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By: Charles Dickens (1812-1870)

Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens Little Dorrit

Originally published in monthly installments between 1855 and 1857, the novel focuses on the various forms of imprisonment, both physical and psychological, while also concentrating on dysfunctional family ties. Accordingly, Dickens avidly criticizes the social deficiencies of the time including injustice, social hypocrisy, the austerity of the Marshalsea debtors’ prison, and bureaucratic inefficiency. The novel kicks off with the introduction of William Dorrit, the oldest prisoner in the Marshalsea prison, who is also referred to as The Father of the Marshalsea...

The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Charles Dickens The Mystery of Edwin Drood

The Mystery of Edwin Drood is the final novel by Charles Dickens. It is a mystery indeed; the serial novel was just half completed at the time of Dickens’ death – leading to much speculation how it might have ended.The novel is named after Edwin Drood, one of the characters, but it mostly tells the story of his uncle, a choirmaster named John Jasper, who is in love with his pupil, Rosa Bud. Miss Bud is Drood’s fiancée, and has also caught the eye of the high-spirited and hot-tempered Neville Landless! Landless comes from Ceylon with his twin sister, Helena...

No Thoroughfare by Charles Dickens No Thoroughfare

Two boys from the Foundling Hospital are given the same name, with disastrous consequences in adulthood. Two associates, wishing to right the wrong, are commissioned to find a missing heir. Their quest takes them from fungous wine cellars in the City of London to the sunshine of the Mediterranean — across the Alps in winter. Danger and treachery would prevail were it not for the courage of the heroine and the faithful company servant. The story contains crafted descriptions, well-drawn and diverse...

Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens Barnaby Rudge

One of the two Historical novels Charles Dickens wrote, Barnaby Rudge is set around the ‘Gordon’ riots in London in 1780. The story begins in 1775 with Barnaby, his Mother, and his talking Raven Grip, fleeing their home from a blackmailer, and going into hiding. Joe Willet similarly finds he must leave his home to escape his Father’s ire, leaving behind the woman he loves. Five years later these characters, and many others whose lives we have followed, find themselves caught up in the horrific Protestant rioting led by Sir George Gordon...

Dombey and Son by Charles Dickens Dombey and Son

Dombey and Son is a novel by the Victorian author Charles Dickens. The story concerns Paul Dombey, the wealthy owner of the shipping company of the book’s title, whose dream is to have a son to continue his business. The book begins when his son is born, and Dombey’s wife dies shortly after giving birth. As with most of Dickens’ work, a number of socially significant themes are to be found in this book. In particular the book deals with the then-prevalent common practice of arranged marriages for financial gain...

A House to Let by Charles Dickens A House to Let

A House to Let is a novella originally published in 1858 in the Christmas edition of Dickens’ Household Words magazine. Each of the contributors wrote a chapter (stories within a story, and in the case of Adelaide Anne Procter, as a story in verse) and the whole was edited by Dickens. The plot concerns an elderly woman, Sophonisba, who notices signs of life in a supposedly empty dilapidated house (the eponymous “House to Let”) opposite her own, and employs the efforts of an elderly admirer, Jabez Jarber, and her servant, Trottle, to discover what is happening within.

Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens Nicholas Nickleby

Nicholas Nickleby is a young Devonshire man of nineteen, handsome and hot headed, devoted to his sister Kate and his parents. Following the death of Nicholas’s father, they find themselves penniless, and travel to London to seek help from his uncle, Ralph Nickleby, a heartless, cunning rogue. He grudgingly finds employment for Nicholas in Dotheby Hall, a school in Yorkshire run by the brutal Mr. and Mrs. Wackford Squeers. Appalled at the condition and treatment of the school children, Nicholas rebels, escaping with Smike, a young man/child who has become devoted to him...

The Battle of Life by Charles Dickens The Battle of Life

While "The Battle of Life" is one of Charles Dickens' Christmas Books - his annual release of a story just before Christmas - this one breaks the tradition by not being concerned with Christmas. Rather, its subtitle, "A Love Story", reveals more of the plot. The major events of this book take place on land that once was a battleground. That is just a backdrop for Dickens' idea of the real battle of life - finding and winning the right partner, so that life will go on to the next generation. The family that lives there is rather confused in its affections and intentions regarding who should end up with whom...

The Seven Poor Travellers by Charles Dickens The Seven Poor Travellers

One of Dickens’ Christmas stories, this was first published as part of the Christmas number of Household Words for 1854. The first chapter relates Dickens’ visit to the ancient Richard Watts’s Charity at Rochester. The second chapter is the touching story of “Richard Doubledick”, which Dickens supposedly told the travellers, and Dickens’ journey home on Christmas morning provides the short concluding chapter.

The Chimes by Charles Dickens The Chimes

The Chimes: A Goblin Story of Some Bells that Rang an Old Year Out and a New Year In is the second of Charles Dickens' Christmas books, published in 1844. Its contemporary setting is the "Hungry Forties", a time of social and political unrest, and the book has a strong moral message. It remained popular for many years, although its fame has since been eclipsed by that of A Christmas Carol, the first of the series. Our hero Toby ("Trotty") Veck is a poor but hard-working man, whose beloved daughter Meg is due to marry on New Year's Day...

