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By: Mary Roberts Rinehart (1876-1958)

Book cover When a Man Marries

A divorced playboy hosts a dinner party complete with a stand in wife to placate his aunt who financially supports him. When his chef is hospitalized with smallpox symptoms, the fun begins. Throw in an ex-wife, a mystery, and a little romance and you have a comedy of side splitting proportions. -

Book cover Tish

The story of three "middle aged ladies". Follow along as they have all sorts of adventures.

Book cover More Tish

Mary Roberts Rinehart wrote 6 books about the elderly Letitia (Tish) Carberry and the escapades she gets her elderly lady cronies into. The series led to a 1942 movie with Marjorie Main. This particular book, the third in the series, was written after Mary's stint as a war correspondent in Belgium during the first World War.

By: Garrett P. Serviss (1851-1929)

Edison's Conquest of Mars by Garrett P. Serviss Edison's Conquest of Mars

Edison’s Conquest of Mars, by Garrett P. Serviss, is one of the many science fiction novels published in the nineteenth century. Although science fiction was not at the time thought of as a distinct literary genre, it was a very popular literary form, with almost every fiction magazine regularly publishing science fiction stories and novels. “Edison’s Conquest of Mars” was published in 1898 as an unauthorized sequel to H. G. Wells’s The War of the Worlds, but did not achieve the fame of its predecessor. The book was endorsed by Thomas Edison, the hero of the book — though not by Wells.

By: Anna Katharine Green (1846-1935)

The Leavenworth Case by Anna Katharine Green The Leavenworth Case

Horatio Leavenworth, an immensely wealthy bachelor, is a retired merchant who enjoys great social position and respect. His two orphan nieces, Mary and Eleanor live with him in a luxurious mansion in New York's upscale Fifth Avenue. One morning, he is found mysteriously dead in his study, shot neatly through the back of his head. His will, written some time earlier, is discovered, in which he has left his entire fortune to one of the nieces, while cutting out the other completely. The building, which had remained locked throughout the night, houses a number of servants besides the two young ladies...

That Affair Next Door by Anna Katharine Green That Affair Next Door

A perplexing mystery novel published in 1897, That Affair Next Door focuses on a mysterious murder that has occurred in a quiet neighborhood, incidentally in the house next door to the home of the curious Miss Butterworth. Consequently, the middle-aged spinster becomes directly involved in the unraveling of the gruesome crime, instigated by her inquisitive and resolute nature. The story sets into motion with the introduction of its protagonist, Miss Amelia Butterworth, an admirable woman in her fifties, who has never experienced the doubtful bliss of marriage, but nevertheless is quite contempt with her respected status in the inner circle of New York society and her comfortable home...

Initials Only by Anna Katharine Green Initials Only

Anna Katharine Green (November 11, 1846 – April 11, 1935) was an American poet and novelist. She was one of the first writers of detective fiction in America and distinguished herself by writing well plotted, legally accurate stories (no doubt assisted by her lawyer father). (Wikipedia)

Missing: Page Thirteen by Anna Katharine Green Missing: Page Thirteen

Violet Strange, a clever petite detective, is called upon to solve the mystery of a page gone missing from an important document. The futures of several people, including an eccentric misanthrope, a chemical scientist, a bride and groom, depend on the quick resolution of this problem. In solving one mystery, she uncovers another which dates back many years.

A Strange Disappearance by Anna Katharine Green A Strange Disappearance

Anna Katharine Green (November 11, 1846 – April 11, 1935) was an American poet and novelist. She was one of the first writers of detective fiction in America and distinguished herself by writing well plotted, legally accurate stories (no doubt assisted by her lawyer father).

The Woman in the Alcove by Anna Katharine Green The Woman in the Alcove

“I was, perhaps, the plainest girl in the room that night. I was also the happiest—up to one o’clock. Then my whole world crumbled, or, at least, suffered an eclipse. Why and how, I am about to relate.” Thus begins this mystery told by Anna Katharine Green, one of the first writers of detective fiction in America and renowned for writing well plotted, legally accurate stories.

The Millionaire Baby by Anna Katharine Green The Millionaire Baby

A reward of five thousand dollars is offered, by Phil Ocumpaugh, to whoever will give such information as will lead to the recovery, alive or dead, of his six-year-old daughter, Gwendolen, missing since the afternoon of August the 16th, from her home in New York. (Quote from the book)

The House of the Whispering Pines by Anna Katharine Green The House of the Whispering Pines

The country club house The Whispering Pines was closed for the winter, but only one day after he locked the place personally, the narrator sees smoke come out of the chimney. He decides to investigate and enters the house. Hidden in the dark, he sees the sister of his fiance, the girl he secretly loves, run out of the house with tears in her eyes. Upstairs then, he discovers the dead body of his betrothed... (Introduction by Carolin)

Dark Hollow by Anna Katharine Green Dark Hollow

The small town of Shelby is shaken by a brutal murder. A man by the name of Etheridge was found beaten to death. A local inn-keeper, is convicted and executed for the crime. Many years later, "a woman in purple" shows up at the house of Ostrander, the respected judge who had sentenced the inn-keeper to be executed. This mysterious woman turns out to be the wife of the convicted man, but she does not believe he was guilty. She visits the Judge, to challenge him on his verdict. He listens to her plea, but reaffirms his belief in her husbands guilt...

