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By: Eleanor Hallowell Abbott (1872-1958)

The White Linen Nurse by Eleanor Hallowell Abbott The White Linen Nurse

Throughout three years of school, Rae Malgregor had been perfectly pliant, perfectly compliant to all the demands placed on her. But now, on the eve of graduation, she couldn’t go on with the mask of artificiality and the air of perfection. She had been chasing this nursing job three whole years, but there was just no wag to it! The Superintendent was stunned. Her best student! The Senior Surgeon was all grey granite business and livid that his time was being taken up with a hysterical nurse! And yet, though he wouldn’t have admitted it to anyone, especially himself, his interest was piqued.

Molly Make-Believe by Eleanor Hallowell Abbott Molly Make-Believe

Carl Stanton is an invalid suffering from an unusual bout of rheumatism. His fiancée is gone for the winter and though he begs her to write to help ease his boredom and pain she is stingy with her letters. She sends him what she calls a "ridiculous circular" which she states is very apropos of his sentimental passion for letters. In a sudden fit of mischief, malice and rheumatism, Carl decides to respond to the circular which results in bringing about the necessary distraction in a flurry of letters that do ease Carl’s boredom and pain but also bring him something else that he never quite expected.

By: Elizabeth Gaskell (1810-1865)

Book cover Cranford (version 2)

Cranford is set in a small market town populated largely by a number of respectable ladies. It tells of their secrets and foibles, their gossip and their romances as they face the challenges of dealing with new inhabitants to their society and innovations to their settled existence. It was first published between 1851 and 1853 as episodes in Charles Dickens’ Journal Household Words. Appended to this recording is a short sequel, The Cage at Cranford, written ten years later and published in the journal All the Year Round...

By: Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850-1919)

Book cover Six Bad Husbands and Six Unhappy Wives

This is a collection of six short stories, each of them illustrating that even a marriage which looks perfect from the outside can be sabotaged quite easily by the two people involved.

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...

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...

Book cover That Pup

A puppy, unanounced and unordered, arrives in a crate at Mr. Murchison's house. Humorous events follow.

Book cover 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.

Book cover 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.

Book cover 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.

By: Emily Eden (1797-1869)

Book cover Semi-Attached Couple

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: Emily Neville (1919-1997)

It's Like This, Cat by Emily Neville It's Like This, Cat

This novel won the Newbery Medal for excellence in American children's literature in 1964. This delightful story revolves around a 14 year old boy, Dave and his adopted cat, called just "Cat", who turns his ordinary everyday life into an exciting roller-coaster ride.

By: Eugene Field (1850-1895)

Love-Songs of Childhood by Eugene Field 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)

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...

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...

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.

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...

Book cover Voces Populi

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.

Book cover 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.

By: F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button 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 by F. Scott Fitzgerald 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: Frederic Stewart Isham (1866-1922)

Book cover 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)

Book cover Snarleyyow

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: G. K. Chesterton

What's Wrong With the World 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 by G. K. Chesterton 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...

The Defendant by G. K. Chesterton The Defendant

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 by G. K. Chesterton 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 by G. K. Chesterton 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.

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: George Barr McCutcheon (1866-1928)

Brewster's Millions by George Barr McCutcheon Brewster's Millions

He hosts an all expenses paid luxury cruise to Europe for fifty guests and showers them with expensive gifts. When he's mugged in a dark alley, he insists that the thugs also take the $300 stashed away in his back pocket. He flies into a rage whenever one of his employees suggests cutting costs. Every time he places a bet, he wins, causing him even more despair! In Brewster's Millions by George Barr McCutcheon, a classic riches-to-rags tale, Montgomery Brewster is bound by the terms of an eccentric uncle's will to spend one million dollars completely within a year so that he can lay claim to an even bigger fortune...

Book cover Yollop

Mr. Crittenden Yollop makes friends with the man who came to burglarize his home and sets out to help him return to where he really wants to be...prison. This humorous satire takes a somewhat different look at prisons, criminals, the law and reformers.

By: George Fullerton Evans (-1963)

Book cover College Freshman's Don't Book

A short, humorous guide of what not to do in your first year of college.

