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By: Stephen Leacock (1869-1944)

The Hohenzollerns in America by Stephen Leacock The Hohenzollerns in America

More stories by Canadian Stephen Leacock. Some of these stories carry over characters introduced in Further Foolishness. Some stories are humourous; some are more thoughtful. It helps to be familiar with WWI-era European politics to catch much of the humour. Full title: The Hohenzollerns in America With the Bolsheviks in Berlin and Other Impossibilities

Behind the Beyond by Stephen Leacock Behind the Beyond

A collection containing a parody on Problem Plays, as well as humorous anecdotes from Canadian humourist Stephen Leacock.

Moonbeams from the Larger Lunacy by Stephen Leacock Moonbeams from the Larger Lunacy

Humorous, ironic, and sometimes cynical observations of life in 1915 from Canadian humourist Stephen Leacock.

By: George MacDonald (1824-1905)

The Light Princess by George MacDonald The Light Princess

A king and queen are in despair. After years of marriage, they are yet to be blessed with a child. Finally a lovely daughter is born to them. They plan a grand christening ceremony for the baby, but as destiny would have it, they forget to invite the nastiest lady in the kingdom, who also happens to be the king's sister, the evil Princess Makemnoit. Now if all that seems distinctly familiar to you, it was meant to! Using the Sleeping Beauty/Briar Rose fairytale as a starting point, Scottish writer George MacDonald creates a story that's even more enchanting and gives it a nice little twist...

At the Back of the North Wind by George MacDonald At the Back of the North Wind

Written by the man who mentored Lewis Carroll and encouraged him to submit Alice for publication, At the Back of the North Wind is today a forgotten classic of Victorian children's literature. The story tells of a young boy named Diamond, the son of a coachman in an English country mansion. Diamond sleeps in the hayloft above the stables and at night he finds he's disturbed by the wind blowing through the holes in the wall. He tries to plug them but one night, he hears an imperious voice scolding him for doing this! It is the magnificent North Wind that speaks to him and tells him that he's closed up her windows...

Lilith by George MacDonald Lilith

A fantasy novel first published in 1895, Lilith follows a young man on his inter-dimensional journey of spiritual discovery, as he acquaints himself with his family’s past and unearths a life-changing secret. Moreover, it deals with the introspection of its protagonist, as he is hurled into a mysterious setting where he encounters bizarre creatures that challenge the validity of his temporal values. Examining issues including the essence of life, wisdom, death, redemption, and salvation, the novel presents a masterfully woven plot that marks the piece as one of MacDonald’s darkest and most intense contributions to the fantasy genre...

Phantastes by George MacDonald Phantastes

A young man named Anodos experiences dream-like adventures in Fairy Land, where he meets tree-spirits, endures the presence of the overwhelming shadow, journeys to the palace of the fairy queen, and searches for the spirit of the earth. The story conveys a profound sadness and a poignant longing for death. (Brad Powers)

David Elginbrod by George MacDonald David Elginbrod

David Elginbrod was George Macdonald’s first real success, a novel of Scottish country life. Published in 1862, it was dedicated to the memory of Lady Noel Byron.

Book cover The Lost Princess (or A Double Story, or The Wise Woman)

Also known as "A Double Story" or "The Wise Woman."The story of two very spoiled girls, a princess and a peasant, who are kidnapped by a strange woman for a lesson in life. They may not emerge the same... but will their parents be changed for the better too?

Robert Falconer by George MacDonald Robert Falconer

A Victorian novel devoted to beloved character first introduced to readers in MacDonald's David Elginbrod.

Diary of an Old Soul by George MacDonald Diary of an Old Soul

George MacDonald, a Scottish pastor, wrote these short poems, one for each day of the year, to help him with the severer misfortune he was experiencing. The poems are filled with hope and promises of Christ, yet, he also writes about his doubts. These poems are wonderful to listen to for people of any religion.

By: Voltaire (1694-1778)

Candide by Voltaire Candide

A picaresque novel written by French satirical polemicist and philosopher Voltaire, Candide blatantly attacks the ideology of philosopher Leibniz. Candide follows the series of unfortunate events encountered by the young, yet blindly optimistic Candide. Shifting from one adventure to the next, Voltaire’s signature piece does not cease to grip its audience with its humorous criticism of power, wealth, love, religion, philosophy and especially optimism. The novel begins with the introduction of the protagonist Candide, who lives in the castle of an influential German Baron, along with the Baron’s daughter Cunégonde, and tutor Dr...

Zadig, or the Book of Fate by Voltaire Zadig, or the Book of Fate

Zadig, ou La Destinée, (”Zadig, or The Book of Fate”) (1747) is a famous novel written by the French Enlightenment philosopher Voltaire. It tells the story of Zadig, a philosopher in ancient Babylonia. The author does not attempt any historical accuracy, and some of the problems Zadig faces are thinly disguised references to social and political problems of Voltaire’s own day. The book is philosophical in nature, and presents human life as in the hands of a destiny beyond human control. It is a story of religious and metaphysical orthodoxy, both of which Voltaire challenges with his presentation of the moral revolution taking place in Zadig himself...

