By: Jane Austen (1775-1817)
Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey is a book about the life of Catherine Morland and her romantic relationships. The novel is divided into two parts; the first part begins with Catherine’s visit to Bath and her relationship with Henry Tilney and the other people she met there, and the second part starts with the arrival of Frederick Tilney and her visit to Northanger Abbey. This book alongside Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility is considered one of the major works of Jane Austen. The novel had undergone many revisions before its publication and it was even originally titled “Catherine...
Love and Friendship
Begun when she was just eleven years old, Love and Friendship is one of Jane Austen's stories that very few readers may have encountered before. Austen experts feel that this story was written, like many others, only for the pleasure of her family and friends. It is scribbled across three notebooks, in childish handwriting, and the complete work is thought to have been written over a period of six or seven years. It is dedicated to one of her cousins, whom she was very close to, Eliza de Feuillide...
An epistolary novel, Lady Susan is an early work by Austen that was posthumously published in 1871. The short novel focuses on the self-serving eponymous anti-heroine, as she cunningly maneuvers her way through society in search of a wealthy husband for both her daughter and herself. Disregarding anything but her own selfish goals, Susan employs her charms to lure men and draw them into her web of deceit, no matter their age or status. Exploring issues including morals, manners, self-indulgence, malevolence, and social machinations, the relatively short novel is sure to fascinate with its atypical form...
By: Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910)
War and Peace
Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace chronicles the lives of five Russian aristocratic families during Napoleon's invasion of Russia. Many considered this book to be the best Russian work of literature of all time and it is massive in scale. The book is divided in four volumes and the chapters don't just contain the narrative of the plot to the novel but philosophical discussions as well. This may be intimidating to average book readers but they shouldn't be discouraged to try reading War and Peace. After all, this book was written for all and not just for intellectuals...
By: Lucy Maud Montgomery (1874-1942)
Chronicles of Avonlea
A collection of short stories first published in 1912, the book focuses on events occurring in the popular fictional village of Avonlea, which is notorious as the hometown of Anne Shirley. Comprised of 12 short stories, the Chronicles of Avonlea present a different view of the town, with the introduction of many new gripping characters, which prove to be just as endearing as their most renowned resident. Tales of everyday snippets of life proving to be humorous, identifiable, and heartwarming, the collection is an effective reinvigoration to the classic setting...
Lucy Maud Montgomery Short Stories, 1896 to 1901
Stories from 1896 to 1901. Lucy Maud Montgomery was born at Clifton (now New London), Prince Edward Island, Canada, on November 30, 1874. She achieved international fame in her lifetime, putting Prince Edward Island and Canada on the world literary map. Best known for her "Anne of Green Gables" books, she was also a prolific writer of short stories and poetry. She published some 500 short stories and poems and twenty novels before her death in 1942.
Kilmeny of the Orchard
Eric Marshall is all that a well brought-up young man should be. Handsome, steadfast, and full of ambition, he is expected to expand the Marshall & Company empire — and to marry a woman suitable to replace his mother in Nova Scotia’s finest circles. When a sick friend asks for a favour, becoming a substitute schoolmaster in the Prince Edward Island countryside seems the perfect post-graduation lark. But when Eric wanders into an old orchard at twilight, his life will be changed forever…
By: William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
Romeo and Juliet
William Shakespeare’s most well-known play is more than most people realize. While it is the story of star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet, it is also the story of two families in the middle of a bitter feud. Many people avoid the story because they believe it will be too difficult to read, but this is not true at all. Within a few paragraphs, the play captures your imagination and attention. Juliet is 13 years old and is love with the son of her father’s enemy. Her father has promised that she will marry another boy when it is time, but she refuses to accept the suit...
A Personal Anthology of Shakespeare, compiled by Martin Clifton
This personal anthology is my choice of speeches from Shakespeare that I enjoy reading (that I would like to have had by heart years ago!) and that seem to me to illustrate his unsurpassed use of language. He was a man who seemed to know everything about human nature and as Orson Welles said ‘he speaks to everyone and we all claim him’. I know that it has been said that ‘it is impossible to be a great Shakespearian actor without an idiosyncratic and extraordinary voice’ and this may be so, but that does not preclude ordinary mortals from reading, hearing and enjoying Shakespeare.
Banished from his own lands by a usurping brother, Prospero and his daughter Miranda have been living on a deserted island for years, until fate brings the brother within the range of Prospero's powers. Will he seek revenge, or reconcilement?
The Taming of the Shrew
The Taming of the Shrew is one of Shakespeare's earliest comedies, and was inspired by classical Roman comedy and the Italian commedia dell'arte. Baptista Minola, a rich gentleman of Padua, has two daughters: Katherina, renowned for her sharp tongue, and Bianca, who is sought after by multiple suitors. Baptista decides that Bianca cannot marry until her elder sister finds a husband. Enter Petruchio, who has come to "wive it wealthily in Padua," and who is convinced by Bianca's suitors to woo Katherina. The play ultimately poses the question of who is the bigger shrew: Kate or Petruchio. The subplot involves the subterfuge employed by Lucentio to woo the lovely Bianca.
