By: Peter Newell (1862-1924)
The Rocket Book
The Rocket Book begins when the son of a building superintendent sets a match to a rocket he discovered in the basement. Suddenly, the rocket blasts its way up through apartment after apartment in a high-rise, disrupting and transforming the humdrum goings-on of twenty families till it is finally stopped cold by something in the attic. An elliptical hole is punched in each of the book’s pages and illustrations to signify where the rocket passed through every apartment! As in all of Newell’s books, the verse on the verso-page provides commentary on the recto-page illustration...
By: Irwin Leslie Gordon (1888-1954)
Who Was Who: 5000 BC – 1914
A short, humorous biography of famous people from 5000 BC to 1914. — S. McGaughey From the Introduction, “The editor begs leave to inform the public that only persons who can produce proper evidence of their demise will be admitted to Who Was Who. Press Agent notices or complimentary comments are absolutely excluded, and those offering to pay for the insertion of names will be prosecuted. As persons become eligible they will be included without solicitation, while the pages will be expurgated of others should good luck warrant.”
By: Robert Williams Wood (1868-1955)
How to Tell the Birds from the Flowers
How do you tell apart a parrot from a carrot? A plover from a clover? A bay from a jay? Although there are several ways of differentiating, R. W. Wood’s use of pun and rhyme is one of the most entertaining!
By: Albert Bigelow Pain
The Boys' Life of Mark Twain
Albert Bigelow Paine was Samuel Langhorne Clemens’ (Mark Twain’s) biographer. He lived with Twain, collecting ideas and material for a biography, for a few years before Twain’s death in 1910. Six years later Paine published this “story of a man who made the world laugh and love him.” For those who have read or listened to Mark Twain’s works, Paine’s work is an invaluable resource to better understand Twain, the stories behind his stories and his life with those he loved and with whom he worked.
By: Earl Derr Biggers (1884-1933)
Seven Keys to Baldpate
Dime-store novelist William Magee has gone to Baldpate Inn to do a little soul-searching in an attempt to write a serious work. Thinking he will be alone and uninterrupted, Magee arrives at the inn in the dead of winter. But he discovers that there are six other keys to Baldpate Inn, and the holders of those keys enliven his stay with bribery, shootings and plenty of mystery.
By: George Pope Morris (1802-1864)
Will Nobody Marry Me?
In addition to his publishing and editorial work, Morris was popular as a poet and songwriter; especially well-known was his poem-turned-song "Woodman, Spare that Tree!" His songs in particular were popular enough that Graham's Magazine in Philadelphia promised Morris $50, sight unseen, for any work he wanted to publish in the periodical.
By: Walter Scott (1771-1832)
|St. Ronan's Well
By: Edward Ormondroyd
David and the Phoenix
David knew that one should be prepared for anything when one climbs a mountain, but he never dreamed what he would find that June morning on the mountain ledge. There stood an enormous bird, with a head like an eagle, a neck like a swan, and a scarlet crest. The most astonishing thing was that the bird had an open book on the ground and was reading from it! This was David’s first sight of the fabulous Phoenix and the beginning of a pleasant and profitable partnership. The Phoenix found a great...
By: J. M. Barrie (1860-1937)
|My Lady Nicotine A Study in Smoke
By: Gerard Nolst Trenité
“The Chaos” is a poem which demonstrates the irregularity of English spelling and pronunciation, written by Gerard Nolst Trenité (1870-1946), also known under the pseudonym Charivarius. It first appeared in an appendix to the author’s 1920 textbook Drop Your Foreign Accent: engelsche uitspraakoefeningen.
By: Tobias Smollett
The Expedition of Humphry Clinker
The Expedition of Humphry Clinker was the last of the picaresque novels of Tobias Smollett, and is considered by many to be his best and funniest work. Published in London on 17 June 1771, it is an epistolary novel, presented in the form of letters written by six different characters: Matthew Bramble, a Welsh Squire; his sister Tabitha; their niece and nephew, Jery and Lydia Melford; Tabitha’s maid Winifred Jenkins; and Lydia’s suitor, Wilson. Much of the comedy arises from differences in the descriptions of the same events by different participants...
By: Richard Harding Davis (1864-1916)
The Princess Aline
Morton Carlton, an easy-going, rich young artist, has never taken the concepts of love and marriage all that seriously -- until by accident a copy of an English illustrated paper falls into his hands, which contains a photograph of the young Princess Aline of Hohenwald. Instantly, Carlton is captivated by the princess, and decides that he must meet her. But how to get close to a princess, who lives in a small German duchy well protected by guards and etiquette? Carlton decides to travel to Europe and try his luck...
My Buried Treasure
"This is a true story of a search for buried treasure. The only part that is not true is the name of the man with whom I searched for the treasure. Unless I keep his name out of it he will not let me write the story, and, as it was his expedition and as my share of the treasure is only what I can make by writing the story, I must write as he dictates. I think the story should be told, because our experience was unique, and might be of benefit to others. And, besides, I need the money." (From the text)
By: James Stephens
There is a Tavern in the Town
The soul of Irish wit is captured in this unique tale of a barstool philosopher, the concluding story from 'Here Are Ladies' by James Stephens. (Introduction by iremonger)
By: Anton Chekhov (1860-1904)
"Kashtanka," a shaggy-dog story penned by Anton Chekhov in seven parts and first published in 1887, relates the experiences of its eponymous heroine, a fox-faced, reddish dachshund-mix, whose name means 'little chestnut.' After her detestation of music causes her to become separated from the carpenter with whose family she had been living, Kashtanka finds herself taken up by an unusual vaudevillian and goes to live among an assortment of other intelligent animals, each of whom is observed with the characteristic empathy and humor that stamp Chekhov's work.
