By: Josephine Daskam Bacon (1876-1961)
Best Nonsense Verses
From Lewis Carroll's Jabberwocky to limericks written by Anonymous, some of the crankiest, most logical and lyrical people turn common sense upside-down. May they inspire the child inside of you to find your way through the most challenging situations with a new set of eyes! Josephine Dodge Daskam, aka Josephine Daskam Bacon, selected these nonsense verses with the permission of their authors Lewis Carroll, Edward Lear, W.S. Gilbert, Guy Wetmore Carryl, Charles E. Carryl, Oliver Herford, Gelett Burgess, George du Maurier, and Rudyard Kipling.
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: Kenneth McGaffrey (??-1938)
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)
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 or for "too much enterprise in securing subjects for the dissecting room." After a brief period working in theater, he became a journalist and lecturer...
By: L. A. Abbott (1813-??)
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
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
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!
By: Laurence Sterne (1713-1768)
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: Lawton Mackall (1888-1968)
A series of essays offering a humorous look at commonplace items and occurrences.
Bizarre (version 2)
A series of humorous musings, short-length jokes, often concerning words and manners.
By: Louis Napoleon Parker (1852-1944)
Pomander Walk is a unique street in London, and in this humorous novel we meet the unusual residents. It was originally produced as a stage play and includes lively dialog.
By: Mark Lemon (1809-1870)
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)
“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 (1835-1910)
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...
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
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
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...
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 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 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
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...
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
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
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
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".
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
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".
Mark Twain’s Journal Writings, Volume 2
This second collection of essays by Mark Twain is a good example of the diversity of subject matter about which he wrote. As with the essays in Volume 1, many first appeared alone, in magazines or newspapers, before being printed as chapters of his larger works, while others were taken from larger works and reprinted in collections of essays. On top of being prolific, Mark Twain was a very successful marketer of his works. Volume 2 contains the following works: 1.) "A Curious Experience" - 1892 2...
Mark Twain’s Journal Writings, Volume 3
This third volume of Mark Twain's journal writings continues on eclectic and varied path established by the first two volumes. Included in this collection are works that appeared by themselves in magazines during Twain's lifetime, as well as essays taken by editors and Twain himself from Twain's larger works, and re-published in collections of his stories. This volume includes the following works: "Buying Gloves in Gibraltar", "The great revolution in Pitcairn", "A Gift from India" [including editor's...
More Newspaper Articles by Mark Twain
"More Newspaper Articles by Mark Twain" fills in the gaps left by the first collection of newspaper articles: "Newspaper Articles by Mark Twain" . The missing articles, collected by twainquotes.com, consist of works printed in the Muscatine Journal, the Keokuk Daily Post, the New York Sunday Mercury, the Golden Era, the Californian, The Daily Dramatic Chronicle, San Francisco Bulletin, the New York Herald and travel letters originally printed in the Chicago Daily tribune. The earliest articles first appeared in 1853...
Mark Twain's Journal Writings, Volume 1
Volume 1 contains these 12 essays: 1.) "Americans on a Visit to the Emperor of Russia." 2.) "The Austrian Edison keeping school again" 3.) "The Canvasser's tale." 4.) "The Czar's Soliloquy." 5.) "English as She is Taught." 6.) "Grasses in the South." 7.) "Hawaii." 8.) "A Helpless Situation." 9.) "How I Escaped being Killed in a Duel." 10.) "Important to Whom it may Concern." 11.) "The Austrian Edison Keeping School Again" 12.) "Jim's Investments, and King Sollermun."
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Dramatic Reading)
In order to escape his cruel father, and led by a thirst for adventure, Huck Finn sets off down the Mississippi River with Jim, an escaped slave. But trouble is never far behind them, and their adventures are only beginning when they meet up with two men who claim to be a duke and a king! And that’s before Jim gets captured by none other than Tom Sawyer’s aunt and uncle… who mistake Huck for Tom. The hilarious adventures and scrapes of Huck, Jim, Tom, and others are brought to life in this dramatic reading...