The Winter's Tale
Mad with jealousy, King Leontes of Sicilia orders his best friend Polixenes killed, his child abandoned, and his wife put on trial for adultery. Sixteen years later, Perdita, raised as a shepherd's daughter, falls in love with Polixenes's royal son and returns to her father's kingdom.
Antony and Cleopatra
Antony and Cleopatra is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written sometime between 1603 and 1607. It was first printed in the First Folio of 1623. The plot is based on Thomas North's translation of Plutarch's Life of Marcus Antonius and follows the relationship between Cleopatra and Mark Antony from the time of the Parthian War to Cleopatra's suicide. The major antagonist is Octavius Caesar, one of Antony's fellow triumviri and the future first emperor of Rome. The tragedy is a Roman play characterized by swift, panoramic shifts in geographical locations and in registers, alternating between sensual, imaginative Alexandria and the more pragmatic, austere Rome.
The Merry Wives of Windsor
The Merry Wives of Windsor is a comedy by William Shakespeare, first published in 1602, though believed to have been written prior to 1597. It features the fat knight Sir John Falstaff, and is Shakespeare's only play to deal exclusively with contemporary Elizabethan era English middle class life.
By: Charles Dickens
From the opening passage itself of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, the reader is drawn into the world of the hero, Pip, who is at that time, seven years old. The author creates an unforgettable atmosphere: the gloom of the graveyard, the melancholy of the orphan boy, the mists rising over the marshes and the terrifying appearance of an escaped convict in chains. Told in first person (one of the only two books that Dickens used this form for, the other being David Copperfield) Great Expectations is a classic coming of age novel, in which we trace the growth and evolution of Pip or Philip Pirrip to give his full name...
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 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...
By: Frances Hodgson Burnett
It's described as "A SPRIGHTLY LOVE STORY" and it is written by F. H. Burnett, "one of the most charming among American writers!"
A Lady of Quality
Set in late 1600's England, the story follows the life of a woman living an unconventional life. The loves of her life and all of its ups and downs are included.
A Fair Barbarian
The setting is a small English village in the 19th century. When her niece shows up on her doorstep unexpectedly, a quiet spinster finds her life turned upside down.
His Grace of Osmonde
His Grace of Osmonde, being the portions of that nobleman's life omitted in the relation of his Lady's story presented to the world of fashion under the title of 'A Lady of Quality'Set in late 1600's England, the story follows the life of a woman living an unconventional life. The loves of her life and all of its ups and downs are included. And as above, has more of the story of the Duke who becomes the love of her life.
That Lass O' Lowrie's 1877
Frances Hodgson Burnett was born and grew up in Manchester, England, and emigrated to the United States with her family at the age of 16. For her first novels, written in Knoxville, Tennessee and published in New York, she drew upon her knowledge of life and speech of the Lancashire working classes. Set in a Lancashire mining town, That Lass o' Lowries is a gritty, and at times brutal, tale of romance across the classes, which stands in stark contrast to her later work.
|"Le Monsieur de la Petite Dame"
|One Day At Arle
By: Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855)
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 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.
By: Robert Louis Stevenson
The Black Arrow; a Tale of Two Roses
The Black Arrow tells the story of Richard (Dick) Shelton during the Wars of the Roses: how he becomes a knight, rescues his lady Joanna Sedley, and obtains justice for the murder of his father, Sir Harry Shelton. Outlaws in Tunstall Forest organized by Ellis Duckworth, whose weapon and calling card is a black arrow, cause Dick to suspect that his guardian Sir Daniel Brackley and his retainers are responsible for his father’s murder. Dick’s suspicions are enough to turn Sir Daniel against him, so he has no recourse but to escape from Sir Daniel and join the outlaws of the Black Arrow against him...
By: Thomas Hardy (1840-1928)
The Return of the Native
Amidst the fireworks and celebrations of Guy Fawkes Night, a covered wagon winds its way along the dark country heath land. Hidden at the back is a young woman who is running away from a thwarted marriage ceremony with the local innkeeper. The driver of the wagon, a young herdsman, is secretly in love with her but is so devoted that he vows to help her reunite with her useless lover. The opening scenes of Thomas Hardy's sixth novel The Return of the Native, form the backdrop to this story of a profoundly flawed woman and the men who fall in love with her...
