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By: John Kendrick Bangs (1862-1922)

Coffee and Repartee by John Kendrick Bangs Coffee and Repartee

First released in 1893, Coffee And Repartee is a collection of breakfast chats at a gentlemans boarding house run by a Mrs. Smithers. Here these fellows repeatedly face questions and proclamations by an inhabitant they call The Idiot. The discussions sound friendly under pretense, but are really sly battles of ribald wit and cunning charm, as well as rather offensive remarks during a time period considered by many to favour a height of refined etiquette. The Idiot spars well, but will the other residents get the better of him?

Mr Munchausen by John Kendrick Bangs Mr Munchausen

The author has discovered for us in this volume the present stopping place of that famous raconteur of dear comic memory, the late Hieronymous Carl Friederich, sometime Baron Munchausen, and he transmits to us some further adventures of this traveler and veracious relator of merry tales. There are about a dozen of these tales, and, judging by Mr. Bangs' recital of them, the Baron's adventures on this mundane sphere were no more exciting than those he has encountered since taking the ferry across the Styx...

Book cover Over The Plum Pudding

Great Caesar’s ghost and shades of A Christmas Carol! Stories – some ghostly, some Christmas, some humorous, some all three -- twelve of them by a master story teller and humorist of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Book cover Enchanted Typewriter

The Enchanted Typewriter is a collection of short stories by the American author John Kendrick Bangs, written in 1899 in the style that has become known as Bangsian fantasy. Bangs attributes many of the stories to the late (and invisible) James Boswell, who has become an editor for a newspaper in Hades, and who communicates with the author by means of an old typewriter. The fantasy stories in this book are part of the author's Hades series, named for the stories' setting.

Genial Idiot by John Kendrick Bangs Genial Idiot

John Kendrick Bangs once again takes us on a journey with the loveable, but somewhat self-opinionated and irritating Mr Idiot.

Genial Idiot by John Kendrick Bangs Genial Idiot

John Kendrick Bangs once again takes us on a journey with the loveable, but somewhat self-opinionated and irritating Mr Idiot.

Book cover Jack and the Check Book

Bangs is in top form in his version of this small collection of timeless fairy tales. If you don't immediately recognize Jack and the Check Book, Puss, the Promoter, and the Golden Fleece, don't worry, you soon will.

Toppleton's Client by John Kendrick Bangs Toppleton's Client

A pre-eminent legal firm gets far more than it bargained for when it hires the son of its late senior partner, Hopkins Toppleton, Sr., simply to retain the illustrious family name on the company masthead. Knowing Jr. is a loose cannon, their strategy is to pack him off to the UK to head up a European branch of the firm - a branch they have no intention of sending work. The unwitting Hopkins Toppleton, Jr. is, however, determined to make his mark.

Toppleton's Client by John Kendrick Bangs Toppleton's Client

A pre-eminent legal firm gets far more than it bargained for when it hires the son of its late senior partner, Hopkins Toppleton, Sr., simply to retain the illustrious family name on the company masthead. Knowing Jr. is a loose cannon, their strategy is to pack him off to the UK to head up a European branch of the firm - a branch they have no intention of sending work. The unwitting Hopkins Toppleton, Jr. is, however, determined to make his mark.

By: John Leighton (1822-1912)

Book cover Christmas Comes but Once a Year

A Christmas tale of John Brown's ghastly family (suburban snobs), Captain Bonaventure de Camp and his equally awful brood (a dubious crew), and poor Soavo Spohf, organist of St. Stiff the Martyr, gifted in musical ability but not blessed in looks or love. No-one could call this a great work of literature, but it definitely raises a few chuckles and it also offers a fascinating glimpse into Christmas festivities and social mores in well-to-do households in the mid-19th century. (Introduction by Ruth Golding)

Book cover The Royal Picture Alphabet

By: John Tenniel (1820-1914)

Mr. Punch's Railway Book by John Tenniel Mr. Punch's Railway Book

By: John Wight (1866-1944)

Mornings at Bow Street by John Wight Mornings at Bow Street

This is a collection of various articles found in Morning Herald columns. Some are found interesting, some may be hilarious! The 84 pieces of this book are actual reports throughout the 1870s newspaper written by the reporter, John Wight and Illustrated by George Cruikshank