By: George Grossmith (1847-1912)

The Diary of a Nobody by George Grossmith The Diary of a Nobody

Grossmith’s comic novel unveils the daily chronicles of the pompous and clumsy middle-aged clerk Charles Pooter, who has just moved to the London suburb of Holloway with his wife Carrie. Nonetheless, the family’s fresh start is not quite what they had in mind. Set in the late Victorian era, the diary accurately documents the manners, customs, trends and experiences of the time. First appearing in Punch magazine through the years 1888-89, The Diary of a Nobody was first published in book form in 1892 and has entertained readers ever since...

By: George Horace Lorimer (1869-1937)

Letters from a Self-Made Merchant to His Son by George Horace Lorimer Letters from a Self-Made Merchant to His Son

Being the Letters written by John Graham, Head of the House of Graham & Company, Pork-Packers in Chicago, familiarly known on 'Change as "Old Gorgon Graham," to his Son, Pierrepont, facetiously known to his intimates as "Piggy." George Horace Lorimer was an American journalist and author. He is best known as the editor of The Saturday Evening Post.

By: George Livermore

Book cover Take it From Dad

Take It From Dad is a collection of letters written by a father to his son, Ted, at boarding school, away from home for the first time. In each letter "Dad" comments on some aspect of Ted's experience, attitude, or behavior, illustrating and driving home his point with an entertaining tale about human nature. This book is appropriate for all ages from adolescence on, and its lessons are as relevant today as when they were written. --Lee Smalley

By: George Pope Morris (1802-1864)

Book cover Will Nobody Marry Me?

In addition to his publishing and editorial work, Morris was popular as a poet and songwriter; especially well-known was his poem-turned-song "Woodman, Spare that Tree!" His songs in particular were popular enough that Graham's Magazine in Philadelphia promised Morris $50, sight unseen, for any work he wanted to publish in the periodical.

By: George Wilbur Peck (1840-1916)

Book cover Sunbeams

George W. Peck was at times a writer, newspaper publisher and politician. Many of the Sunbeam essays had been published in Peck's paper, "The Sun", as amusing and often critical comments on social and political subjects, typically current in the beginning of the 1900's. Topics are often 'small town' United States, and Peck's gentle sarcasm or portrayals much resembles that of Twain. Listeners must be aware that the Spanish American War was a recent event, leading to the "Yankee" involvement in the Philippines...

By: Georgette Heyer

The Black Moth by Georgette Heyer The Black Moth

Jack Carstares, oldest son of the Earl Wyncham, has been disgraced by his brother. Gone for six years, living the life a highwayman he meets the woman he will fall in love with. Saving her from being kidnapped by a dastardly blackguard he is injured and must stay with her family until he is able to return to his life…will she discovery his true identity? Will he be able to leave her when the time comes? Mystery and humor follow this intriguing cast of characters until the very end. (Summary by Terra Mendoza)

By: Gerard Nolst Trenité

The Chaos by Gerard Nolst Trenité The Chaos

“The Chaos” is a poem which demonstrates the irregularity of English spelling and pronunciation, written by Gerard Nolst Trenité (1870-1946), also known under the pseudonym Charivarius. It first appeared in an appendix to the author’s 1920 textbook Drop Your Foreign Accent: engelsche uitspraakoefeningen.

By: Gideon Wurdz (b. 1875)

The Foolish Dictionary by Gideon Wurdz The Foolish Dictionary

“The Foolish Dictionary” was written by “Gideon Wurdz” and was published in 1904. According to the beginning of the book, it is “An exhausting work of reference to un-certain English words, their origin, meaning, legitimate and illegitimate use…” This a a short but amusing dictionary which “redefines” words in some interesting ways. Funny and sometimes bizarre observations are sprinkled throughout. In keeping with the policy to read, rather than attempt to rewrite, books – even those with offensive content – nothing has been omitted...

By: Guy Wetmore Carryl (1873-1904)

Fables for the Frivolous by Guy Wetmore Carryl Fables for the Frivolous

The Urban Rat and the Suburban Rat, The Persevering Tortoise and the Pretentious Hare, The Ambitious Fox and the Unapproachable Grapes.... If some of these titles seem vaguely familiar to you, you wouldn't be mistaken! Fables for the Frivolous by Guy Wetmore Carryl contains some well-known fables in a modern packaging, with a delightful new twist! The complete title of the original published in 1898 was Fables for the Frivolous (With apologies to La Fontaine) and it was the first published work of this gifted American journalist, humorist and poet...

