By: Arthur Griffiths (1838-1908)
The Rome Express
The passengers in the sleeping car of the Rome Express were just woken and informed that they will reach Paris soon, and a general bustle fills the train. Only one passenger cannot be awoken by the porter, no matter how loudly he knocks on the compartment door. At last, when the door is forced open, the occupant of the compartment is found dead - stabbed to the heart! The murderer must be found among the passengers...
Passenger from Calais
An army officer, and a mysterious lady with a maid and baby in tow, are the only passengers on the Engadine express from Calais. The lady is afraid that someone is following her. Who is she? And what is her strange package? One suspicious conversation and two private detectives later Colonel Basil Annesley is determined to find out!
By: May Sinclair (1863-1946)
Mr. Waddington of Wyck
May Sinclair’s 1921 novel tells the story of the ridiculous Mr. Horatio Bysshe Waddington, a pompous, self-deluded poser making his way through life caring only for the impressions he makes on others. His long-suffering wife Fanny, his secretary Barbara, and the young scapegrace Ralph watch his daily performances with delighted, affectionate fascination as if they are spectators watching a play or scientists observing a new species, wondering every day how far he will go to fulfill his outrageous pretentions. As usual, Sinclair’s light, deceptively innocent prose camouflages a tale of sexual passions and human foibles with philosophical implications about her post-war world.
Life and Death of Harriett Frean
Harriett Frean is a well-to-do, unmarried woman living a life of meaningless dependency, boredom, and unproductivity as she patiently cares for her aging parents, waiting for a man to marry. When her opportunity for Love finally comes, she is offered a moral dilemma: the man is engaged to her best friend. Should she sacrifice what, according to the priorities of the time, seems like her "one chance for happiness," or should she seize the moment? Can she make something meaningful of her life without...
Fascinated as she was by the lives of the Brontë siblings, May Sinclair loosely based her subtly sensual, quietly insurrectionary 1914 novel The Three Sisters on the Haworth moor milieu of the three literary Brontë sisters. Alice, Gwenda, and Mary Cartaret are the daughters of the Vicar of Garth, an abusive father with rigid, selfish expectations for female behavior. Hope of rescue seems to dawn in the person of an idealistic young doctor in the village, but this is no Austen romance. Described...
As a simple story told, "The Romantic" is one of Sinclair’s tightest and most compelling. Charlotte Redhead, a young British secretary, finds herself in a degrading extra-marital affair with her boss. In reaction, she renounces Sex and links herself platonically to a handsome young Bohemian (John Conway) she meets by chance, tramping in the fields. Together, under a powerful romantic excitement, the two rush off to Belgium in the early weeks of World War I, having organized their own little volunteer ambulance corps...
Another frank May Sinclair exploration of fin de siècle English love and sex, marriage and adultery, "The Tysons" is the story of the caddish Nevill Tyson and his beautiful but frivolous young wife Molly. Sinclair uses a different narrative voice than we hear in much of her fiction, a sort of witty Jane Austen archness as she dissects the characters of the provincial village Drayton Parva. As always, she demonstrates an intriguing mixture of Victorian prudishness and modern free-thinking, particularly in her rendering of the sexual escapades of her characters...
In May Sinclair’s remarkable first novel, Audrey Craven is a beautiful young woman who has by her idiosyncracies acquired a thoroughly undeserved reputation for originality. In fact, Audrey is a shallow, selfish, malleable person of negligible intelligence, with a fastidious horror of anyone who might be considered a nobody. Her pursuit of the stimulation of extraordinary minds (and her persistent fantasy of being somebody’s Muse) brings her into contact with serious women and men representing the profoundest passions of art, religion, science, and love...
Anne Severn and the Fieldings
Written in an era of cheap, formulaic romantic fiction, the nuanced, seditious, quietly erotic novels of May Sinclair stand out like literature from another era entirely. There is romance in “Anne Severn & the Fieldings,” but it’s romance of the best and profoundest kind, set in the context of authentic human personalities and tragic historical events. The motherless Anne Severn is adopted into the Fielding family and grows up in intimate friendship with the three Fielding sons, all of whom love her...
By: William H. Hudson (1841-1922)
A Crystal Age
A Crystal Age is a utopian novel written by W. H. Hudson, first published in 1887. The book has been called a "significant S-F milestone" and has been noted for its anticipation of the "modern ecological mysticism" that would evolve a century later.
