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By: Fritz Leiber (1910-1992)

Book cover Three Science Fiction Stories by Fritz Leiber

The Moon is Green, Bread Overhead and What's He Doing In There?! Three of the best known and loved Science Fiction short stories by the wonderful Fritz Lieber. Always tongue in cheek, and always with a funny twist, Leiber deftly shows how humans will adapt to or mess up the future. In ways that only humans can.

By: Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821-1881)

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky Crime and Punishment

A mysterious crime is being plotted in a tiny garret above a dilapidated apartment building in St Petersburg in Russia. The plotter, Rodion Raskolinikov, is a poor student who has delusions of ridding the world of “worthless vermin” and counter balancing these crimes with good deeds. He commits a murder to test his own theories and prove that crime comes naturally to the human species. Crime and Punishment is a path-breaking novel of ideas that changed the course of novel writing in the 20th century...

Notes from the Underground by Fyodor Dostoyevsky Notes from the Underground

One of the earliest polished examples of existential literature, Notes from the Underground follows the life of a recluse and depicts his antagonistic attitude toward society. Written in two parts with a first person narration, the novella explores various themes expressing the misleading notion of rationalism and utopianism, existentialism, alienation and human inaction. The psychological novel begins with a monologue in which the protagonist introduces and characterizes himself. Referred...

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky The Brothers Karamazov

Set in 19th century Russia, The Brothers Karamazov (Russian: Братья Карамазовы) is the last novel written by the illustrious author Fyodor Dostoyevsky who died a few months before the book's publication. The deeply philosophical and passionate novel tells the story of Fyodor Karamazov, an immoral debauch whose sole aim in life is the acquisition of wealth. Twice married, he has three sons whose welfare and upbringing, he cares nothing about. At the beginning of the story, Dimitri Karamazov, the eldest son who is now a twenty-eight year old war veteran, returns to his home town to claim the inheritance left to him by his dead mother...

The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoyevsky The Idiot

The extraordinary child-adult Prince Myshkin, confined for several years in a Swiss sanatorium suffering from severe epilepsy, returns to Russia to claim his inheritance and to find a place in healthy human society.The teeming St Petersburg community he enters is far from receptive to an innocent like himself, despite some early successes and relentless pursuit by grotesque fortune-hunters. His naive gaucheries give rise to extreme reactions among his new acquaintance, ranging from anguished protectiveness to mockery and contempt...

Book cover House of the Dead

The House of the Dead is a novel published in 1861 by Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky, which portrays the life of convicts in a Siberian prison camp. Dostoyevsky himself spent four years in exile in such a camp following his conviction for involvement in the Petrashevsky Circle. This experience allowed him to describe with great authenticity the conditions of prison life and the characters of the convicts. The narrator, Aleksandr Petrovich Goryanchikov, has been sentenced to penalty deportation to Siberia and ten years of hard labour...

By: G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936)

The Man Who was Thursday by G. K. Chesterton The Man Who was Thursday

Two poets in a London park at sunset, debating on the attributes of poetry and whether it's really a metaphor for anarchy. A group that meets in secret, planning to overthrow the world order. Disguises and deceptions, ideals and ideology. A medley of themes and genres makes this a great read for anyone who's a fan of Chesterton and his iconic Father Brown. The Man Who Was Thursday includes Chesterton's favorite theme of Christianity with touches of delightful humor to enliven the twists and turns that abound throughout the book...

The Man Who Knew Too Much by G. K. Chesterton The Man Who Knew Too Much

Robbery, murder and treason. Strange happenings in quiet English villages. A book critic who happens to find a corpse with its head crushed, an Irish freedom fighter framed for a crime, the disappearance of a valuable coin, a strange dispute over a property claim and a host of other intriguing situations make up the contents of G K Chesterton's collection of short stories The Man Who Knew Too Much. For fans of Chesterton's immortal clerical sleuth, Father Brown, these stories are equally delightful and intricately wrought...

The Innocence of Father Brown by G. K. Chesterton The Innocence of Father Brown

A Chief of Police hosts a dinner party for an American millionaire wishing to will his entire fortune to the Church of France. Jewels that have been stolen and recovered so many times that they're known colloquially by thieves as The Flying Stars. A murder committed by an invisible man. These and many others are the mysteries that are presented to the lovable, bumbling, stumpy Man of God, Father Brown. The Innocence of Father Brown, by G.K. Chesterton is a collection of eleven stories which marks the debut of this most unusual detective...

The Wisdom of Father Brown by G. K. Chesterton The Wisdom of Father Brown

The Wisdom of Father Brown explores many characters and fascinating themes such as the following. An eminent criminologist is persuaded by the mild yet persistent Father Brown to sort out a family matter. Also, a Tuscan poet fancies himself as the King of Thieves. A famous French philosopher and atheist holds the key to a new invention called “Noiseless Powder.” A corpse is discovered in a dark passage backstage at London's Adelphi Theater. Finally there is Psychometric testing of criminals in Chicago...

Heretics by G. K. Chesterton Heretics

The Author Gilbert Keith Chesterton was born in London, England on the 29th of May, 1874. Though he considered himself a mere “rollicking journalist,” he was actually a prolific and gifted writer in virtually every area of literature. A man of strong opinions and enormously talented at defending them, his exuberant personality nevertheless allowed him to maintain warm friendships with people–such as George Bernard Shaw and H. G. Wells–with whom he vehemently disagreed. Chesterton had no difficulty standing up for what he believed...

The Club of Queer Trades by G. K. Chesterton The Club of Queer Trades

A collection of six wonderfully quirky detective stories, featuring the ‘mystic’ former judge Basil Grant. Each story reveals a practitioner of an entirely new profession, and member of the Club of Queer Trades.