By: Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)

A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift A Modest Proposal

A satirical essay written by one of the most renowned satirists, Jonathan Swift, A Modest Proposal expresses the author’s exasperation with the ill treatment of impoverished Irish citizens as a result of English exploitation and social inertia. Furthermore, Swift ventilates the severity of Ireland’s political incompetence, the tyrannical English policies, the callous attitudes of the wealthy, and the destitution faced by the Irish people. Focusing on numerous aspects of society including government exploitation, reckless greed, hypocrisy, apathy, and prejudice, the essay successfully exemplifies Swift’s satirical skills...

By: Joseph Crosby Lincoln (1870-1944)

Book cover Cape Cod Stories

This book (eleven short stories) was also published under the title of “The Old Home House”. Joseph Crosby Lincoln (1870 – 1944) was an American author of novels, poems, and short stories, many set in a fictionalized Cape Cod. Lincoln's work frequently appeared in popular magazines such as the Saturday Evening Post and The Delineator.... Lincoln claimed that he was satisfied "spinning yarns" that made readers feel good about themselves and their neighbors. Two of his stories have been adapted to film...

Book cover The Woman-Haters: a yarn of Eastboro twin-lights

By: Joseph Jacobs (1854-1916)

Book cover Indian Fairy Tales

This book is a fine collection of Indian fairy tales, some are folklore, some are from the Jataka tales, and some from panchatantra.

By: Jules Verne

Doctor Ox's Experiment by Jules Verne Doctor Ox's Experiment

An early, light-hearted short story, published in 1872 by Jules Verne. It takes place in the Flemish town of Quiquendone, where life moves at an extraordinarily tranquil pace. Doctor Ox has offered to light the town with a new gas, but actually has other plans in place.

By: Kate Douglas Smith Wiggin (1856-1923)

Book cover Bluebeard; a musical fantasy

By: Kate Sanborn (1839-1917)

Book cover The Wit of Women Fourth Edition

By: Kenneth McGaffrey (??-1938)

Book cover The Sorrows of a Show Girl

Originally printed in The Morning Telegraph in New York, this is the story of Miss Sabrina, the show girl, and her ups and downs with the unpredictable theatrical industry and the Great White Way, the lights and glamour of Broadway. "In order to set myself right with both the public and the vast army of Sabrinas that add youth and beauty to our stage, and brilliancy and gaiety to our well known cafes, I wish to say that she is all that she should be...”- Kenneth McGaffrey

By: Knight Russ Ockside (1830-1898)

Book cover History and Records of the Elephant Club

Mortimer Q. Thomson (September 2, 1832 – June 25, 1875) was an American journalist and humorist who wrote under the pseudonym Q. K. Philander Doesticks. He was born in Riga, New York and grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He attended Michigan University in Ann Arbor, but was expelled along with several others either for his involvement in secret societies[1] or for "too much enterprise in securing subjects for the dissecting room."[2] After a brief period working in theater, he became a journalist and lecturer...

By: L. A. Abbott (1813-??)

Seven Wives and Seven Prisons by L. A. Abbott Seven Wives and Seven Prisons

This work the author claims is indeed a true story of how he happened to be married seven times to seven different women and the rollicking, hilarious events that led (or stumbled) to the marriages and the ah–disassembling/failing/failures of each said marriage which happened oftentimes to land him in prison. The summarist finds the work a very tongue-in-cheek diatribe/lament/account of his obsessive zeal in ‘marrying the right one’, but is also the mirthful chronicle of said author’s very unconventional adventures.

