By: Elinor Glyn (1864-1943)
Your Affectionate Godmother
This is a series of seven letters by the eminent author of scandalous romances, Elinor Glyn, written to her godchild Caroline in the years 1912-1914. The Letters give Caroline advice on how best to find her way in life, particularly to matrimony. They contain such gems of wisdom as "It is better to marry the life you like, because after a while the man does not matter", that beauty is of "colossal importance", and that a woman will do well never to ask her husband any questions. The letters are very entertaining to read, though most modern godchildren may not wish to follow the advice too closely. - Summary by Carolin
By: Elisabeth Sanxay Holding (1889-1955)
Angelica's dearest wish is to better herself. Not to be a factory worker, struggling every day to survive, but to be a lady. Refined, respected, and rich. She jumps at the chance to be a companion to a lady, hoping that she can learn how the other class lives, and how to be like them. Young and naive, her dream seems within her grasp - but can she hold on to it?
By: Eliza Fenwick (1766-1840)
Secresy, or, the Ruin on the Rock
This is the story of Caroline and Sibella, two female friends. Strong and smart women who try to make it in a man's world while keeping their values and loyalties intact. The only way to do that is to hide a few secrets. Yet secrets cannot remain hidden for ever, and everything has a price. This is both a social novel and a gothic novel. A true page turner with all the elements of a good 18th century novel: a woman locked in an estate, a hidden pregnancy, some politics of marriage, villains, sentimentality and thought provoking philosophy. Summary by Stav Nisser.
By: Eliza Haywood (1693-1756)
The History of Miss Betsy Thoughtless, Volume 1
The flirtations of a rich young maiden, Miss Betsy Thoughtless with several suitors, as she alienates the right man by refusing to take the issue of marriage seriously. Because of this her guardian commits her to marriage to the wrong man, a situation over which she has little control. As the heroine describes her fate, this text exposes the institution of marriage, the powerlessness of women and the double standards held during that time.(Introduction by Joyce Martin)
History of Miss Betsy Thoughtless, Vol. 4
Betsy Thoughtless is about an intelligent and strong-willed woman who marries under pressure from the society in which she lives. Betsy learns that sometimes giving way to the role of women within a marriage can at times be fulfilling. This is the fourth and final volume in this series. Does she get her man you will have to listen and find out.
History of Miss Betsy Thoughtless, Vol. 3
Betsy Thoughtless is about marriage, rather than dealing with courtship and thus differs from the type of domestic writing that would develop in the 19th century such as Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre. Rather than attracting a partner well, Betsy Thoughtless focuses on marrying well and Betsy learns that giving way to the role of women in marriage can sometimes be fulfilling. - Summary by Michele Eaton
History of Miss Betsy Thoughtless, Vol. 2
This has been said to be the first female development novel in English. Betsy leaves her emotionally and financially abusive husband Munden and experiences independence before she decides to marry again. The novel has marital advice told via quips from Lady Trusty.
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...
The novel begins in the 1790s in the coastal town of Monkshaven. Sylvia Robson lives with her parents on a farm, and is loved by her rather dull Quaker cousin Philip. She, however, meets and falls in love with Charlie Kinraid, a sailor on a whaling vessel, and they become engaged, although few people know of the engagement. But Charlie gets press-ganged and have to leave without a word.
By: Elizabeth Inchbald (1753-1821)
A Simple Story
The story could really have been simple: Miss Milner, who is admired for her beauty and charm, could have been a socialite, marry a respectable and good looking man and be happy in the standards of her time. But if it was so, why would there be a book? Miss Milner, beautiful and charming as she is, announces her wish to marry her guardian, a catholic priest. But women in the 18th century do not declare their wishes or speak about their passions, and- after all- he is a catholic priest… And if he finds a way to marry her, is this her road to happiness?
By: Elizabeth von Arnim (1866-1941)
The Enchanted April
It’s a dreary February in post-World War I London when Mrs. Wilkins spots an advertisement in The Times for a small Italian castle for rent in April. She sees another member of her women’s club, Mrs. Arbuthnot, reading the same advertisement and manages to convince her that the two of them should rent it. Both are miserable and lonely in their marriages. They can’t afford the cost of the villa, San Salvatore, on their own and must advertise for two others, eventually recruiting an elderly widow named Mrs...