Shepherd's Life; Impressions Of The South Wiltshire Downs
Hudson wrote this classic work in 1910; it is admiringly mentioned by many other writers. It focuses on the memories of a head shepherd, Caleb Bawcombe, so it is concerned with the period of mid to late nineteenth century rural Wiltshire, a county in England. This pleasant engaging book contains rural wisdom, natural history, farming practices, human characters, and more
By: Martin Andersen Nexø (1869-1954)
Pelle the Conqueror
When the first part of "Pelle Erobreren" (Pelle the Conqueror) appeared in 1906, its author, Martin Andersen Nexo, was practically unknown even in his native country, save to a few literary people who knew that he had written some volumes of stories and a book full of sunshiny reminiscences from Spain. And even now, after his great success with "Pelle," very little is known about the writer. He was born in 1869 in one of the poorest quarters of Copenhagen, but spent his boyhood in his beloved island Bornholm, in the Baltic, in or near the town, Nexo, from which his final name is derived...
By: Dorothy Richardson (1873-1957)
Miriam Henderson is one of what novelist Dolf Wyllarde (in her great work, The Pathway of the Pioneer) termed "nous autres," i.e., young gentlewomen who must venture forth and earn their living after their fathers have been financially ruined. Also, she has read Villette; she thus applies for and is offered a job teaching conversational English at a girls' school, albeit in Germany rather than France. Pointed Roofs describes her year abroad, as she endeavors to make her way in the hotbed of seething female personalities that populate the school, overseen by her employer, the formidable Fraulein...
By: Conrad Aiken (1889-1973)
House of Dust: A Symphony
The House of Dust is a poem written in the four-movement format of a classical symphony. Hauntingly beautiful despite its bleak post-World War I depictions of human mortality and loss, the poem develops its movements around central images such as Japanese ukiyo-e ("floating world") woodblock prints, touching the reader's senses with endlessly evocative allusions to wind, sea, and weather. In this underlying Japanese sensibility and dependence on central perceptual images, Aiken's poem is similar to poetry of Imagists of the time such as Amy Lowell. Also deeply influenced by the concepts of modern psychology, Aiken delved deeply into individual human identity and emotion.
By: Charles Waddell Chesnutt (1858-1932)
House Behind the Cedars
In this, Chesnutt's first novel, he tells the tragic story of love set against a backdrop of racism, miscegenation and “passing” during the period spanning the antebellum and reconstruction eras in American history. And through his use of the vernacular prevalent in the South of that time, Chesnutt lent a compassionate voice to a group that America did not want to hear. More broadly, however, Chesnutt illustrated, in this character play, the vast and perhaps insurmountable debt this country continues to pay for the sins of slavery.
In this novel, Chesnutt described the hopelessness of Reconstruction in a post-Civil War South that was bent on reestablishing the former status quo and rebuilding itself as a region of the United States where new forms of "slavery" would replace the old. This novel illustrated how race hatred and the impotence of a reluctant Federal Government trumped the rule of law, ultimately setting the stage for the rise of institutions such as Jim Crow, lynching, chain gangs and work farms--all established with the intent of disenfranchising African Americans.
By: Frank Wedekind (1864-1918)
Earth Spirit (1895) (Erdgeist) is a play by the German dramatist Frank Wedekind. It forms the first part of his pairing of 'Lulu' plays (the second is Pandora's Box ), both of which depict a society "riven by the demands of lust and greed". Together with Pandora's Box, Wedekind's play formed the basis for the silent film Pandora's Box (1929) starring Louise Brooks and the opera Lulu by Alban Berg in 1935 (premiered posthumously in 1937). The eponymous "earth spirit" of this play is Lulu, who Wedekind described as a woman "created to stir up great disaster...
By: Ellis Meredith (1865-1955)
The Master-Knot of Human Fate
A tale of two people, and their search for answers to unknown questions. Adam and Robin find themselves inexplicably alone after an apparent natural cataclysm, and are compelled to learn how to survive, how to endure, but most importantly to themselves, how to enjoy, understand their new roles in life, and understand each other. (Introduction by Roger Melin)
By: Marie Corelli (1855-1924)
A Romance of Two Worlds
A Romance of Two Worlds starts with a young heroine telling her story of a debilitating illness that includes depression and thoughts of suicide. Her doctor is unable to help her and sends her off on a holiday where she meets a mystical character by the name of Raffello Cellini, a famous Italian artist. Cellini offers her a strange potion which immediately puts her into a tranquil slumber, in which she experiences divine visions.