By: L. Frank Baum (1856-1919)

American Fairy Tales by L. Frank Baum American Fairy Tales

This collection of fantasy stories was originally serialized in regional newspapers, prior to being published as a complete volume. The stories, as critics have noted, lack the high-fantasy aspect of the best of Baum’s work, in Oz or out. With ironic or nonsensical morals attached to their ends, their tone is more satirical, glib, and tongue-in-cheek than is usual in children’s stories; the serialization in newspapers for adult readers was appropriate for the materials. (Introduction by Wikipedia and Matthew Reece)

The Surprising Adventures of the Magical Monarch of Mo and His People by L. Frank Baum The Surprising Adventures of the Magical Monarch of Mo and His People

The Magical Monarch of Mo is a set of stories about the titular king, his queen, and his royal children. The stories are uproariously funny, dealing with topics as absurd as a man losing his temper who then tries to find it, an evil midget who steals a princess's big toe, and an entire city filled with highly civilized monkeys! Join the Monarch and all his friends for a rollicking adventure, filled with fun for the whole family!

Book cover The Woggle-Bug Book

By: Laurence Sterne (1713-1768)

A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy by Laurence Sterne A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy

After the bizarre textual antics of “Tristram Shandy”, this book would seem to require a literary health warning. Sure enough, it opens in mid-conversation upon a subject never explained; meanders after a fashion through a hundred pages, then fizzles out in mid-sentence – so, a plotless novel lacking a beginning, a middle or an end. Let us say: an exercise in the infinitely comic. “There is not a secret so aiding to the progress of sociality, as to get master of this short hand, and to be quick in rendering the several turns of looks and limbs with all their inflections and delineations, into plain words...

By: Lewis Carroll (1832-1898)

Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll Through the Looking-Glass

If you've read and loved Alice in Wonderland, you wouldn't want to miss reading about her further adventures, the strange and fantastical creatures she meets and the delightful style and word-play that made the first book so appealing. Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll is thematically much more structured and cleverly constructed as compared to the earlier Alice book but still retains its childhood elements of wonder, curiosity and imagination. Lewis Carroll was the pseudonym of Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, a gifted mathematics professor at Oxford during the late 19th century...

The Hunting of the Snark by Lewis Carroll The Hunting of the Snark

The Hunting of the Snark is a long nonsense poem by Lewis Carroll describing the adventures of ten weirdly assorted characters as they pursue an elusive creature known as a snark.

By: Lisle de Vaux Matthewman (1867-)

Book cover Crankisms

By: Lucretia P. (Lucretia Peabody) Hale (1820-1900)

Book cover The Peterkin Papers

By: Lucy Maud Montgomery (1874-1942)

Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery Anne of Green Gables

Montgomery’s literary classic recounts the exciting adventures undertaken by the fiery eleven-year-old Anne Shirley, an orphan girl accidentally adopted by middle aged siblings Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert. A coming-of-age novel, Anne of Green Gables focuses on Anne’s new life at Green Gables farm in Avonlea and her adjustment into the Prince Edward Island community. The story launches when the aging siblings Matthew and Marilla decide that they could use an extra hand around their farm, and believe that adopting an orphan boy would be an appropriate solution...

By: Marietta Holley (1836-1926)

Book cover Samantha Among the Brethren

By: Mark Lemon (1809-1870)

Book cover How to Make a Man of Consequence

Mark Lemon had a natural talent for journalism and the stage, and, at twenty-six, retired from less congenial business to devote himself to the writing of plays. More than sixty of his melodramas, operettas and comedies were produced in London, whilst at the same time he was contributing to a wide variety of magazines and newspapers, and was founding editor of both Punch and The Field.

By: Mark Phillips (Randall Garrett and Laurence M. Janifer)

Brain Twister by Mark Phillips (Randall Garrett and Laurence M. Janifer) Brain Twister

“Mark Phillips” is, or are, two writers: Randall Garrett and Laurence M. Janifer. Their joint pen-name, derived from their middle names (Philip and Mark), was coined soon after their original meeting, at a science-fiction convention. Both men were drunk at the time, which explains a good deal, and only one has ever sobered up. A matter for constant contention between the collaborators is which one. Originally published as That Sweet Little Old Lady, Brain Twister follows the adventures of FBI agent Kenneth J...

By: Mark Twain

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Regarded as the pride and joy of American literature, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a picturesque novel depicting Huck’s epic journey from boyhood to manhood and the struggles he must face living in a corrupt society. The novel serves as a sequel to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, another famous work by Mark Twain. The plot unfolds in several locations sometime before the Civil War. The book opens with a description of Huck’s new life as he undergoes a process of “civilization” while living with the Widow Douglas and her sister Miss Watson...

