherited by his father for following King Richard into war...

The Talisman by Sir Walter Scott The Talisman

The Talisman is a gripping tale set near the end of the Third Crusade. King Richard the Lionheart is grievously ill, and all around him the leaders from allied countries plot and scheme to gain personal power, putting the future of the crusade in jeopardy. Sir Kenneth of Scotland finds himself caught up in events, and finds both his honour and his life are now on the line. Can a cure be found for the King? Can Kenneth redeem his honour? – Written by Rowen.

Rob Roy by Sir Walter Scott Rob Roy

Rob Roy is a historical novel by Walter Scott. It is narrated by Frank Osbaldistone, the son of an English merchant who travels first to the North of England, and subsequently to the Scottish Highlands to collect a debt stolen from his father. On the way he encounters the larger-than-life title character of Rob Roy MacGregor. Though Rob Roy is not the lead character (in fact the narrative does not move to Scotland until half way through the book) his personality and actions are key to the development of the novel.

Waverley by Sir Walter Scott Waverley

Waverley is set during the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745, which sought to restore the Stuart dynasty in the person of Charles Edward Stuart (or 'Bonnie Prince Charlie'). It relates the story of a young dreamer and English soldier, Edward Waverley, who was sent to Scotland in 1745. He journeys North from his aristocratic family home, Waverley-Honour, in the south of England first to the Scottish Lowlands and the home of family friend Baron Bradwardine, then into the Highlands and the heart of the 1745 Jacobite uprising and aftermath.

Kenilworth by Sir Walter Scott Kenilworth

An Elizabethan era historical novel by Scotland’s master of fiction, Sir Walter Scott. With a cast of historical and created characters, including the Queen herself, Scott presents the sad history and tragic consequences of the secretive marriage of young Amy Robsart and the Earl of Leicester. (Summary by SK)

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: Stewart Edward White (1873-1946)

The Blazed Trail by Stewart Edward White The Blazed Trail

Stewart Edward White wrote fiction and non-fiction about adventure and travel, with an emphasis on natural history and outdoor living. White's books were popular at a time when America was losing its vanishing wilderness and many are based on his experiences in mining and lumber camps. The Blazed Trail is the story of early lumbermen in the northern woods of Michigan. The novel portrays the challenges faced by the workers focusing on one, Harry Thorpe, as he endeavors to be successful though completely unskilled when he enters the woods...

By: Susan Edmonstoune Ferrier

Book cover Marriage, Volume 1

“Love!–A word by superstition thought a God; by use turned to an humour; by self-will made a flattering madness.” – Alexander and Campaspe. Lady Juliana, the indulged and coddled seventeen (”And a half, papa”) year old daughter of the Earl of Cortland, is betrothed by her father to a wealthy old Duke who can give her every luxury. She instead runs away and marries her very handsome but penniless lover. Very soon, they are forced to travel to Scotland to live with his quirky family in a rundown “castle” in the barren wilderness. Can this marriage survive?(Summary by P.Cunningham)

By: Théophile Gautier (1811-1872)

Book cover Romance of a Mummy and Egypt

MANUAL OF SURGERY, OXFORD MEDICAL PUBLICATIONSBY ALEXIS THOMSON, F.R.C.S.Ed.PREFACE TO SIXTH EDITION Much has happened since this Manual was last revised, and many surgical lessons have been learned in the hard school of war. Some may yet have to be unlearned, and others have but little bearing on the problems presented to the civilian surgeon. Save in its broadest principles, the surgery of warfare is a thing apart from the general surgery of civil life, and the exhaustive literature now available on every aspect of it makes it unnecessary that it should receive detailed consideration in a manual for students...

By: Thomas Dixon, Jr. (1864-1946)

Book cover Clansman, An Historical Romance of the Ku Klux Klan

The second book in a trilogy of the Reconstruction era - The Leopard's Spots (1902), The Clansman (1905), and The Traitor (1907), this novel was the basis for the 1915 silent movie classic, "The Birth Of A Nation". Within a fictional story, it records Dixon's understanding of the origins of the first Ku Klux Klan (his uncle was a Grand Titan during Dixon's childhood), recounting why white southerners' began staging vigilante responses to the savage personal insults, political injustices and social cruelties heaped upon them during Reconstruction...

Book cover Leopard's Spots

The first in a trilogy of the Reconstruction era - The Leopard's Spots (1902), The Clansman (1905), and The Traitor (1907), parts of this novel were incorporated in the 1915 silent movie classic, "The Birth Of A Nation". Set in North Carolina, the book explores the extreme social and racial tensions of the period as Confederates attempt to fight off "reconstructionist" policy, rebuild the war-torn South's economy, and grapple with the rampant "race question" of the day, whether the black and white races can ever live side by side as equals, i...

Book cover Traitor

Dixon lived through Reconstruction, and believed it ranked with the French Revolution in brutality and criminal acts. The Traitor (1907), the final book in his trilogy which also includes The Leopard’s Spots (1902), and The Clansman (1905), spans a two-year period just after Reconstruction (1870-1872), and covers the decline of the Ku Klux Klan in North Carolina. Dixon, whose father was an early Klan leader, maintained that the original Klan, the “reconstruction Klan” was morally formed in desperation to protect the people from lawlessness, address Yankee brutality, and save southern civilization...