The Haunted Man and the Ghost's Bargain by Charles Dickens The Haunted Man and the Ghost's Bargain

The Haunted Man and the Ghost’s Bargain, A Fancy for Christmas-Time, (better known as The Haunted Man and the Ghost’s Bargain) is a novella by Charles Dickens first published in 1848. It is the fifth and last of Dickens' Christmas novellas. The story is more about the spirit of the holidays than about the holidays themselves, harking back to the first of the series, A Christmas Carol. The tale centers around a Professor Redlaw and those close to him.

American Notes for General Circulation by Charles Dickens American Notes for General Circulation

American Notes for General Circulation is a travelogue by Charles Dickens detailing his trip to North America from January to June, 1842. While there he acted as a critical observer of these societies almost as if returning a status report on their progress. This can be compared to the style of his Pictures from Italy written four years later, where he wrote far more like a tourist. His American journey was also an inspiration for his novel Martin Chuzzlewit.

The Wreck of the Golden Mary by Charles Dickens The Wreck of the Golden Mary

A short story of a ship wreck in 1851 trying to round Cape Horn on its way to the California gold fields. Poignant and well written. (

The Uncommercial Traveller by Charles Dickens The Uncommercial Traveller

The Uncommercial Traveller is a collection of literary sketches and reminiscences written by Charles Dickens. In 1859 Dickens founded a new journal called All the Year Round and the Uncommercial Traveller articles would be among his main contributions. He seems to have chosen the title and persona of the Uncommercial Traveller as a result of a speech he gave on the 22 December 1859 to the Commercial Travellers' School London in his role as honorary chairman and treasurer. The persona sits well with a writer who liked to travel, not only as a tourist, but also to research and report what he found; visiting Europe, America and giving book readings throughout Britain...

Mudfog and Other Sketches by Charles Dickens Mudfog and Other Sketches

The Mudfog Papers was written by Victorian era novelist Charles Dickens and published from 1837–38 in the monthly literary serial Bentley's Miscellany, which he then edited. They were first published as a book as 'The Mudfog Papers and Other Sketches. The Mudfog Papers relates the proceedings of the fictional 'The Mudfog Society for the Advancement of Everything', a Pickwickian parody of the British Association for the Advancement of Science founded in York in 1831, one of the numerous Victorian learned societies dedicated to the advancement of Science...

Book cover Pictures from Italy

e: Dickens takes time off his novels to give an account of travels which he and his family undertook in France and Italy. There are vivid descriptions of the places, but also of the people and their lives.

Book cover Great Expectations (version 2)

Great Expectations is written in the first person and is virtually a fictional autobiography of “Pip” from his childhood, through often painful experiences, to adulthood. It charts his progress as he moves from the Kent marshes - his social status radically changed having gained an unknown benefactor - to busy commercial London. The book is richly populated with a variety of extraordinary characters many of whom, unbeknownst to them, have lives that are inextricably linked to the others. It is all there, love, hate, passion, humour, rejection, duplicity, betrayal, a whole gamut of emotions and human strengths and weaknesses ...

Book cover Christmas Stories From 'Household Words' And 'All The Year Round'

Twenty stories originally published in the Christmas editions of the magazines “Household Words” and “All The Year Round”. Some of the stories have little holiday sentiment and exhibit much of the indignation Dickens felt at the social and economic injustices of his day. Some of the stories were written in collaboration with other authors. The editor of this volume chose to omit those other chapters and include only Dickens' work. The result is that some of the stories are a bit choppy, not to say confusing.

Book cover Christmas Books

From 1843 to 1848, Charles Dickens wrote a series of five novellas to be published at Christmas. Most people are familiar with the first, "A Christmas Carol." The others are "The Chimes," "The Cricket on the Hearth," "The Battle of Life," and "The Haunted Man and the Ghost's Bargain."

Book cover David Copperfield - Condensed by the Author for his Dramatic Readings in America

"This short collection of 6 selected scenes from "David Copperfield" were abridged and performed by Dickens himself during his American Tour of 1867 and 1868."

By: Charles Dudley Warner (1829-1900)

Being a Boy by Charles Dudley Warner 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)

Book cover 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: Charles Goddard (1879-1951)

Book cover The Perils of Pauline

The Perils of Pauline is one of the first damsel in distress serials. The story is complete with undaunted hero, courageous damsel, unscrupulous villains galore, and other worldly interest. Before getting married, Pauline wants to experience the world and have adventures. When her guardian dies and leaves her an estate in trust of his secretary, adventures suddenly become more hazardous. Pauline charters aeroplanes, meets untrustworthy pirates, braves dangerous China Town, flies in a hot air balloon, adventures in the Wild West, encounters international spies, and escapes many other perils with the aid of her would-be fiancé, Harry, and an Egyptian mummy.

By: Charles Goddard and Paul Dicky

Book cover The Ghost Breaker

The Ghost Breaker is a drama and haunted house horror complete with heroes, villains, and a Princess. The Ghost Breaker was originally a screenplay and would later be made a drama film directed by Cecil B. DeMille.