Jude the Obscure
A young man from a poor, working-class background, passionate about education, who aspires to become a professor. His teacher, a respected role model who turns out to have feet of clay. An independent, free-spirited woman. Another who is scheming, selfish and flirtatious. Dominating their lives is the magnificent university town of Christminster. All these and a host of other colorful, memorable characters inhabit the pages of Thomas Hardy's monumental fourteenth novel published in 1895. Thomas Hardy's fame as a novelist rivals that of even Dickens in Victorian literature...
Tess of the d'Urbervilles
Her father compels her to visit the biggest mansion in the village to “claim kin” with the aristocratic d'Urberville family. She falls prey to the debauched son of the house and returns home to give birth in secret to an illegitimate baby who lives only for a few days. Determined to put her past behind her, she goes to work as a milkmaid in a faraway country farmhouse where she falls in love with a good and kind young man. Her conscience troubles her and she confesses the truth about herself in a letter which her beloved never receives...
Under the Greenwood Tree
This novel is subtitled The Mellstock Quire, A Rural Painting of the Dutch School. The Quire is the group of musicians who accompany the hymns at the local church and we follow the fortunes of one member, Dick Dewy, who falls in love with the new school mistress, Fancy Day. Another element of the book is the battle between the traditional musicians of the Quire and the local vicar, Parson Maybold, who installs a church organ. This battle illustrates the developing technology being introduced in the Victorian era and its threat to traditional country ways...
Our heroine, Anne Garland, lives quietly in a rural community deep in the English countryside. However, the arrival of several regiments preparing for an expected invasion brings colour and chaos to the county. A graceful and charming young woman, Anne is pursued by three suitors: John Loveday, the trumpet-major in a British regiment, honest and loyal; his brother Robert, a merchant seaman and womaniser, and Festus Derriman, the cowardly son of the local squire. Set at the time of the Napoleonic wars, this is the author’s only historical novel, and unusually for Hardy’s stories, most of the characters live happily ever after.
Two on a Tower
The plot concerns two – literally starcrossed – lovers: Swithin St. Cleeve, a very young amateur astronomer, and Viviette Constantine, an unhappily married and abandoned woman 8 or 9 years his senior. Each night Swithin climbs the old tower of the title, in the grounds of the Constantine estate. Lady Constantine, whose husband has been absent some years on an extended hunting and exploring journey to Africa, joins the young man in his stargazing, and supports his astronomical ambitions by buying him equipment, though his dreams of scientific renown are disappointed.Their relationship then deepens and takes several twists and turns.
Cytherea Graye is poor, but accepts a post as lady's maid to the eccentric Miss Aldclyffe, the woman whom her father had loved but had not been able to marry. Cytherea in turn loves a young architect, Edward Springrove; but will Miss Adclyffe's machinations, the knowledge that Edward is already engaged to a woman whom he does not love, and the urgent need to support her sick brother drive Cytherea to accept the hand of Aeneas Manston? Will true love triumph in the end or will she be forced to live a life of misery with a man she doesn't love? ( Michele Eaton )
Romantic Adventures of a Milkmaid
A milkmaid, Margery, encounters a mysterious foreigner and perhaps prevents him from committing suicide. In gratitude, the man offers her any reward she can name. She tells him she wants to go to a ball. He takes her, admittedly a bit reluctantly, to a yeoman's ball in a neighboring county. From there the story continues because of course, a lot happens after the ball. She happens to already have an engagement to a local lad but his hold over her seems to grow of its own accord. This Hardy story may not end the way you wish, but that is often true of stories by this master writer.
|A Laodicean: a Story of To-day
By: H. G. Wells (1866-1946)
Ann Veronica was a controversial book detailing the development of a naive school girl into a “New Woman”. When it was published, the Spectator described it as a “poisonous book … capable of poisoning the minds of those who read it.” Although it is unlikely to offend modern listeners in this way, this novel addresses many feminist issues that are still relevant today.
By: Jack London (1876-1916)
The Sea Wolf
A maritime classic acclaimed for its exciting adventure, The Sea Wolf offers a thrilling tale of life at sea, while exploring the many difficulties that may erupt on board a ship captained by a brutally hedonistic and controlling individual. Additionally, the psychological adventure novel covers several themes including mutiny, existentialism, individualism, brutality, and the intrinsic will to survive. The novel sets into motion when its protagonist, the soft and cultivated scholar Humphrey van Weyden, is witness to a precarious collision between his ferry and another ship...
The Mutiny of the Elsinore
This is the story of a voyage of a sailing ship from Baltimore to Seattle, east-to-west around Cape Horn in the winter. It is set in 1913 and the glory days of “wooden ships and iron men” are long over. The Elsinore is a four-masted iron sailing vessel carrying a cargo of 5000 tons of coal. She has a “bughouse” crew of misfits and incompetents. This book was published in 1915 and some actions of some of the characters seem odd to us today. There is romance, but it is strangely platonic. Two important characters disappear with no real explanation...
