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Satires

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By: Molière (1622-1673)

Book cover Learned Women

By: Saki (1870-1916)

Book cover Unbearable Bassington

The Unbearable Bassington was the first novel written by Saki (H. H. Munro). It also contains much of the elegant wit found in his short stories. Comus (The Unbearable) Bassington, is a charming young man about town. His perversity however thwarts all his mother’s efforts to advance his prospects and lands him in hot water. Like many a “black sheep” he ends up being sent off to one of the colonies to fend for himself. This book showcases Saki’s wonderful writing and that ability to be so very funny and terribly sad at the same time.

Book cover Unbearable Bassington

The Unbearable Bassington was the first novel written by Saki (H. H. Munro). It also contains much of the elegant wit found in his short stories. Comus (The Unbearable) Bassington, is a charming young man about town. His perversity however thwarts all his mother’s efforts to advance his prospects and lands him in hot water. Like many a “black sheep” he ends up being sent off to one of the colonies to fend for himself. This book showcases Saki’s wonderful writing and that ability to be so very funny and terribly sad at the same time.

By: George Calderon (1868-1915)

Book cover Cinderella

If you are expecting glass slippers and pumpkin coaches, look elsewhere... This is "a pantomime as Ibsen would have written it, if only it had occurred to him to write one." Set on a "bleak and cheerless heath overlooking the fjord" we meet Ibsenesque heroine Mrs. Inquest, her step-daughter Hilda, and her daughter Hedda, who is engaged to be married to the unfortunate Tesman. Thus begins Calderon's hilarious Ibsenesque version of Cinderella. NOTE from the editor of the volume, published in 1922 after Calderon's death: This play is hardly more than a rough draft, written when the idea was fresh and put aside to be worked on when the right moment should come...

By: George Gascoigne (1535-1577)

Book cover Adventures of Master F.J.

This story presents through letters, poems and third-person commentary the love affair between a young man named Freeman Jones and a married woman named Elinor, lady of the castle he is visiting in Scotland. Events in the affair are traced from initial attraction through seduction to (somewhat) graphic sexual encounters and their aftermath. (Allegedly based on a real-life scandal, the author, in re-issuing his story two years later, transplanted the action to Italy, renaming the principals Fernando Jeronimi and Leonora.)

Book cover Adventures of Master F.J.

This story presents through letters, poems and third-person commentary the love affair between a young man named Freeman Jones and a married woman named Elinor, lady of the castle he is visiting in Scotland. Events in the affair are traced from initial attraction through seduction to (somewhat) graphic sexual encounters and their aftermath. (Allegedly based on a real-life scandal, the author, in re-issuing his story two years later, transplanted the action to Italy, renaming the principals Fernando Jeronimi and Leonora.)

By: Allan Monkhouse (1858-1936)

Book cover Mary Broome

Before Downton Abbey, there was Mary Broome. In Allan Monkhouse's 1911 satire, when the son of a middle-class household gets their housemaid pregnant, the two families must try to combine their very different values.

By: William Blake (1757-1827)

Book cover Marriage of Heaven and Hell

The work was composed between 1790 and 1793, in the period of radical foment and political conflict immediately after the French Revolution. The title is an ironic reference to Emanuel Swedenborg's theological work Heaven and Hell published in Latin 33 years earlier. Swedenborg is directly cited and criticized by Blake several places in the Marriage. Though Blake was influenced by his grand and mystical cosmic conception, Swedenborg's conventional moral structures and his Manichean view of good...

Book cover Marriage of Heaven and Hell

The work was composed between 1790 and 1793, in the period of radical foment and political conflict immediately after the French Revolution. The title is an ironic reference to Emanuel Swedenborg's theological work Heaven and Hell published in Latin 33 years earlier. Swedenborg is directly cited and criticized by Blake several places in the Marriage. Though Blake was influenced by his grand and mystical cosmic conception, Swedenborg's conventional moral structures and his Manichean view of good...

By: George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

Book cover Widowers' Houses

This is one of three plays Shaw published as Plays Unpleasant in 1898; they were termed "unpleasant" because they were intended, not to entertain their audiences—as traditional Victorian theatre was expected to—but to raise awareness of social problems and to censure exploitation of the laboring class by the unproductive rich. In this play, Dr. Harry Trench becomes disillusioned when he discovers how his fiancee's father, Mr. Sartorius, makes his money. However, it is soon revealed that Trench's own income is far from untainted.