By: Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)

The Treasury of David by Charles H. Spurgeon The Treasury of David

Charles Spurgeon was a British Particular Baptist preacher who remains highly influential among Christians of different denominations, among whom he is still known as the "Prince of Preachers". In his lifetime, Spurgeon preached to around 10,000,000 people, often up to 10 times each week at different places. He was the pastor of the congregation of the New Park Street Chapel (later the Metropolitan Tabernacle) in London for 38 years.Spurgeon was a prolific author of many types of works. This is the first volume of Spurgeon’s commentary on the Psalms, covering Psalms 1 to 26.

The Treasury of David, Vol. 2 (Abridged) by Charles H. Spurgeon The Treasury of David, Vol. 2 (Abridged)

Charles Spurgeon was a British Particular Baptist preacher who remains highly influential among Christians of different denominations, among whom he is still known as the “Prince of Preachers”. In his lifetime, Spurgeon preached to around 10,000,000 people, often up to 10 times each week at different places. He was the pastor of the congregation of the New Park Street Chapel (later the Metropolitan Tabernacle) in London for 38 years.Spurgeon was a prolific author of many types of works. His accessible commentaries on the Psalms are a combination of meditation and teaching and are appropriate for anyone wanting to understand these familiar poems on a deeper level...

By: Charles King

The Daughter of the Sioux, by Charles King The Daughter of the Sioux,

Charles King (1844 – 1933) was a United States soldier and a distinguished writer. He was the son of Civil War general Rufus King and great grandson of Rufus King, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. He graduated from West point in 1866 and served in the Army during the Indian Wars under George Crook. He was wounded in the arm forcing his retirement from the regular army. During this time he became acquainted with Buffalo Bill Cody. King would later write scripts for several of Cody’s silent films...

By: Charles Kingsley (1819-1875)

The Water-Babies by Charles Kingsley The Water-Babies

First published in 1863, The Water Babies by Rev Charles Kingsley became a Victorian children's classic along with J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan and Lewis Caroll's Alice books. It is an endearing and entertaining novel that can equally be enjoyed by adult readers as well. However, it fell out of favor in later years since it contained many ideas that are considered politically incorrect and offensive today from a humanitarian perspective. The Water Babies, A Fairy Tale for a Land Baby to give the book its complete title tells the story of Tom, a young orphan chimney-sweep in Victorian London...

The Heroes, or Greek Fairy Tales for my Children by Charles Kingsley The Heroes, or Greek Fairy Tales for my Children

The Heroes, or Greek Fairy Tales for my Children by Charles Kingsley is a collection of three Greek mythology stories: Perseus, The Argonauts, and Theseus. The author had a great fondness for Greek fairy tales and believed the adventures of the characters would inspire children to achieve higher goals with integrity.

Hypatia by Charles Kingsley Hypatia

Charles Kingsley (June 12 1819 - January 23 1875) was an English divine, university professor, historian, and novelist, particularly associated with the West Country and north-east Hampshire. As a novelist, his chief power lay in his descriptive faculties, which are evident in this novel as he pictures the Egyptian desert and the ancient city Alexandria. Hypatia, 1st published in 1853, is set in 5th Century A.D. Egypt. It centers upon a young orphan monk from a desert monastery who feels called to continue his religious life in the city...

Madam How and Lady Why by Charles Kingsley Madam How and Lady Why

Did you ever wish you knew how to explain natural phenomena such as earthquakes and volcanoes to your children? Search no more, this book has all the answers (at least all the ones that were known in 1869) and gives them in a pedagogical way. Listed on the Ambleside homeschooling list.

By: Charles L. Fontenay

Rebels of the Red Planet by Charles L. Fontenay Rebels of the Red Planet

Dark Kensington had been dead for twenty-five years. It was a fact; everyone knew it. Then suddenly he reappeared, youthful, brilliant, ready to take over the Phoenix, the rebel group that worked to overthrow the tyranny that gripped the settlers on Mars.The Phoenix had been destroyed not once, not twice, but three times! But this time the resurrected Dark had new plans, plans which involved dangerous experiments in mutation and psionics.And now the rebels realized they were in double jeopardy....

By: Charles Lamb (1775-1834)

Tales from Shakespeare by Charles Lamb Tales from Shakespeare

This little gem of a book was probably the first introduction to Shakespeare that most readers have had as children. Tales from Shakespeare was written in 1807 by a young clerk called Charles Lamb in the offices of the East India Company. Lamb co-authored them with his beloved sister Mary. The pair lived together for life, having gone through immense trauma caused by mental illness and tragedy. However, far from being a melancholy duo, they led an active and ample social life in the company of some of the literary greats of the Romantic movement of the 19th century...

By: Charles Major (1856-1913)

Book cover When Knighthood Was in Flower

Set during the Tudor period of English history, When Knighthood Was in Flower tells the tribulations of Mary Tudor, a younger sister of Henry VIII of England who has fallen in love with a commoner. However, for political reasons, King Henry has arranged for her to wed King Louis XII of France and demands his sister put the House of Tudor first, threatening, "You will marry France and I will give you a wedding present – Charles Brandon's head!"

By: Charles Miner Thompson (1864-1941)

The Calico Cat by Charles Miner Thompson The Calico Cat

The consequences of letting your irritation get the better of you are humorously portrayed in this story of a self-important man who fires a shotgun at an annoying cat on his fence.. and hits a man skulking in the bushes. What did the cat do to enrage him? Why was the man in the bushes? And how can the whole matter be covered up and done away with before the neighbors start gossiping?

