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By: Jerome K. Jerome (1859-1927)

Diary of a Pilgrimage by Jerome K. Jerome 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 by P. T. Barnum 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 by Carolyn Wells The Jingle Book

A collection of silly poetry and limericks for children.

By: Daisy Ashford (1881-1972)

The Young Visiters, or Mr. Salteena's Plan by Daisy Ashford 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)

Gullible's Travels, Etc. by Ring Lardner Gullible's Travels, Etc.

Humorous stories of social climbing in America's "classless" society.

By: Dorothy Quigley

What Dress Makes of Us 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 by Helen Rowland 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 by Henry W. Lucy 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

Nightmare Abbey by Thomas Love Peacock Nightmare Abbey

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)

Zuleika Dobson by Max Beerbohm Zuleika Dobson

‘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)

Book cover Seven Men

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

Book cover 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.

By: Alfred Elwes (1819-1888)

The Adventures of a Dog, and a Good Dog Too by Alfred Elwes The Adventures of a Dog, and a Good Dog Too

This fictional work is written in 1st person by the dog himself. It's a cute story of the adventures in the life of a noble dog who is appropriately named, Job. The canine society in which he lives is an interesting parallel to human society.

By: Edward Phillips Oppenheim (1866-1946)

An Amiable Charlatan by Edward Phillips Oppenheim An Amiable Charlatan

An Englishman is enjoying his dinner at Stephano's, at which he is a regular diner. A man enters quickly, sits at his table, starts eating his food, and hands him a packet underneath the table! So begins Paul Walmsley's acquaintance - and adventures - with American adventurer Joseph H. Parker and his lovely daughter, Eve. (Intro by TriciaG)Note that there is an alternate reading of section 8. Both are excellent renditions, so enjoy either or both of them.

By: Thornton W. Burgess (1874-1965)

The Adventures of Mr. Mocker by Thornton W. Burgess The Adventures of Mr. Mocker

When an innocent blue jay starts talking in his sleep, it’s up to him to find out what’s going on in this fun, naturalistic, Southern-style children’s story.

By: F. Anstey (1856-1934)

Vice Versa by F. Anstey Vice Versa

Set in Victorian times, the novel concerns business man Paul Bultitude and his son Dick. Dick is about to leave home for a boarding school which is ruled by the cane wielding headmaster Dr. Grimstone. Bultitude, seeing his son's fear of going to the school, foolishly says that schooldays are the best years of a boy's life, and how he wished that he was the one so doing. At this point, thanks to a handy magic stone brought by an uncle from India which grants the possessor one wish, they are now on even terms...

By: Anstey, F. (1856-1934)

The Black Poodle and Other Tales by Anstey, F. The Black Poodle and Other Tales

This is a collection of ten humorous short stories

By: F. Anstey (1856-1934)

Book cover Baboo Jabberjee, B.A.

Another delightful example of an English writer poking fun at his countrymen, or maybe all races' reactions to someone from a diferent background. A series of adventures of a well educated foreigner in London which originally appeared weekly in Punch, sometimes with illustrations, dealing with the difficulties of fully understanding a different culture. The hero's perfect English reminds one of a quote from "My Fair Lady" ..."His English is too good, he said, "that clearly indicates that he is Foreign. Whereas other people are instructed in their native language English people aren't."

Book cover Baboo Jabberjee, B.A.

Another delightful example of an English writer poking fun at his countrymen, or maybe all races' reactions to someone from a diferent background. A series of adventures of a well educated foreigner in London which originally appeared weekly in Punch, sometimes with illustrations, dealing with the difficulties of fully understanding a different culture. The hero's perfect English reminds one of a quote from "My Fair Lady" ..."His English is too good, he said, "that clearly indicates that he is Foreign. Whereas other people are instructed in their native language English people aren't."

Book cover Talking Horse And Other Stories

A collection of short stories by famed humorist and Punch magazine staff member, F. Anstey, pseudonym for Thomas Anstey Guthrie. They range from humorous and whimsical to haunting and thought-provoking.

Book cover Tinted Venus

When a young newly engaged man finds himself bound for an amusement garden with an old flame, not his fiancee, it is not surprising that he still feels some attraction for her. When they escape the heat of the dance floor to walk among the trees in the garden, it is not surprising that they should come upon a statue of a woman of uncommon beauty, with the smallest hands. When the young man attempts to demonstrate that his absent fiancee has hands even smaller than this immortalized stone woman, it is surprising when the engagement ring he is carrying fits easily on the stone finger, but does not easily come off...

