By: Ellis Parker Butler (1869-1937)
Inspired by "Lives of the Saints", fat, lazy, good-for-nothing Harvey Redding decides to give up the junk-collecting business, and become a Saint. Meanwhile, deeply in debt to his sister, he has left his son Lem with her until he is able to pay her back.
Perkins of Portland
Amusing tales showing the effectiveness of advertising some rather questionable products. Perkins and the narrator partner in promotions directed at a gullible and willing public. Unlike most tales of the kind, with moralistic endings where the 'sharps' come to grief, Perkins and Co. become wealthy and quite pleased with themselves.
Swatty: A Story of Real Boys
The fun adventures of Georgie, Swatty, and Bony, as they encounter flooding rivers, emotional girls, burning buildings, rotten stumps, mean teachers, a haunted house, dark caves, murderers, and ice jams.
Ellis Parker Butler Short Story Collection, Vol 1
Ellis Parker Butler was an American author. He was the author of more than 30 books and more than 2,000 stories and essays. These are eight of his humorous short stories about life.
Adventures of a Suburbanite
Why is the neighbor so obsessed with his car? Where can we find a good gardener? Should we have a Santa Claus at our Christmas party? Yes, this is suburbia... much the same today as it was in 1911.
A puppy, unanounced and unordered, arrives in a crate at Mr. Murchison's house. Humorous events follow.
By: Emily Eden (1797-1869)
Young and beautiful Helen Eskdale and fabulously wealthy Lord Teviot seem to be the perfect match. But when they marry, they find that misunderstandings and jealousies continually drive them apart. The machinations and intrigues of a large supporting cast surround the central question of whether their marriage will survive. Emily Eden's comedy of manners is reminiscient of Jane Austen's witty and ironic novels.
By: Eugene Field (1850-1895)
Love-Songs of Childhood
If you've heard and loved that delightful nursery rhyme/lullaby, Wynken Blynken and Nod you'd certainly enjoy browsing through its creator Eugene Field's Love Songs of Childhood. The volume contains some forty or more poems for children, which are ideal for read aloud sessions with young folks. Parents will certainly enjoy reading them too. Most of these poems have been set to music and are ideal for family sing-alongs too. Eugene Field was a gifted humorist as well as being a talented children's writer...
By: F. Anstey (1856-1934)
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...
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."
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.
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...
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.
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...
Mr. Punch's Model Music-hall Songs & Dramas
F. Anstey was the nom de plume of Thomas Anstey Guthrie, a Londoner who was trained for the bar but found success as a writer of humorous pieces for Punch and humorous novels. Mr. Punch's Model Music Hall is a collection of humorous pieces written for Punch, divided into songs and dramas. In his usual fashion, Mr. Anstey captured the tone of his times and then exaggerated whatever was already absurd to entertain and give pointed commentary at the same time.
F. Anstey was the nom de plume of Thomas Anstey Guthrie, a Londoner who was trained for the bar but found success as a writer of humorous pieces for Punch and humorous novels. Voces Populi, a collection of his Punch pieces, is considered to be among his best works. He treats an array of situations from the charlatan conjuror to a row over a lady's large, obstructive hat at the music hall.
By: F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
A life lived backwards, with events happening in reverse order forms the strange and unexpected framework of one of F Scott Fitzgerald's rare short stories. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was published in Collier's in 1927 and the idea came to Fitzgerald apparently from a quote of Mark Twain's in which he regretted that the best part of life came at the beginning and the worst at the end. Fitzgerald's concept of using this notion and turning the normal sequence of life on its head resulted in this delightful, thought provoking fantasy tale...
Bernice Bobs Her Hair
Pretty but socially clueless Bernice lets her know-it-all cousin push her around, but eventually, something's gotta give! (Introduction by BellonaTimes)
By: Forrest Crissey (1864-1943)
Tattlings of a Retired Politician
"The letters of Hon. William Bradley, Ex-Governor and former veteran of practical politics, written to his friend and protege Ned who is still busy 'carving a career back in the old state.'" This is a novel filled with humorous political anecdotes by the main character, the Honorable William Bradley, told for the benefit of his protege, Ned. It conveys a sense of the ironic and humorous side of politics in Washington and back in their home state.
By: François Rabelais (1494-1553)
Gargantua and Pantagruel, Book III
The five-volume work chronicling the adventures of father Gargantua and son Pantagruel is a vehicle for Rabelais' satire of sixteenth-century European society. It is lively, outrageous, and, at times, bawdy. This the third of the five volumes--all are translated by Thomas Urquhart and Peter Motteux
By: Frank Gelett Burgess (1886-1951)
Romance Of The Commonplace
Thirty four whimsical, tongue-in-cheek, and entertaining essays about not much in particular, published in 1902, by one of the most popular writers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The American Gelett Burgess was an artist, art critic, poet, author, and humorist. Nonsense verse was a specialty. - Summary by David Wales
Maxims of Methuselah
Being the Advice given by the Patriarch in his Nine Hundred Sixty and Ninth Year to his Great Grandson at Shem's Coming of Age, in Regard to Women.The following is, so far as I know, the only authentic rendering into the English language of the three hundred and thirty parables attributed to Methuselah. . . . Of its origin, the book, although freely rendered into the idiom of the hour, still bears intrinsic evidence of having been compiled by one who had had extraordinary experience with women. The amorous expert will not find it hard to believe that 969 years would be none too short a time for any one man to have accumulated such a profound lore...