By: Carlo Collodi (1826-1890)

The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi The Adventures of Pinocchio

An old carpenter carves a little wooden puppet from a mysterious piece of wood that seems to have the ability to talk! He begins to love the little creature like his own son and names him Pinocchio. But the mischievous fellow runs away from his loving father as soon as he learns to walk. The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi follows the misadventures and naughty exploits of this delightfully “human” puppet who in his heart of hearts longs only to become a real boy. Carlo Collodi was the pen name of a gifted writer of children's books, Carlo Lorenzini who lived in Florence, Italy, during the late 19th century...

Book cover Pinocchio

This is the wonderful story of Pinocchio, the puppet who must learn many lessons before he can become a real boy. Carved by a woodcarver named Geppetto in a small Italian village, he dreamed of becoming a real boy but strays from the path of goodness many times and is very willing to listen to temptation. He has also been used as a character who is prone to telling lies and fabricating stories for various reasons. The story has appeared in many adaptations in other mediums. Pinocchio has been called an icon of modern culture, and one of most reimagined characters in the pantheon of children's literature...

By: Joseph Conrad (1857-1924)

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad Heart of Darkness

First published in Blackwood’s magazine as a three part serial in 1899 and published in 1902, Heart of Darkness centers on the experiences of protagonist Charles Marlow as he is assigned the duty to transport ivory down the Congo River. Conrad cleverly uses foreshadowing as a technique to convey the novella’s themes of hypocritical imperialism, the contradictory views on civilized as opposed to barbaric societies, racism, and the conflict between reality and darkness. Set in the second half of the nineteenth century, the story begins with the introduction of protagonist Charles Marlow, who is on board a boat harbored in the River Thames...

The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad The Secret Agent

In this world of modern day spying, Joseph Conrad's spy story, The Secret Agent, is very pertinent. It deals with the over reaching influence of politics in everyday life, the sordid underbelly that lies beneath our civilization's sophisticated veneer, the strange persuasive power of anarchy, unbridled capitalism and its tragic consequences and the scourge of terrorism, exploitation and espionage. In an uncannily prophetic plot, The Secret Agent portrays a sinister scheme to bomb the famous Greenwich Observatory in London...

Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad Lord Jim

This story opens on a ship crowded with pilgrims traveling from Singapore to Mecca for the hajj. A young Englishman is the vessel's first mate. This is his first job and it is something that he has longed for all his life—to be on board a ship that sails the seven seas. One night as the ship sails through the calm waters of the Arabian Sea, it mysteriously begins to shudder. The crew, including the young first mate, believe that it is about to sink. They decide to strike out for themselves in a life-boat, abandoning the passengers...

Typhoon by Joseph Conrad Typhoon

First published in 1902 as a serial in Pall Mall Magazine, the adventure novel follows the disrupting events onboard a steamboat after it takes a perilous course at sea, which triggers a state of mayhem onboard the steamer. Furthermore, the incident prompts the crew to gradually reveal their true nature which is brought to light in the time of crisis. Interestingly, the tale is believed to possess some autobiographical elements taken from Conrad’s own experiences at sea, which provide the novel with a strong foundation, as he effectively uses personification, imagery, and descriptive language to accurately illustrate the danger and chaos instigated by a powerful storm at sea...

The Mirror of the Sea by Joseph Conrad The Mirror of the Sea

The Mirror of the Sea is a collection of autobiographical essays first published in various magazines 1904-6. Conrad early in his life earned his bread as a Master Mariner in sailing ships. In his Author’s Note to this work, Conrad states,”Beyond the line of the sea horizon the world for me did not exist….Within these pages I make a full confession not of my sins but of my emotions. It is the best tribute my piety can offer to the ultimate shapers of my character, convictions, and, in a sense, destiny—to the imperishable sea, to the ships that are no more, and to the simple men who have had their day.”

Youth, a Narrative by Joseph Conrad Youth, a Narrative

An autobiographical short story written in 1898 and included as the first story in the 1902 volume Youth, a Narrative, and Two Other Stories. This volume also includes Heart of Darkness and The End of the Tether, which are concerned with maturity and old age, respectively. “Youth” is narrated by Charles Marlow who is also the narrator of Heart of Darkness, Lord Jim and Chance. Youth depicts his first journey to the East.”

Amy Foster by Joseph Conrad Amy Foster

Classic shortish story by Conrad that relates his self-thought alienation from British society, as a young foreign man survives a shipwreck off the coast of Kent, England only to be shunned by most of the townsfolk. The one exception is the loving, if dull-witted, Miss Foster.