Book cover In Brief Authority

Satiric comedy from 1915 about a nouveau riche British family and their nanny who get whisked off to Maerchenland ('the land of Fairy Tales') one evening in a car drawn by storks. The matron of the family, a thorough snob, is crowned Queen of the country by mistake. She is quick to accept her new position and is determined to introduce British social niceties in her realm. And this really is the land of Fairy Tales, with gnomes, giants, a dragon, magic, a fairy godmother and more. Trouble quickly starts to brew as the royal couple and their son introduce things like capitalism and golf...

By: Herbert George Jenkins (1876-1923)

Adventures of Bindle by Herbert George Jenkins Adventures of Bindle

Jenkins' most popular fictional creation was Mr. Joseph Bindle, who first appeared in a humorous novel in 1916 and in a number of sequels. In the preface to the books, T. P. O'Connor said that "Bindle is the greatest Cockney that has come into being through the medium of literature since Dickens wrote Pickwick Papers". The stories are based on the comedic drama of life at work, at home and all the adventures that take place along the way.

By: Barton Wood Currie

Officer 666 by Barton Wood Currie Officer 666

Bored with his life as a wealthy businessman's only son, Travers Gladwin learns of a plot by a renowned art burglar to rob his house, so rather than thwart the planned burglary, he borrows a police uniform from a friend and decides to confront the robber by posing as an officer. When the burglar arrives at the house, he tries to pass himself off as Travers Gladwin. From there, things only get more complicated, including the arrival of the burglar's girlfriend who believes that her beau is the wealthy man's son. Comical and timely, the book was made into a movie multiple times, each hugely successful.

By: Amy LeFeuvre (1861-1929)

Teddy's Button by Amy LeFeuvre Teddy's Button

Teddy loves to tell the story of how his father heroically died on the battlefield and guards his button jealously. But this brings contention and strife when a new girl comes to town. Teddy begins to learn what it means to be a soldier under Christ, his Captain.

By: Edward Streeter (1891-1976)

Dere Mable by Edward Streeter Dere Mable

Bill is in training camp, preparing to go off to World War I. This book is a collection of love letters written to his sweetheart, Mable. The letters are humorous, mis-spelled, and have many stories of life in an army camp – all from Bill’s unique perspective.

By: Oliver Wendell Holmes

The One-Hoss Shay by Oliver Wendell Holmes The One-Hoss Shay

This is a small collection of whimsical poems by the American physician and author Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. "The Deacon's Masterpiece" describes the "logical" outcome of building an object (in this case, a two-wheeled carriage called a shay) that has no weak points. The economic term "one hoss shay," referring to a certain model of depreciation, derives its name from this poem. "How the Old Horse Won the Bet" is a lighthearted look at a horse race. Finally, "The Broomstick Train" is a wonderfully Halloween-y explanation of how an electric tram really works.

By: Harry Leon Wilson (1867-1939)

Merton of the Movies by Harry Leon Wilson Merton of the Movies

Merton of the Movies is a comedy that centers around Merton Gill, an aspiring dramatic artist from Simsbury, Illinois who makes his way to Hollywood to become a serious actor. How could Merton fail in attaining his dreams after finishing a correspondence course from the General Film Production Company of Stebbinsville, Arkansas, certifying him to be a competent screen actor? Harry Leon Wilson, the author, was a very popular humor writer in the first decades of the 20th century. This book was made into film several times, the last in 1947 starring Red Skelton.

By: John A. Joyce

Shakspere: Personal Recollections by John A. Joyce Shakspere: Personal Recollections

Recording of Shakspere: Personal Recollections, by John A. Joyce.A fictitious account of a "friend" of William Shakespeare, who accompanies him from his birth to his death and beyond, chronicling Shakespeare's life, adventures, speeches, and impromptu bursts of poetry.

By: Clarence Day, Jr. (1874-1935)

This Simian World by Clarence Day, Jr. This Simian World

Clarence Day, Jr., best known for his work Life with Father, presents a satirical speculation on how the world might be different if we apes had not risen to prominence, but rather one of the other species had become dominant in our place.