The Mystery of the Hasty Arrow by Anna Katharine Green The Mystery of the Hasty Arrow

It is the noon hour at a museum in New York City. The date: May 23, 1913. The weekday, attendance is light; the attendees are scattered between two floors. Suddenly a cry rings out from the second floor. Scrambling to Section II, the museum director discovers a teenage girl dead with an arrow through her heart. An older woman hovers over her whispering incoherent phrases in the girl's ear and offering incomprehensible answers to the director's questions. She is the only witness to the crime, or accident, as the case may be...

The Bronze Hand by Anna Katharine Green The Bronze Hand

A political society secretly operates in Baltimore. When he tries to help his beautiful neighbor Miss Calhoun recover a stolen ring which might cause great unknown danger, Mr. Abbott is drawn into the midst of the conspiracy. (Introduction by Carolin)

Book cover Circular Study

In this well-plotted, character-driven mystery, Detective Gryce receives a cryptic message calling him to the scene of a “strange” crime. He soon finds that the adjective is correct, for in a quiet brownstone house in a respectable New York City neighborhood, he finds the body of a man brutally stabbed to death, yet lovingly laid out on the floor of his study. The only apparent witnesses are a deaf and dumb butler driven mad by the event, and a caged bird that sings out a vital but puzzling clue...

Book cover Agatha Webb

A universally beloved woman has been murdered. But who would have the heart to kill Agatha Webb? Would her husband do it for money matters? Or would it be the cook, who died at about the same time? Or would it be the rich and well-connected Mr. Fredrick, who ran away into the woods? This work is also for feminist fiction lovers. As the story starts right after the murder, we see how Miss Page, a servant at a rich house who is the sweetheart of the same Mr. Fredrick, wants to join the investigation- and is constantly prevented from doing so by conservative men.

Book cover Forsaken Inn

Told from the perspective of a Mrs. Truax, the owner of an inn during the time of the American and French Revolutions, "The Forsaken Inn" is a locked-room mystery that keeps readers guessing about what has happened. A young couple stays at the inn for the night, and goes on their way in the morning ... and several years later, the bride's body is found in a secret room of the inn. Yet, many people saw that bride leave with her husband. How can this be? Green tells her tale through Mrs. Truax' diary, and through letters and discussions with other characters who were friends of the young couple. An entertaining and highly recommended read.

Book cover Mayor's Wife

Miss Saunders is out for an adventure. One, which is full of secrets, hints, and half-lies. One, which will require all of her wits. She is to be the companion to the Mayor's wife. The Lady is unhappy, and the reason for her grave unhappiness is more serious than you think.

Book cover Filigree Ball

[The Moore House] was standing when Washington was a village. It antedates the Capitol and the White House. Built by a man of wealth, it bears to this day the impress of the large ideas and quiet elegance of colonial times; but the shadow which speedily fell across it made it a marked place even in those early days. While it has always escaped the hackneyed epithet of "haunted," families that have moved in have as quickly moved out, giving as their excuse that no happiness was to be found there and that sleep was impossible under its roof...

Book cover Chief Legatee

"I was married to-day in Grace Church. At the altar my bride--you probably know her name, Miss Georgian Hazen--wore a natural look, and was in all respects, so far as any one could see, a happy woman, satisfied with her choice and pleased with the éclat and elegancies of the occasion. Half-way down the aisle this all changed. I remember the instant perfectly. Her hand was on my arm and I felt it suddenly stiffen. I was not alarmed, but I gave her a quick look and saw that something had happened...

Book cover Hermit of ---- Street

Delight Hunter spends her days looking out of her window at her handsome but very mysterious and reclusive next door neighbor. She walks straight into a mystery when one day a fire starts in one of the upper rooms of his house and she dashes over to warn him, only to have him lock her in with instructions to let no one else in. Why is he so insistent that no one come in? What secrets are hidden within the walls of this house?

Book cover Staircase at the Heart's Delight

Detective Ebenezer Gryce tells the story of the case with which he begun his career in 1840. Several wealthy men were drowned and washed ashore in New York City, and the first clue leads to a dubious money lender...

By: Eleanor Hallowell Abbott (1872-1958)

The Indiscreet Letter by Eleanor Hallowell Abbott The Indiscreet Letter

Three fellow travelers on a train enter into a discussion concerning what they would call an ‘indiscreet letter.’ The discussion albeit short, produces some rather interesting revelations during the journey and at journey’s end.

Little Eve Edgarton by Eleanor Hallowell Abbott Little Eve Edgarton

Eve Edgarton is not who she seems she is. A short encounter with Mr. Barton show that first impressions are not always right or indicative of one’s seemingly obvious preference or one’s proclivity.

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: Virginia Woolf (1882-1941)

Night and Day by Virginia Woolf Night and Day

Virginia Woolf is one of the most influential and controversial feminine figures in the literary life of the London society. Night and Day is one of her first novels published in 1919 which displays the moral and spiritual issues that people confront. The author herself was an emotionally unstable person, her episodes of mental illness and suicidal depression being recurrent and always brought into the public attention. The novel revolves around the life of the main character, Katherine Hilbery, a superb girl, free spirited and living in her twenties...

The Voyage Out by Virginia Woolf The Voyage Out

The Voyage Out is the first novel by Virginia Woolf, published in 1915 by Duckworth; and published in the U.S. in 1920 by Doran. One of Woolf's wittiest social satires.Rachel Vinrace embarks for South America on her father's ship and is launched on a course of self-discovery in a kind of modern mythical voyage. The mismatched jumble of passengers provide Woolf with an opportunity to satirize Edwardian life. The novel introduces Clarissa Dalloway, the central character of Woolf's later novel, Mrs...

