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By: Mark Twain (1835-1910)

What is Man? and Other Essays by Mark Twain What is Man? and Other Essays

"What Is Man?", published by Mark Twain in 1906, is a dialogue between a young man and an older man jaded to the world. It involves ideas of destiny and free will, as well as of psychological egoism. The Old Man asserted that the human being is merely a machine, and nothing more. The Young Man objects, and asks him to go into particulars and furnish his reasons for his position. This collection of short stories covers a wide range of Twain's interests: the serious, the political and the ironically humorous.

Book cover Fenimore Cooper's Literary Offences

This is Mark Twain's vicious and amusing review of Fenimore Cooper's literary art. It is still read widely in academic circles. Twain's essay, Fenimore Cooper's Literary Offenses (often spelled "Offences") (1895), particularly criticized The Deerslayer and The Pathfinder. Twain wrote at the beginning of the essay: 'In one place in Deerslayer, and in the restricted space of two-thirds of a page, Cooper has scored 114 offenses against literary art out of a possible 115. It breaks the record.' Twain listed 19 rules 'governing literary art in domain of romantic fiction', 18 of which Cooper violates in The Deerslayer. (Introduction by Wikipedia and John Greenman)

Book cover The Curious Republic of Gondour and Other Whimsical Sketches

As the title reveals, these stories are a collection of some of Mark Twain's more fanciful and eccentric works. They run the gamut from political commentary to our species' need to "be remembered" somehow. Taken as a whole the stories are "whimsical". Taken individually, they speak the truth in different ways. (Introduction by John Greenman)

Goldsmith's Friend Abroad Again by Mark Twain Goldsmith's Friend Abroad Again

This satire on the U.S.A.'s myth of being the "Home of the Oppressed, where all men are free and equal", is unrelenting in its pursuit of justice through exposure. It draws a scathingly shameful portrait of how Chinese immigrants were treated in 19th century San Francisco. (Introduction by John Greenman)

Book cover In Defense of Harriet Shelley

Mark Twain pulls no punches while exposing the "real" Percy Shelley in this scathing condemnation of Edward Dowden's "Life of Shelley". Even though, as Twain writes, "Shelley's life has the one indelible blot upon it, but is otherwise worshipfully noble and beautiful", Twain shows how Shelley's extra-marital conduct might easily be seen to have been the cause of his wife Harriet's suicide. (Introduction by John Greenman)

The American Claimant by Mark Twain The American Claimant

The American Claimant is an 1892 novel by American humorist and writer Mark Twain. The story focuses on the class differences and expectations of monarchic, hierarchical Britain and the upstart, "all men are created equal" America. Twain wrote the novel with the help of phonographic dictation, the first author (according to Twain himself) to do so. This was also (according to Twain) an attempt to write a book without mention of the weather, the first of its kind in fictitious literature. Indeed, all the weather is contained in an appendix, at the back of the book, which the reader is encouraged to turn to from time to time.

Some Rambling Notes of an Idle Excursion by Mark Twain Some Rambling Notes of an Idle Excursion

Written for the Atlantic magazine in 1877, this is a collection of stories about a trip Mark Twain made with some friends to Bermuda. It contains fascinating descriptions of Bermuda the island, and some of its people as well as an explanation of why Bermuda's houses are "so white".

Book cover How to Tell a Story, and Other Essays

In his inimitable way, Mark Twain gives sound advice about how to tell a story, then lets us in on some curious incidents he experienced, and finishes with a trip that proves life-changing.

Essays on Paul Bourget by Mark Twain Essays on Paul Bourget

Collection of short essays concerning French novelist and critic Paul Bourget. Included: "What Paul Bourget Thinks of Us" and "A Little Note to M. Paul Bourget".

Book cover Mark Twain's Speeches

Spanning the time between 1872 and the year before he died, this collection of after-dinner speeches, random thoughts to "the press", etc. clearly documents, once again, the truly eclectic mind of Samuel Clemens. It also demonstrates how he dealt with adulation, compliments and notoriety...head on! This collection is a treasure-trove of Twain sayings, witticisms and pronouncements on a huge galaxy of issues and concerns in his life.

Book cover Letters of Mark Twain, Complete

These letters were arranged in two volumes by Albert Bigelow Paine, Samuel L. Clemens's literary executor, as a supplement to Mark Twain, A Biography, which Paine wrote. They are, for the most part, every letter written by Clemens known to exist at the time of their publication in 1917. They begin with a fragment of a letter from teenaged Sam Clemens to his sister, Pamela, and conclude with a letter to his attorney two weeks before his death. These letters give us some degree of insight into the evolution of Twain's style of speech and prose over the period of his lifetime; they are a small window into the psyche that created the various characters of his stories...

