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By: Jane Austen (1775-1817)

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice

Austen’s timeless romantic classic, follows the lives of the five Bennett sisters, who live in a time where an advantageous marriage and social status are considered a fundamental for any woman to stand a fair chance at life. Set at the turn of the 19th century, Pride and Prejudice catches a perfect glimpse not only of a time when women were socially and economically dependent solely on their marital status, but also as an age of enlightenment and witness of the French Revolution. This romantic novel with its hint of comic references begins with the famous quote "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife...

Emma by Jane Austen Emma

A comedy of manners, Emma portrays the spoilt, snobbish, yet charming Emma Woodhouse as she delightfully interferes in the relationships of others without taking much notice of her own heart. Although quick to make prejudgments and decisions, Emma is eventually able to notice her mistakes, and it is this revelation that makes her an endearing heroine and an inspiration to women throughout. Austen has not only created, but also brought to life the world inhabited by her characters through her vivid depictions and clever use of wit...

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen Sense and Sensibility

Two sisters, one practical and full of commonsense, the other a passionate and emotional creature, an uncaring brother and his avaricious wife, a handsome rake and a faithful gentleman – these are some of the unforgettable characters who make Jane Austen's first published novel, Sense and Sensibility such a delightful, witty and timeless classic. The novel was published under the pseudonym “A Lady” by its shy and retiring nineteen-year-old author, Jane Austen, in 1811. She was the daughter of a country rector and lived all her life in the circle of her large and loving family in a little village in Hampshire, England...

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen Mansfield Park

One of the most controversial novels written by Austen, Mansfield Park follows the life of the young heroine Fanny Price as she searches for her place in society. Set in early 19th century England, the classic novel depicts the social issues of the time including marriage, social mobility and morality. The classic centers on the life of the poor young girl Fanny Price, who is the oldest daughter of nine siblings. Her father is a former naval officer and a heavy drinker, while her mother has married beneath her and is undeniably the black sheep in the family when compared to her two sisters, Mrs...

Persuasion by Jane Austen Persuasion

Persuasion is the last completed novel by Jane Austen and it was published posthumously in 1818. Readers have often connected Persuasion with Northanger Abbey as the setting of both stories is in Bath, a highly fashionable health resort with which the author was well acquainted. Another interesting point to note is that the title of ‘Persuasion’ was probably not envisioned by Jane but by her brother or sister. Another theory is that her two siblings had a great role in choosing the title of the story...

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen Northanger Abbey

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 by Jane Austen 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...

Lady Susan by Jane Austen Lady Susan

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 by Leo Tolstoy 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...

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy Anna Karenina

Leo Tolstoy’s psychological novel Anna Karenina follows the life of the enchanting and rebellious Anna who seeks to break free from the shackles of society. Set in late 19th century Russia, Anna is portrayed as an ideal, cultivated aristocratic wife, mother and model for women alike. Although at first glance she seems to have it all in life, Anna yearns for love and affection- something her cold diplomatic husband cannot provide. She grows discontent of their loveless relationship, and is tired of the façade she has been putting up in order to sustain a positive social image...

By: Mark Twain

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

When Hank Morgan, a practical, no-nonsense Yankee who works in an ammunition factory as a head superintendent gets into a fight with an aggressive employee, little does he know what's in store for him. The bully lays Morgan low with a skull-crushing blow delivered with a crowbar and knocks him out. When Morgan regains consciousness, he finds himself transported back in time, to the sixth century. From here on, the story describes the travails of a hard-boiled, true blue American with strong democratic values who has to deal with medieval feudalism and ancient customs! A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court was published in 1889...

By: Lucy Maud Montgomery (1874-1942)

Anne of the Island by Lucy Maud Montgomery Anne of the Island

Anne of the Island is the third book in the Anne of Green Gables series following the adventures of its heroine Anne Shirley as she leaves for Redmond College in the busy city of Kingsport to study for her bachelor’s degree. The third installment in the series sees the beloved protagonist experience new adventures and challenges outside the familiar setting of Avonlea. The novel kicks off when Anne decides to pursue her dream of a higher education, and subsequently leaves her two year teaching position at the school in Avonlea and begins her studies at Redmond College...