By: Rudyard Kipling
The Light that Failed
This novel, first published in 1890, follows the life of Dick Heldar, a painter. Most of the novel is set in London, but many important events throughout the story occur in Sudan or India. It was made into a 1916 film with Jose Collins and a 1939 film by Paramount starring Ronald Colman.
The Brushwood Boy
The experiences in public school, Sandhurst and military life in India of Major George Cottar together with his adventures in the dream world he discovers and frequents.
By: Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (1547-1616)
This is volume 1 of 2. One of the most quirky, eccentric and endearing heroes to ever be depicted in fiction, the chivalrous Don Quixote is sure to capture hearts while bringing tears of laughter to your eyes. If you've never encountered the Knight from La Mancha before, get set for a delightful sojourn through the Spanish countryside, across the fertile countryside of Central Spain. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra was an immediate success when it was first published in 1605 and won huge financial and literary success for its creator, an impoverished writer and poet...
By: Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870)
The Count of Monte Cristo
Written by French author Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo follows the life of Edmond Dantes as he embarks on a journey of revenge after being wrongly imprisoned and set up by none other than his so-called friends. Set during the years after the fall of Napoleon’s empire, the story unwinds in several locations including Paris, Marseilles, Rome, Monte Cristo and Constantinople. A handsome young sailor and soon to be ship captain Edmond Dantes seems to have it all in life, as he returns to Marseilles to wed the love of his life and fiancée, the beautiful Mercedes...
The Three Musketeers
The Three Musketeers follows the adventures of the young Gascon nobleman, D’Artagnan and his three trusted friends who served as musketeers in the king’s regiment – Athos, Porthos & Aramis. Written by Alexandre Dumas, the book was a bestseller during the time of its publication and it remains so even today. It follows the timeless theme of friendship and bravery. The main protagonist of the story is D’Artagnan who travels to Paris to realize his dreams of becoming one of the musketeers for the king...
The Man in the Iron Mask
The Man in the Iron Mask by Alexandre Dumas is part of the novel The Vicomte of Bragelonne: Ten Years After, published in serial form between 1857-50. It is also the last of the D'Artagnan stories written by Dumas and the three musketeers are the real heroes of the story, though the title is given to the man in the iron mask. The story opens with Aramis (one of the musketeers who is now a priest) taking the last confession of a prisoner who is condemned to be executed soon. His confession comes as a thunderbolt to the former musketeer...
Twenty Years After
First serialized from January to August, 1845, Twenty Years After is the second book in The D’Artagnan Romances, and follows the gallant adventures of the musketeers, as they are once again summoned to alleviate the various threats that lurk in the political scene of France, as the country is threatened by a possible uprising. Enriched with exciting and well-developed characters, the novel adds more detail to its familiar characters, as the musketeers have matured and are portrayed in a more introspective light...
The Vicomte De Bragelonne
After The Three Muskateers and Twenty Years After the adventurous story of Athos, Porthos, Aramis and D'Artagnan continues!The Vicomte of Bragelonne: Ten Years Later (French: Le Vicomte de Bragelonne ou Dix ans plus tard) is the last of the Musketeer novels. It is usually divided into four volumes and this first volume contains chapters 1-75.
Louise de la Valliere
After The Three Muskateers and Twenty Years After the adventurous story of Athos, Porthos, Aramis and D'Artagnan continues! The Vicomte of Bragelonne: Ten Years Later (French: Le Vicomte de Bragelonne ou Dix ans plus tard) is the last of the Musketeer novels. It is usually divided into four volumes and this third volume contains chapters 141-208.
Chicot the Jester
This sequel to Dumas' “Marguerite de Valois” begins four years after the sudden death of King Charles IX and succession of his brother Henry III. The reign of King Henry III was plagued with rebellion and political intrigue due to the War of the Three Henries, where his regency was challenged by King Henry of Navarre (leader of the Huguenots) and Henry I, Duke of Guise (leader of the Catholic League). Dumas weaves two main storylines through this turbulent backdrop: one of the love ignited between le Comte de Bussy and la Dame de Monsoreau, and another of the friendship between King Henry III and his truly unique jester, Chicot (Jean-Antoine d'Anglerais).
By: Daniel Defoe (1659/1661-1731)
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...
By: Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)
The Duchess of Padua
Guido Ferranti, a young man, travels to Padua with his friend Ascanio after receiving a mysterious letter from a stranger, claiming to know the true secret of Guido's birth. His plan of revenge goes awry, however, when he falls in love with his enemy's beautiful wife, the Duchess of Padua.
By: Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888)
Set in nineteenth century New England, Little Women follows the lives of the four March sisters-Jo, Beth, Amy and Meg. The novel is a classic rites of passage story, that has often split literature critics but has been adored by many over the years. Intended as a book for young girls, the book is too sentimental for some but plenty of adults and young men have Little Women firmly featured in their best books of all time. The pace of the novel can be slow at times and the language almost too perfect but the overall sympathetic tone of Alcott wins over the reader...