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

If ever there was a story written based unabashedly on adventure and trouble, this is it. There are treasure hunts and murderers on the run in this book that will keep you spellbound. Tom and his half-brother, Sid, lived with their aunt, Polly. Tom was a boisterous young fellow who constantly found himself in rather awkward situations that landed him into trouble. These situations were however exceedingly hilarious. On one occasion, Tom dirtied his clothes in a fight and his punishment was to whitewash the fence the following day...

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...

A Dog's Tale by Mark Twain A Dog's Tale

A sentimental short story praised for its moving plot and condemnation of scientific experimentation on animals, Mark Twain efficiently delivers a truly captivating piece. First appearing in Harper’s Magazine in 1903, A Dog's Tale was later published as a pamphlet for the National Anti-Vivisection Society. The tale focuses on the life of Aileen, a misunderstood dog who experiences the ups and downs of life, while cruelly subjected to suffering because of the shallow belief of her inferiority amidst humans...

Extracts from Adam's Diary by Mark Twain Extracts from Adam's Diary

Get the true story of Adam and Eve, straight from the source. This humorous text is a day-to-day account of Adam’s life from happiness in the “GARDEN-OF-EDEN” to their fall from grace and the events thereafter. Learn how Eve caught the infant Cain, and Adam takes some time to learn exactly what it is.

A Tramp Abroad by Mark Twain A Tramp Abroad

A Tramp Abroad is a work of non-fiction travel literature by American author Mark Twain, published in 1880. The book details a journey by the author, with his friend Harris (a character created for the book, and based on his closest friend, Joseph Twichell), through central and southern Europe. While the stated goal of the journey is to walk most of the way, the men find themselves using other forms of transport as they traverse the continent. The book is often thought to be an unofficial sequel to an earlier Twain travel book,The Innocents Abroad...

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...

Eve's Diary by Mark Twain Eve's Diary

Eve's Diary is a comic short story by Mark Twain. It was first published in the 1905 Christmas issue of the magazine Harper's Bazaar, and in book format in June 1906 by Harper and Brothers publishing house. It is written in the style of a diary kept by the first woman in the Judeao-Christian creation myth, Eve, and is claimed to be "translated from the original MS." The "plot" of this novel is the first-person account of Eve from her creation up to her burial by, her mate, Adam, including meeting and getting to know Adam, and exploring the world around her, Eden...

The Awful German Language by Mark Twain The Awful German Language

This long essay is a work of mock philology, one of several appendices to Twain’s travel novel, A Tramp Abroad. In it, Twain explains, complains about, and shows how one might improve upon various aspects of the (awful) German language. His examples of precisely how the German language is awful include the famed “separable verb” – which allows one to put the first part of a given verb at the beginning – and its second part at the end – of a given clause or sentence (which may, indeed, be very long)...

The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg, and Other Stories by Mark Twain The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg, and Other Stories

“The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg” is a piece of short fiction by Mark Twain. It first appeared in Harper’s Monthly in December 1899, and was subsequently published by Harper Collins in the collection The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg and Other Stories and Sketches (1900). This recording contains all the stories and sketches from the 1900 Harper Collins publication.

The Mysterious Stranger by Mark Twain The Mysterious Stranger

The Mysterious Stranger-A Romance- is the final novel attempted by Mark Twain. It was worked on periodically from roughly 1890 up until 1910. The body of work is a serious social commentary by Twain addressing his ideas of the Moral Sense and the "damned human race". The Harper & Brothers publication of the book is illustrated by N.C. Wyeth.