Book cover Mark Twain's Speeches, Part 2

This collection of the 195 known, publicly-printed speeches of Mark Twain was compiled by Paul Fatout and published by the University of Iowa Press. The speeches are in the Public Domain, and our thanks go to the University of Iowa for making them available for this Public Domain audio recording. They were compiled in the University of Iowa Press book entitled "Mark Twain Speaking" and are arranged, chronologically, from Twain's first authenticated public speech in 1864, to his last speech, exactly 7 months before he died. Extensive analysis , notes, appendix and index are included in the printed work. - Summary by John Greenman

By: Marshall Pinckney Wilder (1859-1915)

The Wit and Humor of America by Marshall Pinckney Wilder The Wit and Humor of America

Light hearted, entertaining and amusing as it takes on contemporary American life would best describe The Wit and Humor of America by Marshall Pinckney Wilder whish is a compilation of humorous passages from various works of American literature. Ranging from Harriet Beecher Stowe's Dinah's Kitchen to Dislikes by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Little Orphint Annie by James Whitcomb Riley, The Auto Rubaiyat by Reginald Wright Kauffman, Garden Ethics by Charles Dudley Warner and Morris and the Honorable Tim by Myra Kelley and many more delightful pieces, the book is indeed a treasure trove of humor...

By: Martin Andersen Nexø (1869-1954)

Book cover 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: Mary Cowden Clarke (1809-1898)

Ophelia, the Rose of Elsinore by Mary Cowden Clarke Ophelia, the Rose of Elsinore

This story is from Mary Cowden Clarke’s multi-volume work The Girlhood of Shakespeare’s Heroines, in which she imagined the early lives of characters from Portia to Beatrice to Lady Macbeth. In her revision of Ophelia from Hamlet, she creates a backstory for Shakespeare’s tragic heroine, from her infancy to just before the action of Hamlet begins.

By: Mary E. Hanshew (1852-1927) and Thomas W. Hanshew (1857-1914)

The Riddle of the Frozen Flame by Mary E. Hanshew (1852-1927) and Thomas W. Hanshew (1857-1914) The Riddle of the Frozen Flame

Another full-length mystery story featuring Hamilton Cleek, whom we met first in Cleek: The Man of the Forty Faces. This time, Cleek investigates the sinister disappearance of people and the mysterious appearance of flames at night in the desolate Fens, and his friend Superintendent Narkom of Scotland Yard tries to solve some tricky cases of bank robberies in London.While not quite up to the standard we have come to expect from previous Cleek adventures, it is still quite a jolly romp, and Cleek's cockney sidekick Dollops is always good fun.

By: Mary E. Wilkins Freeman (1852-1930)

Evelina's Garden by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman Evelina's Garden

This is a long short story from 1899, approximately 95 minutes more or less, about a mysterious woman living virtually alone on the outskirts of a small New England town in a mansion with a magnificent garden. (Introduction by BellonaTimes)

By: Mary Elizabeth Braddon (1837-1915)

Lady Audley's Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon Lady Audley's Secret

Inspired by a true life story, Lady Audley's Secret is the story of a woman's overwhelming ambition and passion for social success. When the first book came out in 1862, Victorian readers were shocked and outraged by its portrayal of aspects like bigamy, insanity, yearning for social status and the will to commit murder to achieve one's goals. The novel belongs to a genre that became very popular during that era. Known as “sensation novels” they can probably be equated to today's pulp fiction...

Run to Earth by Mary Elizabeth Braddon Run to Earth

A captivating Victorian “sensation” novel by the author of Lady Audley's Secret, Run to Earth has it all: scoundrels and mercenaries, love and lust, jealousy, intrigue, and suspense. (Introduction by Gail Mattern)

Book cover Birds of Prey

The first part of the book builds the characters of four con men who become interconnected and attempt their schemes on each other. This book is the first of a two part story, the second part is the book Charlotte's Inheritance.

Book cover Cut by the County; or, Grace Darnel

Darnel Park is situated in a county that thrives on gossip and secrets, and the Darnel family, as it turns out, has many of them. An attempt at Sir Allan Darnel’s life, after various misunderstandings and misdirections, reveals an estranged son and a mysterious fiancée, and the Darnel family scrambles to conceal these new developments from not only the county but the Scotland Yard detective called in to investigate. - Summary by Adrienne Prevost.