By: Charles Monroe Sheldon (1857-1946)

Book cover In His Steps

In His Steps takes place in the railroad town of Raymond. The main character is the Rev. Henry Maxwell, pastor of the First Church of Raymond, who challenges his congregation to not do anything for a whole year without first asking: “What Would Jesus Do?” (taken from Wikipedia)

By: Charles Neville Buck (1879-1930)

The Tyranny of Weakness by Charles Neville Buck The Tyranny of Weakness

Torn between her love for her aging father, a minister steeped in the puritanical values of old New England, and the young Virginian who was born and raised of southern chivalrous tradition, the many and conflicting emotions which stir deep within Conscience Williams envelop this tale of desire, devotion, inner strength, devious treachery, and individuality of spirit.

By: Charles Norris Williamson (1859-1920)

The Second Latchkey by Charles Norris Williamson The Second Latchkey

Jewelry thefts, society parties, clairvoyance, and romance marks this mystery, which is set in England and the US in the early 20th century.

It Happened In Egypt by Charles Norris Williamson It Happened In Egypt

Lord Ernest Borrow and Captain Anthony Fenton think they know a secret – a secret that could make them both rich. En route, they are sidetracked by Sir Marcus Antonius Lark, a woman who thinks she’s Cleopatra reincarnate, a Gilded Rose of an American Heiress, and Mrs. Jones, a mysterious Irish woman with a past. Will they find the secret? Or will the trip up the Nile on the Enchantress Isis net them another discovery altogether?

The Golden Silence by Charles Norris Williamson The Golden Silence

Trying to get away from an engagement he had got himself into more or less against his will, Stephen Knight travels to Algiers to visit his old friend Nevill. On the Journey there he meets the charming and beautiful Victoria. She is on her way to Algiers to search for her sister, who had disappeared years ago after marrying an Arab nobleman. With the support of his friend, Stephen Knight decides to help the girl - but when she also disappears, the adventure begins...

By: Charles Perrault (1628-1703)

The Fairy Tales of Charles Perrault by Charles Perrault The Fairy Tales of Charles Perrault

This book is an early collection of ten well-known fairy tales. It is thought to have begun the genre of fairy tales.

By: Charles Rogers (1825-1890)

Book cover Modern Scottish Minstrel

Subtitled "Songs of Scotland of the Past Half-Century, with Memoirs of the Poets, and Sketches and Specimens in English Verse of the Most Celebrated Modern Gaelic Bards."

By: Charles W. Diffin (1884-1966)

Two Thousand Miles Below by Charles W. Diffin Two Thousand Miles Below

A science fiction novel that was originally produced in four parts in the publication: Astounding Stories in June, September, November 1932, January 1933. The main character is Dean Rawson, who plans on discovering a way of mining power from a dead volcano, but ends up discovering more than he bargained for.

Dark Moon by Charles W. Diffin Dark Moon

Mysterious, dark, out of the unknown deep comes a new satellite to lure three courageous Earthlings on to strange adventures.

The Finding of Haldgren by Charles W. Diffin The Finding of Haldgren

Chet Ballard answers the pinpoint of light that from the craggy desolation of the moon stabs out man's old call for help.

By: Charles Waddell Chesnutt (1858-1932)

Book cover 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.

Book cover Colonel's Dream

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: Charles Willard Diffin (1884-1966)

Moon Master by Charles Willard Diffin Moon Master

Through Infinite Deeps of Space Jerry Foster Hurtles to the Moon—Only to be Trapped by a Barbaric Race and Offered as a Living Sacrifice to Oong, their Loathsome, Hypnotic God.

By: Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855)

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë Jane Eyre

This timeless novel highlights the abuse and neglect that the orphaned Jane Eyre faced while growing up. This story opens with Jane Eyre being shipped off to be cared for by her uncle Mr. Reed who lived at the Gateshead Hall. Her uncle was always kind to her but his wife, Sarah Reed was anything but. Sarah’s son John and Sarah’s two daughters also contributed to Jane’s torment. Jane was excluded from all family activities and found solace only in her books and dolls. One day John knocked her down and she tried to defend herself...

Villette by Charlotte Brontë Villette

Villette was Charlotte Bronte's last published novel. It came out in 1853, just two years before her death in 1855. It is a poignant, strangely lonely and sad work, steeped in conflict between society's demands and personal desires. Set in the fictional town of Villette in France, it is the story of the young and intelligent Lucy Snowe, the narrator in the book. She is described by another character in the book as having “no beauty...no attractive accomplishments...” and strangely seems to lack a personal history or living relatives...

The Professor by Charlotte Brontë The Professor

The book tells the story of a young man named William Crimsworth. It describes his maturation, his loves and his eventual career as a professor at an all-girls’ school.

Shirley by Charlotte Brontë Shirley

Shirley is an 1849 social novel by the English novelist Charlotte Brontë. It was Brontë's second published novel after Jane Eyre (originally published under Brontë's pseudonym Currer Bell). The novel is set in Yorkshire in the period 1811–1812, during the industrial depression resulting from the Napoleonic Wars and the War of 1812. The novel is set against a backdrop of the Luddite uprisings in the Yorkshire textile industry.