Eugenics and Other Evils by G. K. Chesterton Eugenics and Other Evils

Most Eugenists are Euphemists. I mean merely that short words startle them, while long words soothe them. And they are utterly incapable of translating the one into the other, however obviously they mean the same thing. Say to them “The persuasive and even coercive powers of the citizen should enable him to make sure that the burden of longevity in the previous generation does not become disproportionate and intolerable, especially to the females”; say this to them and they will sway slightly to and fro like babies sent to sleep in cradles. Say to them “Murder your mother,” and they sit up quite suddenly. Yet the two sentences, in cold logic, are exactly the same.”

The Ballad of the White Horse by G. K. Chesterton The Ballad of the White Horse

An English epic poem that follows the exploits of Alfred the Great in his defense of Christian civilization in England from the heathen nihilism of the North. Following a string of defeats at the hands of the invading Danes, a vision from heaven in the river island of Athelney fills Alfred with joy and hope. Though it gives no promise of victory in the coming struggle, it inspires him to rally his chieftains for a last stand against the invading hordes. His adventures lead throughout the country...

Alarms and Discursions by G. K. Chesterton Alarms and Discursions

Gilbert Keith Chesterton was an influential English writer of the early 20th century. His prolific and diverse output included journalism, philosophy, poetry, biography, Christian apologetics, fantasy, and detective fiction. Chesterton has been called the “prince of paradox.” He wrote in an off-hand, whimsical prose studded with startling formulations. Chesterton wrote about 4000 essays on various subjects, and “Ararms and Discursions is one of his collections.

The Napoleon of Notting Hill by G. K. Chesterton The Napoleon of Notting Hill

While the novel is humorous (one instance has the King sitting on top of an omnibus and speaking to it as to a horse: “Forward, my beauty, my Arab,” he said, patting the omnibus encouragingly, “fleetest of all thy bounding tribe”), it is also an adventure story: Chesterton is not afraid to let blood be drawn in his battles, fought with sword and halberd in the London streets, and Wayne thinks up a few ingenious strategies; and, finally, the novel is philosophical, considering the value of one man’s actions and the virtue of respect for one’s enemies.

The Ball and the Cross by G. K. Chesterton The Ball and the Cross

The Ball and the Cross is G. K. Chesterton's third novel. In the introduction Martin Gardner notes that it is a "mixture of fantasy, farce and theology." Gardner continues: "Evan MacIan is a tall, dark-haired, blue-eyed Scottish Highlander and a devout Roman Catholic.... James Turnbull is a short, red-haired, gray-eyed Scottish Lowlander and a devout but naive atheist.... The two meet when MacIan smashes the window of the street office where Turnbull publishes an atheist journal. This act of rage occurs when MacIan sees posted on the shop's window a sheet that blasphemes the Virgin Mary, presumably implying she was an adulteress who gave birth to an illegitimate Jesus...

George Bernard Shaw by G. K. Chesterton George Bernard Shaw

Chesterton and Shaw were famous friends and enjoyed their arguments and discussions. Although rarely in agreement, they both maintained good-will towards and respect for each other. However, in his writing, Chesterton expressed himself very plainly on where they differed and why. In Heretics he writes of Shaw: “After belabouring a great many people for a great many years for being unprogressive, Mr. Shaw has discovered, with characteristic sense, that it is very doubtful whether any existing human being with two legs can be progressive at all...

Manalive by G. K. Chesterton Manalive

The flying blast struck London just where it scales the northern heights, terrace above terrace, as precipitous as Edinburgh. It was round about this place that some poet, probably drunk, looked up astonished at all those streets gone skywards, and (thinking vaguely of glaciers and roped mountaineers) gave it the name of Swiss Cottage, which it has never been able to shake off. At some stage of those heights a terrace of tall gray houses, mostly empty and almost as desolate as the Grampians, curved...

Tremendous Trifles by G. K. Chesterton Tremendous Trifles

“None of us think enough of these things on which the eye rests. But don’t let us let the eye rest. Why should the eye be so lazy? Let us exercise the eye until it learns to see startling facts that run across the landscape as plain as a painted fence. Let us be ocular athletes. Let us learn to write essays on a stray cat or a coloured cloud. I have attempted some such thing in what follows; but anyone else may do it better, if anyone else will only try. ” (Gilbert Keith Chesterton)

The Appreciations and Criticisms of the Works of Charles Dickens by G. K. Chesterton The Appreciations and Criticisms of the Works of Charles Dickens

“These papers were originally published as prefaces to the separate books of Dickens in one of the most extensive of those cheap libraries of the classics which are one of the real improvements of recent times. Thus they were harmless, being diluted by, or rather drowned in Dickens. My scrap of theory was a mere dry biscuit to be taken with the grand tawny port of great English comedy; and by most people it was not taken at all–like the biscuit. Nevertheless the essays were not in intention so aimless as they appear in fact...

A Miscellany of Men by G. K. Chesterton A Miscellany of Men

Gilbert Keith Chesterton was among the world’s most prolific writers who incorporated relentless logic, wonderful humor, and a clear view of truth into an amazing tool for exposing the foolishness of the policies of the world around him through the device of paradox.It is always great fun, and certainly always a learning experience to read Chesterton. A Miscellany of Men may be his hardest work to define, as it deals with a huge array of issues, using “personal types” as illustration. It would...

The Trees of Pride by G. K. Chesterton The Trees of Pride

Three trees, known as the Peacock trees, are blamed by the peasants for the fever that has killed many. Squire Vane scoffs at this legend as superstition. To prove them wrong, once and for all, he takes a bet to spend the night in the trees. In the morning he has vanished. Is he dead, and if so who has killed him? The poet? The lawyer? The woodsman? The trees?