Grimm Tales Made Gay by Guy Wetmore Carryl Grimm Tales Made Gay

A comic rendering in verse of well-loved Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm, each ending with a moral and full of puns. The titles of the tales themselves make another verse.

Mother Goose for Grownups by Guy Wetmore Carryl Mother Goose for Grownups

Mother Goose for Grownups is a delightfully silly collection of parodies on well-known Mother Goose tales by Guy Wetmore Carryl.

By: H. G. Wells

The Wheels of Chance by H. G. Wells The Wheels of Chance

“The Wheels of Chance – A Bicycling Idyll” follows the adventures of a Drapers Assistant who, having brought an ancient bicycle, sets off on a 2 week tour of the countryside. He encounters a Lady in Grey wearing rationals (bloomers). And his world will never be the same again

Book cover Love and Mr Lewisham

The teaching profession, science and politics in late 19th century England. H.G.Wells’ humorous early novel, drawing on his own life, shows how these – as well as involvement in spiritualism – have to compete with love.

Book cover Sea Lady

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: 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: Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906)

Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen Hedda Gabler

Hedda Gabler is a play first published in 1890 by Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen. In it, Hedda Gabler, daughter of an aristocratic General, has just returned from her honeymoon with George Tesman, an aspiring young academic, reliable but not brilliant, who has combined research with their honeymoon. The reappearance of Tesman’s academic rival, Eilert Lovborg, throws their lives into disarray.

By: Henry james (1843-1916)

Book cover Third Person

The Third Person is an amusing spoof on spooking. The 'ghostly man about the house' in whom two increasingly competitive maiden ladies come to take a proprietary interest is as unlikely to inspire terror as the wraith in one of James's earliest tales. The anticlimactic crisis may need a footnote for younger readers: a Tauchnitz was an unauthorized continental paperback edition of a british or american book which, purely for copyright reasons, was not supposed to be brought back to England. To think of this as smuggling certainly placed, for James's contemporaries, the crimes of the ghostly third person in a hilarious perspective.

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: Henry Edward Warner (1876-)

Book cover That House I Bought; A Little Leaf From Life

This is a whimsical, entertaining, tongue in cheek narrative of the author’s purchase of a house, circa 1911.

By: Henry Fielding (1707-1754)

The History of Tom Jones, A Foundling by Henry Fielding The History of Tom Jones, A Foundling

Tom Jones is considered one of the first prose works describable as a novel. The novel is divided into 18 smaller books. Tom Jones is a foundling discovered on the property of a very kind, wealthy landowner, Squire Allworthy. Tom grows into a vigorous and lusty, yet honest and kind-hearted, youth. He develops affection for his neighbor’s daughter, Sophia Western. On one hand, their love reflects the romantic comedy genre popular in 18th-century Britain. However, Tom’s status as a bastard causes Sophia’s father and Allworthy to oppose their love; this criticism of class friction in society acted as a biting social commentary...

Book cover An Apology for the Life of Mrs. Shamela Andrews

An Apology for the Life of Mrs. Shamela Andrews, or simply Shamela, as it is more commonly known, is a satirical novel written by Henry Fielding and first published in April 1741 under the name of Mr. Conny Keyber. Fielding never owned to writing the work, but it is widely considered to be his. It is a direct attack on the then-popular novel Pamela (November 1740) by Fielding's contemporary and rival Samuel Richardson and is composed, like Pamela, in epistolary form. Shamela is written as a shocking revelation of the true events which took place in the life of Pamela Andrews, the main heroine of Pamela...

By: Henry James (1843-1916)

The Europeans by Henry James The Europeans

The Europeans: A sketch is a short novel by Henry James, published in 1878. It is essentially a comedy contrasting the behaviour and attitudes of two visitors from Europe with those of their relatives living in the ‘new’ world of New England. The novel first appeared as a serial in The Atlantic Monthly for July-October, 1878. James made numerous minor revisions for the first book publication.

By: Henry Murger (1832-1861)

Book cover Bohemians of the Latin Quarter

As much as any other work of literature, Henri Murger’s 1851 collection of witty sketches Scènes de la vie de bohème shaped the later romanticized image of the bohemian artist: independent, insouciant, exuberantly lustful, devoted to Art for Art’s sake no matter how cold and hungry the artist might be. Four young Parisian artists, Schaunard the composer, Marcel the painter, Rodolphe the poet, and Colline the philosopher, form an informal Bohemian alliance dedicated to Art and the joy of Life...