By: George Ade (1866-1944)

Fables in Slang by George Ade Fables in Slang

While a columnist for The Chicago Record humorist George Ade penned numerous “fables” which were subsequently collected into books. Fables in Slang is the first of these collections. It contains 26 satirical stories that lampoon phrenologists, idealists, snobs, fanatics and other ignorant fools of the day, most of which still wander through our modern lives. Jean Shepherd considered Ade a predecessor who made writers like James Thurber, Mike Royko, and himself possible. Fables in Slang was first published in 1899 by Herbert S. Stone and Company.

By: Sara Ware Bassett (1872-1968)

Flood Tide by Sara Ware Bassett Flood Tide

Willie Spence may have been a bit eccentric by most standards, but he had a knack for creating gadgets in his small workshop at his home on Cape Cod. Whenever he was 'ketched' by an 'idee' he had to see it to completion, and always did. His small cottage on the Cape had become a labyrinth of string and wires tacked here and there so as to make life a bit challenging for his housekeeper Celestina. But she and most everyone else among the coastal towns and villages loved the old man for all his eccentricities as Willie spent his waning years just waiting for his ship to come in.

By: Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751-1816)

Book cover School For Scandal

Richard Brinsley Sheridan's comedy was first performed in 1777 and focuses on the intrigues and scandals of the British upper classes. Lady Sneerwell wants to marry Charles Surface, while Joseph Surface wants to marry Maria, an heiress and ward of Sir Peter Teazle. Maria, however, prefers Charles over Joseph. In order to detach her from Charles, Lady Sneerwell and Joseph spread rumors about an affair between Charles and Lady Teazle, Sir Peter's new young wife. Meanwhile, Sir Oliver Surface, newly returned from the East Indies, assumes various disguises to test his nephews' characters. Misunderstandings, mistaken identities, gossip, and bad behavior abound in this uproarious comedy.

By: A. A. Milne (1882-1956)

Book cover Happy Days

Although best known for his Winnie the Pooh stories, A.A. Milne spent years as an editor at the English humor magazine Punch. These sprightly essays were chosen from the hundreds he wrote during that period. As usual, they are funny, wry, and poke fun at almost all of our human foibles. There are 6 short one act plays that he wrote to demonstrate the 6 allowable plots for amateur playwrights and they are absolutely hilarious. The other topics run the gamut from dogs to dates.

By: Rudolf Erich Raspe (1737-1794)

The Surprising Adventures of Baron Munchausen by Rudolf Erich Raspe The Surprising Adventures of Baron Munchausen

The stories about Münchhausen were first collected and published by an anonymous author in 1781. An English version was published in London in 1785, by Rudolf Erich Raspe, as Baron Munchhausen's Narrative of his Marvellous Travels and Campaigns in Russia, also called The Surprising Adventures of Baron Munchhausen. It is not clear how much of the story material derives from the Baron himself; however, it is known that the majority of the stories are based on folktales that have been in circulation for many centuries before Münchhausen's birth.

By: Richard Barnum

Squinty the Comical Pig by Richard Barnum Squinty the Comical Pig

"This comical children's tale about the funny adventures of a funny pig written by an unknown author. The publisher has hired authors to write children's tales, and gave them "house names". The "name" of the author who wrote this tale is Richard Barnum. It became very successful, the most well known of Richard Barnum's tales. So, if you want to laugh a little, even if you are not a child, read this book".

By: Oliver Herford (1863-1935)

This Giddy Globe by Oliver Herford This Giddy Globe

Is there a genre called FUN? Yes, and this is it! Insanely humorous geography that will have you rolling on the floor laughing with your sides hurting.

By: Rick Raphael (1919-1994)

Make Mine Homogenized by Rick Raphael Make Mine Homogenized

Just sixty miles from ground zero in Nevada there lies Circle T Ranch run by Hetty Thompson the owner, Barney Hatfield the farmhand, and Johnny Culpepper the assistant manager. It was just another ordinary ranch until, that is, the two cows and the roster hit the nuclear jackpot.(Introduction by Jeanie1914)

By: Timothy S. Arthur (1809-1885)

Off-hand Sketches by Timothy S. Arthur Off-hand Sketches

The reader cannot but smile at some of the phases of life presented in this volume. Yet the smile will, in no case, the author thinks, be at the expense of humanity, good feeling, or virtue. Many of the incidents given, are facts embellished by a few touches of fancy. In all, lessons may be read that some, at least, will do well to lay to heart.