Robert Browning by G. K. Chesterton Robert Browning

There is an old anecdote, probably apocryphal, which describes how a feminine admirer wrote to Browning asking him for the meaning of one of his darker poems, and received the following reply: “When that poem was written, two people knew what it meant–God and Robert Browning. And now God only knows what it means.

Book cover Magic: A Fantastic Comedy

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: Gaston Leroux (1868-1927)

The Mystery of the Yellow Room by Gaston Leroux The Mystery of the Yellow Room

One of the first locked room mysteries, The Mystery of the Yellow Room focuses on a supposedly impossible crime which has been committed within a locked room. The novel was initially published in the French periodical L’illustration, and was later published as a book in 1908. It is the first of a series of novels featuring the famous fictional reporter Joseph Rouletabille. The mystery begins when Joseph Rouletabille, a reporter and amateur sleuth is sent to investigate a crime scene at the Château du Glandier, home to renowned chemist Joseph Stangerson...

The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux The Phantom of the Opera

A masterly mix of romance, drama, mystery, suspense, love and jealousy, The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux will haunt you long after you've turned the last page. Today the world knows it by Andrew Lloyd-Webber's long running musical on stage and its 2004 film adaptation, and earlier from Lon Chaney's screen portrayal of the dark intruder who roams the Paris Opera House. However, Gaston Leroux's novel was first released as a serial in the French magazine, La Gaulois over four months in 1909-10...

The Secret of the Night by Gaston Leroux The Secret of the Night

Gaston Leroux, perhaps best known as the author of The Phantom of the Opera in its novel form, was also the author of a popular series of mystery novels featuring a young journalist cum detective named Joseph Rouletabille. It is most likely that Leroux styled his hero after himself. Rouletabille was in the tradition of other great detectives who solved their cases by pure deductive reasoning. Much as Sherlock Holmes, who eliminated the impossible and concluded that whatever remained, however improbable must be the truth, Rouletabille included the known facts about the case and eliminated everything that was not a known fact, no matter how much it appeared to relate to the case...

By: Gelett Burgess

The Goop Directory by Gelett Burgess The Goop Directory

A funny collection of poems about bad children.

By: Gene Stratton-Porter (1863-1924)

A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter A Girl of the Limberlost

Elnora Comstock is a sixteen year old girl who lives on the edge of the famous Limberlost swamp in Indiana. Her widowed mother is a cold and bitter woman who deprives Elnora of all that a young girl's heart desires. The mother lives in a fog of depression caused by Elnora's father's tragic death on the night Elnora was born. She ekes out a living from a small poultry business, but refuses to exploit the resources of the forest land around her like the rest of their neighbors. Elnora is a brilliant student, but financial problems hinder her from continuing her education...

Michael O'Halloran by Gene Stratton-Porter Michael O'Halloran

The story of a plucky, optimistic newsboy, Michael O’Halloran, who has been orphaned from a young age and asks nothing of the world but to “Be Square!” This is a warm and joyous story of how Michael makes life sunnier for those around him, bringing joy to all who know him.

The Harvester by Gene Stratton-Porter The Harvester

The Harvester is one of Gene Stratton-Porter’s romantic novels which combine a love of nature, high moral ideals and a good plot. This is the story of a young man who lives in the country side with his dog and other animals and grows herbs to sell to medical drug supply houses. One evening, he has a vision of his Dream Girl and this is the story of his search for her and what happens when he finds her.

Freckles by Gene Stratton-Porter Freckles

Freckles is a young man who has been raised since infancy in a Chicago orphanage. His one dream is to find a job, a place to belong and people who accept him despite his youth and the disability of having only one hand. He finds this place in the Limberlost Swamp, as Mr. McLean’s Limberlost guard of precious timber.In the process, he discovers a love for the wilderness and animals he encounters every day on his rounds and a burning desire to learn about all the new birds and plants he sees on his rounds every day...

Book cover A Daughter of the Land

Independent Kate Bates resents the fact that, as the youngest of a large family, she is expected to stay at home and help her parents while her brothers and sisters are free to pursue their desires. When she defies her family and leaves home, she finds that the path to independence is paved with hardships.

Book cover Laddie

Based on the author's own life, this book tells the story of "little sister". The youngest of eleven, she is unwanted in the beginning. The brother who loved her most, and whom she loved most in the world, is Laddie. She is almost lonely, and it's hard for her to study, so her comfort is nature. In an unforgettable way, which is funny and sad, little sister tells us her story.

Book cover At the Foot of the Rainbow

This story is about three people, two men and a woman. Jimmy, selfish and deceitful, who has shamelessly lied to, cheated, and used his dear friend Dannie for years. His wife Mary, who loves another. And finally Dannie himself, the patient, kind, loving and thoughtful friend of both Jimmie and Mary. He would do anything for them, but what will he do when he find out Jimmy's terrible secret? This wonderful book is full of feeling, love, sadness, and friendship. It will will make you smile, cry, and, at times, laugh. Don't miss this delightful story.

Book cover Song of the Cardinal

The Song of the Cardinal is about a big male Cardinal who lives in a tree near a farmer and his wife. The Cardinal immediately starts to sing to find himself a mate. Meanwhile the farmer and his wife enjoy watching this boisterous bird and seeing what he does. He does find a mate and through his singing the farmer and his wife's marriage is rejuvenated. It's a happy little parallel love story that will sweep you off your feet!