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: 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.

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: 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: Imogen Clark

Rhymed Receipts for Any Occasion by Imogen Clark Rhymed Receipts for Any Occasion

In addition to being amusing, recipes written in a poetic form were easy to remember and used as learning tools for the young housekeeper. Many of the poems in this 1912 publication were originally published in Woman's Home Companion, Good Housekeeping Magazine, the Housewife, Table Talk, and the Boston Cooking School Magazine.

By: Irvin S. Cobb (1876-1944)

Cobb's Anatomy by Irvin S. Cobb Cobb's Anatomy

Irvin Shrewsbury Cobb was born on June 23, 1876. At seventeen years of age, he began writing for the Paducah Daily News, his hometown paper. At nineteen he became the managing editor; up to that point, our nation’s youngest. He worked as a columnist, a humorist and an author. But ‘horror,’ and ’short stories,’ are not why he is remembered. He is remembered because he was, and still is, funny. And although he is now dead–he died March 11, 1944–this work “Cobb’s Anatomy,” among others, has left an indelible mark upon mankind: a smile.

One Third Off by Irvin S. Cobb One Third Off

Irvin Shrewsbury Cobb (June 23, 1876–March 11, 1944) was an American author, humorist, and columnist who lived in New York and wrote over 60 books and 300 short stories. Cobb has been described as “having a round shape, bushy eyebrows, full lips, and a triple chin. He always had a cigar in his mouth.” This book is a hilarious account of Cobb’s attempts at weight-loss.

J. Poindexter, Colored by Irvin S. Cobb J. Poindexter, Colored

This comic novel relates the first-person adventures in New York City of Jefferson Poindexter, personal assistant to Cobb's famous Judge Priest, while the judge is vacationing abroad. (Introduction by Grant Hurlock)

By: Irwin Leslie Gordon (1888-1954)

Who Was Who: 5000 BC – 1914 by Irwin Leslie Gordon Who Was Who: 5000 BC – 1914

A short, humorous biography of famous people from 5000 BC to 1914. — S. McGaughey From the Introduction, “The editor begs leave to inform the public that only persons who can produce proper evidence of their demise will be admitted to Who Was Who. Press Agent notices or complimentary comments are absolutely excluded, and those offering to pay for the insertion of names will be prosecuted. As persons become eligible they will be included without solicitation, while the pages will be expurgated of others should good luck warrant.”

By: Irwin S. Cobb (1876-1944)

Europe Revised by Irwin S. Cobb Europe Revised

Irwin Cobb’s humorous Europe Revised is a travelogue and comedy almost in the style of Mark Twain. The dedication says it best, “To My Small DaughterWho bade me shed a tear at the tomb of Napoleon, which I was very glad to do, because when I got there my feet certainly were hurting me.”

By: Israel Zangwill (1864-1926)

The King of Schnorrers by Israel Zangwill The King of Schnorrers

Manasseh da Costa is a schnorrer (beggar) who lives on the charitable contributions of the Jews of late 18th-century London. But Manasseh is far from being a humble panhandler for, as every schnorrer knows, supporting the poor is a commandment from God (a mitzvah) not just a favour. And as the descendant of Portuguese Jews who had lived in England for many generations, Manasseh is the social superior of those newly arrived from Eastern Europe (called ‘Tedesco’), even his wealthy patron Joseph Grobstock...

Book cover Grotesques and Fantasies

A set of often funny, sometimes tragic stories by Israel Zangwill. Most famous for his scathingly accurate portrayals of the Jewish ghetto, these stories have a wider stage, poking fun at social conventions and society itself, both high and low. The real and the fantastic collide to produce a world uniquely Zangwill's.These are the tales of figures as diverse as a pantomime dragon, an excellent butler, a man living his life in the wrong order and a Jewish maiden who knows exactly what she is worth...

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: James Stephens

Book cover There is a Tavern in the Town

The soul of Irish wit is captured in this unique tale of a barstool philosopher, the concluding story from 'Here Are Ladies' by James Stephens. (Introduction by iremonger)

By: 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: James Thomson (1834-1882)

Book cover Satires and Profanities

"Believing as I do that James Thomson is, since Shelley, the most brilliant genius who has wielded a pen in the service of Freethought, I take a natural pride and pleasure in rescuing the following articles from burial in the great mausoleum of the periodical press. There will doubtless be a diversity of opinion as to their value. One critic, for instance, has called “The Story of a Famous Old Jewish Firm” a witless squib; but, on the other hand, the late Professor Clifford considered it a piece of exquisite mordant satire worthy of Swift...