Book cover Asphodel

Like the Asphodel, a plant which grows far away from England, Daphne grows far away from home. In her first chance of freedom, at the age of almost 17, she finds an opportunity to forget for a while... Forget that her father, the renowned Sir Vernon Lawford, does not love her. To forget that, for some reason, nobody talks about her mother who traveled to the South of France and never returned. She can be a butcher's daughter from Oxford Street, she can control her friend's actions, she can fancy that she is in love with a man who does not even reveal his name...

Book cover Just As I Am

The murder has finally been solved. After 20 years, Humphrey Vargas came with his dog, seemingly from no where, and informed the magistrate of the county that he murdered the popular Mr. Blake. He even told the magistrate the whole story. This book picks up where other books end and shows how this revelation brings about a chain of unexpected events. Knowing who murdered such a popular man does not make things any easier around the county, as memories finally surface, and relationships may change forever. - Summary by Stav Nisser.

By: Mary Elizabeth Hawker (1848-1908)

Book cover Mademoiselle Ixe

This is a story by the English writer Mary Elizabeth Hawker (1848-1908) entitled Mademoiselle Ixe, by[pseudonym] Lanoe Falconer. The manuscript had been previously rejected by many publishers. The heroine is a governess in an English country house. The mystery is cleverly handled, and the artistic treatment showed a delicacy and refinement which were uncommon in English writers of short stories. The Saturday Review declared it to be 'one of the finest short stories in England.' Success was great and immediate...

By: Mary Godolphin (1781-1864)

Robinson Crusoe in Words of One Syllable by Mary Godolphin Robinson Crusoe in Words of One Syllable

Mary Godolphin was the pseudonym of Lucy Aikin who undertook translating great literature into single-syllable words so that young readers could enjoy plots that were considerably more interesting than, say, the McGuffey readers of the 1880’s or the “Dick and Jane” primers of the 1950s (still around today as “decodable readers” in elementary schools). She produced this volume based on Daniel Defoe’s most famous work, considered by many to be the first English novel (1719). She also rendered Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress and Wyss’ Swiss Family Robinson, which she translated as well.

By: Mary Grant Bruce (1878-1958)

A Little Bush Maid by Mary Grant Bruce A Little Bush Maid

An Australian childrens' classic about life on a ranch around the same time of A Little Florida Lady, with a similarly plucky tomboy heroine. Also, like the latter story, expect some racial stereotyping of Asian and Aboriginal characters. This originally ran as a newspaper serial and it shows in the episodic nature of the chapters, such as a vivid trip to the circus sandwiched by talk of a mad killer and an unexpectedly sentimental ending.

By: Mary Hastings Bradley (d. 1976)

The Fortieth Door by Mary Hastings Bradley The Fortieth Door

Romance, sinister strangers, plenty of skulduggery, mysterious beauties cloaked in veils, dungeons and crypts, dreadfully wrapped mummies and evil doings will all envelope you in this book. If you're looking for a truly satisfying read, The Fortieth Door by Mary Hastings Bradley is definitely your pick! Born in 19th century Chicago, Mary Hastings Bradley studied English literature at Smith and after her graduation, she found herself at loose ends. When a cousin invited her to join her on a trip to Egypt, Mary gladly agreed...

By: Mary Hunter Austin (1868-1934)

Book cover Woman of Genius

In this 1912 novel, Mary Hunter Austin draws inspiration from her own life to tell the story of a gifted woman caught between her public ambition and her private desire. Beginning with her post-Civil War Midwestern girlhood, Austin chronicles the tumultuous life -- its romantic and artistic challenges -- of "tragic actress" Olivia Lattimore. With lyrical insight, she explores the many social and economic obstacles talented women like Olivia face in their pursuit of self-fulfillment. In America’s cynical Gilded Age, Austin asks, can a “woman of genius” find both happiness and success? Summary by Amy Dunkleberger

By: Mary Jane Holmes (1828-1907)

Tempest and Sunshine by Mary Jane Holmes 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)

Book cover Cousin Maude

When Matilda's husband James dies, she marries rich Dr. Kennedy thinking he will provide a good home for her daughter Maude. However, the doctor is a miser and assumes that Matty will be his housekeeper. They have a little boy who is crippled and the doctor ignores him. Maude is totally devoted to him and on her mother's deathbed promises to look after him always. The story then evolves with Maude meeting her stepsister Nellie's cousins JC and James. Nellie has set her sights on JC who is after her money while Maude develops strong feelings towards James...

By: Mary Johnston (1870-1936)

To Have And To Hold by Mary Johnston 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: Mary MacGregor

Stories of King Arthur's Knights Told to the Children by Mary MacGregor Stories of King Arthur's Knights Told to the Children

A collection of Arthurian tales retold for children.


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