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)

By: Charles James Lever (1806-1872)

Fortunes of Glencore by  Charles James Lever Fortunes of Glencore

By: Caroline Lockhart (1871-1962)

Book cover Dude Wrangler

Spoiled, handsome, 24 year old Easterner meets pretty, no-nonsense gal from Wyoming, is instantly smitten and does a sea-change to try and impress her in this genial romantic comedy.

By: Anne Wales Abbott ed. (1808-1908)

Autumn Leaves, Original Pieces in Prose and Verse by Anne Wales Abbott ed. Autumn Leaves, Original Pieces in Prose and Verse

The pieces gathered into this volume were, with two exceptions, written for the entertainment of a private circle, without any view to publication. The editor would express her thanks to the writers, who, at her solicitation, have allowed them to be printed. They are published with the hope of aiding a work of charity,—the establishment of an Agency for the benefit of the poor in Cambridge,—to which the proceeds of the sale will be devoted.

By: James T. Fields (1817-1881)

Book cover The Owl Critic

James Thomas Fields was an American publisher, editor, and poet. At the age of 14, Fields took a job at the Old Corner Bookstore in Boston. His first published poetry was included in the Portsmouth Journal in 1837 but he drew more attention when, on September 13, 1838, he delivered his “Anniversary Poem” to the Boston Mercantile Library Association.

By: Noah Lott

Book cover The Silly Syclopedia

A Terrible Thing in the Form of a Literary Torpedo which is Launched for HILARIOUS PURPOSES ONLY. Inaccurate in Every Particular Containing Copious Etymological Derivations and Other Useless Things by Noah Lott (an ex-relative of Noah Webster)

By: Robert J. Burdette (1844-1914)

Chimes From A Jester’s Bells by Robert J. Burdette Chimes From A Jester’s Bells

Part I. The Story of Rollo; Mr. Holliday knows all there is to know about raising children, or at least he thinks he does. His attempts to train his son, Rollo, "in the way he should go," are well-meant, but hilariously unsuccessful--or are they? I believe this is a sort of spoof of the “Rollo” series for children, that was written by Jacob Abbot in the mid 19th century. The characters have the same names and the chapters have a little Q&A at the end like the Abbot books, except these are definitely tongue-in-cheek...

By: Mary Roberts Rinehart (1876-1958)

Book cover Oh, Well, You Know How Women Are and Isn't That Just Like a Man!

This warm, affectionate duet of essays by two of the early twentieth century's most popular writers is a bit dated but still entertaining.

By: Ellis Parker Butler (1869-1937)

Book cover Cheerful Smugglers

Saving for the baby's education: how can a young family be disciplined so as to regularly put money in the pig (bank)? Why, put a tariff on all items coming into the house, just like the U.S. Government does/did for items coming into the country! But the devil is in the details; what about taxing items brought in by visitors? Is the housemaid herself a taxable item? What items really are 'necessaries' versus luxuries? When visitors arrive these guests stoop to either 'smuggling' in their luggage items to avoid having to pay up to 30% of the value, or wear only what they came dressed in...

By: Ada Leverson (1862-1933)

Book cover Love's Shadow

The first in a trilogy of books known together as 'The Little Ottleys', this is a sparkling social comedy set in Edwardian London. Ada Leverson was a great friend and staunch supporter of Oscar Wilde and shared his love for sharp, witty writing. Like Wilde, her work is characterised by a wonderful ear for dialogue and deft characterization. 'Love's Shadow' introduces us to Bruce and Edith Ottley and their friends, who are to all appearances living the bright and carefree lives of the well-to-do. But there are cracks appearing in the facade...

Book cover Tenterhooks

The second of the 'Little Ottleys' trilogy, an Edwardian comedy of manners. Several years have passed since the events in 'Love's Shadow', but Bruce Ottley is as difficult and irksome as ever. His beautiful wife Edith continues to gently manage his foibles, and regards him with a fond tolerance. But then she meets the enchanting - and very handsome - Aylmer Ross. The attraction between them is undeniable, and Edith's quiet serenity is shattered. Could this spell the end for the Ottley's marriage?...