By: Jane Austen (1775-1817)

Emma by Jane Austen Emma

A comedy of manners, Emma portrays the spoilt, snobbish, yet charming Emma Woodhouse as she delightfully interferes in the relationships of others without taking much notice of her own heart. Although quick to make prejudgments and decisions, Emma is eventually able to notice her mistakes, and it is this revelation that makes her an endearing heroine and an inspiration to women throughout. Austen has not only created, but also brought to life the world inhabited by her characters through her vivid depictions and clever use of wit...

Love and Friendship by Jane Austen Love and Friendship

Begun when she was just eleven years old, Love and Friendship is one of Jane Austen's stories that very few readers may have encountered before. Austen experts feel that this story was written, like many others, only for the pleasure of her family and friends. It is scribbled across three notebooks, in childish handwriting, and the complete work is thought to have been written over a period of six or seven years. It is dedicated to one of her cousins, whom she was very close to, Eliza de Feuillide...

Lady Susan by Jane Austen Lady Susan

An epistolary novel, Lady Susan is an early work by Austen that was posthumously published in 1871. The short novel focuses on the self-serving eponymous anti-heroine, as she cunningly maneuvers her way through society in search of a wealthy husband for both her daughter and herself. Disregarding anything but her own selfish goals, Susan employs her charms to lure men and draw them into her web of deceit, no matter their age or status. Exploring issues including morals, manners, self-indulgence, malevolence, and social machinations, the relatively short novel is sure to fascinate with its atypical form...

By: Jean Webster (1876-1916)

When Patty Went to College by Jean Webster When Patty Went to College

When Patty Went to College is Jean Webster's first novel, published in 1903. It is a humorous look at life in an all-girls college at the turn of the 20th century. Patty Wyatt, the protagonist of this story is a bright, fun loving, imperturbable girl who does not like to conform. The book describes her many escapades on campus during her senior year at college. Patty enjoys life on campus and uses her energies in playing pranks and for the entertainment of herself and her friends. An intelligent girl, she uses creative methods to study only as much as she feels necessary...

By: Jerome K. Jerome (1859-1827)

Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog) by Jerome K. Jerome Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog)

If this is your first encounter with Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog) you're certainly in for a treat! One of the most delightful examples of Victorian humor, this book by Jerome K Jerome is all the way a fun cruise down the Thames River with some funny characters for company. Three Men in a Boat was originally meant to be a serious piece of travel writing, full of local flavors, legends and folklore about England's mighty river. As it turned out, somewhere along the way, the author Jerome found himself catapulted into a madcap adventure...

Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow by Jerome K. Jerome Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow

Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow, published in 1886, is a collection of humorous essays by Jerome K. Jerome. It was the author’s second published book and helped establish him as a leading English humorist. The book consists of 14 independent articles arranged by themes.

Told after Supper by Jerome K. Jerome Told after Supper

It is Christmas Eve, and the narrator, his uncle and sundry other local characters are sitting round the fire drinking copious quantities of whisky punch and telling ghost stories until bedtime, when… But no, I won’t spoil the fun. This is a little gem: Jerome at his tongue-in-cheek best.

Three Men on the Bummel by Jerome K. Jerome Three Men on the Bummel

Our Friends from Three Men in a Boat, to Say Nothing of the Dog, are back. In this funny sequel to Three Men in a Boat J., George, and Harris are out of the boat and on the land riding their bikes. Their lives are too stressful and they need a break from the daily mundane, so they put their heads together and come up with a brilliant idea they decide to travel through the Black Forest of Germany on a bicycling tour. Since two of our friends are now married it seems they will also have to convince...

Stage Land by Jerome K. Jerome Stage Land

A comic look at the curious habits and customs of the inhabitants of ‘Stage Land’. Dedicated to ‘that highly respectable but unnecessarily retiring individual, of whom we hear so much but see so little, “the earnest student of drama”

They and I by Jerome K. Jerome They and I

A man and his three children leave the “Little Mother” at home in the city and set up temporary housekeeping in a country cottage to supervise the remodeling of the house he has just purchased there. The story is narrated by the father. His interactions with his children, interspersed with his own recollections of past events, make for hilarious reading. This is Jerome at his best, IMHO, although this is apparently one of this lesser known novels.