By: Thomas Hardy (1840-1928)

The Trumpet-Major by Thomas Hardy The Trumpet-Major

Our heroine, Anne Garland, lives quietly in a rural community deep in the English countryside. However, the arrival of several regiments preparing for an expected invasion brings colour and chaos to the county. A graceful and charming young woman, Anne is pursued by three suitors: John Loveday, the trumpet-major in a British regiment, honest and loyal; his brother Robert, a merchant seaman and womaniser, and Festus Derriman, the cowardly son of the local squire. Set at the time of the Napoleonic wars, this is the author’s only historical novel, and unusually for Hardy’s stories, most of the characters live happily ever after.

Book cover Group of Noble Dames

The pedigrees of our county families, arranged in diagrams on the pages of county histories, mostly appear at first sight to be as barren of any touch of nature as a table of logarithms. But given a clue—the faintest tradition of what went on behind the scenes, and this dryness as of dust may be transformed into a palpitating drama. Out of such pedigrees and supplementary material most of the following stories have arisen and taken shape.

By: Torquato Tasso (1544-1595)

Jerusalem Delivered by Torquato Tasso Jerusalem Delivered

The First Crusade provides the backdrop for a rich tapestry of political machinations, military conflicts, martial rivalries, and love stories, some of which are complicated by differences in religion. The supernatural plays a major role in the action. Partly on this account, and partly because of the multilayered, intertwined plots, the poem met with considerable contemporary criticism, so Tasso revised it radically and published the revision under a new name, La Gerusalemme Conquistata, or "Jerusalem Conquered," which has remained virtually unread, a warning to authors who pay attention to the critics...

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: Upton Sinclair (1878-1968)

A Prisoner of Morro by Upton Sinclair A Prisoner of Morro

Upton Sinclair, born in 1878 was a Pulitzer Prize-winning American author. He wrote over 90 books in many genres. Best known for his muckraking novel, The Jungle, Sinclair also wrote adventure fiction. Many of these works were written under the pseudonym, Ensign Clark Fitch, U.S.N. A Prisoner of Morrow, published in 1898 when Sinclair was but 20 years old, is one of these efforts. The period for this work is the ten-week Spanish–American War which occurred in 1898. Revolts against Spanish rule had been prevalent for decades in Cuba and were closely watched by Americans...

By: Vicente Blasco Ibáñez (1867-1928)

Book cover Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, by Vicente Blasco Ibañez and translated into English by Charlotte Brewster Jordan, depicts two branches of a family with its roots in the pampas of Argentina. The wealthy Argentinian, Julio Madariaga, comes from Spain and raises himself from poverty, becoming a self-made, wealthy cattleman. He is a man of extremes; an honest man with a rascally knack for taking advantage of others; a self-made man with overweening pride, prejudices, and a sharp, flinty temper that can spark into violence, he is at the same time given to great generosity toward those who are under him...

By: Victor Hugo (1802-1885)

Les Misérables by Victor Hugo Les Misérables

Victor Hugo's Les Misérables is a novel which tells the story of ex-convict Jean Valjean, his struggles and eventual redemption. It's hailed by many critics as not just Victor Hugo's finest work but also one of the best French novels of all time. Like most epic novels written in the 19th century, the storyline of Les Misérables spans through several decades beginning in the early 1800s and culminating in the 1832 June Rebellion in Paris. The events related to the lives of the central characters in the novel are also tied to the great historical events of the time from the French Revolution to the June Rebellion...

The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo The Hunchback of Notre Dame

One of the great literary tragedies of all time, The Hunchback of Notre Dame features some of the most well-known characters in all of fiction - Quasimodo, the hideously deformed bellringer of Notre-Dame de Paris, his master the evil priest Claude Frollo, and Esmeralda, the beautiful gypsy condemned for a crime she did not commit.

By: W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965)

The Moon and Sixpence by W. Somerset Maugham The Moon and Sixpence

The Moon and Sixpence is a 1919 short novel by William Somerset Maugham based on the life of the painter Paul Gauguin. The story is told in episodic form by the first-person narrator as a series of glimpses into the mind and soul of the central character, Charles Strickland, a middle aged English stock broker who abandons his wife and children abruptly to pursue his desire to become an artist.

By: Walter Pater (1839-1896)

Marius the Epicurean by Walter Pater Marius the Epicurean

Marius the Epicurean is a philosophical novel written by Walter Pater, published in 1885. In it Pater displays, with fullness and elaboration, his ideal of the aesthetic life, his cult of beauty as opposed to bare asceticism, and his theory of the stimulating effect of the pursuit of beauty as an ideal of its own. The principles of what would be known as the Aesthetic movement were partly traceable to this book; and its impact was particularly felt on one of the movement’s leading proponents, Oscar Wilde, a former student of Pater at Oxford.

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.


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