Jacob's Room by Virginia Woolf Jacob's Room

The novel centers, in a very ambiguous way, around the life story of the protagonist Jacob Flanders, and is presented entirely by the impressions other characters have of Jacob [except for those times when we do indeed get Jacob's perspective]. Thus, although it could be said that the book is primarily a character study and has little in the way of plot or background, the narrative is constructed as a void in place of the central character, if indeed the novel can be said to have a 'protagonist' in conventional terms. Motifs of emptiness and absence haunt the novel and establish its elegiac feel.

Monday or Tuesday by Virginia Woolf Monday or Tuesday

Adeline Virginia Woolf was an English author, essayist, publisher, and writer of short stories, regarded as one of the foremost modernist literary figures of the twentieth century. During the interwar period, Woolf was a significant figure in London literary society and a member of the Bloomsbury Group. Her most famous works include the novels Mrs. Dalloway (1925), To the Lighthouse (1927), and Orlando (1928), and the book-length essay A Room of One's Own (1929), with its famous dictum, "A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction...

By: Emily Bronte (1818-1848)

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte Wuthering Heights

Emily Bronte’s first and only novel, Wuthering Heights, portrays the obsessive and vengeful love story between Heathcliff and Catherine. Images of cruelty and passion with an incorporation of gothic supernatural elements set the dark and misty atmosphere present throughout the novel. Moving between two neighboring houses, Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange, the wild love story turned destructive obsession is narrated by Mr. Lockwood through his diary entries. Bronte sets the novel into motion with the arrival of Mr...

By: John Galsworthy (1867-1933)

The Man of Property by John Galsworthy The Man of Property

The first book in Galsworthy’s trilogy, The Forsyte Saga, The Man of Property revolves around the lives of the Forsytes, a self-conceited and cold family, who place a high value on propagating money and rising from their yeoman roots. The novel chronicles the events that lead to their inevitable demise, which is instigated by the stuffy man of property, Soames Forsyte, as he pursues the ideals of the preceding generation, whilst maintaining his own obsession with ownership. At the same time, Galsworthy candidly criticizes the values of the upper-middle classes, by means of satire, irony, a mixed array of realistic characters, an evocative setting, and an intricate plot...

In Chancery (Vol. 2 of The Forsyte Saga) by John Galsworthy In Chancery (Vol. 2 of The Forsyte Saga)

‘The Forsyte Saga’ is the story of a wealthy London family stretching from the eighteen-eighties until the nineteen-twenties. In Chancery is the second book in the saga. Five years have passed since Irene left Soames and the death of Bosinney. Old Jolyon meets Irene and is enchanted by her. At his death he leaves her a legacy sufficient for her to live an independent life in Paris. Soames, who is desperate for a son, attempts to effect a rapprochement but is rejected by her. Meanwhile Young Jolyon, now a widower who is Irene’s trustee, falls in love with her...

To Let (Vol. 3 of The Forsyte Saga) by John Galsworthy To Let (Vol. 3 of The Forsyte Saga)

‘The Forsyte Saga’ is the story of a wealthy London family stretching from the eighteen-eighties until the nineteen-twenties. To Let is the third and final book in the saga (although Galsworthy later published two further trilogies which extend the story). We are now in 1920, about twenty years since Irene married Young Jolyon and gave birth to John and since Soames married Annette, who gave him a daughter, Fleur. The two sides of the family have not met since those times and John and Fleur do not even know of each other’s existence...

Five Tales by John Galsworthy Five Tales

This 1918 book consists of five short stories or novelettes by Galsworthy. They are The First and Last (1914), A Stoic, The Apple Tree (1916), The Juryman, Indian Summer of a Forsyte (1918) This last became part of the trilogy The Forsyte Saga. (Introduction by David Wales)

Book cover Beyond

Gyp, the daughter of ex-Major Charles Claire Winton, at the age of 23 marries Fiorsen, a Swedish violin virtuoso. Her mother, the wife of another man, has been Winton's mistress; she had died when Gyp was born. A highly sensitive child, Gyp has grown up in isolated surroundings with a kind, but very British, father. As she gets older her father tries to introduce her into society. An attack of gout takes him to Wiesbaden for a cure and, as he never goes anywhere without her, she accompanies him...

Book cover Skin Game

A small play in three acts. A kind of comic tragedy. The plot tells the story of the interaction between two very different families in rural England just after the end of the First World War. Squire Hillcrist lives in the manor house where his family has lived for generations. He has a daughter, Jill, who is in her late teens; and a wife, Amy, as well as servants and retainers. He is "old money", although his finances are at a bit of low ebb. The other family is the "nouveau riche" Hornblowers,...

By: Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007)

2 B R 0 2 B by Kurt Vonnegut 2 B R 0 2 B

In this chilling short-story by a master of the craft, Kurt Vonnegut creates a fictional world of the future where life and death are no longer matters of individual choice or destiny. The title refers to the famous quote from Hamlet, “To be or not to be....” with “0” being pronounced as “naught.” It also refers to the eternal dilemma of life and death that face every human being at some point in their lives. Written in 1962 it is set in some unspecified time in the future, when earth has become a Utopia...

By: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Hiawatha by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Hiawatha

I sing the Song of Hiawatha,Brave of heart and strong of arm.Daughter’s son of old Nokomis,Fathered by the harsh West Wind. With its regular, beating rhythm, the Song of Hiawatha has often been parodied, but in truth, it is a powerful, emotional epic; a hero’s life, his loves and suffering. The legends and traditions of the North American Indian swirl together through the tale like a mountain stream, tumbling white over the rocks, and caressing the mossy tree roots.