By: Mark Twain (1835-1910)

Book cover Mark Twain’s Journal Writings, Volume 2

This second collection of essays by Mark Twain is a good example of the diversity of subject matter about which he wrote. As with the essays in Volume 1, many first appeared alone, in magazines or newspapers, before being printed as chapters of his larger works, while others were taken from larger works and reprinted in collections of essays. On top of being prolific, Mark Twain was a very successful marketer of his works. Volume 2 contains the following works: 1.) "A Curious Experience" - 1892 2...

By: Ivan Goncharov (1812-1891)

Book cover Oblomov

Oblomov is the best known novel by Russian writer Ivan Goncharov, first published in 1859. Oblomov is also the central character of the novel, often seen as the ultimate incarnation of the superfluous man, a symbolic character in 19th-century Russian literature. Oblomov is a young, generous nobleman who seems incapable of making important decisions or undertaking any significant actions. Spoiled as a child to the point of not even being able to put on his own socks, Oblomov is unprepared to deal with the smallest difficulty of adult life...

By: Saki (1870-1916)

Book cover Westminster Alice

Published five years before John Kendrick Bangs had the same idea with Alice in Blunderland, Saki, in his 1902 series of satirical articles, takes an Alice in Wonderland view of British politics, which Alice finds even stranger than events in Wonderland.In all honesty, owing to its extremely topical nature this political satire hasn't worn well, which explains why it has virtually sunk without trace. To appreciate it at all, it's really rather necessary to understand the topical references. I am...

By: Mark Twain (1835-1910)

Book cover Mark Twain’s Journal Writings, Volume 3

This third volume of Mark Twain's journal writings continues on eclectic and varied path established by the first two volumes. Included in this collection are works that appeared by themselves in magazines during Twain's lifetime, as well as essays taken by editors and Twain himself from Twain's larger works, and re-published in collections of his stories. This volume includes the following works: "Buying Gloves in Gibraltar", "The great revolution in Pitcairn", "A Gift from India" [including editor's...

By: Maurice Switzer (1870-1929)

Book cover To a Faded Rose

LibriVox readers bring you 16 recordings of "To a Faded Rose" by Maurice Switzer. This was the Weekly Poetry selection for June 16, 2013.

By: Ivan Goncharov (1812-1891)

Book cover Common Story

Alexander Fedoritch Adouev is the naïve, pampered son of Anna Pavlovna, a provincial landowner. He decides to go off to Saint Petersburg, not only to make his mark upon society but also to fulfill his two rosy romantic dreams of becoming a great writer and finding a great love. He is taken under the reluctant wing of his uncle, Piotr Ivanitch Adouev, a pragmatic, hard-headed businessman who scorns everything romantic and tries to cure Alexander Fedoritch of his sentimental, youthful illusions. The...

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

Book cover Wonderful Visit

An other-worldly creature visits a small English village, and H. G. Wells uses humour and satire to convey some of the imperfections of Victorian society, as ‘angel’ and humans view each other with equal incomprehension.(

By: Decimus Iunius Iuvenalis (-2nd Cent.)

Book cover Satires

Decimus Iunius Iuvenalis, known in English as Juvenal, was a Roman poet active in the late 1st and early 2nd century AD. The details of the author's life are unclear, although references within his text to known persons of the late 1st and early 2nd centuries AD fix his terminus post quem (earliest date of composition). The Satires are a collection of satirical poems by Juvenal written in the late 1st and early 2nd centuries AD. Juvenal is credited with sixteen known poems divided among five books; all are in the Roman genre of satire, which, at its most basic in the time of the author, comprised a wide-ranging discussion of society and social mores in dactylic hexameter...

By: Aristophanes (446-389 BCE)

Book cover Acharnians (Billson Translation)

Loaded with cryptic, nearly indecipherable inside jokes and double entendres, this early comedy of Aristophanes has a simple, anti-war premise that resounds down the centuries. On flimsy pretexts, greedy politicians have embroiled the nation of Athens in war after war after war. Dicæopolis is Everyman, an ordinary, plain-speaking citizen fed up with the bumbling, belligerence, and insincerity of the professional leaders. He decides on a whim to make a separate peace with Sparta all by himself, returning with a treaty good for thirty years...

By: Charles Macklin (1699-1797)

Book cover Will and No Will or a Bone for the Lawyers

This "Afterpiece" - a short play to follow a main production - was first produced in 1746. It was based on Regnard's five-act comedy le Legetaire Universel (1707), which is itself a composite of Italian comedy with echoes of Molière, moving from scene to scene with little effort at logical consistency or structure but treating each scene autonomously for its own comic value. The rather long Prologue to A WILL AND NO WILL (11 pages of manuscript) makes fun of the convention of the eighteenth century prologues by the familiar dodge of having actors chatting as though they were in the Pit waiting for the actors in the preceding main play to dress for the afterpiece.


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