By: Frank Thomas Bullen (1857-1915)
Confessions of a Tradesman
Frank T. Bullen is best known for his books based on his adventures at sea. However, he had a life on shore as well. He first went to sea as a boy as a cabin boy. He there had many adventures as a hand on a whaling ship. He then came ashore and tried his hand at being a "Tradesman". This is that story and also tells how he became the well-known author he is now. It is a very interesting, enjoyable and entertaining depiction of the trials and tribulations he had in his life in 19th century London as a tradesman. - Summary by Wayne Cooke
By: Frederic Stewart Isham (1866-1922)
Nothing But the Truth
A young man, finding himself unexpectedly impecunious, attempts to improve his fortunes by wagering that he can speak nothing but the absolute truth for three weeks. He soon learns, however, that telling only the unvarnished truth can have surprising consequences. This 1914 novel of love, mystery, and misunderstandings, with amusing characters and plot twists, was adapted as a Broadway play in 1916, followed by six motion pictures: in 1920 and 1929; in 1931 separately in Spanish, French and German; and in 1941 starring Bob Hope and Paulette Goddard. Frederic S. Isham was a writer of short stories, novels and plays. (Lee Smalley)
By: Frederick Marryat (1792-1848)
This is a quite amusing nautical tale of the British Navy of the around the year 1700. While, as with much early 'humor', it is somewhat heavy-handed, the sympathies of the author are clear and good, and cruelty is often averted by good fortune or background characters. First published under the title 'The Dog Fiend', the primary characters are an evil captain of a cutter and his dog. The dog seems indestructible, as is the poor cabin boy who is the butt of the captain's ill humor, and who often is chewed on by the dog...
By: Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821-1881)
Ivan Matveich, the most ordinary person you might hope to meet, is swallowed alive by a crocodile at a sideshow. Finding life inside the belly of the beast quite comfortable, he makes a home for himself there. His disquisitions on the state of the world from inside the crocodile make him quite a name for himself; while all the while the discussion rages outside as to whether the beast is going to be cut open to release him or not, its value as a sideshow attraction having massively increased owing to the presence of the human voice buried inside it. One of Jorge Luis Borges' seven most favourite stories. - Summary by Tony Addison
By: G. K. Chesterton
What's Wrong With the World
Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874–1936) has been called the “prince of paradox.” Time magazine observed of his writing style: “Whenever possible Chesterton made his points with popular sayings, proverbs, allegories—first carefully turning them inside out.” His prolific and diverse output included journalism, philosophy, poetry, biography, Christian apologetics, fantasy and detective fiction. The title of Chesteron’s 1910 collection of essays was inspired by a title given to him two years earlier by The Times newspaper, which had asked a number of authors to write on the topic: “What’s wrong with the world?”...
The Ball and the Cross
The Ball and the Cross is G. K. Chesterton's third novel. In the introduction Martin Gardner notes that it is a "mixture of fantasy, farce and theology." Gardner continues: "Evan MacIan is a tall, dark-haired, blue-eyed Scottish Highlander and a devout Roman Catholic.... James Turnbull is a short, red-haired, gray-eyed Scottish Lowlander and a devout but naive atheist.... The two meet when MacIan smashes the window of the street office where Turnbull publishes an atheist journal. This act of rage occurs when MacIan sees posted on the shop's window a sheet that blasphemes the Virgin Mary, presumably implying she was an adulteress who gave birth to an illegitimate Jesus...
A collection of reprinted articles on a wide-range of subject, all in the unique style of G. K. Chesterton. Using wit, paradox, and good humor he “defends” a series of seeming harmless things that need no defense, and in so doing he exposes many of the broken assumptions and dogmatic notions of secular humanism and other trends of his age and of ours.
A Utopia of Usurers
“Now I have said again and again (and I shall continue to say again and again on all the most inappropriate occasions) that we must hit Capitalism, and hit it hard, for the plain and definite reason that it is growing stronger. Most of the excuses which serve the capitalists as masks are, of course, the excuses of hypocrites. They lie when they claim philanthropy; they no more feel any particular love of men than Albu felt an affection for Chinamen. They lie when they say they have reached their position through their own organising ability...
Wit and Wisdom of Chesterton
In this collection, Bevis Hillier has put together some of Chesterton's essays in "The Defandant", "Varied Types" and "Tremendous Trifles". These 12 pieces were chosen to giving a peek into the margins of Chesterton's work and give a sense of the distinctive flavor of his mind. They were also chosen with an eye to showing what a complex and fascinating character he was.
Tales of the Long Bow
These tales concern the doing of things recognized as impossible to do; impossible to believe; and, as the weary reader may well cry aloud, impossible to read about. Did the narrator merely say that they happened, without saying how they happened, they could easily be classified with the cow who jumped over the moon or the more introspective individual who jumped down his own throat. In short, they are all tall stories; and though tall stories may also be true stories, there is something in the very phrase appropriate to such a topsy-turvydom; for the logician will presumably class a tall story with a corpulent epigram or a long-legged essay.