By: William Blake
The First Book of Urizen
The Book of Urizen is one of the major prophetic books of the English poet William Blake, illustrated by Blake’s own plates. It was originally published as The First Book of Urizen in 1794. Later editions dropped the word “first”. The book takes its name from the character Urizen in Blake’s mythology, who represents alienated reason as the source of oppression. The book describes Urizen as the “primeaval priest”, and describes how he became separated from the other Eternals to create his own alienated and enslaving realm of religious dogma...
By: Joseph Smith Fletcher (1863-1935)
Dead Men's Money
A naïve but sincere young lawyer's assistant who only dreams of marrying his childhood sweetheart and yearns to have a home and family with her. His sharp witted boss keeps the firm going by dint of shrewd business sense and legal talent. When the assistant accidentally stumbles into a murder case, the scene is set for events that change all their lives. Dead Men's Money by Joseph Smith Fletcher was published in 1920, the era considered to be the Golden Age of detective fiction. Writers like Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh, Dorothy L...
By: H. Beam Piper (1904-1961)
Fenris isn't a hell planet, but it's nobody's bargain. With 2,000-hour days and an 8,000-hour year, it alternates blazing heat with killing cold. A planet like that tends to breed a special kind of person: tough enough to stay alive and smart enough to make the best of it. When that kind of person discovers he's being cheated of wealth he's risked his life for, that kind of planet is ripe for revolution. (Introduction from the Gutenberg text)
By: Arnold Bennett (1867-1931)
Ghost: A Modern Fantasy
The novel opens with Carl Foster, a recently qualified doctor, coming to London to try and make his fortune. He meets a famous tenor, Signor Alresca, who suffers a dreadful injury backstage and Foster tends to him. He thus meets the lead soprano, Rosetta Rosa, and falls hopelessly in love with her.Alresca takes Foster under his wing and they travel to Alresca's home in Bruges. It is clear to Foster that Alresca has some strange obsession. Foster also notices a stranger who seems to be dogging his footsteps.Things take an even more sinister turn when Alresca inexplicably dies. . .
By: John Bunyan
The Holy War
The Holy War is perhaps John Bunyan’s second most popular work, after The Pilgrim’s Progress. It tells the story of afierce battle to take control of a city from its rightful ruler.
By: J. M. Barrie (1860-1937)
His name has become a metaphor for one who will never grow old. Peter Pan by JM Barrie is the story of a boy who remains a boy while the world around him changes. Sir James Mathew Barrie was a Scottish playwright and novelist whose works were received with great critical and commercial success in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. He discovered the main inspiration for his creative genius in his friendship (and later guardianship) with the children of Arthur and Sylvia Llewellyn-Davies...
By: Charles Lamb
The Adventures of Ulysses
In The Adventures of Ulysses, Charles Lamb re-tells the story of Ulysses’s journey from Troy to his own kingdom of Ithaca. The book uses Homer’s The Odyssey as the basis for the story, but it isn’t a direct translation of the Greek classic. The book is considered a modern version of the epic tale when it was published in 1808. In the preface of the book, Lamb said that he made the narration of the story faster so that more readers would be attracted to it. To begin with, Homer’s Odyssey is already a classic and in re-telling this story, Charles Lamb aimed to make this epic poem more comprehensible to the average person...
By: Hugh Lofting (1886-1947)
The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle
The delightfully eccentric Doctor Dolittle, rendered immortal on screen by the gifted Rex Harrison, has remained a firm favorite with generations of children ever since he made his debut in an earlier novel, The Story of Doctor Dolittle. In his second outing titledThe Voyages of Doctor Dolittle, the maverick physician takes on a new assistant, Tommy Stubbins. The story is structured as a first person account given by Tommy, who is now a very old man. The boy who was the son of the village cobbler first meets Doctor Dolittle when he takes a hurt squirrel to the doctor for treatment...
The Story of Doctor Dolittle
An adventurous children’s novel, The Story of Doctor Dolittle is the first book in the Doctor Dolittle series. The novel depicts the many adventures of Dr. John Dolittle as he learns the language of animals and takes on various feats including exotic travel, a dangerous encounter with pirates, and a mission to set right from wrong. The novel begins with the introduction of Dr. John Dolittle, an animal lover and respected physician, who lives in the small English town of Puddleby-on-the-Marsh with his unmarried sister...
By: Andrew Lang (1844-1912)
The Pink Fairy Book
All people in the world tell nursery tales to their children, and the stories are apt to be like each other everywhere. A child who has read the Blue and Red and Yellow Fairy Books will find some old friends with new faces in the Pink Fairy Book. Courage, youth, beauty, kindness, have many trials, but they always win the battle; while witches, giants, unfriendly cruel people, are on the losing hand. So it ought to be, and so, on the whole, it is and will be; and that is all the moral of fairy tales...
