By: Fritz Leiber (1910-1992)
The Big Time
A classic locked room mystery, in a not-so-classic setting. (Intro by Karen Savage)
No Great Magic
They were a traveling group of Shakespearean players; perfectly harmless, right? Wrong. For one thing, why did they have spacemen costumes in their wardrobes, right next to caveman ones? Why was the girl in charge of backstage suffering from amnesia and agoraphobia? No Great Magic is needed to perform the plays they put on, but sometimes great science. No matter where, or when.
Three Science Fiction Stories by Fritz Leiber
The Moon is Green, Bread Overhead and What's He Doing In There?! Three of the best known and loved Science Fiction short stories by the wonderful Fritz Lieber. Always tongue in cheek, and always with a funny twist, Leiber deftly shows how humans will adapt to or mess up the future. In ways that only humans can.
By: Charles Dudley Warner (1829-1900)
Being a Boy
Warner's thoughtful and often humorous memoir of his life as a young farm-boy in Charlemont, Massachusetts. (Introduction by Mark Penfold)
Summer in a Garden and Calvin, A Study of Character
This is Warner's contemplative and humorous account of the wondrous and mysterious workings of a garden he tended for 19 weeks. After this is a essay of remembrance for Warner's beloved cat, Calvin.
By: Ben Jonson (1572-1637)
Volpone, or, The Fox
Volpone is a comedy by Ben Jonson first produced in 1606, drawing on elements of city comedy and beast fable. A merciless satire of greed and lust, it remains Jonson's most-performed play, and it is among the finest Jacobean Era comedies. Volpone is a Venetian gentleman who pretends to be on his deathbed, after a long illness, in order to dupe Voltore, Corbaccio, and Corvino, three men who aspire to inherit his fortune. In their turns, each man arrives to Volpone’s house bearing a luxurious gift, intent upon having his name inscribed to the will of Volpone, as his heir...
By: Max Beerbohm (1872-1956)
‘A wickedly funny 1911 satire on undergraduate life in Edwardian Oxford’ in which the entire student body of Oxford university including the young, handsome aristocrat the Duke of Dorset falls hopelessly in love with Zuleika who is visiting her grandfather, the warden of Judas college, and ultimately commit mass suicide at the end of ‘Eights Week’
By: Max Beerbohm (1872-1956)
In order to liven up the literary history of Great Britain in the 1890s (as if Oscar Wilde, Stevenson, Kipling, Hardy, etc., were not lively enough) Max Beerbohm wrote short biographies of six imaginary writers. Though their works of course no longer exist, he leaves the impression that the literary world is really none the poorer. It is, of course, the six men themselves (Beerbohm himself is the seventh man of the title) who are worth our attention. ( Nicholas Clifford) Note that the Gutenberg edition of Seven Men is incomplete, but the missing sections may be found separately James Pethel http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/759 E.V. Laider http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/761
By: Mary Johnston (1870-1936)
To Have And To Hold
When I first started reading this book, I thought it to be a historical romance novel. As I read further, I pondered whether it might be a sea-faring story. Reading still further, I determined it to be an adventure story. Alas, it is all three. To Have And To Hold, written by Mary Johnston was the bestselling novel of 1900. The story takes place in colonial Jamestown during the 1600’s. Captain Ralph Percy, an English soldier turned Virginian explorer buys a wife - little knowing that she is the escaping ward of King James I...
By: Francis Brett Young (1884-1954)
The Tragic Bride
The story centers on Gabrielle Hewish, only and lonely child of Sir Jocelyn Hewish, a loveable lush and owner of the peaceful Roscarna estate nestled in the Irish countryside. In due course, young Gabrielle falls in love with a Navy man whose untimely demise sends her into a depression, and the consequences of which alter her future, culminating in a fascinating and quite unpredictable relationship with Mrs. Payne and her troubled son Arthur. A story of understanding in it’s finest sense and aptly titled, The Tragic Bride is both interesting as a story and telling as a character study.