By: Ellen Thorneycroft Fowler (1860-1929)
Concerning Isabel Carnaby
Isabel Carnaby returns from India. She starts looking for a place in upper class British society. At the begining, people are sceptical of her because she is an orphan. But she will surprise everybody. - Summary by Stav Nisser.
Fuel of Fire
"Then was there war in the house of Baxendale. Guy had made up his mind to wed the fair daughter of the forester; while Sir Stephen and Dame Alice his wife had made up their minds — with equal firmness — that no son of their noble name should mate with a daughter of the people". A rumor started that the girl was a witch and so she was burned. However before she was burned she cursed the family who condemned her: "First by the King, and then by the State, And thirdly by that which is thrice as great As these, and a thousandfold stronger and higher Shall Baxendale Hall be made fuel of fire"...
By: Emily Ponsonby (1817-1877)
Violet Osborne - Trilogy
"This book is in turns funny and sad. Violet Osborne is a very beloved child with no financial problems. She is both beautiful and good, and of course she must be happy. Yet, as we learn, she is a manipulative and overbearing woman who would do anything to get her way. This book tells us about her life as a girl, and takes us through her marriage and motherhood. It is a pleasant read, as the book is so witty and charming and the descriptions are very realistic". Summary by Stav Nisser.
By: Emma Wolf (1865-1932)
Other Things Being Equal
Ruth Levice, the daughter of a rich San Francisco Jewish merchant, meats Dr. Herbert Kemp, and they slowly fall in love. However, she is Jewish and he is not. Can love overcome such an obstacle? And what is more important, duty or love?
By: Ethel M. Dell (1881-1939)
In this prequel to "Charles Rex'' by Ethel M. Dell you will meet the aristocratic blackguard Lord Saltash for whom our distressed heroine Maude Brian still holds deep feelings. Dedicated to the care of her younger crippled brother whom she adores, Maude eventually agrees to a marriage of convenience in order to escape from a home which has become unbearable after her mother marries a brutish hotel owner. Jake, an honest, strong and silent type, agrees to the marriage because he is secretly in love with her but refrains from showing it which leads to many regrettable misunderstandings...
Excerpt: "Saltash was thoroughly cosmopolitan in his tastes; he liked amusement but he abhorred boredom. He was never really wicked unless he was bored. And then- que voulez vous? He did not guide the star of destiny." On his last night in Valrosa, Saltash returns to his luxurious yacht to find a stowaway, a young woman disguised as a boy. She pleads to be kept by him in order to escape from her abuser. Although ill used by life she is still very pure and Saltash falls head over heels in love with her...
By: Ethel Mary Brodie (1878-1931)
Rose-colored World, and Other Fantasies
Love stories make perfect short stories. This collection contains 16 different short stories on the different ways a love affair can play out. - Summary by Carolin
By: Evelyn Everett-Green (1856-1932)
Monica - Complete
Monica was happy at Trevlyn, with her father and step-brother. But what would happen to them when the estate passed to a distant cousin, entailed as it was to the male line? Could she bear to see her invalid brother torn from his home? Should she marry this distant cousin, and thus ensure her and her brother the right to remain at Trevyln? Could she love him? And what about his dislike of her old childhood friend? Was there more to the situation than she knew?
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)
Set in 1925, this is a novel of the Jazz Age; of ambition, of the careless rich, of wild parties and flappers and bootleg booze; and the efforts of a dreamer to reunite with his lost love. - Summary by Kara
By: Fanny Burney (1752-1840)
Cecilia: Memoirs of an Heiress
The plot of Cecilia revolves around the heroine, Cecilia Beverley, whose inheritance from her uncle comes with the stipulation that she find a husband who will accept her name. This proves impossible, and she gives up her fortune to marry for love. Jane Austen referred to Cecilia and other novels in her novel, Northanger Abbey: “’And what are you reading, Miss — ?’ ‘Oh! It is only a novel!’ replies the young lady, while she lays down her book with affected indifference, or momentary shame...