By: Geoffrey Chaucer (c. 1343-1400)

The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer The Canterbury Tales

Anyone who has ever been on a package tour with a group of strangers who soon become friends, and passed time swapping stories with them, would instantly identify with this timeless classic of English literature. The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer recounts twenty different stories recounted by a diverse group of pilgrims who gather at The Tabard Inn in Southwark, near London, before setting out for the shrine of Thomas Becket in Canterbury. The Host of the inn proposes that they entertain themselves by telling stories along the route and the one who tells the best tale would win a prize – a meal at Bailey's tavern, sponsored by the losers...

By: Georg Ebers (1837-1898)

Book cover Arachne

Ledscha, living in ancient Egypt, has lost her betrothed and all hope of love. But the gods see otherwise. She now loves a Greek sculptor, who only wanted her for a model, but even that will not happen. She has been replaced by another woman for the statue of Arachne. Who do the gods see her with? Is it the Greek, or someone else? This work is the last written and published in German by Georg Ebers before he died in 1898. He wrote many novels set it ancient Egypt, which sparked the general interest in and popularity of Egyptology that still thrives today. This book was translated into English also in 1898.

Book cover Joshua

Hosea is a commander in Pharaoh's army... and a Hebrew. As he returns home from war, he finds that there has been a great pestilence in Egypt and his people are being blamed for it. Hosea receives a message from his father to follow his people to Succoth, but he is hesitant to give up his position in the army. Someone else also sends a message, containing a new name for him from God. There is much intrigue in this retelling of the Exodus, both among the Hebrews and in the court of Pharaoh.

By: George Ade (1866-1944)

Fables in Slang by George Ade Fables in Slang

While a columnist for The Chicago Record humorist George Ade penned numerous “fables” which were subsequently collected into books. Fables in Slang is the first of these collections. It contains 26 satirical stories that lampoon phrenologists, idealists, snobs, fanatics and other ignorant fools of the day, most of which still wander through our modern lives. Jean Shepherd considered Ade a predecessor who made writers like James Thurber, Mike Royko, and himself possible. Fables in Slang was first published in 1899 by Herbert S. Stone and Company.

By: George Alfred Henty (1832-1902)

Among Malay Pirates and Other Tales of Peril and Adventure by George Alfred Henty Among Malay Pirates and Other Tales of Peril and Adventure

G. A . Henty was a prolific writer of historical fiction for young adults. In this collection of shorter stories we visit Malay pirates, have a couple of tales of India, a shipwreck off the Channel Islands and a bursting dam in California, and finish off escaping from captivity in China

The Dragon and the Raven by George Alfred Henty The Dragon and the Raven

During the reign of King Alfred, Danish forces have invaded the English countryside. Although the English try to repulse these attacks, they are overrun by the savagery and sheer numbers of the Danes.One of those deeply touched by these attacks is young Edmund. As a boy, he watched as his father was slain in battle fighting the Danes. Although young, he was intelligent, and noted the mistakes made on the battlefield. As he grew into a man, he put that knowledge into use and created a uniquely trained group of soldiers and built a new, stronger ship called the Dragon...

St. Bartholomew's Eve by George Alfred Henty St. Bartholomew's Eve

Set in the days of the religious wars of Europe, St. Bartholomew’s Eve is the tale of the Huguenot’s desperate fight for freedom of worship in France. As the struggle intensifies the plot thickens, culminating in the dreadful Massacre of St. Bartholomew’s Eve. Henty, “The Boy’s Own Storyteller” weaves the life and adventures of Philip Fletcher and his cousin, Francois DeLaville, into the historical background with thrilling battles, sieges and escapes along the way (not to mention a fair damsel in distress!).

At Agincourt - White Hoods of Paris by George Alfred Henty At Agincourt - White Hoods of Paris

The story begins in a grim feudal castle in Normandie. The times were troublous, and soon the king compelled Lady Margaret de Villeroy, with her children, to go to Paris as hostages. Guy Aylmer went with her.Paris was turbulent. Soon the guild of the butchers, adopting white hoods as their uniform, seized the city, and besieged the house where our hero and his charges lived. After desperate fighting, the white hoods were beaten and our hero and his charges escaped from the city, and from France. (Summary from the original back cover)

St George for England by George Alfred Henty St George for England

A tale set in England in the time of Cressy and Pointiers. A child of noble birth whose parents have fallen foul of the current royalty is taken by his dying mother and placed in hiding. He grows up with a bowyer and then apprenticed to an armourer just outside the gates of the City of London, becomes accomplished in arms and joins the campaign in France.A tale of heroism and 14th century viciousness. Great fun.

Book cover By Pike and Dyke

It is the 1570's, and the people of the Netherlands live in terror under the cruel dominion of Spain. Though many long to be free of Spanish tyranny, efforts at rebellion are failing, and allies are nowhere to be found. Edward “Ned” Martin, son of an English captain and a Dutch lady, is thrust into the conflict when he resolves to help his mother’s people and avenge his murdered relatives. Entering the service of the revolutionary leader William the Silent, Prince of Orange, Ned is called upon to carry out dangerous secret missions deep within occupied territory...

In Freedom's Cause by George Alfred Henty In Freedom's Cause

Another stirring tale from the master of historical fiction set in the time of Robert Bruce and William Wallace and their struggle for Scotland's independence.

Beric the Briton - A Story of the Roman Invasion by George Alfred Henty Beric the Briton - A Story of the Roman Invasion

My series of stories dealing with the wars of England would be altogether incomplete did it not include the period when the Romans were the masters of the country. The valour with which the natives of this island defended themselves was acknowledged by the Roman historians, and it was only the superior discipline of the invaders that enabled them finally to triumph over the bravery and the superior physical strength of the Britons. The Roman conquest for the time was undoubtedly of immense advantage to the people -- who had previously wasted their energies in perpetual tribal wars -- as it introduced among them the civilization of Rome...