The Abbots Ghost or Maurice Treherne Temptation
Louisa May Alcott enthusiasts would be delighted to read this short novel published in 1867, just a year before the grand debut of her most famous Little Women trilogy. This is one of three books she wrote under the pseudonym AM Barnard. She used this name to pen tales that were meant more for adult readers, though younger people will find them quite interesting too. The Abbot's Ghost or Maurice Treherne's Temptation is a romance, mystery, ghost-story and novel of manners all rolled into one...
Jo’s Boys is the third book in the Little Women trilogy by Louisa May Alcott, published in 1886. In it, Jo’s “children”, now grown, are caught up in real world troubles. All three books – although fiction – are highly autobiographical and describe characters that were really in Alcott’s life. This book contains romance as the childhood playmates become flirtatious young men and women. The characters are growing up, going out into the world and deciding their futures.
Rose in Bloom
Opening several years after the close of "Eight Cousins", we find Rose coming home fresh from a voyage overseas, to find much changed about her. Now of a marriageable age and heiress to a fortune, Rose finds joy,sorrow, and finally love await her -- as the Rose is finally ready to bloom into a good, strong, sweet and true woman.This sequel to Eight Cousins was written by Louisa May Alcott, the author of many well beloved children's books including Little Women, An Old Fashioned Girl, Under the Lilacs and more.
Behind a Mask, or a Woman's Power
Fans of Louisa May Alcott's Little Women will remember that her heroine Jo wrote racy novels before turning her hand to more "serious" literature. Alcott, writing under the pseudonym A. M. Barnard, often did the same, and Behind a Mask (1866) is one of her sensation novels. It focuses on Jean Muir, who enters the home of the wealthy Coventry family as governess to their sixteen-year-old daughter. But is the beguiling Miss Muir all that she seems to be? (Introduction by Elizabeth Klett)
Pauline's Passion and Punishment
Before she wrote Little Women and Little Men, Louisa, writing under the pseudonym A.M. Barnard, had this `blood and thunder' thriller (as she called them) published in 1863 by a weekly pulp magazine. This was during the period when Louisa worked a nurse during the American Civil war. The rigid and unfair roles of men and women of this period, their expectations and desires, plays a large in this story of betrayed love, anger, petulance, and ultimately, vengeance. The story is well written and plotted of course, being an Alcott story, so listeners can expect to enjoy a captivating and satisfying story read to them by one of the best and most highly polished readers around.
By: Victor Hugo (1802-1885)
Victor Hugo's Les Misérables is a novel which tells the story of ex-convict Jean Valjean, his struggles and eventual redemption. It's hailed by many critics as not just Victor Hugo's finest work but also one of the best French novels of all time. Like most epic novels written in the 19th century, the storyline of Les Misérables spans through several decades beginning in the early 1800s and culminating in the 1832 June Rebellion in Paris. The events related to the lives of the central characters in the novel are also tied to the great historical events of the time from the French Revolution to the June Rebellion...
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
One of the great literary tragedies of all time, The Hunchback of Notre Dame features some of the most well-known characters in all of fiction - Quasimodo, the hideously deformed bellringer of Notre-Dame de Paris, his master the evil priest Claude Frollo, and Esmeralda, the beautiful gypsy condemned for a crime she did not commit.
Toilers of the Sea
This is the story of a man’s monumental struggle against nature, to win the hand of the woman he loves, and surmount every difficulty that Nature puts in his path
By: P. G. Wodehouse (1881-1975)
A Damsel in Distress
A Damsel in Distress is a novel by P. G. Wodehouse, first published in the U.S. on October 4, 1919 by George H. Doran, New York, and in the U.K. by Herbert Jenkins, London, on October 17 1919. It had previously been serialised in The Saturday Evening Post, between May and June that year.Golf-loving American composer George Bevan falls in love with a mysterious young lady who takes refuge in his taxicab one day; when he tracks her down to a romantic rural manor, mistaken identity leads to all manner of brouhaha.
Three Men and a Maid
This book with two titles, Three Men and a Maid in the USA and The Girl on the Boat in the UK is a typical P.G. Wodehouse romantic comedy, involving, at various times: a disastrous talent quest, a lawyer with a revolver, a bulldog with a mind of his own and a suit of armour! The maid, or marriageable young woman, of the American title is red-haired, dog-loving Wilhelmina “Billie” Bennet. The three men are Bream Mortimer, a long-time friend and admirer of Billie, Eustace Hignett, a poet of sensitive disposition who is engaged to Billie at the opening of the tale, and Sam Marlowe, Eustace’s would-be-dashing cousin, who falls for Billie at first sight...