The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg by Mark Twain The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg

The town of Hadleyburg had the reputation of being the most honest town in a wide area, indeed an incorruptible community. The elders took this reputation so to heart that they brought up their children shielded from all temptation and trained thoroughly in total honesty. However, a stranger passing through the community was seriously offended by the actions of residents of this Utopia, and he vowed to gain revenge. After several years he came up with the perfect plan to embarrass the town and expose its hypocrisy. (Introduction by Leonard Wilson)

Following the Equator: A Journey Around the World by Mark Twain Following the Equator: A Journey Around the World

Following the Equator (American English title) or More Tramps Abroad (English title) is a non-fiction travelogue published by American author Mark Twain in 1897. Twain was practically bankrupt in 1894 due to a failed investment into a “revolutionary” typesetting machine. In an attempt to extricate himself from debt of $100,000 (equivalent of about $2 million in 2005) he undertook a tour of the British Empire in 1895, a route chosen to provide numerous opportunities for lectures in the English language...

Extract from Captain Stormfield's Visit to Heaven by Mark Twain Extract from Captain Stormfield's Visit to Heaven

This was the last story published by Twain, a few months before he died. The story follows Captain Elias Stormfield on his extremely long cosmic journey to heaven. It deals with the obsession of souls with the "celebrities" of heaven, like Adam and Moses, who according to Twain become as distant to most people in heaven as living celebrities are on Earth. Twain uses this story to show his view that the common conception of heaven is ludicrous and points out the incongruities of such beliefs.A lot of the description of Heaven is given by the character Sandy McWilliams, a cranberry farmer who is very experienced in the ways of heaven...

The Stolen White Elephant by Mark Twain The Stolen White Elephant

"The Stolen White Elephant" was written by Mark Twain and published in 1882. In it, an Indian elephant, en route from India to Britain as a gift to the Queen, disappears in New Jersey. The local police department goes into high gear to solve the mystery but it all comes to a tragic end. Twain's satirical look at the police and newspaper worlds of the 1880's illustrates some of the more outrageous proclivities of each.

Book cover Mark Twain's (Burlesque) Autobiography and First Romance

Mark Twain's (Burlesque) Autobiography and First Romance, a short volume, published by Sheldon & Co., NY in 1871, is Mark Twain's third book. It consists of two stories - First Romance, which had originally appeared in The Express in 1870, and A Burlesque Autobiography (bearing no relationship to Twain's actual life), which first appeared in Twain's Memoranda contributions to the Galaxy. Rather, the content consists of a few short stories of fictional characters who are supposedly part of Twain's lineage...

Sketches New and Old by Mark Twain Sketches New and Old

This collection of 63 writings by Mark Twain was published in 1875. Among other sketches, it contains “The Jumping Frog” in the original English, followed by a French translation (read here by Caroline Sophie) which Twain re-translated into English, showing how the French translation of his work was “badly flawed.” In many of these sketches, Twain shows his talent for outrageous and hilarious inventiveness, often in reaction to current events.

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.

Some Rambling Notes of an Idle Excursion by Mark Twain Some Rambling Notes of an Idle Excursion

Written for the Atlantic magazine in 1877, this is a collection of stories about a trip Mark Twain made with some friends to Bermuda. It contains fascinating descriptions of Bermuda the island, and some of its people as well as an explanation of why Bermuda's houses are "so white".

Book cover How to Tell a Story, and Other Essays

In his inimitable way, Mark Twain gives sound advice about how to tell a story, then lets us in on some curious incidents he experienced, and finishes with a trip that proves life-changing.

Essays on Paul Bourget by Mark Twain Essays on Paul Bourget

Collection of short essays concerning French novelist and critic Paul Bourget. Included: "What Paul Bourget Thinks of Us" and "A Little Note to M. Paul Bourget".

Book cover Editorial Wild Oats
Book cover The Facts Concerning the Recent Carnival of Crime in Connecticut

By: Marshall Pinckney Wilder (1859-1915)

The Wit and Humor of America by Marshall Pinckney Wilder The Wit and Humor of America

Light hearted, entertaining and amusing as it takes on contemporary American life would best describe The Wit and Humor of America by Marshall Pinckney Wilder whish is a compilation of humorous passages from various works of American literature. Ranging from Harriet Beecher Stowe's Dinah's Kitchen to Dislikes by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Little Orphint Annie by James Whitcomb Riley, The Auto Rubaiyat by Reginald Wright Kauffman, Garden Ethics by Charles Dudley Warner and Morris and the Honorable Tim by Myra Kelley and many more delightful pieces, the book is indeed a treasure trove of humor...


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