Book cover Young Carthaginian

Typically, Henty's heroes are boys of pluck in troubled times, and this is no different. Detailed research is embellished with a vivid imagination, especially in this novel set in the Punic wars, about which knowledge is limited: "...certainly we had but a hazy idea as to the merits of the struggle and knew but little of its events, for the Latin and Greek authors, which serve as the ordinary textbooks in schools, do not treat of the Punic wars. That it was a struggle for empire at first, and latterly...

Book cover With Lee in Virginia

Vincent Wingfield is the son of a wealthy Virginian planter. When the country goes to war, he enlists in the cavalry, and sees action under the various generals commanding the army in and near Virginia. He has several private adventures as well, including a personal enemy, prison escape, rescue of a young lady, spying expedition, and recovery of a stolen slave. He rises in rank in the Confederate army, and after the war is over, he marries and returns home to manage his mother's plantation. Henty in this book gives an overview of the causes of the Civil War, and follows the battles and movements of the army in Virginia and the surrounding area...

Book cover At the Point of the Bayonet: A Tale of the Mahratta War

The story of the war in which the power of the great Mahratta confederacy was broken ended in the firm establishment of the British Empire the Indian Peninsula. When the struggle began, the Mahrattas were masters of no small portion of India; their territory comprising the whole country between Bombay and Delhi, and stretching down from Rajputana to Allahabad; while in the south they were lords of the district of Cuttack, thereby separating Madras from Calcutta. The jealousies of the great Mahratta...

Book cover Bonnie Prince Charlie: a Tale of Fontenoy and Culloden

This is a tale of the son of a Scottish officer, who gets arrested for helping a Jacobite agent. Set during the Jacobite rebellion in Scotland in 1755, the boy escapes and makes it to France and shares some adventures with Prince Charlie.

Book cover In the Reign of Terror: The Adventures of a Westminster Boy

Like all Henty books, this one centers around a young English lad whose courtesy and courage win the day. Harry Sandwith travels to France to serve a French Marquis, despite the rumblings of a revolution. Follow along to benefit from a wholesome story full of historical facts in good, old Henty fashion. (Introduction by Jenn Raimundo)

Book cover Colonel Thorndyke's Secret

Intrigue, murder, highwaymen... A British soldier serving in India has stolen a diamond bracelet from a Hindu idol. The bracelet comes into the possession of Colonel Thorndyke, who is subsequently sent home to England, where he dies of wounds received and bequeaths the bracelet to his relatives, having told his brother about it, but not its location. Meanwhile, the theft has caused a stir in India, and the Hindu faithful regard it as their religious duty to reclaim the jewel at any cost. Also published under the title: "The Brahmin's Treasure".

By: George Barr McCutcheon (1866-1928)

Brewster's Millions by George Barr McCutcheon Brewster's Millions

He hosts an all expenses paid luxury cruise to Europe for fifty guests and showers them with expensive gifts. When he's mugged in a dark alley, he insists that the thugs also take the $300 stashed away in his back pocket. He flies into a rage whenever one of his employees suggests cutting costs. Every time he places a bet, he wins, causing him even more despair! In Brewster's Millions by George Barr McCutcheon, a classic riches-to-rags tale, Montgomery Brewster is bound by the terms of an eccentric uncle's will to spend one million dollars completely within a year so that he can lay claim to an even bigger fortune...

Graustark by George Barr McCutcheon Graustark

The Graustark novels are stories of court intrigue, royal disguise, and romance similar to Anthony Hope’s 1894 novel, The Prisoner of Zenda, and its sequels. They were popular best-sellers at the time they were published and the original editions are still readily available in used book shops. The novels gave their name to a fictional genre called Graustarkian: this genre contains tales of romance and intrigue usually featuring titled characters in small, fictional, Central European countries...

Beverly Of Graustark by George Barr McCutcheon Beverly Of Graustark

Beverly Of Graustark is the second book in the Graustark series. Lorry and his wife, the princess, made their home in Washington, but spent a few months of each year in Edelweiss. During the periods spent in Washington and in travel, her affairs in Graustark were in the hands of a capable, austere old diplomat–her uncle, Count Caspar Halfont. Princess Volga reigned as regent over the principality of Axphain. To the south lay the principality of Dawsbergen, ruled by young Prince Dantan, whose half brother, the deposed Prince Gabriel, had been for two years a prisoner in Graustark, the convicted assassin of Prince Lorenz, of Axphain, one time suitor for the hand of Yetive...

By: George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw Pygmalion

If you've watched and loved the delightful musical My Fair Lady, then you'd love to read the wonderful play on which it is based. Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw is equally engrossing and as full of charm, wit and underlying pathos. First performed on stage in 1912, Pygmalion takes its title from the Greek myth of Pygmalion and Galatea. In the ancient story, a brilliant sculptor, Pygmalion falls in love with one of his own creations, a ravishingly beautiful sculpture whom he names Galatea. He propitiates Aphrodite, who grants his wish that his statue would come to life and that he could marry her...

Arms and the Man by George Bernard Shaw Arms and the Man

Arms and the Man is a comedy by George Bernard Shaw that takes place in 1885, during the Serbo-Bulgarian War. Raina Petkoff is engaged to the gallant Sergius Saranoff, hero of the recent Bulgarian victory over the Serbs. But she is distracted by the abrupt arrival of Captain Bluntschli, a Swiss mercenary who fought for the Serbian army. He takes refuge in her bedroom after the battle and although he is initially threatening, reveals that he carries chocolates instead of bullets. Will Raina marry the posturing Sergius or the chocolate cream soldier? Extra intrigue is provided by saucy servant girl Louka, her dour fiance Nicola, and Raina's hand-wringing parents.