By: William Henry Giles Kingston (1814-1880)
|Voyages and Travels of Count Funnibos and Baron Stilkin
By: Jerome K. Jerome (1859-1927)
Second Thoughts Of An Idle Fellow
A second volume of humorous essays on various subjects, following the success of Idle thoughts Of An Idle Fellow.
Diary of a Pilgrimage
A possibly fictionalised account by the comic novelist Jerome K. Jerome of a trip to Germany that he undertook with a friend in order to see the famous Passion Play at Oberammergau. The journey takes in London, Dover, Ostend, Cologne, Munich, Oberau, Oberammergau and then back to London via Heidelberg. As one might expect from the author of 'Three Men in a Boat', much goes wrong along the way, including seasickness, strange food, stranger beds, misleading guidebooks, bewildering train timetables, and numerous cultural and linguistic misunderstandings.
By: P. T. Barnum (1810-1891)
The Humbugs of the World
P. T. Barnum exposes some of the chief humbugs of the world with his usual entertaining style. He looks at medicine and quacks, ghosts, witchcraft, religious humbugs, money manias, adventurers, personal reminiscences, and much more.
By: Carolyn Wells (1862-1942)
The Jingle Book
A collection of silly poetry and limericks for children.
|A Phenomenal Fauna
|The Re-echo Club
By: Daisy Ashford (1881-1972)
The Young Visiters, or Mr. Salteena's Plan
The Young Visiters is a comic romance novella that parodies upper class society of late Victorian England. Social climber Alfred Salteena introduces his young lady friend Ethel to a genuine gentleman named Bernard and, to his irritation, they hit it off. But Bernard helps Alfred in his plan to become a gentleman, which, Alfred hopes, will help him win back Ethel.
By: Ring Lardner (1885-1933)
|Treat 'em Rough Letters from Jack the Kaiser Killer
Gullible's Travels, Etc.
Humorous stories of social climbing in America's "classless" society.
By: Dorothy Quigley
What Dress Makes of Us
A wickedly funny book of advice on women’s dress. However old, fat or plain you are, Dorothy Quigley will tell you what not to wear.
By: Helen Rowland (1875-1950)
A Guide to Men: Being Encore Reflections of a Bachelor Girl
A series of occasionally witty one-liners, poems and considerations on the subject of Men, Women and their Conjunction. By turns tender, bland, sexist (in both directions!) and funny.
By: Henry W. Lucy (1845-1924)
Faces and Places
Faces and Places is a collection of articles on nineteenth century travel, events and personalities by the British journalist Henry Lucy, who wrote for the Daily News, a London newspaper. His open letter To Those About to Become Journalists rings as true today as when it was written.The first article, “Fred” Burnaby, includes a lively account of a balloon trip, while Night and Day on the Cars in Canada and Easter on Les Avants relate Lucy’s experiences of rail travel at that time. Other travel tales (A Night on a Mountain, Mosquitoes and Monaco, and Oysters and Arcachon) provide an insight into the Victorian Englishman’s attitude to Europe...
By: Thomas Love Peacock
Deep in the fens of the British coast sits the gloomy mansion that goes by the name Nightmare Abbey. It is inhabited by persons of very low opinion of the human race, and in fact they pride themselves in the depths of their detestation. Others of its denizens believe the ultimate exercise and product of the human mind ought to be chaos. Now let the young master of the house get snared by the wiles of a beautiful young lady. And for good measure, toss in another beautiful young lady. Now Scythrop...
By: Max Beerbohm (1872-1956)
‘A wickedly funny 1911 satire on undergraduate life in Edwardian Oxford’ in which the entire student body of Oxford university including the young, handsome aristocrat the Duke of Dorset falls hopelessly in love with Zuleika who is visiting her grandfather, the warden of Judas college, and ultimately commit mass suicide at the end of ‘Eights Week’
By: Max Beerbohm (1872-1956)
In order to liven up the literary history of Great Britain in the 1890s (as if Oscar Wilde, Stevenson, Kipling, Hardy, etc., were not lively enough) Max Beerbohm wrote short biographies of six imaginary writers. Though their works of course no longer exist, he leaves the impression that the literary world is really none the poorer. It is, of course, the six men themselves (Beerbohm himself is the seventh man of the title) who are worth our attention. ( Nicholas Clifford) Note that the Gutenberg edition of Seven Men is incomplete, but the missing sections may be found separately James Pethel http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/759 E.V. Laider http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/761
Happy Hypocrite: A Fairy Tale For Tired Men
Sir Henry Maximilian "Max" Beerbohm was an English essayist, parodist, and caricaturist. The Happy Hypocrite: A Fairy Tale for Tired Men is a short story with moral implications. Beerbohm's tale is a lighter, more humorous version of Oscar Wilde's classic tale of moral degeneration, The Picture of Dorian Gray. The Happy Hypocrite tells the story of a man who deceives a woman with a mask in order to marry her.