The Point of Honor by Joseph Conrad The Point of Honor

Set during the Napoleonic Wars, “The Point of Honor” (English title: “The Duel”) features two French Hussar officers, D’Hubert and Feraud. Their quarrel over an initially minor incident turns into a bitter, long-drawn out struggle over the following fifteen years, interwoven with the larger conflict that provides its backdrop. At the beginning, Feraud is the one who jealously guards his honor and repeatedly demands satisfaction anew when a duelling encounter ends inconclusively; he aggressively pursues every opportunity to locate and duel his foe...

Nostromo by Joseph Conrad Nostromo

Señor Gould is a native Costaguanan of English descent who owns the silver-mining concession in Sulaco. He is tired of the political instability in Costaguana and its concomitant corruption, and puts his weight behind the Ribierist project, which he believes will finally bring stability to the country after years of misrule and tyranny by self-serving dictators. Instead, the silver mine and the wealth it has generated become a magnet for local warlords to fight over, plunging Costaguana into a new round of chaos...

Tales of Unrest by Joseph Conrad Tales of Unrest

Tales of Unrest (1898) is the first collection of short stories by Joseph Conrad published in his lifetime.Joseph Conrad (1857–1924), a Polish-born English novelist, was a master in the formats of long short story and novella, a form of story longer than conventional short story but shorter than a novel. Some of Conrad's most acclaimed works have been written in these formats, most notably Heart of Darkness (1899).Tales of Unrest contains five stories; Karain: A Memory (written 1897; read by Jhiu), The Idiots (1896; read by Ann Boulais), An Outpost of Progress (1896; read by Kristine Bekere), The Return (1897; read by Raerity) and The Lagoon (1896; read by David Lazarus)...

The Nigger of the Narcissus by Joseph Conrad The Nigger of the Narcissus

This is the story of a voyage of a merchant sailing ship from Bombay to England, set in the very late 19th century. “It was a bad winter off the Cape that year.” From Wikepedia: “The novel is seen as an allegory about isolation and solidarity, the ship’s company serving as a microcosm of a social group.” As to the title, one can only ask, “What WERE you thinking?” (Introduction by Tom Crawford) Note from the reader: The preface (all but the first three minutes of Section 0) have nothing to do with the sea, the Narcissus, or seamen. Most listeners will want to begin with Chapter 1, and listen to the preface last, if at all.

The Secret Sharer by Joseph Conrad The Secret Sharer

A young untested ship captain finds a man named Leggatt clinging to the side of his ship. The Captain makes the unusual decision to hide Leggatt in his quarters. What is he thinking? Conrad will tell us. - The Secret Sharer was first published in the August and September 1910 issues of Harper’s Magazine

Victory: An Island Tale by Joseph Conrad Victory: An Island Tale

Recollections of the life of Axel Heyst, one-time manager of the liquidated Tropical Belt Coal Company in a fictitious island in the Pacific. After retreating from society in response to his professional failures, the misanthrope is drawn back by a romantic affair. (Introduction by S. Kovalchik)

One Day More by Joseph Conrad One Day More

A one-act play. Eccentric Captain Hagberd has been waiting for years for his son to come home from the sea. He has scrimped and saved, outfitting a house for Harry to inherit upon his return, which will be in only "one day more." He has also planned that Harry will marry Bessie, the repressed maiden next door. Note: The recording was done outside, so there will be some ambient noise (airplanes, lawn mowers, birds, children... etc).

Chance by Joseph Conrad Chance

Apparently a two part story about a Damsel and a Knight, perhaps a damsel who depends upon the kindness of strangers. It was originally entitled "Dynamite" and first published by installments in the New York Herald. The book itself was the biggest commercial success for Conrad up until that time, 1913. It allowed Conrad for the first time to settle his financial affairs. The author's disdain for people who live on the land is apparent. A new understanding of the word "enthusiastic" is promulgated. And it is a love story. Let us see how the tale goes.

An Outcast Of The Islands by Joseph Conrad An Outcast Of The Islands

An Outcast of the Islands is the second novel by Joseph Conrad, published in 1896, inspired by Conrad's experience as mate of a steamer, the Vigar. The novel details the undoing of Peter Willems, a disreputable, immoral man who, on the run from a scandal in Makassar, finds refuge in a hidden native village, only to betray his benefactors over lust for the tribal chief's daughter. The story features Conrad's recurring character Tom Lingard, who also appears in Almayer's Folly (1895) and The Rescue (1920), in addition to sharing other characters with those novels...

Book cover Under Western Eyes

Under Western Eyes (1911) is a novel by Joseph Conrad. The novel takes place in St. Petersburg, Russia, and Geneva, Switzerland, and is viewed as Conrad's response to the themes explored in Crime and Punishment, Conrad being reputed to have detested Dostoevsky. It is also, some say, Conrad's response to his own early life; his father was a famous revolutionary imprisoned by the Russians, but, instead of following in his father's footsteps, at the age of sixteen Conrad left his native land forever...


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