Uneasy Money is a romantic comedy by P.G. Wodehouse, published during the First World War, it offers light escapism. More romantic but only a little less humorous that his mature works, it tells of the vicissitudes of poor Lord Dawlish, who inherits five million dollars, but becomes a serially disappointed groom. When the story opens Bill (Lord Dawlish, a thoroughly pleasant man) is engaged to a demanding actress. His first thought when hearing of his massive legacy from a stranger whose tendency to slice he once cured on a West Country golf course is of the disappointed relatives...
By: Elizabeth Gaskell
Mary Barton is the first novel by English author Elizabeth Gaskell, published in 1848. The story is set in the English city of Manchester during the 1830s and 1840s and deals heavily with the difficulties faced by the Victorian lower class. The novel begins in Manchester, where we are introduced to the Bartons and the Wilsons, two working class families. John Barton reveals himself to be a great questioner of the distribution of wealth and the relation between the rich and the poor. He also relates how his sister-in-law Esther has disappeared after she ran away from home...
By: Edith Wharton (1862-1937)
George Darrow, Anna Leath’s first love, is finally coming from London to propose to her. However, he drifts to an affair with Sophy Viner, Anna’s daughter’s naïve and young governess. Sophy’s relationship with Darrow and Anna’s family can threaten his success. In this novel, as in many of Wharton’s other well known novels, we see the eternal love triangle. With her sly and lovely writing style, Wharton delivers to us in this wonderful novel a cast of unforgettable characters and many unforgettable scenes which we can vividly imagine. What would Darrow choose: success or love? Would Anna marry him despite his affair with Sophy? (Summary by Stav Nisser.)
The Glimpses of the Moon
"The Glimpses of the Moon" (1922) is about Nick and Susy Lansing, both of whom live a decadent life in Europe by sponging off wealthy friends. They marry out of convenience and have an "open" relationship, but are unprepared for where their feelings will take them.
The Fruit of the Tree
When published in 1907, this novel about the lives of a wealthy mill owner, her socially progressive husband and friends caused a stir due to its treatment of drug abuse, mercy killing, divorce and second marriages.
Stephen Glennard's career is falling apart and he desperately needs money so that he may marry his beautiful fiancee. He happens upon an advertisement in a London magazine promising the prospect of financial gain. Glennard was once pursued by Margaret Aubyn, a famous and recently deceased author, and he still has her passionate love letters to him. Glennard removes his name from the letters and sells them, making him a fortune and building a marriage based on the betrayal of another.
Madame de Treymes
Edith Wharton's 1907 novella explores the milieu of Americans living abroad in Paris. New Yorker John Durham travels to Paris to woo an old flame, Fanny Frisbee, now the Marquis de Malrive. Fanny is separated from her husband and wants to marry John and return to America, but she doubts whether her Catholic husband will grant her a divorce. When John meets Fanny's sister-in-law, the enigmatic Madame de Treymes, he hopes she may be able to help them in their quest for happiness. (Introduction by Elizabeth Klett)
By: H. Rider Haggard (1856-1925)
Heart of the World
Set in the heart of Central America, the adventure novel accounts an enthralling tale marked by zealous adventure, discovery of a lost civilization, and unconditional love. Published in 1895, Heart of the World presents a fusion of suspense, foreshadowing, legend, unforeseen twists, and endearing characters to create a piece highly valuable in the world of fiction. Narrated by an elderly Ignatio on his deathbed, the novel recounts his great escapade alongside Englishman James Strickland as they venture off in search of a lost civilization...
A timeless classic of fantasy literature, She is recognized as the groundwork for the lost world literary sub- genre. First published serially in The Graphic magazine from 1886 to 1887, the novel has reached critical acclaim with approximately 100 million copies sold and is regarded as one of the best-selling books of all time. Exploring themes of imperialism, lost civilization, female authority and psyche, the novel also serves as a mirror to reflect Victorian issues such as gender and race. ...
Colonel Quaritch, V.C.: A Tale of Country Life
This is not your typical H. Rider Haggard adventure book yet it is full of mystery and intrigue including a coerced marriage, bigotry, adultery, murder and a buried treasure! This is the tale of an ancient family’s struggles to survive, one woman’s selflessness and another’s evil schemes; Two Gentlemen, two scoundrels and one very underestimated, loyal servant. Listen as the tale unfolds and guess where the treasure is hidden that can save them all!
Black Heart and White Heart
Black Heart and White Heart, is a story of the courtship, trials and final union of a pair of Zulu lovers in the time of King Cetywayo. (Introduction by H. Rider Haggard)
By: George MacDonald
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)
Written at the height of George MacDonald's literary career, the story centers around the life of a simple merchant's daughter. Mary Marston's unswerving commitment to love, God, and others is contrasted with a backdrop of an array of characters and a complex and sometimes mysterious plot. It is a story of a woman who loves a man, and teaches him to change. Not out of his love for her, but simply because it was the right thing to do. MacDonald allows the characters a range from delightful to devious. As such, they were intended to serve as models. His message is that all eventually must stand before God.