Book cover Evangeline

Evangeline is one of Longfellow’s most popular poems and was once a great favorite with the American people. For many years almost every school child studied this poem during the middle school years. Although the decline of the reputation of the once-idolized poet has also brought neglect to this classic, it is still a very touching and expertly written work of art. It is based upon the tragic expulsion of the French settlers from Acadia (located in the Canadian maritime provinces) during the French & Indian War (1754-1763)...

Tales of a Wayside Inn by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Tales of a Wayside Inn

Mostly a collection of story-telling poems told by a group of friends in a tavern late one night. "Tales" includes the famous Paul Revere's ride, together with poems of many tales, countries and styles.

The Courtship of Miles Standish by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow The Courtship of Miles Standish

During the late nineteenth century and until the middle of the twentieth, many elementary classrooms in America featured (along with a Gilbert Stuart portrait of Washington) a black-and-white print of a group of New England pilgrims on their way to church, the men carrying their muskets. Every school child at that time was intimately acquainted with the story of the Mayflower and the Plymouth colony in Massachusetts. Among the historical figures, one of the best known was Captain Miles Standish, the military commander of the little “army,” which consisted of a bare handful of men, who repeatedly defeated many times their number of hostile Indians...

By: Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880)

Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert Madame Bovary

The strands woven together in Gustave Flaubert's famous, path breaking 1856 novel Madame Bovary include a provincial town in Normandy, France, a shy young doctor with an indifferent career and a lovely young woman who lives in a fantasy world based on the innumerable romantic novels she reads. Of course there is also the story of a dull marriage punctuated by passionate, adulterous love affairs. First published in serial form in a Parisian magazine and deemed to be the “perfect” novel, Flaubert's debut was received by both readers and critics with acclaim and admiration...

Three Short Works by Gustave Flaubert Three Short Works

Here is a collection of strikingly different pieces by Flaubert: a prose poem in the voices of Death, Satan and Nero; the trials and apotheosis of a medieval saint; and the life of a selfless maid in 19th century France. Each exhibits the vigorous exactness, and the mixture of realism and romanticism, for which Flaubert is renowned.

Book cover Salammbô

After completing the famous Mme Bovary, Flaubert put all his efforts into researching the Punic Wars and completed the lesser known Salammbô. In this volume, Flaubert describes in detail the Mercenary Revolt and the fight of the Mercenaries against the all-powerful Carthage, the theft of the magical Zaimph and the love and hate between the Carthaginian princess Salammbô and the fiercest leader of the Mercenaries, Matho.

By: John Donne (1572-1631)

Devotions upon Emergent Occasions by John Donne Devotions upon Emergent Occasions

Devotions upon Emergent Occasions is a 1624 prose work by the English writer John Donne. It is a series of reflections that were written as Donne recovered from a serious illness, believed to be either typhus or relapsing fever. (Donne does not clearly identify the disease in his text.) The work consists of twenty-three parts describing each stage of the sickness. Each part is further divided into a Meditation, an Expostulation, and a Prayer. The seventeenth meditation is perhaps the best-known part of the work...

By: Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850)

Sarrasine by Honoré de Balzac Sarrasine

Published by Honoré de Balzac in the tempestuous year of 1830, the tale follows the undulating pathways of Sarrasine the sculptor’s shocking journey to his coming of age. As one of the “fathers of realism” Balzac painted with his words a vivid portrait of life in the swirling salons of Europe at the end of the Bourbon monarchy, and we follow Sarrasine from France to Italy in search of both his métier and his muse.However it is also the story of La Zambinella, an Italian singer with whom Sarrasine falls madly and passionately in love. But that passion holds a secret which Sarrasine spies too late.

The Girl with the Golden Eyes by Honoré de Balzac The Girl with the Golden Eyes

"Give me a feast such as men give when they love," she said, "and whilst I sleep, slay me..."Listeners who like to plunge straight into a story would do well to skip the lengthy preamble. Here, Balzac the virtuoso satirist depicts the levels of Parisian society as a version of the Inferno of Dante - but perhaps keeps the reader waiting too long for the first act of his operatic extravaganza.Our beautiful, androgynous hero, Henri de Marsay, is one of the bastard offspring of a depraved Regency milord and himself practises the cynical arts of the libertine...

Farewell by Honoré de Balzac Farewell

In his startling and tragic novella Farewell (‘Adieu’), Balzac adds to the 19th century’s literature of the hysterical woman: sequestered, confined in her madness; mute, or eerily chanting in her moated grange. The first Mrs Rochester lurks in the wings; the Lady of Shalott waits for the shadowy reflection of the world outside to shatter her illusion. Freud’s earliest patients will soon enter the waiting-room in their turn. Whilst out hunting two friends come across a strange waif-like woman shut up in a decaying chateau which one of them dubs “the Palace of the Sleeping Beauty”...

Modeste Mignon by Honoré de Balzac Modeste Mignon

Modeste Mignon, a young provincial woman of romantic temperament, imagines herself to be in love with the famous Parisian poet Melchior de Canalis. However, he is not moved by her attentions. He invites his secretary Ernest de la Brière to "deal with the matter". Ernest answers Modeste's letters in his name and acts as her lover, disguised as Canalis. The scene changes dramatically when Ernest discoveres that Modest is, in fact, a rich heiress. Would he be able to win her heart despite his lie?