By: Ayn Rand (1905-1982)
The title 'Anthem' is derived as an anthem to sense of self and self-governing thoughts. Anthem is a story of Equality 7-2521 who is a young man living in some unspecified future time and place. In this future era freedom and individual rights have been eradicated. The starring character of the novel is an inquisitive street cleaner. He lives in a society where people have lost their knowledge of individualism, to the extreme that people do not know words like 'I' or 'mine'. All the people live and work for their livelihood in collective groups, along with the people with power, namely the 'Councils'...
By: E. T. A. Hoffmann (1776-1822)
Ernst Theodor Wilhelm Hoffmann (1776 – 1822), better known by his pen name E.T.A. Hoffmann (Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann), was a German Romantic author of fantasy and horror, a jurist, composer, music critic, draftsman and caricaturist. Hoffmann's stories were very influential during the 19th century, and he is one of the major authors of the Romantic movement.He is the subject and hero of Jacques Offenbach's famous but fictional opera The Tales of Hoffmann, and the author of the novelette The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, on which the famous ballet The Nutcracker is based...
By: Joel Chandler Harris (1848-1908)
Uncle Remus and Brer Rabbit
Uncle Remus' stories feature a trickster hero called Br'er Rabbit ("Brother" Rabbit), who uses his wits to slide out of trouble and gain the advantage over the slower witted other animals, many of whom are trying to eat him. Br'er Rabbit stories were mostly collected directly from the afro-american oral story-telling tradition and are said to be a direct interpretation of Yoruba tales of Hare. This book contains 11 unique stories and was the last one published before the author's death. (Introduction by Phil Chenevert)
By: Murray Leinster (1896-1975)
The Mad Planet
It is 30,000 years following dramatically changed climate conditions on earth which had let massive amounts of carbon dioxide belch from the interior of the planet into the atmosphere. Over the millenia this would have quite devastating effects on life as it had once been known. Much of the human and animal population would not survive the climate change, and indeed those few humans who did survive knew nothing of all which their predecessors had learned and built. Indeed, they knew not even of their existence...
Operation: Outer Space
Jed Cochrane is about to take off on man's first interstellar voyage. His mission: Make sure it's good television! (Introduction by Mark Nelson)
By: Edith Nesbit (1858-1924)
The Book of Dragons
Eight enchanting tales about a variety of whimsical dragons, by a master of the craft, E Nesbit, are contained in this absolutely delightful volume, The Book of Dragons. While it's essentially meant for children, there are plenty of adults who will find it irresistible enough to peek into and a most charming way to spend a magical hour. Beautifully illustrated by the enormously talented Harold Robert Millar, the Scottish designer and illustrator famed for his unique and imaginative illustrations, The Book of Dragons is sure to delight both first time readers of the unique writer Edith Nesbit and those who have found pleasure in her other works...
The Phoenix and the Carpet
The Phoenix and the Carpet is a fantasy novel for children, written in 1904 by E. Nesbit. It is the second in a trilogy of novels that began with Five Children and It (1902), and follows the adventures of the same five protagonists – Cyril, Anthea, Robert, Jane and the Lamb. Their mother buys the children a new carpet to replace the one from the nursery that was destroyed in an unfortunate fire accident. Through a series of exciting events, the children find an egg in the carpet which cracks into a talking Phoenix. The Phoenix explains that the carpet is a magical one that will grant them three wishes per day.
Harding's luck is sequel to E. Nesbit's "The House of Arden". It tells the story of Dickie Harding, a disabled boy, who one day accidentelly discovers an old magic, that allows him to travel into his own past. There he meets Elfrida and Edred Arden (as told in "The House of Arden") and together they seek for a long lost treasure.
By: Montague R. James (1862-1936)
The Five Jars
The Five Jars is the only novel written by James, who is best known for his ghost stories. It is a peculiarly surreal fantasy apparently written for children. While he is out walking, the narrator is drawn to a remote pool, and finds a small box that has been hidden since Roman times. He gradually learns how to use its contents, fighting off a series of attempts to steal it, and becomes aware of a strange world hidden from our own.
By: Charles Kingsley (1819-1875)
First published in 1863, The Water Babies by Rev Charles Kingsley became a Victorian children's classic along with J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan and Lewis Caroll's Alice books. It is an endearing and entertaining novel that can equally be enjoyed by adult readers as well. However, it fell out of favor in later years since it contained many ideas that are considered politically incorrect and offensive today from a humanitarian perspective. The Water Babies, A Fairy Tale for a Land Baby to give the book its complete title tells the story of Tom, a young orphan chimney-sweep in Victorian London...
By: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930)
The Mystery of Cloomber
This novel is written by the author of, among other novels, the Stories of Sherlock Holmes. It is narrated by John Fothergill West, who tries to discover why the tenant of Cloomber Hall, General Heatherstone, is nervous to the point of being paranoid. Why are his fears becoming stronger every year at the fifth of October? And why doesn't he let his children leave home? This is a great mystery novel with a sharp twist at the end.
Doings of Raffles Haw
The people of the small town of Tamfield are not used to exciting things happening. When millionaire Raffles Haw moves to town, rumors spread like wildfire about him. The advent of Mr. Haw, however, changes the town, and particularly the lives of the McIntyre family, in ways no one could ever have guessed.