By: Charlotte Mary Yonge (1823-1901)

Book cover Heir of Redclyffe

The Heir of Redclyffe (1853) was the first of Charlotte M. Yonge's bestselling romantic novels. Its religious tone derives from the High Church background of her family and from her friendship with a leading figure in the Oxford Movement, John Keble, who closely supervised the writing of the book. The germ of its plot was suggested by her friend Marianne Dyson.

By: Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935)

Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman Herland

Herland is a utopian novel from 1915, written by feminist Charlotte Perkins Gilman. The book describes an isolated society comprised entirely of Aryan women who reproduce via parthenogenesis (asexual reproduction). The result is an ideal social order, free of war, conflict and domination. It first appeared as a serial in Perkin’s monthly magazine Forerunner.

What Diantha Did by Charlotte Perkins Gilman What Diantha Did

Charlotte Perkins Gilman opens a window of history through which we see a small part of the determined efforts made by women to elevate the circumstances of women in the early 20th century.Diantha Bell is a normal young woman desiring marriage and a home, but also she desires a challenging career in new territory that raises many eyebrows and sets malicious tongues wagging. Her effort to elevate housework and cooking to a regulated and even a scientific business, for the relief of homemakers, is a depiction of the late 19th century movement to promote Domestic Science, or Home Economics, as a means of providing more healthful home life, as well as career paths for women...

By: Charlotte Turner Smith (1749-1806)

Book cover The Old Manor House

The proud, cruel and arrogant Mrs. Rayland never married. Therefore, "Rayland Hall", the old Manor House of the title, had to pass to their heir, Somerive, whom they never treated kindly. According to the British laws at the time, the heir must be the oldest son. But what is to be done when the second son is more worthy of it - and is more beloved by Miss Rayland herself? And must the fact that he is in love with a servant and dependent of Miss Rayland take its toll?

By: Charlton Miner Lewis

Gawayne and the Green Knight by Charlton Miner Lewis Gawayne and the Green Knight

Published in 1903, Gawayne and the Green Knight is a modern-language retelling of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, a 14th-century verse romance following a young knight of the Round Table. During Christmas celebrations, a mysterious, entirely green knight presents a challenge to King Arthur’s court: that any may strike the stranger a single blow with his green axe, provided he assent to receiving the same a year later. Gawayne accepts the challenge, and its unexpected outcome leads to a great test of his courage and knighthood. A significant addition to this version is the Lady Elfinhart, whose back-story and romance with Gawayne are tightly interwoven with the plot.

By: Chretien de Troyes (fl. 12th cent. C.E.)

Yvain, or the Knight with the Lion by Chretien de Troyes Yvain, or the Knight with the Lion

Yvain, the Knight of the Lion is a romance by Chrétien de Troyes. It was probably written in the 1170s simultaneously with Lancelot, the Knight of the Cart, and includes several references to the action in that poem. In the poem, Yvain seeks to avenge his cousin Calogrenant who had been defeated by an otherworldly knight beside a magical storm-making fountain in the forest of Broceliande.

Erec and Enide by Chretien de Troyes Erec and Enide

A medieval romance in which Erec goes through many trials until he is sure of Enide’s loyalty and true love

By: Christina Rossetti (1830-1894)

Book cover Long Ago

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.

Book cover Maude

Maude is a novella by Christina Rossetti, written in 1850 but published posthumously in 1897. Considered by scholars to be semi-autobiographical, the protagonist is 15-year-old Maude Foster, a quiet and serious girl who writes poetry that explores the tensions between religious devotion and worldly desires. The text includes several of Rossetti's early verses, which were later published as part of her collections of poetry.

By: Christoph von Schmid (1768-1854)

Book cover Basket of Flowers, The

James is the king's gardener and he deeply enjoys caring for and cultivating flowers. He teaches his daughter Mary many principles of godliness through the flowers. One day Mary is falsely accused of stealing, and the penalty is death. Through many trials and hardships, Mary learns of the goodness of God, the blessing of praying for her enemies, how to consider her trials as a joy, and true forgiveness.

By: Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593)

The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus

The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus, normally known simply as Doctor Faustus, is a play by Christopher Marlowe, based on the Faust story, in which a man sells his soul to the devil for power and knowledge. Doctor Faustus was first published in 1604, eleven years after Marlowe's death and at least twelve years after the first performance of the play.

The Jew of Malta by Christopher Marlowe The Jew of Malta

Christopher “Kit” Marlowe (baptised 26 February 1564 – 30 May 1593) was an English dramatist, poet, and translator of the Elizabethan era. The foremost Elizabethan tragedian before William Shakespeare, he is known for his magnificent blank verse, his overreaching protagonists, and his own untimely death. The Jew of Malta (1589) is an original story of religious conflict, intrigue, and revenge, set against a backdrop of the struggle for supremacy between Spain and the Ottoman Empire in the Mediterranean...

Book cover Hero and Leander

“Who ever lov’d, that lov’d not at first sight?” The wonder-decade of the English drama was suddenly interrupted in 1592, when serious plague broke out in London, forcing the closure of the theatres. Leading playwrights took to penning languorously erotic poetry to make ends meet: so we have Venus and Adonis, The Rape of Lucrece - and Marlowe’s blazing masterpiece, Hero and Leander. Marlowe’s poem became more notorious than either of Shakespeare’s, due not only to its homophile provocations but also to the scandal attaching to every aspect of Marlowe’s brief life, violently ended in a mysterious brawl, leaving the poem in an unfinished state...