Mrs. Warren's Profession by George Bernard Shaw Mrs. Warren's Profession

The story centers on the relationship between Mrs Kitty Warren, a rich woman, described by the author as "on the whole, a genial and fairly presentable old blackguard of a woman" and her daughter, Vivie. Mrs Warren is a middle-aged woman whose Cambridge-educated daughter, Vivie, is horrified to discover the morally questionable way her mother acquired her fortune.

Book cover The Doctor's Dilemma

The Doctor's Dilemma is about Dr. Colenso Ridgeon, who has recently been knighted because of a miraculous new treatment he developed for tuberculosis. As his friends arrive to congratulate him on his success, he is visited by two figures who present him with a difficult decision. He has room for one more patient in his clinic; should he give it to Louis Dubedat, a brilliant but absolutely immoral artist, or Dr. Blenkinsop, a poor and rather ordinary physician who is a truly good person? Dr. Ridgeon's dilemma is heightened when he falls for Jennifer Dubedat, the artist's wife, who is innocent of her husband's profligacy.

Candida by George Bernard Shaw Candida

Candida, a comedy by playwright George Bernard Shaw, was first published in 1898, as part of his Plays Pleasant. The central characters are clergyman James Morell, his wife Candida and a youthful poet, Eugene Marchbanks, who tries to win Candida's affections. The play questions Victorian notions of love and marriage, asking what a woman really desires from her husband. The cleric is a Fabian Socialist, allowing Shaw—himself a Fabian—to weave political issues, current at the time, into the story.

The Perfect Wagnerite by George Bernard Shaw The Perfect Wagnerite

The Perfect Wagnerite: A Commentary on the Niblung's Ring (originally published London, 1898) is a philosophical commentary on Richard Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen, by the Irish writer George Bernard Shaw. Shaw offered it to those enthusiastic admirers of Wagner who "were unable to follow his ideas, and do not in the least understand the dilemma of Wotan." He interprets the Ring in Marxian terms as an allegory of the collapse of capitalism from its internal contradictions. Musicologically, his...

Book cover Major Barbara

George Bernard Shaw's Major Barbara focuses on the family of aristocratic Lady Britomart Undershaft and her estranged husband Andrew, a millionaire armaments manufacturer. Their daughters Sarah and Barbara are both engaged to be married, and Lady Britomart decides to ask Andrew for monetary support. Barbara is a Major in the Salvation Army, and agrees to let her father visit the mission in the East End of London where she works. In exchange, she agrees to visit his munitions factory. The conflict between Barbara's philanthropic idealism and her father's hard-headed capitalism clash when he decides he wants to fund the Salvation Army...

Book cover Don Juan in Hell

Don Juan in Hell is an excerpt (Act 3, Scene 2) from George Bernard Shaw’s Man and Superman. It is often performed as a stand-alone play. In it, three characters from Mozart’s Don Giovanni (Don Juan, Dona Ana, and the statue of the Commendatore, Dona Ana’s father) meet in Hell and, joined by the Devil, have a philosophical debate on a variety of subjects, including Heaven and Hell, men, women and marriage. In the end, they all decide where they will spend eternity.

Book cover Heartbreak House

On the eve of World War I, Ellie Dunn, her father, and her fiancé are invited to one of Hesione Hushabye’s infamous dinner parties. Unfortunately, her fiancé is a scoundrel, her father’s a bumbling prig, and she’s actually in love with Hector, Hesione’s husband. This bold mix of farce and tragedy lampoons British society as it blithely sinks towards disaster.

Book cover Caesar and Cleopatra
Book cover Misalliance

Misalliance, a 1910 play by George Bernard Shaw, is an ironic examination of the romantic entanglements of a varied group of people gathered at a wealthy man's country home on a summer weekend. Most of the romantic interest centers on the host's daughter, Hypatia Tarleton, a typical Shaw heroine who exemplifies his lifelong theory that in courtship, women are the relentless pursuers and men the apprehensively pursued. Hypatia is the daughter of newly-wealthy John Tarleton who made his fortune in the unglamorous but lucrative underwear business...

Book cover Quintessence of Ibsenism

George Bernard Shaw, a playwright with a few bones to pick of his own, undertakes a surgical analysis of the social philosophies underlying the work of Henrik Ibsen. Focusing his analysis on Ibsen's challenge to the conventional "ideals" which both Ibsen and Shaw consider the greatest evils in human society, Shaw summarizes and exposits sixteen of Ibsen's plays, seizing the opportunity to elucidate some of the principles dearest to himself. Some of the most striking passages reveal Shaw's radical feminist perspectives, some of which resonate as if a half-century ahead of their time...

Book cover Quintessence of Ibsenism (Version 2)

InThis is an essay providing an extended analysis of the works of Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen and of Ibsen's critical reception in England. Shaw uses this "exposition of Ibsenism" to illustrate the imperfections of British society, using the idea of an imaginary "community of a thousand persons," divided into three categories: Philistines, Idealists, and the lone Realist. The main discussion revolves around Ibsen's recurring topic of the strong character holding out against social hypocrisy, while stating in his essay's final sentence that the quintessence of Ibsenism is that "there is no formula." ( Michele Eaton)

Book cover Love Among the Artists

Love Among the Artists was published in the United States in 1900 and in England in 1914, but it was written in 1881. In the ambience of chit-chat and frivolity among members of Victorian polite society a youthful Shaw describes his views on the arts, romantic love and the practicalities of matrimony. Dilettantes, he thinks, can love and settle down to marriage, but artists with real genius are too consumed by their work to fit that pattern. The dominant figure in the novel is Owen Jack, a musical genius, somewhat mad and quite bereft of social graces...