Louis Lambert by Honoré de Balzac Louis Lambert

Louis Lambert is an 1832 novel by French novelist and playwright Honoré de Balzac (1799–1850), included in the Études philosophiques section of his novel sequence La Comédie humaine. Set mostly in a school at Vendôme, it examines the life and theories of a boy genius fascinated by the Swedish philosopher Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772). Balzac wrote Louis Lambert during the summer of 1832 while he was staying with friends at the Château de Saché, and published three editions with three different titles...

Book cover Father Goriot

One of Balzac's most popular works, set around 1815 during the re-ascendancy of the Bourbon kings following the defeat of Napoleon. Said to have been an inspiration to Charles Dickens and Henry James as well as others, the novel seeks to portray the realism of scenes and people. It is also a commentary upon the changing social strata and mores of the day.

Book cover Eugénie Grandet

Eugénie Grandet, first published in 1833, is one of Honoré de Balzac's finest novels, and one of the first works in what would become his large novel series titled La Comédie Humaine. Set in a provincial town in post-Revolutionary France, the story deals with money, avarice, love, and obsession. A wealthy old miser must manage the passion of his innocent daughter, who later has to navigate on her own the treacherous ways of a world in which money is "the only god." Balzac's meticulous use of psychological and physical detail influenced the development of 19th-century literary realism, in the hands of writers such as Dickens, Dostoyevsky, Flaubert, and Henry James.

Book cover Magic Skin

Something along the lines of Dorian Gray as part of the Comedies Humane Philosophique, this is Balzac's first successful novel. He even wrote "criticisms" of the writing himself in promotion of the book, in addition to hyping the work before it even came out. It is a criticism of materialism and French bourgeoisie as so many of his compiled works seek to be. Some same characters reappear.

Book cover Cousin Betty

Cousin Betty (La Cousine Bette), published in serial format in 1846, was one of the last and greatest of Balzac's works. It was part of his long novel collection titled La Comédie Humaine. Set in mid-19th-century France, it tells the story of a woman who resents her position as a "poor relation." As we follow her schemes to bring ruin upon the more privileged members of her family, we see a society in transition. The stability and idealism of the old order give way to a new bourgeois world in which virtue is strangled in the struggle for power and money...

Book cover Cousin Pons

Cousin Pons is one of the final works in Balzac's long novel series titled The Human Comedy. It was published in 1847, along with Cousin Betty, as one of a complementary pair of novels, collectively titled Poor Relations. While Cousin Betty tells the story of a bitter woman who seeks revenge on her wealthier relations, in Cousin Pons, Balzac turns to the story of an timid, innocent man who is exploited and victimized by the wealthier members of his extended family.Balzac offers probing character portraits and an indictment of greed and materialism in this detailed portrait of mid-19th-century French life...

Book cover Gobseck

Part of the La Comedie Humane and something of a sequence to Balzac's Father Goriot, the short book's title is the name of the pawn broker/money lender the father Goriot utilized to maintain his spoiled daughters in the luxury he had accustomed them to. This is a continuation of the tale of one of those daughters, Mme Restaud.

Book cover Firm of Nucingen

Part of the Comedie Humane and a "supplementary" tale to go with Father Goriot and Gobseck. Nucingen is the married family name of one of Father Goriot's daughters. "James Waring" is a pseudonym of Ellen Marriage (Balzac was considered sometimes too racy by the Victorian Age).

By: Saint Augustine of Hippo (354-420)

The City of God by Saint Augustine of Hippo The City of God

Rome having been stormed and sacked by the Goths under Alaric their king, the worshipers of false gods, or pagans, as we commonly call them, made an attempt to attribute this calamity to the Christian religion, and began to blaspheme the true God with even more than their wonted bitterness and acerbity. It was this which kindled my zeal for the house of God, and prompted me to undertake the defense of the city of God against the charges and misrepresentations of its assailants. This work was in my hands for several years, owing to the interruptions occasioned by many other affairs which had a prior claim on my attention, and which I could not defer...

By: William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-1863)

Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray Vanity Fair

If you've enjoyed watching the 1998 BBC television miniseries, you'd probably want to renew your acquaintance with William Makepeace Thackeray's 1847 novel, Vanity Fair. However, if you're unfamiliar with what has been dubbed one of the Best 100 Books in English Literature, you certainly have a treat ahead. Miss Pinkerton's Academy in Chiswick Mall in London is where young ladies with ambitions of making a good marriage are sent by their socially aspiring middleclass parents. Two young ladies, Amelia Sedley and Rebecca (Becky) Sharpe are on their way home after completing their term at Miss Pinkerton's...

The History of Henry Esmond, Esq., A Colonel in the Service of Her Majesty Queen Anne by William Makepeace Thackeray The History of Henry Esmond, Esq., A Colonel in the Service of Her Majesty Queen Anne

A classic Victorian novel and a historical novel rolled into one! Read about court and army life during the reign of Queen Anne – a story of Catholic – Protestant intrigue, and the party which aspired to the restoration of Bonny Prince Charlie. And, a good love story as well.

The Book of Snobs by William Makepeace Thackeray The Book of Snobs

The necessity of a work on Snobs, demonstrated from History, and proved by felicitous illustrations:—I am the individual destined to write that work—My vocation is announced in terms of great eloquence—I show that the world has been gradually preparing itself for the WORK and the MAN—Snobs are to be studied like other objects of Natural Science, and are a part of the Beautiful (with a large B). They pervade all classes—Affecting instance of Colonel Snobley.