Tamburlaine the Great by Christopher Marlowe Tamburlaine the Great

Tamburlaine the Great is the name of a play in two parts by Christopher Marlowe. It is loosely based on the life of the Central Asian emperor, Timur 'the lame'. Written in 1587 or 1588, the play is a milestone in Elizabethan public drama; it marks a turning away from the clumsy language and loose plotting of the earlier Tudor dramatists, and a new interest in fresh and vivid language, memorable action, and intellectual complexity. Along with Thomas Kyd's The Spanish Tragedy, it may be considered the first popular success of London's public stage...

Book cover Tragical History of Doctor Faustus (1616 version)

The Tragicall History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus, commonly referred to simply as Doctor Faustus, is a play by Christopher Marlowe, based on the Faust story, in which a man sells his soul to the devil for power and knowledge. Doctor Faustus was first published in 1604, eleven years after Marlowe's death and at least twelve years after the first performance of the play. "No Elizabethan play outside the Shakespeare canon has raised more controversy than Doctor Faustus. There is no agreement concerning the nature of the text and the date of composition...

Book cover Edward II

Christopher Marlowe's Elizabethan tragedy focuses on the downfall of King Edward II, whose love for his favorite courtier, Piers Gaveston, leads to rebellion.

By: Christopher Morley (1890-1957)

The Haunted Bookshop by Christopher Morley The Haunted Bookshop

Roger Mifflin is the somewhat eccentric proprietor of The Haunted Bookshop, a second-hand bookstore in Brooklyn that is “haunted by the ghosts of all great literature.” Beginning with the arrival of a young advertising man and the mysterious disappearance of a certain volume from the shelves of the bookshop, a lively and often humorous tale of intrigue unfolds, generously sprinkled with liberal doses of Roger’s unique philosophy on literature and book selling.

Parnassus on Wheels by Christopher Morley Parnassus on Wheels

Parnassus on Wheels is about a fictional traveling book-selling business. The original owner of the business, Roger Mifflin, sells it to 39-year-old Helen McGill, who is tired of taking care of her ailing older brother, Andrew.

Book cover Pipefuls

A delightful collection of 48 essays on various topics of the human condition that caught his fancy. Witty, insightful and funny of course and on occasion thought provoking and even disturbing. From the preface "These sketches gave me pain to write; they will give the judicious patron pain to read; therefore we are quits. I think, as I look over their slattern paragraphs, of that most tragic hour—it falls about 4 p. m. in the office of an evening newspaper—when the unhappy compiler tries to round up the broodings of the day and still get home in time for supper...

Book cover In the Sweet Dry and Dry

Written just before Prohibition to entail the possible troubles that might happen en route. Both sides of the argument, or battle as the case may be, strike out with various over-top methods like legislating most fruits and vegetables as unsafe or intoxicating large groups with breathable alcohol.

By: Cicely Hamilton (1872-1952)

Book cover William, An Englishman

William – an Englishman is a 1919 novel by Cicely Hamilton. The novel explores the effect of the First World War on a married couple during the rise of Socialism and the Suffragette movement. It was originally published by Skeffington & Son before being reprinted by Persephone Books in 1999. Described as 'a passionate assertion of the futility of war' by The Spectator, William - an Englishman won the first Prix Femina-Vie Heureuse Anglais prize in 1920.

By: Clara E. Laughlin (1873-1941)

Book cover Everybody's Lonesome

Twenty-year-old Mary Alice is bored with her home life and envious of the beautiful, poised, popular girls she sees at parties. At her mother's advice, she reluctantly visits her Godmother in New York, who teaches Mary Alice a little homemade "magic" and the one great Secret that will put her at ease with other people. How can Mary Alice learn to use these gifts to bring happiness into her own life and other lives? Although this charming novelette is subtitled "A True Fairy Story," it reveals that most of the "magic" in life can be found within ourselves. (Introduction by Jan MacGillivray)

By: Clara Reeve (1729-1807)

The Old English Baron by Clara Reeve The Old English Baron

The story follows the adventures of Sir Philip Harclay, who returns to medieval England to find that the castle seat and estate of his friend Lord Lovel have been usurped. A series of revelations, horrors and betrayals climax in a scene of single combat in which good battles evil for the return of the prize.

By: Clarence Day, Jr. (1874-1935)

This Simian World by Clarence Day, Jr. This Simian World

Clarence Day, Jr., best known for his work Life with Father, presents a satirical speculation on how the world might be different if we apes had not risen to prominence, but rather one of the other species had become dominant in our place.

By: Clifford D. Simak (1904-1988)

Empire by Clifford D. Simak Empire

In a future time, the solar system is powered by one energy source, controlled by one huge organisation, which has plans to use this control to dominate the planets. Unknown to them, a couple of maverick scientists accidentally develop a completely new form of energy supply and threaten the corporation's monopoly. Naturally, the corporation can't allow this to happen... A stunning story about the manipulation of pure energy, climaxing in interstellar conflict.