Camilla is Frances Burney's third novel. It became very popular upon its publication in 1796. Jane Austen referred to it, among other novels, in her novel Northanger Abbey:"'And what are you reading, Miss — ?' 'Oh! It is only a novel!' replies the young lady, while she lays down her book with affected indifference, or momentary shame. 'It is only Cecilia, or Camilla, or Belinda'; or, in short, only some work in which the greatest powers of the mind are displayed, in which the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties, the liveliest effusions of wit and humour, are conveyed to the world in the best–chosen language...
By: Fergus Hume (1859-1932)
Things look bleak for Lesbia Hales. Her father does not let her marry the man she loves. Her mother is dead. She has to keep secrets in order to promote what she wants for herself. One day, her lover, George Walker, is injured in her home and someone stole the expensive amethyst cross. Who could have done that and why? - Summary by Stav Nisser.
By: Florence Irwin (1869-19??)
The mask is the one which we all wear, even though unconsciously, to hide our thoughts and feelings. Alison Terry wore one, though she had never realized it until she faced a crisis in her life. Alison, a girl of sympathetic mood and action whose keen intelligence is overbalanced by the inexperience of innocence and a sheltered upbringing, goes to New York with her erratic husband, Phil Howland. She passes through various stages of disillusionment inevitably resulting from cheap boarding-house life,...
By: Florence Louisa Barclay (1862-1921)
He is a wealthy gifted and handsome young pianist who worships beauty. She is a woman blessed with a divine voice, but a less than beautiful appearance. He proposes, but she cannot believe that his love will last. A tragic accident results in his losing his eyesight. She hears about the accident and takes up employment as his nurse without revealing her identity. This forgotten, 1910 best-seller still holds the power to charm and delight the modern-day reader. One of the most poignant love stories ever written, The Rosary by Florence Louisa Barclay takes its title from the name of a song that was a chart-buster in the early twentieth-century...
By: Florence Morse Kingsley (1859-1937)
And So They Were Married
This is the story of Elizabeth North a young woman who becomes engaged and with the aid of a social climbing friend begins to plan her wedding beyond what she can afford. Her friend Evelyn Tripp, convinces Elizabeth that she “simply can’t afford” not to live a fashionable and expensive lifestyle. However her husband and her grandma help her to see sense and pull herself out of the debt she has got herself into.
Princess and the Ploughman
On the surface, Mary is the typical literary heroine: Beautiful, animated, and accomplished. She will be rich, too, when she inherits her aunt's large fortune. There is only one problem: Mary is required to marry before her twenty-third birthday or her inheritance will be forfeited... and she is already violently in love with her girlfriend, Felice.
By: Florence Roma Muir Wilson (1891-1930)
Death of Society: A Novel of Tomorrow
A weary survivor of the Great War, Major Rane Smith wanders in a great ennui amidst the mystical beauties of the fjords of Norway after the War, seeking a spiritual renewal. Deep in the forest he stumbles fatefully upon the strange, almost elvish home of Karl Ingman, an iconoclastic old Ibsen scholar. There Major Smith meets Ingman's two beautiful young daughters and his eldritch wife Rosa, entering into long days of profound dialogue with each member of the family. A rare and exquisite gem of...
By: Frances Aymar Mathews
Newlyweds Betty Revere and Peter Van Zandt are completely smitten with each other. Their wedding is said to have been one of the most beautiful ever seen in New York. A conflict between the couple causes a series of events to take place which isn’t rectified till years later by a special little boy looking for Christmas happiness. - Summary by Jenn Broda
By: Frances Brooke
The History of Lady Julia Mandeville
Lady Julia, the daughter of the Earl of Belmont, and Mr. Henry Mandeville are falling in love. Though Henry is like a family friend, this love is not welcomed because the Lady Julia is promised to someone else (or so Henry thinks). When they discover that they can be together after all, it is much too late. This novel, written in the form of letters, as are a lot of 18th century novels, shows their beautiful and echoing love story through the eyes of many people.