Book cover Rose And The Ring

Victorian social satire hiding in a set of children's fairy tales by the author of the classic "Vanity Fair"

Book cover Virginians

It tells the story of Henry Esmond's twin grandsons, George and Henry Warrington. Henry's romantic entanglements with an older woman lead up to his taking a commission in the British army and fighting under the command of General Wolfe at the capture of Quebec. On the outbreak of the American War of Independence he takes the revolutionary side. George, who is also a British officer, thereupon resigns his commission rather than take up arms against his brother.

By: Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834)

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

An exciting, compelling, and eerie ballad, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner focuses on the uncanny experiences of a sailor who has returned from a long sea voyage that has left him with a heavy burden to bear. Furthermore, the poem explores numerous themes including retribution, suffering, salvation, torment, nature, spirituality, and supernaturalism. The poem opens with the appearance of its mysterious protagonist, a skinny old man with a curious glittering eye, as he stops a young man who is on his way to attend a wedding...

Book cover Answer to a Child's Question

LibriVox volunteers bring you 21 recordings of Answer to a Child's Question by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. This was the Weekly Poetry project for October 6, 2013.

By: Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914?)

The Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce The Devil's Dictionary

RESPECTABILITY, n. The offspring of a liaison between a bald head and a bank account. BEAUTY, n. The power by which a woman charms a lover and terrifies a husband. LITIGANT, n. A person about to give up his skin for the hope of retaining his bones. If these caustic definitions catch your fancy, you'd enjoy The Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce. He was a columnist with the San Francisco News Letter, a weekly paper which was a business publication aimed at the corporate sector. However, it had a column entitled Town Crier which featured satirical asides and comments in a lighter vein...

Present at a Hanging and Other Ghost Stories by Ambrose Bierce Present at a Hanging and Other Ghost Stories

Ambrose Bierce (1842 – 1914?), satirist, critic, poet, short story writer and journalist. His fiction showed a clean economical style often sprinkled with subtle cynical comments on human behaviour. Nothing is known of his death, as he went missing while an observer with Pancho Villa’s army in 1913/14. (Summaries by Peter Yearsley)The Ways of Ghosts: Stories of encounters with the ghosts of the dead and dying. The spirits of the dead reach out to the living, to pass on a message or to pursue a killer...

The Parenticide Club by Ambrose Bierce The Parenticide Club

Ambrose Bierce (1842 – 1914?), best known as journalist, satirist and short story writer. Cynical in outlook, economical in style; Bierce vanished while an observer with Pancho Villa’s army. Four grotesque short stories about murder within the family, seen through the gently innocent eyes of family members … usually the murderer himself.My favorite murder (00:23)Oil of Dog (20:13)An Imperfect Conflagration (29:32)The Hypnotist (37:14)

Can Such Things Be? by Ambrose Bierce Can Such Things Be?

24 short stories in fairly typical Bierce fashion - ghostly, spooky, to be read (or listened to) in the dark, perhaps with a light crackling fire burning dimly in the background. Stories of ghosts, apparitions, and strange, inexplicable occurrences are prevalent in these tales, some of which occur on or near Civil War fields of battle, some in country cottages, and some within urban areas. Can Such Things Be? implies and relates that anything is possible, at any time.

In the Midst of Life; Tales of Soldiers and Civilians by Ambrose Bierce In the Midst of Life; Tales of Soldiers and Civilians

These stories detail the lives of soldiers and civilians during the American Civil War. This is the 1909 edition. The 1909 edition omits six stories from the original 1891 edition; these six stories are added to this recording (from an undated English edition). The 1891 edition is entitled In The Midst Of Life; Tales Of Soldiers And Civilians. The Wikipedia entry for the book uses the title Tales of Soldiers and Civilians. Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce (June 24, 1842 – after December 26, 1913) was an American editorialist, journalist, short story writer, fabulist and satirist...

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: 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...

Uncle Remus and Brer Rabbit by Joel Chandler Harris Uncle Remus and Brer Rabbit

Uncle Remus' stories feature a trickster hero called Br'er Rabbit ("Brother" Rabbit), who uses his wits to slide out of trouble and gain the advantage over the slower witted other animals, many of whom are trying to eat him. Br'er Rabbit stories were mostly collected directly from the afro-american oral story-telling tradition and are said to be a direct interpretation of Yoruba tales of Hare. This book contains 11 unique stories and was the last one published before the author's death. (Introduction by Phil Chenevert)

Nights With Uncle Remus by Joel Chandler Harris Nights With Uncle Remus

That the little boy loved Uncle Remus and his stories was so obvious that the tale-spinning sessions began drawing additional listeners. Daddy Jack, an old "Africa man" visiting from down-state; Sis Tempy, the strong chief of the mansion's servants; and Tildy, a young and pretty servant-girl - all found their way to Uncle Remus' rude cabin when their duties or interests permitted, to sit around the hearth and hear the wonderful tales of the animals, and foremost among them, Brer Rabbit and Brer Fox...

By: Murray Leinster (1896-1975)

The Aliens by Murray Leinster The Aliens

This story starts with space ships scouring the universe in an interplanetary game of tag. The humans know there are “Aliens” out there. But so do the Aliens. As each tries desperately to make the phenomenal discovery, they secretly hope that the other will not turn out to be the enemy. Humans call them “Plumies” because of the feathery plumes they inscribe on silicon-bronze tablets and cairns they have left behind on their intergalactic travels over the last thousand years. The search goes on, till one day somewhere in outer space, a Plumie ship collides with the one manned by humans...