By: E.M. Berens
Myths and Legends of Ancient Greece and Rome
Silver footed, fair haired Thetis, Ares the God of War, Nike the Goddess of Victory, The Furies and The Muses, Zeus the presiding deity of the Universe and the magical, mysterious Olympus, are some of the amazing, mythical Greek and Roman deities you'll encounter in this book. Myths and Legends of Ancient Greece and Rome by EM Berens was originally intended for young readers. Written in an easy and light style, the author attempts to bring the pantheon of gods into a comprehensible format....
By: Robert E. Howard (1906-1936)
Conan the Cimmerian pursues the beautiful and deadly pirate Valeria after she kills a Stygian only to find himself cornered by a dragon. Apparently this dragon doesn’t know who he’s messing with. The pair then encounters the city of Xuchotl with its warring factions and ancient secrets. Swordplay and sorcery ensue. – Red Nails is Howard’s final Conan story and was published in the July, August, September and October 1936 issues of Weird Tales magazine
By: Edwin Abbott Abbott (1838-1926)
Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions
If you've never heard the term “Mathematical Fiction” before, Edwin Abbott Abbott's 1884 novella, Flatland can certainly enlighten you! Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions was published in 1884 and since then, it has been discovered and re-discovered by succeeding generations who have been delighted by its unique view of society and people. The plot opens with a description of the fictional Flatland. The narrator calls himself “Square” and asks readers to “Imagine a vast sheet of paper on which straight Lines, Squares, Triangles, Pentagons, Hexagons and other figures, instead of remaining fixed in their places, move freely about...
By: Eugene Field (1850-1895)
Love-Songs of Childhood
If you've heard and loved that delightful nursery rhyme/lullaby, Wynken Blynken and Nod you'd certainly enjoy browsing through its creator Eugene Field's Love Songs of Childhood. The volume contains some forty or more poems for children, which are ideal for read aloud sessions with young folks. Parents will certainly enjoy reading them too. Most of these poems have been set to music and are ideal for family sing-alongs too. Eugene Field was a gifted humorist as well as being a talented children's writer...
By: John Kendrick Bangs (1862-1922)
Alice in Blunderland: an Iridescent Dream
John Kendrick Bangs (May 27, 1862 – January 21, 1922) was an American author and satirist, and the creator of modern Bangasian Fantasy, the school of fantasy writing that sets the plot wholly or partially in the afterlife. (Wikipedia)Plot summary: J K Bangs has taken Alice from Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland” and lets her on a boring day travel with the Mad Hatter, the March Hare, the Cheshire Cat and the other of Carroll’s familiar characters to Blunderland. The story is a well written Satire, a witty, humorous tale of adventure and city politics, a tale of Alice in a land where nothing is as it should be. (Summary by Lars Rolander)
A House-Boat on the Styx
The premise of the book is that everyone who has ever died (up until the time in which the book is set, which seems to be about the time of its publication) has gone to Styx. This does not appear to be the conventional Hell described by Dante in The Inferno, but rather the Hades described in Greek myth (both of which had Styxes): a universal collecting pot for dead souls, regardless of their deeds in life. The book begins with Charon, ferryman of the Styx (in The Inferno, he was the ferryman of the river Acheron) being startled—and annoyed—by the arrival of a house boat on the Styx...
The Pursuit of the House-Boat
This sequel to Bangs' A House-Boat on the Styx continues the "thought-experiment" of bringing various historical and fictional figures together, detailing the adventures of the ladies of Hades after they are kidnapped by pirates and the attempts of the Associated Shades (led by Sherlock Holmes) to retrieve their house-boat. (Introduction by Emma Joyce)
The author has discovered for us in this volume the present stopping place of that famous raconteur of dear comic memory, the late Hieronymous Carl Friederich, sometime Baron Munchausen, and he transmits to us some further adventures of this traveler and veracious relator of merry tales. There are about a dozen of these tales, and, judging by Mr. Bangs' recital of them, the Baron's adventures on this mundane sphere were no more exciting than those he has encountered since taking the ferry across the Styx...
The Enchanted Typewriter is a collection of short stories by the American author John Kendrick Bangs, written in 1899 in the style that has become known as Bangsian fantasy. Bangs attributes many of the stories to the late (and invisible) James Boswell, who has become an editor for a newspaper in Hades, and who communicates with the author by means of an old typewriter. The fantasy stories in this book are part of the author's Hades series, named for the stories' setting.
By: Maude L. Radford (1875-1934)
King Arthur and His Knights
Published in 1903, King Arthur and His Knights by Maude L. Radford is an easy to read version of the Arthurian legends, made simple and interesting for children. Maude Lavinia Radford Warren was a Canadian born American who taught literature and composition at the University of Chicago between 1893-1907. Following the success of some of her books, she left teaching to take up writing as a full time career. She also served as a war correspondent for the New York Times magazine during WWI and contributed several remarkable features on the role of women in the conflict...