By: Christina Rossetti (1830-1894)
LibriVox volunteers bring you 12 recordings of Long Ago by Christina G. Rossetti. This was the Weekly Poetry project for December 9, 2012.Christina Georgina Rossetti (5 December 1830 – 29 December 1894) was an English poet who wrote a variety of romantic, devotional, and children's poems. She is perhaps best known for her long poem Goblin Market, her love poem Remember, and for the words of the Christmas carol In the Bleak Midwinter.
By: A.E.W. Mason
At the Villa Rose
Harry Wethermill, the brilliant young scientist, a graduate of Oxford and Munich, has made a fortune from his inventions, and is taking a vacation at Aix-les-Bains. There he meets, and immediately falls in love with, the young and beautiful Celia Harland, who serves as companion to the aging but warm-hearted Madam Dauvray of Paris. All this is observed by Julius Ricardo, a retired financier from the City of London, who spends every August at Aix, expecting there to find a pleasant and peaceful life...
By: A. E. W. Mason (1865-1948)
The Four Feathers
The Four Feathers is a 1902 adventure novel by British writer A.E.W. Mason that has inspired many films of the same title.The novel tells the story of British officer, Harry Feversham, who resigns his commission in the East Surrey Regiment just prior to Sir Garnet Wolseley's 1882 expedition to Egypt to suppress the rising of Urabi Pasha. He is faced with censure from three of his comrades for cowardice, signified by the delivery of three white feathers to him, from Captain Trench and Lieutenants Castleton and Willoughby, and the loss of the support of his Irish fiancée, Ethne Eustace, who presents him with the fourth feather...
By: Jacques-Henri Bernardin de Saint-Pierre
Paul and Virginia
Paul and Virginia was first published in 1787. The novel's title characters are very good friends since birth who fall in love, but sadly die when the ship Le Saint-Geran is wrecked. The story is set in the island of Mauritius under French rule, then named Île de France, which the author had visited. Written on the eve of the French Revolution, the novel is hailed as Bernardin's finest work. It records the fate of a child of nature corrupted by the false, artificial sentimentality that prevailed at the time among the upper classes of France.
By: Ellis Parker Butler (1869-1937)
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...
By: H. Beam Piper and John McGuire (1904-1964)
World War IV has dragged on for 12 years and the whole world is drained and tired of the killing and destruction. One man, a high school chemistry teacher from St. Louis in the USA, is serving his latest forced stint in the UN forces when something strange happens to him. He dies but yet he doesn't. What if you had the power to bring peace to the entire world? What would you do? This story explores a frightening and strange journey into the murky depths of human needs and desires and how they can twist and turn back upon us.
By: Agnes Repplier (1855-1950)
Americans and Others
A collection of sometimes biting, always clever commentaries on some of life's foibles -- as apt today as when Ms. Repplier wrote them in 1912. Though less know to modern readers, Repplier was in her prime ranked among the likes of Willa Cather. Note: Section 13 contains the word niggards. I put it in print here so that it will not be mistaken for a racial epithet when heard. (written by Mary Schneider)
By: John C. Hutcheson (1840-1897)
The Ghost Ship
This book intentionally veers in and out of the supernatural, as the title implies. The officers get more and more bewildered as they work out their position, and yet again encounter the same vessel going in an impossible direction. Having warned you of this, I must say that it is a well-written book about life aboard an ocean-going steamer at about the end of the nineteenth century.
By: Emma Wolf (1865-1932)
Other Things Being Equal
Ruth Levice, the daughter of a rich San Francisco Jewish merchant, meats Dr. Herbert Kemp, and they slowly fall in love. However, she is Jewish and he is not. Can love overcome such an obstacle? And what is more important, duty or love?
By: E.D.E.N. Southworth (1819-1899)
The Missing Bride
Prepare yourself for a journey, full of adventures and plot twists which will keep you guessing until the very end. This is psychological romance at its best. In the war of 1814, an American heiress falls in love with a British officer. This ill-fated marriage brings together a large group of interesting people who would never have met in other circumstances.
By: Mary Jane Holmes (1828-1907)
Tempest and Sunshine
Tempest and Sunshine is the first book written by Mary Jane Holmes. Set in the pre-Civil War south, it follows the struggles and romances of two sisters, as different as night and day; blonde Fanny and dark haired Julia. (Introduction by jedopi)
By: William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878)
LibriVox volunteers bring you 14 recordings of Midsummer by William Cullen Bryant. This was the Weekly Poetry project for June 23, 2013.This poem taken from the Poetical Works of William Cullen Bryant, Household Edition.
By: John Berryman (1919-1988)
The Psi Lodge had their ways and means of applying pressure, when pressure was needed. But the peculiar talent this fellow showed was one that even they'd never heard of...!