By: Clifford Simak (1904-1988)

Hellhounds of  the Cosmos by Clifford Simak Hellhounds of the Cosmos

From Astounding Stories of 1932. Earth is being attacked by horrible black monsters that appear from nowhere and destroy and kill everything and everyone in their paths. Nothing affects them, nothing stops them; they are impervious to all weapons. Earth is doomed. But there is one hope and it rests on the shoulders of 98 brave men. Can they do it? can they find a way of retaliating? Listen and find out.

Project Mastodon by Clifford Simak Project Mastodon

Clifford Simak deals with the implications of time travel in his own unique way in this story. What if a group of guys did it on their own, without any help from government or industry? On a shoestring,so to speak? Would anyone believe them? What would you do if you could go back 150,000 years to a time when mastodons and saber toothed tigers roamed North America? And what happens when they run out of money? All these questions are explored in the usual humorous, wry Simak way in this story.

By: Confucius (551 BCE-479 BCE)

Confucian Analects by Confucius Confucian Analects

The Analects, or Lunyu (simplified Chinese: 论语; traditional Chinese: 論語; pinyin: Lún Yǔ; literally "Classified/Ordered Sayings"), also known as the Analects of Confucius, are considered a record of the words and acts of the central Chinese thinker and philosopher Confucius and his disciples, as well as the discussions they held. Written during the Spring and Autumn Period through the Warring States Period (ca. 475 BC - 221 BC), the Analects is the representative work of Confucianism and continues to have a substantial influence on Chinese and East Asian thought and values today...

By: Conrad Aiken (1889-1973)

Book cover 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: Cornelia Meigs (1884-1973)

Book cover The Windy Hill

When two children come to stay with their cousin, they immediately realize something is wrong, but no one will tell them what. Their cousin is strangely altered: nervous, preoccupied, hardly aware of their existence. They soon discover that a conflict is brewing among the hills and farms of the Medford Valley, one whose origins reach back over a century. They must piece it together from scattered clues, and from the stories told to them by a mysterious bee keeper and his daughter. This 1922 Newbery Honor Book tells of the traits that run in a family—honor, stubborn pride, and a dark lust for wealth—and how they shape the destinies of three generations. (Introduction by Peter Eastman)

By: D. H. Lawrence (1885-1930)

The Rainbow by D. H. Lawrence The Rainbow

Set against the backdrop of a rapidly industrializing England, the bewildering shift in social structure, the fading away of traditions and the advent of new ways of life, The Rainbow by DH Lawrence depicts how one family's story becomes the story of a society. Originally planned as a novel titled The Sisters, Lawrence finally split the theme into two separate novels after many revisions and rewrites. The Rainbow is the first novel in the Brangwen family saga. Tom Brangwen is a small time farmer in rural Nottinghamshire...

Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence Women in Love

If you have read DH Lawrence's The Rainbow, you'd certainly want to read the sequel, Women in Love. Published in 1920, the two books were originally meant to be a single work, spanning several generations of the Brangwen family, especially the women. However, a complicated publishing history, delays and editorial revisions, followed by the hostile reception and controversies that faced The Rainbow led to a gap of five years between the two books. Yet, by 21st century standards, Women in Love seems almost tame, and modern-day readers may well be bewildered by the amount of criticism it generated among the custodians of morals in an earlier age...

Sons and Lovers by D. H. Lawrence Sons and Lovers

This intimate portrait of a coal-miner’s family fastens on each member in turn: Walter Morel, the collier; Gertrude, his wife; and the children: William, Annie, Arthur, and Paul. When Mrs. Morel begins to be estranged from her husband because of his poor financial sense and his drinking habits, she comes to inhabit the lives of her children – most particularly, her sons. She is determined that they will grow to be something more than men that come home blackened with coal dust every day and roaring with drink every night...

The Prussian Officer and Other Stories by D. H. Lawrence The Prussian Officer and Other Stories

The collection of short stories – of which The Prussian Officer is one – was Lawrence’s first such book. A German officer and his orderly are the focus of the piece and, while socially the superior of his orderly, the officer demonstrates his is the distinctly baser character. (Introduction by Cathy Barratt)

Book cover Aaron's Rod

Flutist Aaron Sisson is caught up in the aftermath of WWI. A lost soul, he attempts to find himself in the comfort of bar-room talk and alcohol and a woman. Moving on, he spends time with a mining executive's relatives. But he finds the family a stuffy middle-class lot, bored with each other and themselves. He leaves his wife and children and strikes out for the open road. During a playing engagement at an opera performance, he reunites with the mining executive's family. Talk is of love and war, none of it very satisfying to anyone...

Book cover Lost Girl

"There is no mistake about it, Alvina was a lost girl. She was cut off from everything she belonged to." In this most under-valued of his novels, Lawrence once again presents us with a young woman hemmed in by her middle-class upbringing and (like Ursula Brangwen in The Rainbow) longing for escape. Alvina Houghton's plight, however, is given a rather comic and even picaresque treatment. Losing first her mother, a perpetual invalid, and later her cross-dressing father, a woefully ineffectual small-scale entrepreneur, Alvina feels doomed to merge with the tribe of eternal spinsters who surround her in the dreary mining community of Woodhouse...

Ballad of Another Ophelia by D. H. Lawrence Ballad of Another Ophelia

LibriVox volunteers bring you 16 recordings of the haunting Ballad of Another Ophelia by D. H. Lawrence. This was the Fortnightly Poetry project for March 24, 2013.