Anne of Avonlea by Lucy Maud Montgomery Anne of Avonlea

If you've read and loved Anne of Green Gables you will surely be delighted to follow Anne's further adventures in Anne of Avonlea. In this sequel, we find Anne Shirley teaching in Avonlea School though she continues her studies at home with Gilbert Blythe. Lucy Maud Montgomery first published the best selling Anne of Green Gables in 1908. Enthused by the amazing success of this account of a young orphan girl who arrives by mistake on Prince Edward Island, Canada, the author followed it up with five more sequels, tracing Anne's career and life...

Anne's House of Dreams by Lucy Maud Montgomery Anne's House of Dreams

Anne’s House of Dreams is the fifth book in the Anne of Green Gables series, which features the culmination of an epic love story. The installment chronicles the lives of Anne and Gilbert as they experience life as a newlywed couple and build the foundation of their future together. A tale uniting the much-loved characters also brings a farewell to Anne Shirley and officially welcomes Anne Blythe. The novel begins with the preparations for the wedding between Anne and her one true love Gilbert Blythe, who is finally a qualified doctor...

Chronicles of Avonlea by Lucy Maud Montgomery 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 by Lucy Maud Montgomery 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 by Lucy Maud Montgomery 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 by William Shakespeare 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 by William Shakespeare 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.

Shakespeare's Sonnets by William Shakespeare Shakespeare's Sonnets

Shakespeare’s Sonnets, or simply The Sonnets, comprise a collection of 154 poems in sonnet form written by William Shakespeare that deal with such themes as love, beauty, politics, and mortality. The poems were probably written over a period of several years.

The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare 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.

Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare Twelfth Night

Shakespeare's great festive comedy, probably written and first performed around 1601, follows the adventures of twins Viola and Sebastian, who are separated from each other by a shipwreck. Viola, believing her brother dead, disguises herself as a page in order to serve the lovesick Duke Orsino, who has been rejected by the Countess Olivia. The ensemble cast includes a roster of wonderfully comic characters: Olivia's drunken uncle Sir Toby Belch, his foolish friend Sir Andrew Aguecheek, the witty serving woman Maria, the social-climbing steward Malvolio, and the clever, riddling clown Feste.

The Winter's Tale by William Shakespeare 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 by William Shakespeare 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 by William Shakespeare 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

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens Great Expectations

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...

Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens Our Mutual Friend

As the last published novel of a writer whose career spanned over a dozen novels, innumerable short stories, plays and nonfiction, Our Mutual Friend is indeed a great composition by Charles Dickens. Considered to be one of his most mature, insightful and refined works, Our Mutual Friend takes a long, hard look at what many Victorians loved but hated to admit they did—money. Dickens uses satire, irony, symbolism and biting wit to portray this unlovely picture of a society obsessed with material comforts and its hypocrisy about the means it uses to achieve its ends...

Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens Little Dorrit

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

The Battle of Life by Charles Dickens The Battle of Life

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

By: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930)

Book cover The Parasite

Being a physiologist, Austin Gilroy is unconvinced that the occult is real. His friend Professor Wilson, however, is not only convinced that psychical powers are real, but eagerly desires that Gilroy should be persuaded. To this end, Wilson invites Austin to his house for a demonstration. The effect is that Austin, although still skeptical, now concedes that there is more in the matter than he at first believed. But when the psychic, Miss Penclosa, controls his actions to the point where he nearly murders his fiancee, Austin Gilroy doubts no longer.

By: Frances Hodgson Burnett

Theo by Frances Hodgson Burnett Theo

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 by Frances Hodgson Burnett 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 by Frances Hodgson Burnett 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 by Frances Hodgson Burnett 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.

Book cover T. Tembarom
Book cover Vagabondia 1884
Book cover 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.

Book cover "Le Monsieur de la Petite Dame"
Book cover One Day At Arle

By: Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855)

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë Jane Eyre

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

Villette by Charlotte Brontë Villette

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

The Professor by Charlotte Brontë The Professor

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

By: Robert Louis Stevenson

The Black Arrow; a Tale of Two Roses 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 by Thomas Hardy 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 by Thomas Hardy 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 by Thomas Hardy 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...

Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy Far From the Madding Crowd

This story opens with a lovely, poor and proud young woman who lives with her aunt. The young woman saves the life of a farmer who subsequently falls in love with her. However, the young woman inherits a fortune and moves away. On the flip side the farmer loses everything he has and travels around the country seeking employment. One evening the farmer helps to put out a blazing fire in a lonely farm. When the veiled owner comes out to thank him, he discovers that she is none other than the beautiful woman who once rejected him and moved away...

Under the Greenwood Tree by Thomas Hardy 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...