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: Edward Eggleston (1837-1902)

Book cover Hoosier Schoolmaster

"Want to be a school-master, do you? You? Well, what would you do in Flat Crick deestrick, I'd like to know? Why, the boys have driv off the last two, and licked the one afore them like blazes. You might teach a summer school, when nothin' but children come. But I 'low it takes a right smart man to be school-master in Flat Crick in the winter. They'd pitch you out of doors, sonny, neck and heels, afore Christmas."

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...

By: Robert Copland (fl. 1515)

Book cover Jyl of Breyntfords Testament

Introduction - This is a collection of ten comic pieces from the 16th century and earlier, as compiled and edited by Frederick Furnivall for private circulation in 1871. Only the first is by Copland. (Introduction by Grant Hurlock)

By: William S. Gilbert (1836-1911)

The Pirates of Penzance by William S. Gilbert The Pirates of Penzance

The Pirates of Penzance; or, The Slave of Duty is a comic opera in two acts, with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert. The story concerns Frederic, who, having completed his 21st year, is released from his apprenticeship to a band of tender-hearted pirates. He meets Mabel, the daughter of Major-General Stanley, and the two young people fall instantly in love. Frederic finds out, however, that he was born on 29 February, and so, technically, he only has a birthday each leap year...

By: Thomas A. Janvier (1849-1913)

Book cover Uncle Of An Angel

In what I have read so far this book appears to be a humorous character study on two levels. That between the uncle and niece and that of polite society in the 19th century. Anything can happen. I for one want to find out what will happen!!

By: Norman Lindsay (1879-1969)

The Magic Pudding by Norman Lindsay The Magic Pudding

Bunyip Bluegum the koala sets out on his travels taking only a walking stick. At about lunchtime, feeling more than slightly peckish, he meets Bill Barnacle the sailor and Sam Sawnoff the penguin who are eating a pudding. The pudding is a magic one which, no matter how much you eat it, always reforms into a whole pudding again. He is called Albert, has thin arms and legs and is a bad-tempered, ill-mannered so-and-so into the bargain. His only pleasure is being eaten. The book is divided into four "slices" instead of chapters. (Introduction by Wikipedia)

By: Various

Book cover Little Masterpieces of American Wit and Humor Vol 1

Volume 1 of a ten volume collection of amusing tales, observations and anecdotes by America's greatest wordsmiths. This work includes selections by such household favorites as Mark Twain, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Benjamin Franklin and Washington Irving.

By: Dorothy Scarborough (1878-1935)

Book cover Humorous Ghost Stories

Includes: An introduction by Dorothy Scarborough -- The Canterville ghost / by Oscar Wilde -- The ghost-extinguisher / by Gelett Burgess -- "Dey ain't no ghosts" / by Ellis Parker Butler -- The transferred ghost / by Frank R. Stockton -- The mummy's foot / Théophile Gautier -- The rival ghosts / Brander Matthews -- The water ghost of Harrowby Hall / by John Kendrick Bangs -- Back from that bourne / Anonymous -- The ghost-ship / by Richard Middleton -- The transplanted ghost / by Wallace Irwin --...

By: Barry Pain (1824-1928)

Book cover If Winter Don't

Barry Pain's parody takes a sharp knife to ASM Hutchinson's best selling novel 'If Winter Comes'.We follow the professional and marital decline of long suffering (and loving it), Luke Sharper, as his marriage to Mabel flounders while his love for Jona flourishes. It could only end in tears.....Or could it? (

By: Henry Austin Dobson (1840-1921)

Book cover "You Bid Me Try"

Henry Austin Dobson, commonly Austin Dobson, was an English poet and essayist. His official career was uneventful, but as a poet and biographer he was distinguished. Those who study his work are struck by its maturity.It was about 1864 that he turned his attention to writing original prose and verse, and some of his earliest work was his best. It was not until 1868 that the appearance of St Paul’s, a magazine edited by Anthony Trollope, gave Harry Dobson an opportunity and an audience; and during the next six years he contributed some of his favourite poems, including “Tu Quoque,” “A Gentleman of the Old School,” “A Dialogue from Plato,” and “Une Marquise...