Operation Terror by Murray Leinster Operation Terror

An unidentified space ship lands in a Colorado lake. Equipped with a paralyzing ray weapon, the creatures begin taking human prisoners. A loan land surveyor and a journalist are trapped inside the Army cordon, which is helpless against the mysterious enemy. Can they stop the aliens before it is too late?

Space Tug by Murray Leinster Space Tug

Joe Kenmore heard the airlock close with a sickening wheeze and then a clank. In desperation he turned toward Haney. “My God, we’ve been locked out!” Through the transparent domes of their space helmets, Joe could see a look of horror and disbelief pass across Haney’s face. But it was true! Joe and his crew were locked out of the Space Platform. Four thousand miles below circled the Earth. Under Joe’s feet rested the solid steel hull of his home in outer space. But without tools there was no hope of getting back inside. Joe looked at his oxygen meter. It registered thirty minutes to live.

The Pirates of Ersatz by Murray Leinster The Pirates of Ersatz

Bron is the offspring of infamous space pirates but instead of following in the family footsteps he decides to become an electronic engineer. Unfortunately, every time he tries to get out, something pulls him back in. This is a tongue-in-cheek space adventure along the lines of the Stainless Steel Rat by Harry Harrison. It was originally published in the FEB-APR issues of Astounding Science Fiction in 1959.

This World Is Taboo by Murray Leinster This World Is Taboo

Calhoun is an Interstellar Medical Serviceman, and he's needed on Dara. Trouble is: Dara is forbidden. Taboo. And breaking quarantine will make Calhoun a presumed plague-carrier and subject to being shot on sight by anyone from Weald. But hey! If he did the smart thing, we wouldn't have a story!But why are men from Dara shooting at him?

Book cover Talents, Incorporated

Bors felt as if he'd been hit over the head. This was ridiculous! He'd planned and carried out the destruction of that warship because the information of its existence and location was verified by a magnetometer.But, if he'd known how the information had been obtained--if he'd known it had been guessed at by a discharged spaceport employee, and a paranoid personality, and a man who used a hazel twig or something similar--if he'd known that, he'd never have dreamed of accepting it. He'd have dismissed it flatly!

The Hate Disease by Murray Leinster The Hate Disease

Dr. Calhoun and his pet tormal Murgatroyd work for the Interstellar Medical Service making routine public health inspections on far-flung colonial planets. When they reach Tallien Three they are greeted with a rocket attack by the Paras, a mutated form of human rapidly replacing the “normals”. The normals think it’s a pandemic of demonic possession but Calhoun has his doubts. If he can keep from turning into a Para, or being assassinated by them he just might figure this thing out. – The Hate Disease was first published in the August 1963 edition of Analog Science Fact and Fiction magazine.

The Runaway Skyscraper by Murray Leinster The Runaway Skyscraper

Arthur Chamberlain has problems. His one-man engineering firm is faltering and his pretty secretary Estelle barely notices him. But these problems are put aside when his Manhattan office building falls into the fourth dimension. Madison Square is filled with wigwams and it’s up to Arthur to engineer a way to make his building to fall back to the future. – The Runaway Skyscraper first appeared in the February 22, 1919 issue of Argosy magazine.

Operation: Outer Space by Murray Leinster Operation: Outer Space

Jed Cochrane is about to take off on man's first interstellar voyage. His mission: Make sure it's good television! (Introduction by Mark Nelson)

The Machine that Saved the World by Murray Leinster The Machine that Saved the World

They were broadcasts from nowhere--sinister emanations flooding in from space--smashing any receiver that picked them up. What defense could Earth devise against science such as this? In the far future of 1972, on a secret military installation, Staff Sergeant Bellews is an expert on the latest scientific discovery: a way for ordinary machines like vacuums and lawnmowers to gather experience in their jobs, becoming error free over time. Then the strange broadcasts began to blow up transmitters everywhere. Were they from space? Enemies? the future? He didn't care until they started messin' with his machines. Then he took it personally. (summary from the first chapter and Phil Chenevert)

Pariah Planet by Murray Leinster Pariah Planet

When the blue plague appeared on the planet of Dara, fear struck nearby worlds. The fear led to a hate that threatened the lives of millions and endangered the Galactic peace. (Excerpt from the text.)

Book cover Space Platform

SPACE PLATFORM tells the exciting story of a young man helping to build this first station. With scientific accuracy and imagination Murray Leinster, one of the world's top science-fiction writers, describes the building and launching of the platform. Here is a fast-paced story of sabotage and murder directed against a project more secret and valuable than the atom bomb!

By: Vachel Lindsay (1879-1931)

The Congo by Vachel Lindsay The Congo

The Congo is one of the best-known poems by American poet Vachel Lindsay (1879-1931). It was revolutionary in its use of sounds and rhythms — as sounds and rhythms — and includes elaborate annotations to guide its spoken performance. Lindsay categorized The Congo as “higher Vaudeville” and was famous for his exuberant performances of it. The poem’s imagery is racist, but Lindsay was a product of his time — born 14 years after the end of the American Civil War in Abraham Lincoln’s hometown, he revered Lincoln and viewed himself as a friend and supporter of African-American culture.

The Art of the Moving Picture by Vachel Lindsay The Art of the Moving Picture

"This 1922 book by poet and sometime cultural critic Vachel Lindsay might have been the first to treat the then-new medium of moving pictures as an art form, one that was potentially as rich, complex, mysterious as far older ones, and whose physical and aesthetic properties were only starting to be understood. The highlight of the book might be “The Motion Picture of Fairy Splendor,” which examines the relationship between film storytelling, magic, myths, legends and bedtime stories. It’s discombobulating, in a good way, to read Lindsay’s attempts to grapple with what, precisely, cinema is...