St. George and St. Michael, Volume 1
’St. George and St. Michael’ is a little-known historical romance telling the story of a young couple who find themselves on opposing sides during the tumultuous years of the English Civil Wars.Tensions are rising between king and parliament; the Church of England and the numerous independent puritans and rumours abound that Charles I will soon declare open war on the dissident elements within his realm. Seventeen-year-old Dorothy Vaughan knows little of the brewing conflict, yet is sure that her loyalty must be with her king and her nation...
The Cruel Painter
This is the story of a daring college student's quest to win the icy heart of a beautiful girl. Unfortunately, the girl is the daughter of a cunning and sadistic master artist, who takes the student as an apprentice with the express intent of torturing the youth with his own hopeless love. The story is set in late 16 century Prague, amid mysterious happenings and the terrifying rumors of a vampire on the loose.
|Annals of a Quiet Neighbourhood
By: Joseph Conrad (1857-1924)
Classic shortish story by Conrad that relates his self-thought alienation from British society, as a young foreign man survives a shipwreck off the coast of Kent, England only to be shunned by most of the townsfolk. The one exception is the loving, if dull-witted, Miss Foster.
Apparently a two part story about a Damsel and a Knight, perhaps a damsel who depends upon the kindness of strangers. It was originally entitled "Dynamite" and first published by installments in the New York Herald. The book itself was the biggest commercial success for Conrad up until that time, 1913. It allowed Conrad for the first time to settle his financial affairs. The author's disdain for people who live on the land is apparent. A new understanding of the word "enthusiastic" is promulgated. And it is a love story. Let us see how the tale goes.
A European businessman and his Malayan wife have a daughter, Nina. A Malayan prince comes to do trade with the businessman and falls in love with the daughter. Conflict arises when other influences cause distrust in the business partnership and the daughter runs off to be with the prince.
By: F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940)
This Side of Paradise
A romantic and witty novel that has weathered time to remain one of America’s classic pieces. In the shadows of the great Gatsby is another brilliant novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald. This book is evidence to Fitzgerald’s literal genius because it was written by the author in his twenties to mirror his experiences at the time. It paints a picture of what it was like to be a young man or woman in the 20th century and in the wake of the First World War. The book is set on a foundation of socialist principles...
Bernice Bobs Her Hair
Pretty but socially clueless Bernice lets her know-it-all cousin push her around, but eventually, something's gotta give! (Introduction by BellonaTimes)
By: Henry James (1843-1916)
The Portrait of a Lady
Regarded as one of James’ finest works, The Portrait of a Lady revolves around the life and the development of Isabel Archer as she embarks on a scrupulous journey of self-discovery, forced to choose between her individual freedom and the preset conventions of society. Moreover, the novel explores themes of existentialism, objectification of women, wealth, suffering, and the conflict between individual longing and social conformity. Set in the second half of the 19th century, the novel opens with the introduction of Isabel Archer, a naive young woman from Albany, New York...
First appearing as a serial in Cornhill Magazine in 1880, Washington Square focuses on the strained relationship between father and daughter, which is instigated as a result of opposing personalities, viewpoints, and lack of affection. At the same time, James presents an insidious father, who would rather sacrifice his daughter’s happiness and condemn her to a lifetime of misery, simply to prove the accuracy of his prediction. Essentially a tragicomedy, the novel focuses on themes including family, deception, cruelty, manipulation, and opposed principles...
The Altar of the Dead
A fable of literally life and death significance, the story explores how the protagonist tries to keep the remembrance of his dead friends, to save them from being forgotten entirely in the rush of everyday events. He meets a woman who shares his ideals, only to find that the past places what seems to be an impassable barrier between them. Although James was not religious in any conventional sense, the story shows a deep spirituality in its treatment of mortality and the transcendent power of unselfish love.
The Wings of the Dove
The Wings of the Dove, published in 1902, represents to my memory a very old–if I shouldn’t perhaps rather say a very young–motive; I can scarce remember the time when the situation on which this long-drawn fiction mainly rests was not vividly present to me. The idea, reduced to its essence, is that of a young person conscious of a great capacity for life, but early stricken and doomed, condemned to die under short respite, while also enamoured of the world; aware moreover of the condemnation and passionately desiring to “put in” before extinction as many of the finer vibrations as possible, and so achieve, however briefly and brokenly, the sense of having lived.
The Aspern Papers
One of James’s favorite short novels, the Aspern Papers tells of the efforts of the nameless narrator to procure the papers of a famous, but now dead, American poet. His attempts to secure them from the poet’s former lover and her niece, now recluses in Venice, are stymied both by them, and by his own mistakes in his quest.
|The Tragic Muse
By: Anthony Trollope (1815-1882)
Can You Forgive Her?