By: W. W. Jacobs (1863-1943)
A most popular Jacobs character, a night watchman along the English coast, remembers troubles his friends got into during shore leave. At least part of the fault lay with those friends, who were both careless and naïve. But not all the stories are linked to just shore leave even though they relate to the sea in some way. Included are a ghost story, a warehouse worker playing sick, a couple sparring for new income, and even a makeover story. (Bill Boerst based on Wikipedia)
By: Ford Madox Ford (1873-1939)
The Good Soldier
The Good Soldier (1915) "... is set just before World War I and chronicles the tragedies of the lives of two seemingly perfect couples. The novel is told using a series of flashbacks in non-chronological order, a literary technique pioneered by Ford. It also makes use of the device of the unreliable narrator, as the main character gradually reveals a version of events that is quite different from what the introduction leads you to believe. The novel was loosely based on two incidents of adultery and on Ford's messy personal life.”Music in sections 1-5 "Minuet in G flat major and Valse Bluette" by Beethoven
The Fifth Queen
The Fifth Queen trilogy is a series of connected historical novels by English novelist Ford Madox Ford. It consists of three novels, The Fifth Queen; And How She Came to Court (1906), Privy Seal (1907) and The Fifth Queen Crowned (1908), which present a highly fictionalized account of Katharine Howard's marriage to King Henry VIII.
By: Payne Erskine (1854-1924)
The Eye of Dread
The Civil War is upon the United States, and the town of Leauvite has sent away its young men, among them Peter Junior and Richard Kildene. When they leave, Betty Ballard is but a child, but by the time the war has ended, she has become something else entirely. Wounded, Peter Junior finds his time at Betty's father's studio, learning to become an artist, until one day he proposes to her after deciding to go to France. Of course, she agrees to wait for him. Meanwhile, Richard, who has decided to work on the railways, expects that when he gets back, that Betty will be waiting for him. With these complications, problems begin to arise...
By: George Alfred Henty (1832-1902)
By Pike and Dyke
It is the 1570's, and the people of the Netherlands live in terror under the cruel dominion of Spain. Though many long to be free of Spanish tyranny, efforts at rebellion are failing, and allies are nowhere to be found. Edward “Ned” Martin, son of an English captain and a Dutch lady, is thrust into the conflict when he resolves to help his mother’s people and avenge his murdered relatives. Entering the service of the revolutionary leader William the Silent, Prince of Orange, Ned is called upon to carry out dangerous secret missions deep within occupied territory...
By: Talbot Mundy (1879 -1940)
King of the Khyber Rifles
Athelstan King is a British Secret Agent stationed in India at the beginning of WWI. He is attached to the Khyber Rifles regiment as a cover, but his real job is to prevent a holy war. "To stop a holy war single-handed would be rather like stopping the wind--possibly easy enough, if one knew the way." King is ordered to work with a mysterious and powerful Eastern woman, Yasmini. Can King afford to trust her? Can he afford not to? (Introduction by Brett W. Downey)
By: Walter Pater (1839-1896)
Marius the Epicurean
Marius the Epicurean is a philosophical novel written by Walter Pater, published in 1885. In it Pater displays, with fullness and elaboration, his ideal of the aesthetic life, his cult of beauty as opposed to bare asceticism, and his theory of the stimulating effect of the pursuit of beauty as an ideal of its own. The principles of what would be known as the Aesthetic movement were partly traceable to this book; and its impact was particularly felt on one of the movement’s leading proponents, Oscar Wilde, a former student of Pater at Oxford.
Appreciations, with an Essay on Style
Appreciations, with an Essay on Style, is a collection of Walter Pater's previously-published essays on literature. The collection was well received by public and critic since its first edition, in 1889. The volume includes an appraisal of the poems of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, first printed in 1883, a few months after Rossetti's death; an essay on Thomas Browne, whose Baroque style Pater admired; and a discussion of Measure for Measure, one of Pater's most often reprinted pieces. The second edition, published in 1890, had a few modifications, and is the basis for all other editions of the book.
By: Edward Phillips Oppenheim (1866-1946)
Herbert Wrayson, a bachelor returns to his flat one night to find a young lady rifling his desk. He questions her and finds she thought she was in the apartment of his neighbor, Morris Barnes, who lives above him. While he is on the telephone, she quietly slips out of his flat and heads to Barnes’ abode. A few hours later, she is once again at his door – this time looking scared and faint. She asks Wrayson to escort her downstairs as the hallway is unlit. As they emerge, a hansom sits at the doorway with Morris Barnes in it...
The Pawns Count
"I am for England and England only," John Lutchester, the Englishman, asserted."I am for Japan and Japan only," Nikasti, the Jap, insisted."I am for Germany first and America afterwards," Oscar Fischer, the German-American pronounced."I am for America first, America only, America always," Pamela Van Tale, the American girl, declared.They were all right except the German-American.It is during World War I. A chemist, Sandy Graham, has discovered a new powerful explosive, but he let's it slip in a London restaurant that he has made the discovery...