By: Donald Ogden Stewart

Perfect Behavior by Donald Ogden Stewart Perfect Behavior

A humorous guide to manners and etiquette for ladies and gentlemen in a social "crises," published in 1922. (Introduction by Samanem)

By: Don Marquis (1878-1937)

Book cover Danny's Own Story

Danny is the proverbial basket-on-the-doorstep baby, found by Hank and Elmira Walters, a childless couple who welcome him into their home because they need a new topic over which to bicker. Bicker they do, and fight just as often, from the day they attempt to settle on a name, to the day eighteen years later, when Danny and Hank come to blows and Danny leaves home in company with Dr. Kirby, bottler and supplier of the miracle elixir, Siwash Indian Sagraw. For years Danny wanders aimlessly--from Illinois to Indiana to Ohio, back to Illinois, then into Tennessee and points south--sometimes in company with Dr...

By: W. S. Gilbert (d 1911)

Book cover More Bab Ballads

This is a subset of the first twelve poems from the second collection of Gilbert’s “Bab Ballads” – light verses poking fun at the life and people of his time in Gilbert’s unique “topsy-turvey” style. The epitaph on his memorial on the Victoria Embankment in London is “HIS FOE WAS FOLLY AND HIS WEAPON WIT”, an epitaph amply exemplified in these verses.

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: J. Thorne Smith, Jr. (1892-1934)

Biltmore Oswald by J. Thorne Smith, Jr. Biltmore Oswald

The hilarious diary of a young man's recruitment into, and service in a navy, which, though well equipped and disciplined, remains woefully ill prepared for his arrival and dubious contribution. (Introduction by Nigel Boydell)

By: Thomas Hood (1799-1845)

Book cover Workhouse Clock

There were scarcely any events in the life of Thomas Hood. One condition there was of too potent determining importance—life-long ill health; and one circumstance of moment—a commercial failure, and consequent expatriation. Beyond this, little presents itself for record in the outward facts of this upright and beneficial career, bright with genius and coruscating with wit, dark with the lengthening and deepening shadow of death.

By: F. Anstey (1856-1934)

Bayard  from Bengal by F. Anstey Bayard from Bengal

The estimable gentleman, Chunder Bindabun Bhosh, ESQ., B.A., travels from his native India to England, with his impeccable English and manners, which immediately mark him as a foreigner, and embarks on an enviable program of escapades. These stories are the product of the fertile imagination of Hurry Bungsho Jabberjee, B.A., a nom de plume for the humorist F. Anstey, which is a further nom de plume for Thomas Anstey Guthrie. Whether rescuing a nubile maiden from a charging bull or falling in love with said nubile maiden, Mr. Bosh, B. A. cannot help but perform with the requisite humor to engage our attention.

By: Heywood Broun (1888-1939)

Seeing Things at Night by Heywood Broun Seeing Things at Night

This Book is a collection of humorous short stories which describe the comedy in everyday things and situations.

Pieces of Hate and other Enthusiasms by Heywood Broun Pieces of Hate and other Enthusiasms

This book is a collection of humorous short stories about ordinary instances in daily life. We learn many interesting things about life, such as how to court women successfully, what it feels like to be a god, and why sometimes it would be a good idea to exchange one's own newborn baby for a better one at the hospital.

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: Jesse Lynch Williams (1871-1929)

Why Marry? by Jesse Lynch Williams Why Marry?

Why Marry? is a comedy, which "tells the truth about marriage". We find a family in the throes of proving the morality of marriage to a New Age Woman. Can the family defend marriage to this self-supporting girl? Will she be convinced that marriage is the ultimate sacredness of a relationship or will she hold to her perception that marriage is the basis of separating two lovers."Why Marry?" won the first Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

By: Steele Rudd (1868-1935)

Book cover On Our Selection

The humorous account of Dad and Dave and the rest of the Rudd clan as they attempt to carve a farming 'selection' out of the Australian wilderness in spite of fire, famine, snakebite, and a loony hired hand.

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: 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: Christopher Morley (1890-1957)

Book cover In the Sweet Dry and Dry

Written just before Prohibition to entail the possible troubles that might happen en route. Both sides of the argument, or battle as the case may be, strike out with various over-top methods like legislating most fruits and vegetables as unsafe or intoxicating large groups with breathable alcohol.

Book cover In the Sweet Dry and Dry

Written just before Prohibition to entail the possible troubles that might happen en route. Both sides of the argument, or battle as the case may be, strike out with various over-top methods like legislating most fruits and vegetables as unsafe or intoxicating large groups with breathable alcohol.