The first book in the political Palliser series, the novel deals with parliamentary politics, while concurrently devoting its pages to much more intricate issues. Presenting three parallel stories, the parliamentary novel draws its attention to three contrasting young women, who are beset with arduous decisions concerning courtship and marriage. Additionally, the novel covers topics including women in conventional society and their discernment, while illustrating the tentative stages of marriage with all the attributes of sacrifice, compromise and temptation...
Phineas Finn is the sequel to “Can you Forgive Her?” and the second novel in Trollope’s Palliser series. The eponymous hero is a young Irishman who becomes a member of the English parliament. Trollope aspired to become an M.P. himself, and he ably describes the workings of the English political scene. There is also a love interest, as the somewhat inconstant Phineas courts three different women: his Irish sweetheart, Mary Flood Jones; Lady Laura Standish, the daughter of a prominent Whig politician; and a lovely heiress, Violet Effingham.
He Knew He Was Right
He Knew He Was Right is a 1869 novel written by Anthony Trollope which describes the failure of a marriage caused by the unreasonable jealousy of a husband exacerbated by the stubbornness of a wilful wife. As is common with Trollope’s works, there are also several substantial subplots. Trollope considered this work to be a failure; he viewed the main character as unsympathetic, and the secondary characters and plots much more lively and interesting.
Phineas Redux is the fourth in Trollope’s series of six Palliser novels. At the end of Phineas Finn, the second novel in the series, Phineas had to return to Ireland to marry his childhood sweetheart, who was expecting their child. As Phineas Redux opens, Phineas is working as a Poorhouse Inspector in Ireland. His wife having died in childbirth, he finds his existence dull and unsatisfying. Phineas’ returns to England; his career advances and his romantic adventures continue, while we encounter many familiar characters including Glencora and Plantagenet Palliser, Madame Goesler, and Lizzie Eustace and her husband the Reverand Mr. Aemelius.
The love that develops between Luke Rowan and Rachel Ray is not universally welcomed. Mrs. Tappitt- a rich, influential, and bad woman - wishes him to marry one of her own daughters, while Rachel's mother and older sister are not sure he is worthy of her. After many adventures, everybody gets what they deserve. Characteristically to Trollope's works, there is also a secondary plot involving the election of parliament in Baslehurst."Summary by Stav Nisser.The book lives still because of its delicate little scenes of comedy, the meeting of the lovers, Mrs. Tappitt's ball, the bedroom confidences of the Tappitts, Rachel's talks with her mother." -Walpole
The Duke's Children
In the last of the six Palliser novels, the sudden death of his wife, Lady Glencora, leaves Plantagenet Palliser, the Duke of Omnium, finding himself in charge of his three children. The eldest, Lord Silverbridge, has recently been expelled from Oxford; his younger brother, Gerald, is about to enter Cambridge; and the youngest, nineteen-year old Lady Mary, has imprudently formed an attachment to Francis Tregear, who, while certainly a gentleman, unfortunately has no income. Before her death, Glencora knew (and approved) of her daughter's attachment; the Duke, however, does not know of it, and is not at all likely to approve...
MANUAL OF SURGERY, OXFORD MEDICAL PUBLICATIONSBY ALEXIS THOMSON, F.R.C.S.Ed.PREFACE TO SIXTH EDITION Much has happened since this Manual was last revised, and many surgical lessons have been learned in the hard school of war. Some may yet have to be unlearned, and others have but little bearing on the problems presented to the civilian surgeon. Save in its broadest principles, the surgery of warfare is a thing apart from the general surgery of civil life, and the exhaustive literature now available on every aspect of it makes it unnecessary that it should receive detailed consideration in a manual for students...
The Prime Minister
The Prime Minister is the fifth in Trollope's series of six Palliser novels. With Phineas' difficulties resolved, Trollope introduces new characters. A respectable young girl forsakes the man her family had always intended her to marry when she falls in love with a man of foreign extraction and an unknown family. He has a gentleman's education and manners, but his family background and financial means are mysterious. Is he really a gentleman? Meanwhile, Plantagenet Palliser becomes Prime Minister of a shaky coalition government, and Glencora and Madame Goessler are busy with the ensuing social obligations.
The Last Chronicle of Barset
Both Trollope and some of his later critics have considered The Last Chronicle to be his greatest novel. Many of its characters are familiar from the earlier Barsetshire novels, including the Rev. Josiah Crawley, the impoverished curate of Hogglestock, whose alleged theft of £20, together with the efforts of many to clear up the mystery, lie here at the center. Central also is the trying courtship between Major Grantly and Grace Crawley, the clergyman's daughter, over the objections of the Major's parents, Archeacon Grantly and his wife; and the adventures of Johnny Eames, a protagonist of the Small House at Allington...