By: George Borrow (1803-1881)

Book cover Welsh And Their Literature

Originally an article in the US Edition of the London Quarterly Review, George Borrow offers a sweeping history of Welsh literature, beginning with the legendary origin of the Welsh people, then their major bards and poets, and then their works of prose. Many examples are offered.

By: George Crabbe (1754-1832)

Book cover Borough

English village life and villagers in the east of England in the late 1700’s and early 1800s—is the subject of The Borough. George Crabbe was an English poet, surgeon, and clergyman. He is best known for his early use of the realistic narrative form and his descriptions of middle and working-class life and people. Lord Byron, an avowed admirer of Crabbe's poetry, described him as "nature's sternest painter, yet the best." Crabbe's poetry was predominantly in the form of heroic couplets, and has been described as unsentimental in its depiction of provincial life and society...

By: George Eliot (1819-1880)

Daniel Deronda by George Eliot Daniel Deronda

A lovely young woman gambling at a casino in Leubronn, Germany. A young man watches, fascinated from afar. She begins to lose heavily and leaves the casino. Thus opens the last and probably the most controversial of George Eliot's novels. Published in 1876, Daniel Deronda is also the only one in which the great Victorian novelist portrays contemporary society of her own time. There were only a few murmurs when it first came out, but later, they became a full fledged outpouring of resentment against what many readers felt was an extremely controversial stand on Jewish, proto-Zionist and Kabbalistic ideas...

Silas Marner by George Eliot Silas Marner

One of the most memorable scenes in this novel occurs in Chapter Twelve, when the dejected and desolate Silas Marner steps outside his lonely cottage on New Year's Eve. He suffers from one of his bizarre fits of catalepsy and stands frozen for a few seconds. When he regains consciousness, he returns to his fireside. There in front of the warm blaze he imagines he sees a heap of gold! The very gold that had been robbed from his house many years ago. He stretches out his hand to touch it. Instead of hard metal, he encounters a soft head of golden hair...

Adam Bede by George Eliot Adam Bede

A young carpenter falls in love with the village beauty. She, however, has set her sights on a dashing army captain who's the son of the wealthy local squire. Meanwhile, a beautiful and virtuous young woman preacher arrives in the village. What happens to these people and the strange twists and turns that their lives take are described in the rest of the book. Adam Bede was George Eliot's first published novel. Published in 1859, the book has remained a firm favorite with readers and academicians alike and is still taught in many English literature courses all over the world...

Middlemarch by George Eliot Middlemarch

George Eliot's seventh and perhaps most famous novel almost didn't get written! It took birth as a short novella titled Miss Brooke but she was unhappy with its progress and finally in despair, she decided to put it aside for a couple of years. Meanwhile, personal problems intervened and when she took up the project again, it was with a renewed sense of creativity. Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life first appeared as an eight-part serial novel in 1871-72. In 1874, it was finally compiled into a full length novel and attained instant fame and success...

The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot The Mill on the Floss

The novel details the lives of Tom and Maggie Tulliver, a brother and sister growing up on the river Floss near the village of St. Oggs, evidently in the 1820’s, after the Napoleonic Wars but prior to the first Reform Bill (1832). The novel spans a period of 10-15 years, from Tom and Maggie’s childhood up until their deaths in a flood on the Floss. The book is fictional autobiography in part, reflecting the disgrace that George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans) herself had while in a lengthy relationship with a married man, George Henry Lewes...

Romola by George Eliot Romola

George Eliot's own favorite among her novels, this novel tells the story of Romola, the intelligent daughter of a blind scoller, who is falling in love with a man who is going to change her life and the politics of Florence in a way she doesn't like. Set in 15th century Florence, it is "a deep study of life in the city of Florence from an intellectual, artistic, religious, and social point of view".

The Lifted Veil by George Eliot The Lifted Veil

George Eliot’s 1859 novella, The Lifted Veil, departs radically from the grounded realism of her longer and better known works, such as Middlemarch and Daniel Deronda. Its tone calls to mind the works of middlebrow Sensationists, like Wilkie Collins (The Moonstone), and of some of the better known authors of Victorian era horror writings, such as Bram Stoker (Dracula) and Mary Shelley (Frankenstein.Eliot here explores mystical themes, considering the world of phenomena which are felt but not seen...

Scenes of Clerical Life by George Eliot Scenes of Clerical Life

Scenes of Clerical Life, which appeared in book form in 1858 (after serial publication in the previous year), was the first published fiction by George Eliot, the pen name for Mary Anne Evans. It consists of three novellas based on the lives of country clergymen and their communities. These characters interest Eliot not for their theology — she had abandoned conventional Christian belief — but for their humanity. In these stories, we find the earliest signs of the narrative voice, the humanism, and the realism that would make George Eliot one of the greatest novelists of the 1800s. (Introduction by Bruce Pirie)

Book cover Brother Jacob

Brother Jacob is a short story by George Eliot, in which she explores the relationship between the selfish, self-centered and ambitious David Faux and his idiot brother, Jacob.

By: George Gissing

New Grub Street by George Gissing New Grub Street

The story deals with the literary world that Gissing himself had experienced. Its title refers to the London street, Grub Street, which in the 18th century became synomynous with hack literature; as an institution, Grub Street itself no longer existed in Gissing’s time. Its two central characters are a sharply contrasted pair of writers:Edwin Reardon, a novelist of some talent but limited commercial prospects, and a shy, cerebral man; and Jasper Milvain, a young journalist, hard-working and capable of generosity, but cynical and unscrupulous about writing and its purpose in the modern (i.e. late Victorian) world.