By: Q. K. Philander Doesticks (1832-1875)

The Witches of New York by Q. K. Philander Doesticks The Witches of New York

A humorous account of visits to various fortune tellers, card readers, seers, and other "witches" of New York. Written by Q.K. Philander Doesticks (a.k.a.Mortimer Thomson).

By: Herbert George Jenkins (1876-1923)

Mrs. Bindle by Herbert George Jenkins Mrs. Bindle

Herbert Jenkins' most popular fictional creation was Mr. Joseph Bindle, who first appeared in a humorous novel in 1916 and in a number of sequels. In the preface to the books, T. P. O'Connor said that "Bindle is the greatest Cockney that has come into being through the medium of literature since Dickens wrote Pickwick Papers". The stories are based on the comedic drama of life at work, at home and all the adventures that take place along the way. It becomes clear as the stories progress that Bindle would not be who he is without Mrs. Bindle, and this book seeks to tell the stories of the Bindles from the distaff point of view.

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: Unknown

Poems Every Child Should Know by Unknown Poems Every Child Should Know

A treasure trove of more than two hundred poems, this gem of an anthology compiled by Mary E Burt is indeed a most valuable set of poems to read or listen to. Published in 1904, Poems Every Child Should Know contains some well-loved verses like Thomas Gray's Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard, Lewis Carroll's delightful parody Father William, Felicia Hemans' deeply-moving Casablanca and other favorites. It also has lesser-known but equally beautiful pieces like Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's The Arrow and The Song, Robert Browning's The Incident of the French Camp, Eugene Field's nonsense lyrics Wynken, Blynken and Nod and a host of other wonderful verses...

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...

By: Various

Coffee Break Collection by Various Coffee Break Collection

If you find yourself with nothing particular to do in an airport, train or bus or you've got a quiet evening to yourself in a hotel room or you're facing the delicious prospect of an extended lunch or tea break, why not pick up Coffee Break Collection 001 and enjoy the experience? This anthology has a selection of humorous pieces guaranteed to keep you entertained. Opening with a master of the genre, PG Wodehouse, the first story is a pseudo-scholarly treatise on football captains! A delightful piece follows – Beyond Pandora by RJ Martin with its memorable opening line, “The ideal way to deal with a pest...

Brazilian Tales by Various Brazilian Tales

“Brazilian Tales” is a collection of six short stories selected by Isaac Goldberg as best representative of the Brazilian Literature of his period – the end of the 19th century. His comprehensive preface aims at familiarizing the reader with a literature that was – and still is – virtually unknown outside the boundaries of its own land, and the pieces chosen by Goldberg to be translated belong to writers that reached popularity and appreciation while still alive. This “pioneer volume”, as the translator himself puts it, still keeps its charm and interest as a way of offering to the English speaking public some “sample cases” of Brazilian Literature.

By: Anonymous

Sketches Of The Fair Sex by Anonymous Sketches Of The Fair Sex

Sketches of the fair sex, in all parts of the world. To which are added rules for determining the precise figure, the degree of beauty, the habits, and the age of women, notwithstanding the aids and disguise of dress. It is our design to present a pleasing and interesting miscellany, which will serve to beguile the leisure hour, and will at the same time couple instruction with amusement. We have used but little method in the arrangement: Choosing rather to furnish the reader with a rich profusion...

English as She is Wrote by Anonymous English as She is Wrote

"...Showing Curious ways in which the English Language may be made to convey Ideas or obscure them." A collection of unintentionally humorous uses of the English language. Sections of the work: How she is wrote by the Inaccurate, By Advertisers and on Sign-boards, For Epitaphs, By Correspondents, By the Effusive, How she can be oddly wrote, and By the Untutored.

By: Various

Short Humor Collection by Various Short Humor Collection

This is a collection of short humorous works first published before 1923.

By: Unknown

Vice in its Proper Shape by Unknown Vice in its Proper Shape

Cautionary tales of the transmigration of the souls of naughty boys and girls, as elucidated by the mysterious Bramin, Mr Wiseman: “Having been gifted with the faculty of distinguishing those animals which are now animated by the souls of such human beings as formerly degraded themselves to a level with the unthinking brutes, I have taken the pains to provide a collection of beasts, birds, &c. most of which are inhabited by the souls of some naughty masters or misses, who died in the neighbourhood.” (David Barnes, quoting the Introduction)

Humour of the North by Unknown Humour of the North

Some day an enterprising editor may find time to glean from the whole field of Canadian literature a representative collection of wit and humour. . . . The present little collection obviously makes no such ambitious claim. It embraces, however, what are believed to be representative examples of the work of some of our better-known writers, many of which will no doubt be quite familiar to Canadian readers, but perhaps none the less welcome on that account.