Book cover Chinese Nightingale and Other Poems

This is a collection of poems on various topics by Vachel Lindsay. Please note that the Booker T. Washington trilogy had to be omitted from this collection.

By: Edith Nesbit (1858-1924)

Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare by Edith Nesbit Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare

Opening with an introduction to the life of the most famous Englishman of all, William Shakespeare, Edith Nesbit captures the reader's imagination in her inimitable way. Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare is a compendium of stories that re-tells some of his most famous plays. As the author of some of the best-loved children's classics like The Railway Children and The Story of the Treasure Seekers, E Nesbit always felt that children should be introduced to Shakespeare in an easier and more enjoyable way...

The Phoenix and the Carpet by Edith Nesbit The Phoenix and the Carpet

The Phoenix and the Carpet is a fantasy novel for children, written in 1904 by E. Nesbit. It is the second in a trilogy of novels that began with Five Children and It (1902), and follows the adventures of the same five protagonists – Cyril, Anthea, Robert, Jane and the Lamb. Their mother buys the children a new carpet to replace the one from the nursery that was destroyed in an unfortunate fire accident. Through a series of exciting events, the children find an egg in the carpet which cracks into a talking Phoenix. The Phoenix explains that the carpet is a magical one that will grant them three wishes per day.

The Wouldbegoods, Being the Further Adventures of the Treasure Seekers by Edith Nesbit The Wouldbegoods, Being the Further Adventures of the Treasure Seekers

The Bastable children, first met in The Treasure Seekers, are sent to stay in the countryside; is it large enough to contain their exuberant activities? They (and Pincher the dog) have every intention of being good…

By: Margaret Penrose (1876-1954)

The Motor Girls by Margaret Penrose The Motor Girls

When Cora Kimball got her new auto for her birthday she had no idea what adventures would start for her and brother Jack.Where did Ed’s money and bonds disappear? Were they misplaced or were they stolen and lost forever.Did the conceited Sid Wilcox have something to do with the missing money, with the help of Ida Giles? And what did the obnoxious Lem Gildy have to do with it all?Join Cora and her friends in this mystery and adventure of The Motor Girls.

The Motor Girls on a Tour by Margaret Penrose The Motor Girls on a Tour

This is the second book in the series of the Motor Girls. Join Cora and her friends in this mystery and adventure of The Motor Girls. Also the search for a missing table and promise book belonging to a cripple girl called Wren. Why is Clip so mysterious? What is she up to? Is Sid Wilcox up to his old tricks with his chum Rob Roland?

By: Willa Cather (1873-1947)

My Antonia by Willa Cather My Antonia

Two young children arrive in a small frontier settlement on the wild and desolate plains of Nebraska, on the same day and by the same train. Jim Burden is a ten year old orphan from Virginia who has come to live with his grandparents, while Antonia Shimerda who's the same age as Jim, arrives with her large, immigrant family from Eastern Europe to try and eke out a living in the New World. The children find themselves thrown together as they live in adjoining farms. Jim tutors Antonia in English and they become good friends as they grow up...

O Pioneers! by Willa Cather O Pioneers!

Published in 1913, O Pioneers! is the first novel in Cather’s Great Plains trilogy and follows the life of its young heroine, Alexandra Bergson, as she fulfills her father’s dying wish to take care of his farm, while also ensuring her brothers are well looked after. Entrusted with a great responsibility, Alexandra is determined to fulfill her father’s wish, as she goes on to prove her skills as a thriving farmer even though the task comes with a hefty price on her happiness. In addition, the...

One of Ours by Willa Cather One of Ours

This 1923 Pulitzer Prize winning novel was written by Willa Cather. This work had been inspired by reading her cousin G.P. Cather’s wartime letters home to his mother. He was the first officer from Nebraska killed in World War I. Claude Wheeler, the subject of the novel, is a young man growing up on a Nebraska farm. The son of well to do parents, Claude is troubled by his apparent inability to find purpose with his life. Everything he does seems to turn out wrong, at least in his own mind. Although he is a skilled farmer, Claude believes his destiny lies elsewhere...

By: Horatio Alger, Jr. (1832-1899)

Ragged Dick by Horatio Alger, Jr. Ragged Dick

A fourteen year old homeless boy, Dick, tries to make an honest living in the streets of 1860s New York as a bootblack. He is determined to stay honorable, though he is tempted many times to easy pickings and a life of crime. When a regular customer is impressed by Dick's integrity and invites him to his mansion, this marks a turning point in the life of the young street-smart teenager. Ragged Dick by Horatio Alger Jr was first published in 1868. It represents a typical coming of age story in which a child attains the maturity of adulthood through circumstances in which important choices are made...

By: Hermann Hesse (1877-1962)

Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse Siddhartha

Once regarded as a cult book in the 1960s by the Flower Power generation, Siddhartha by Herman Hesse remains even today a simple and fresh tale of a man's spiritual quest. Penned by a deeply spiritual German author, Siddhartha explores multiple themes of enlightenment, thinking beyond set rules, love and humanity. Siddhartha is a young contemporary of the spiritual master Gautam Buddha who lived in India at some time during the 4th century BC. The story has striking parallels to Buddha's own life story in which he abandons his wealth and status as the young prince of Kapilavastu, his wife and young son and his family to embark on a voyage of self discovery...


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