In the Year of Jubilee by George Gissing In the Year of Jubilee

The Jubilee marks the fiftieth year of the reign of Queen Victoria. Dickensian in its sweeping scope of London life, Jubilee depicts the harsh and disreputable conditions of lower-middle class life at the end of the 19th century. (Introduction by S. Kovalchik)

The Odd Women by George Gissing The Odd Women

George Gissing's 1893 novel takes on the 19th century "Woman Question" by looking at themes of feminism, marriage, and love. The novel raises these issues through the lives of several contrasting women: Mary Barfoot, a feminist philanthropist who helps train women for careers; her close friend Rhoda Nunn, who believes marriage is a disastrous choice for women; and Monica Madden, who starts out as one of their protegees but chooses to marry a seemingly kind older man. As Monica experiences the challenges of married life, Rhoda finds herself drawn to Mary's cousin, the charming but apparently profligate Everard.

The Paying Guest by George Gissing The Paying Guest

Clarence and Emmeline Mumford are in for a real treat when they take in the young, outspoken Miss Louise Derrick as their guest. Shedding a light on class struggles in the Victorian era, The Paying Guest offers a look at just what "proper society" expects.

Book cover Nether World

This sad social novel revolves around the problematic issue of money. Michael returns from Australia to London a rich man. However, he hides this fact from everybody and spends money only on the things he really needs. He contemplates leaving his money to his granddaughter Jane, under the condition that she donate at least most of it to charity. However, Jane is not sure she can do it. This novel tells much about working class life in 19th century London.

Book cover Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft

This novel consists of selections from the diary of an author, starting soon after his retirement and continuing until just before his death. There is very little in the way of plot, but a great deal of quiet musing about art, nature, society, and the things that make life worth living. Although this is a work of fiction, there are clear parallels between the narrator's life and Gissing's own life. This leads many commenters to view it as semi-autobiographical.

Book cover Unclassed

The Unclassed tells the story of two friends who are aspiring authors living in London in the late 19th century. Both of them fall in love. Both believe in social change but do not know how to bring it about. Both are sceptical about the values of their times. Both want respectability more then they would admit. This book, unlike many others of it's time, tells about working women, and includes honest descriptions of the slums of London.

Book cover Demos: A Story of English Socialism

"Richard Mutimer is delighted to inherit a large fortune. As a socialist, he means to use it well: he will open a factory in which workers would be treated well, he will advance his party's causes through his own wealth... At least, so he thinks. But reality may be far different. This novel raises more questions than answers. How much should money play in the marriage market, or can love have a prominent place? Can a man who gained power remain a socialist? This book is not only about political unrest...

Book cover Life's Morning

This is the story of a poor young lady Emily Hood who while working as a governess falls in love with Wilfrid Athel the son of her employer. They become engaged, however things do not run smoothly after a visit home to her parents and Emily has to make a heartbreaking choice.

By: George Griffith (1857-1906)

Book cover Honeymoon in Space

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: George Horace Lorimer (1869-1937)

Letters from a Self-Made Merchant to His Son by George Horace Lorimer Letters from a Self-Made Merchant to His Son

Being the Letters written by John Graham, Head of the House of Graham & Company, Pork-Packers in Chicago, familiarly known on 'Change as "Old Gorgon Graham," to his Son, Pierrepont, facetiously known to his intimates as "Piggy." George Horace Lorimer was an American journalist and author. He is best known as the editor of The Saturday Evening Post.

By: George MacDonald (1824-1905)

The Light Princess by George MacDonald The Light Princess

A king and queen are in despair. After years of marriage, they are yet to be blessed with a child. Finally a lovely daughter is born to them. They plan a grand christening ceremony for the baby, but as destiny would have it, they forget to invite the nastiest lady in the kingdom, who also happens to be the king's sister, the evil Princess Makemnoit. Now if all that seems distinctly familiar to you, it was meant to! Using the Sleeping Beauty/Briar Rose fairytale as a starting point, Scottish writer George MacDonald creates a story that's even more enchanting and gives it a nice little twist...

At the Back of the North Wind by George MacDonald At the Back of the North Wind

Written by the man who mentored Lewis Carroll and encouraged him to submit Alice for publication, At the Back of the North Wind is today a forgotten classic of Victorian children's literature. The story tells of a young boy named Diamond, the son of a coachman in an English country mansion. Diamond sleeps in the hayloft above the stables and at night he finds he's disturbed by the wind blowing through the holes in the wall. He tries to plug them but one night, he hears an imperious voice scolding him for doing this! It is the magnificent North Wind that speaks to him and tells him that he's closed up her windows...

Lilith by George MacDonald Lilith

A fantasy novel first published in 1895, Lilith follows a young man on his inter-dimensional journey of spiritual discovery, as he acquaints himself with his family’s past and unearths a life-changing secret. Moreover, it deals with the introspection of its protagonist, as he is hurled into a mysterious setting where he encounters bizarre creatures that challenge the validity of his temporal values. Examining issues including the essence of life, wisdom, death, redemption, and salvation, the novel presents a masterfully woven plot that marks the piece as one of MacDonald’s darkest and most intense contributions to the fantasy genre...

Phantastes by George MacDonald Phantastes

A young man named Anodos experiences dream-like adventures in Fairy Land, where he meets tree-spirits, endures the presence of the overwhelming shadow, journeys to the palace of the fairy queen, and searches for the spirit of the earth. The story conveys a profound sadness and a poignant longing for death. (Brad Powers)


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