Book cover Sons and Lovers (Version 2)

Lawrence summarised the plot of Sons and Lovers in a letter to Edward Garnett in 1912: “It follows this idea: a woman of character and refinement goes into the lower class, and has no satisfaction in her own life. She has had a passion for her husband, so her children are born of passion, and have heaps of vitality. But as her sons grow up she selects them as lovers — first the eldest, then the second. These sons are urged into life by their reciprocal love of their mother — urged on and on...

By: Daisy Ashford (1881-1972)

The Young Visiters, or Mr. Salteena's Plan by Daisy Ashford The Young Visiters, or Mr. Salteena's Plan

The Young Visiters is a comic romance novella that parodies upper class society of late Victorian England. Social climber Alfred Salteena introduces his young lady friend Ethel to a genuine gentleman named Bernard and, to his irritation, they hit it off. But Bernard helps Alfred in his plan to become a gentleman, which, Alfred hopes, will help him win back Ethel.

By: Dallas McCord Reynolds (1917-1983)

Book cover Status Quo

Larry Woolford is a government agent, tasked with investigating subversive activity. He does everything an ambitious young man should do if he wants to succeed: wear the right clothes, listen to the right music, even drink vodka martinis. Then he stumbles across a conspiracy of Weirds plotting to overthow the entire existing social order. It's a race against time. Can he stop their fiendish plan, and keep America safe for shallow judgements based on status symbols? Status Quo was nominated for the 1962 Hugo Award for short fiction.

By: Dame Rose Macaulay (1881-1958)

Mystery at Geneva: An Improbable Tale of Singular Happenings by Dame Rose Macaulay Mystery at Geneva: An Improbable Tale of Singular Happenings

Henry Beechtree, a newspaper correspondent for the British Bolshevist, is covering the latest otherwise sleepy session of the League of Nations in Geneva, when the newly elected President – a member of the Norwegian delegation – disappears mysteriously, adding some badly needed ‘spice’ to Henry's assignment. (Introduction by Cathy Barratt)

By: Daniel Defoe (1659-1731)

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe Robinson Crusoe

Robinson Crusoe is perhaps the most famous castaway of all time. Whilst many of us have not read Defoe’s iconic book, Robinson Crusoe is a character that is familiar to us all. Aided by the hundreds of movies and theatre productions that the book spurned, Crusoe is a household name. Credited with being the first "real fiction" book, this fictional autobiography tells the tale of a young man who found himself shipwrecked on a remote island for 28 years. The story is said to be based on the dramatic life of Alexander Selkirk, a Scottish castaway who lived alone for four years on a Pacific island...

The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders

A woman in prison awaiting a death sentence is given a reprieve because she is pregnant. She migrates to America abandoning the baby to the care of a foster mother. The child, a girl, grows up and begins working as a servant in a wealthy household. Here she is pursued by the two sons of the house and ultimately marries the younger one. When he dies, leaving her with two young children to look after, she begins a life of deception and confidence trickery which ends in great tragedy and disgrace. In her old age, events take a less tragic turn and her redemption comes from sources she least expects...

The History of the Plague in London by Daniel Defoe The History of the Plague in London

The History of the Plague in London is a historical novel offering an account of the dismal events caused by the Great Plague, which mercilessly struck the city of London in 1665. First published in 1722, the novel illustrates the social disorder triggered by the outbreak, while focusing on human suffering and the mere devastation occupying London at the time. Defoe opens his book with the introduction of his fictional character H.F., a middle-class man who decides to wait out the destruction of the plague instead of fleeing to safety, and is presented only by his initials throughout the novel...

The Further Adventures of Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe The Further Adventures of Robinson Crusoe

“THE FARTHER ADVENTURES OF ROBINSON CRUSOE; Being the Second and Last Part OF HIS LIFE, And of the Strange Surprizing Accounts of his Travels Round three Parts of the Globe.” After the death of his wife, Robinson Crusoe is overcome by the old wanderlust, and sets out with his faithful companion Friday to see his island once again. Thus begins a journey which will last ten years and nine months, in which Crusoe travels over the world, along the way facing dangers and discoveries in Madagascar, China, and Siberia.

The Life, Adventures & Piracies of Captain Singleton by Daniel Defoe The Life, Adventures & Piracies of Captain Singleton

The Life, Adventures & Piracies of the Famous Captain Singleton is a "bipartite adventure story whose first half covers a traversal of Africa, and whose second half taps into the contemporary fascination with piracy. It has been commended for its depiction of the homosexual relationship between the eponymous hero and his religious mentor, the Quaker, William Walters.".

By: Dante Alighieri (1265-1321)

The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri The Divine Comedy

The Divine Comedy (Italian: Commedia, later christened “Divina” by Giovanni Boccaccio), written by Dante Alighieri between 1308 and his death in 1321, is widely considered the central epic poem of Italian literature, the last great work of literature of the Middle Ages and the first great work of the Renaissance. A culmination of the medieval world-view of the afterlife, it establishes the Tuscan dialect in which it is written as the Italian standard, and is seen as one of the greatest works of world literature...

By: David Belasco (1853-1931)

Book cover Return of Peter Grimm

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