By: Richmal Crompton (1890-1969)

Just William by Richmal Crompton Just William

William is a mischievous eleven year old who is puzzled by the adult world, which is no less puzzled by him. The humor is gentle and pleasing. The series of books is better known in the United Kingdom than in the U.S. (

By: Chester K. Steele (1862-1930)

Book cover The Diamond Cross Mystery

Colonel Ashley is confronted with a difficult case: The proprietor of a jewelry shop is found murdered, and a valuable diamond cross is stolen. Whodunnit, and how can the Colonel's expertise in fishing help to solve the case?

By: Owen Wister (1860-1938)

The New Swiss Family Robinson by Owen Wister The New Swiss Family Robinson

A parody of its famous predecessor, this short piece was written by Owen Wister for the Harvard Lampoon

By: Anonymous

Irish Wit and Humor by Anonymous Irish Wit and Humor

Excerpted anecdotes from the biographies of Swift, Curran, O'Leary and O'Connell, relating humorous snippets of politics in 18th and 19th century Ireland. For some these may be poignant in addition to being humorous and for others they may be humorous in addition to being poignant. (

By: Joel Chandler Harris (1845-1908)

Book cover Uncle Remus & Friends: 17 Great Stories

Uncle Remus, that genial old storyteller, knows how to spin these wonderful tales about the 'criteers' that the little 6 year old boy (and many of us adults!) love to listen to. Yet the 'Brer Rabbit and 'Brer Fox and the others sound a lot like the people all around us. They tell stories about personalities and faults and virtues in a way that is unique to Uncle Remus. As the shadows grow longer outside, draw up a rocking chair next to the little boy, settle back and listen to the wise old man tell these stories...

By: Carroll Watson Rankin (1864-1945)

The Girls of Gardenville by Carroll Watson Rankin The Girls of Gardenville

It is pleasant to have another book about a group of merry, natural girls, who have the attractions of innocence and youthful faults. "The Sweet Sixteen" Club made fudge, and went on picnics, and behaved just as jolly, nice maidens should. (The Outlook, vol. 82, Mar. 24, 1906)

By: Barry Pain (1864-1928)

Book cover Eliza

A gentle, yet deliciously humourous series of anecdotes following the life of the main character and his wife, Eliza.

By: Richard Marsh (1857-1915)

Book cover Amusement Only

This is a collection of 12 short stories of mystery and humor, which are, as the title says, for amusement only.

By: A. A. Milne (1882-1956)

Book cover The Sunny Side

The Sunny Side is a collection of short stories and essays by A. A. Milne. Though Milne is best known for his classic children's books, especially Winnie The Pooh, he also wrote extensively for adults, most notably in Punch, to which he was a contributor and later Assistant Editor. The Sunny Side collects his columns for Punch, which include poems, essays and short stories, from 1912 to 1920. Wry, often satirical and always amusingly written, these pieces poke fun at topics from writing plays to lying about birdwatching. They vary greatly in length so there is something for everyone.

By: Arnold Bennett (1867-1931)

Self and Self-management: Essays about Existing by Arnold Bennett Self and Self-management: Essays about Existing

Bennett's essays always provide food for thought and bring a wry smile to the lips. Human nature, it appears, changes little over the ages, and Bennett's writing stands the test of time, though in the case of some of the essays in this eclectic collection, it is well to remember that they were written at the time of the First World War and the fight for women's suffrage.

By: Ellis Parker Butler (1869-1937)

Philo Gubb, Correspondence-School Detective by Ellis Parker Butler Philo Gubb, Correspondence-School Detective

Philo Gubb, not being content with his job as wallpaper-hanger, has higher aspirations: to become a detective, just like Sherlock Holmes. To that end, he enrolls in a correspondence course, where he gets lessons through the mail as well as the necessary disguises for a detective. Philo Gubb, not being really clever or intuitive, or even looking good in those disguises, gets involved in one case after the other - and sooner or later happens to stumble on and solve the crime... Each of these stories...


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