Idle Ideas in 1905 by Jerome K. Jerome Idle Ideas in 1905

Back in 1905 Jerome K. Jerome shared his thoughts on a variety of subjects, including "Should Women Be Beautiful?", "Should Soldiers Be Polite?" and "Is The American Husband Made Entirely Of Stained Glass?". Every subject is analysed and commented on in the witty and satirical style we have grown to expect from the author.

Second Thoughts Of An Idle Fellow by Jerome K. Jerome Second Thoughts Of An Idle Fellow

A second volume of humorous essays on various subjects, following the success of Idle thoughts Of An Idle Fellow.

Diary of a Pilgrimage 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: 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: Joel Chandler Harris (1848-1908)

Uncle Remus by Joel Chandler Harris Uncle Remus

Bearing a striking resemblance to Aesop of Aesop's Fables fame, American author Joel Chandler Harris' Uncle Remus is also a former slave who loves to tell simple and pithy stories. Uncle Remus or to give it its original title, Uncle Remus: His Songs and His Sayings was published in late 1880 and received instant acclaim. The book was reviewed in hundreds of journals and newspapers across the country, leading to its immense success, both critical and financial. “Remus” was originally a fictional character in a newspaper column...

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...

Book cover Uncle Remus Returns

Uncle Remus tells these 11 stories but to the son of the original "little boy" who is visiting his grandmother on the plantation. As always Uncle Remus can be relied upon to provide funny and pointed insight into human personalities through his story telling. These were all published in the Uncle Remus magazine from 1905 and 1906 and gathered together in this book by the author. Note that these stories are reflections of another period in time and some of the language used would definitely be considered rude and/or offensive now. In keeping with the desire to present the text as the author wrote it, nothing has been changed or edited.

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: John Habberton

Helen's Babies by John Habberton Helen's Babies

Harry Burton, salesman of white-goods, bachelor of twenty-eight leads a charmed existence. A letter from his sister, Helen changes his life forever. She and her husband have been invited for a holiday but they can't find anyone to baby-sit their two toddlers, five-year-old Budge and three-year-old Toddie. Ever the gallant helpful, Harry steps in, foreseeing nothing but a relaxed vacation with lots of books to read and thinks baby-sitting's a breeze. But destiny has other plans. Harry has long adored a lovely lady from afar and hopes to convince her that he is marriage material by displaying his nurturing side...

By: John Kendrick Bangs (1862-1922)

Alice in Blunderland: an Iridescent Dream by John Kendrick Bangs Alice in Blunderland: an Iridescent Dream

John Kendrick Bangs (May 27, 1862 – January 21, 1922) was an American author and satirist, and the creator of modern Bangasian Fantasy, the school of fantasy writing that sets the plot wholly or partially in the afterlife. (Wikipedia)Plot summary: J K Bangs has taken Alice from Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland” and lets her on a boring day travel with the Mad Hatter, the March Hare, the Cheshire Cat and the other of Carroll’s familiar characters to Blunderland. The story is a well written Satire, a witty, humorous tale of adventure and city politics, a tale of Alice in a land where nothing is as it should be. (Summary by Lars Rolander)

The Idiot by John Kendrick Bangs The Idiot

The Idiot is anything but, yet his fellow boarders at Mrs. Smithers-Pedagog’s home for single gentlemen see him as such. His brand of creative thought is dismissed as foolishness yet it continues to get under their skin, because when you’re beneath contempt you can say what you please. – This is the first of John Kendrick Bangs' “Idiot” books and was published by Harper and Brothers in 1895.

The Autobiography of Methuselah by John Kendrick Bangs The Autobiography of Methuselah

A satirical look at early biblical events from the point of view of someone who was there to witness most of them: the oldest man in recorded history.

Ghosts I Have Met and Some Others by John Kendrick Bangs Ghosts I Have Met and Some Others

New York-born John Kendrick Bangs was associate editor and then editor of Life and Harper magazines, eventually finding his way into the Humour department. Here he began to write his own satire and humour. Ghosts I Have Met and Some Others is a delightfully humourous collection of short tales relating encounters with ghosts.

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?


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