The Trumpet-Major by Thomas Hardy The Trumpet-Major

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.

The Woodlanders by Thomas Hardy The Woodlanders

The Woodlanders is one of Hardy's later novels, although he originally intended it as a successor to Far From The Madding Crowd. It concerns the life and loves of Giles Winterborne,Grace Melbury,Edred Fitzpiers, Felice Charmond and Marty South.The topics of class,fidelity and loyalty are delt with in Hardys exquisite style and set in the beautiful woodlands of Hintock.

Two on a Tower by Thomas Hardy 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.

Book cover Desperate Remedies

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 )

Book cover 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.

Book cover A Laodicean: a Story of To-day

By: H. G. Wells (1866-1946)

Ann Veronica by H. G. Wells Ann Veronica

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 by Jack London 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 by Jack London 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: Edgar Rice Burroughs (1875-1950)

A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs A Princess of Mars

Burroughs’ first published book, as well as the first book in the Barsoom series, A Princess of Mars is a science fiction novel following the adventures of the heroic John Carter, after he is mysteriously transported to the planet Mars where he meets its divided inhabitants. The novel is considered to be a seminal for the planetary romance, which is a sub-genre of science fantasy. Burroughs’ book has also inspired a number of well known science fiction writers during the beginning of the 20th century...

By: Rudyard Kipling

The Light that Failed 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 by Rudyard Kipling 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)

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra Don Quixote

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 by Alexandre Dumas 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 by Alexandre Dumas 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 by Alexandre Dumas 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 by Alexandre Dumas 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 by Alexandre Dumas 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.

Book cover 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.

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

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

By: Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

The Duchess of Padua by Oscar Wilde 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)

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott Little Women

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 by Louisa May Alcott 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 by Louisa May Alcott Jo's Boys

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 by Louisa May Alcott 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 by Louisa May Alcott 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)

Book cover 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)

Les Misérables by Victor Hugo Les Misérables

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 by Victor Hugo 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 by Victor Hugo 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 by P. G. Wodehouse 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 by P. G. Wodehouse 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 by P. G. Wodehouse Uneasy Money

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 (1810-1865)

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell North and South

Mrs. Gaskell as she was popularly known, had a hard and lonely childhood, spent with various aunts and relatives after her mother died and her father left her. The young Elizabeth met and married a clergyman and moved to Manchester with him. It was here that she developed her strong sense of social justice and the themes which form the basis of her writing. Her biography of her dear friend Charlotte Bronte is considered a classic and provides a wonderfully human picture of the Yorkshire genius and her equally talented, tragic family...

Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell Wives and Daughters

This story opens with a young girl on a visit to a stately mansion, which is a local tourist attraction. Exhausted and waiting for the rest of the party to finish the tour, she falls asleep under a tree. She is discovered by the daughter of the house and the governess, who comfort her and put her to bed in the governess's room, promising to wake her before the tourists leave. However, the governess forgets and the girl is stranded in the mansion. Her father arrives to take her home. Many years later, her father brings the same governess home as his new wife...

Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell Mary Barton

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: Gaston Leroux (1868-1927)

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...

By: Edith Wharton (1862-1937)

The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton The Age of Innocence

If you've watched and loved Winona Ryder playing the innocent May Welland in the 1993 film adaptation of Edith Wharton's sweeping novel about class-consciousness in nineteenth century America, you will certainly enjoy reading the original. Though Martin Scorcese's brilliant work was certainly true to the spirit of the original novel, no film can reproduce the charm of language and turn of phrase employed by one of America's greatest writers. The Age of Innocence was Edith Wharton's 12th novel and is located in familiar Wharton territory...

Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton Ethan Frome

Ethan Frome is a novel published in 1911 by the Pulitzer Prize-winning American author Edith Wharton. It is set in the fictitious town of Starkfield, Massachusetts, New England, where an unnamed narrator tells the story of his encounter with Ethan Frome, a man with dreams and desires that end in an ironic turn of events. (

The Reef by Edith Wharton The Reef

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 by Edith Wharton 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 by Edith Wharton 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.

The Touchstone by Edith Wharton The Touchstone

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 by Edith Wharton 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)

Book cover The Long Run 1916

By: H. Rider Haggard (1856-1925)

Heart of the World by H. Rider Haggard 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...

She by H. Rider Haggard She

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 by H. Rider Haggard 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 by H. Rider Haggard 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

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)

Mary Marston by George MacDonald Mary Marston

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.


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