An Amiable Charlatan
An Englishman is enjoying his dinner at Stephano's, at which he is a regular diner. A man enters quickly, sits at his table, starts eating his food, and hands him a packet underneath the table! So begins Paul Walmsley's acquaintance - and adventures - with American adventurer Joseph H. Parker and his lovely daughter, Eve. (Intro by TriciaG)Note that there is an alternate reading of section 8. Both are excellent renditions, so enjoy either or both of them.
English gentleman Hardross Courage has a good life. He has all the money he needs, enjoys sports and hunting, manages the family estate, and in general leads a satisfying life. On a trip to London to participate in a cricket match, Hardross is confronted by a man who forces his way into his hotel room imploring him to hide him. His reason - “They want to kill me”. So begins a tale that is likely to change Hardross' idyllic life forever to one of mystery and espionage.
Stirling Deane has sold the Little Anna Gold Mine which he discovered in South Africa. The sale has made him a rich man and the head of the company to which he sold the mine. A former acquaintance from his days in South Africa has shown up and claims that he has the original deed to the mine and that he is in fact the owner of the mine. Shortly after a meeting with Deane, the man is found murdered and the deed he claims to have had is missing. Another man which Deane hired to negotiate the return of the deed to Deane is accused of the murder, tried, and sentenced to death. What has become of the lost deed?
Havoc occurs when European countries are discussing covert alliances. The story revolves around the creation of a secret alliance between Germany, Russia, and Austria. The English hope to split Russia away by holding the Czar to his previous public commitments, but they need proof of what was done to create the pressure. All the pressures that lead to WWI are there, but the intrigues and secret treaties create an interesting background to the twists and turns of the plot.
A beautiful, intelligent young woman – is she a traitorous spy or a patriot? An aristocratic soldier permanently injured during the war – is he a patriot or is there more to him than meets the eye? A clandestine meeting on a beach – espionage or peace movement?
The setting is the years prior to the outbreak of World War I. It is a time when Germany is outwardly preparing for war but Britain continues to believe it is invincible and that no one would challenge her. A vast German spy network flourishes in England, often in plain view. The main character is Francis Norgate, an aspiring British diplomat who falls in disfavor with his superiors for defending a woman while stationed in Berlin. The resulting scandal causes Norgate to be recalled. On the way home, he meets a German gentleman, Selingman, who claims to be a crockery salesman...
A conference of European nations is being held in the Hague. England has not been invited to attend. Some think war is about to break out. Mr. John P. Dunster, an American, is traveling to the Hague with an important document that may prevent the outbreak of war when he mysteriously disappears after a train wreck in England. Richard Hamel is asked by the British government to attempt to solve the mystery of Dunster’s disappearance and prevent the outbreak of war in Europe.
By: Émile Gaboriau (1832-1873)
Monsieur Lecoq Part 2: The Honor of the Name
Monsieur Lecoq is a captivating mystery, historical and love story: Around 11 o'clock, on the evening of Shrove Sunday 18.., close to the old Barrière d'Italie, frightful cries, coming from Mother Chupin's drinking-shop, are heard by a party of detectives led by Inspector Gévrol. The squad runs up to it. A triple murder has just been committed. The murderer is caught on the premises. Despite Gévrol's opinion that four scoundrels encountered each other in this vile den, that they began to quarrel, that one of them had a revolver and killed the others, Lecoq, a young police agent, suspects a great mystery...
By: Horatio Alger, Jr. (1832-1899)
Timothy Crump's Ward
A poor family is surprised with an infant on their doorstep on New Year’s Eve with a note and monetary support requesting them to raise the child. Eight years later, the child is stolen and the family is put into more trouble trying to find her. This is a story of how love and good morals are reward with a fairy tale “happily ever after” ending.
Grand'ther Baldwin's Thanksgiving, with Other Ballads and Poems
Horatio Alger, better known for his juvenile fiction, also penned some great poetry. His Ballads, including the 8 war poems and his odes, are collected in this volume.
By: David Lindsay (1876-1945)
A Voyage to Arcturus
A Voyage to Arcturus is a novel by Scottish writer David Lindsay, first published in 1920. It combines fantasy, philosophy, and science fiction in an exploration of the nature of good and evil and their relationship with existence. It has been described by critic and philosopher Colin Wilson as the "greatest novel of the twentieth century" and was a central influence on C. S. Lewis's Space Trilogy.