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By: Bret Harte (1836-1902)

Book cover Thankful Blossom
Book cover Sally Dows
Book cover The Heritage of Dedlow Marsh and Other Tales
Book cover The Three Partners
Book cover Found at Blazing Star
Book cover The Queen of the Pirate Isle
Book cover A Phyllis of the Sierras
Book cover A First Family of Tasajara
Book cover Two Men of Sandy Bar; a drama
Book cover A Drift from Redwood Park

By: William Harrison Ainsworth (1805-1882)

Rookwood by William Harrison Ainsworth Rookwood

A rich and complex Gothic-Romance centring on the murky deeds of an ancient family. It is a wonderfully atmospheric piece that combines narrative, poetry, song, and descriptive writing to great effect. The character of Dick Turpin that we know today – the dashing highwaymen and unmatched horseman – can be said to stem directly from this novel, as the most famous part of the book (often published on its own in the past), Turpin’s Ride To York, is devoted to him. Although seemingly little known to a modern audience, Ainsworth’s ‘Rookwood’ gave the world the image of the highwayman with which we are all so familiar.

Windsor Castle, Book 1 by William Harrison Ainsworth Windsor Castle, Book 1

Book 1 - Ann Boleyn. The focus of the novels is on the events surrounding Henry VIII's replacing Catherine of Aragon with Anne Boleyn as his wife. During Henry's pursuit of Boleyn, the novel describes other couples, including the Earl of Surrey and Lady Elizabeth Fitzgerald, a match Henry does not support. However, some of the individuals oppose Henry and his desires for Boleyn, including Thomas Wyat who wants her for himself and Cardinal Wolsey, who uses his own daughter, Mabel Lyndwood, to lure Henry away from Boleyn...

Book cover Jack Sheppard A Romance

By: Samuel Butler (1835-1902)

Erewhon by Samuel Butler Erewhon

Erewhon, or Over the Range is a novel by Samuel Butler, published anonymously in 1872. The title is also the name of a country, supposedly discovered by the protagonist. In the novel, it is not revealed in which part of the world Erewhon is, but it is clear that it is a fictional country. Butler meant the title to be read as the word Nowhere backwards, even though the letters “h” and “w” are transposed. It is likely that he did this to protect himself from accusations of being unpatriotic, although Erewhon is obviously a satire of Victorian society.

The Way of All Flesh by Samuel Butler The Way of All Flesh

The Way of All Flesh (1903) is a semi-autobiographical novel by Samuel Butler which attacks Victorian-era hypocrisy. Written between 1873 and 1884, it traces four generations of the Pontifex family. It represents the diminishment of religious outlook from a Calvinistic approach, which is presented as harsh. Butler dared not publish it during his lifetime, but when it was published it was accepted as part of the general revulsion against Victorianism.

By: Richard D. Blackmore

Lorna Doone, a Romance of Exmoor by Richard D. Blackmore Lorna Doone, a Romance of Exmoor

“If anybody cares to read a simple tale told simply” … thus opens Lorna Doone, one of the best love stories ever written. The novel has inspired at least ten movies and mini-series. “John (in West Country dialect this is pronounced Jan) Ridd is the son of a respectable farmer who was murdered in cold blood by a member of the notorious Doone clan, a once-noble family now living in the isolated Doone Valley. Battling his desire for revenge, John also grows into a respectable farmer and continues to take good care of his mother and two sisters...

Erema by Richard D. Blackmore Erema

A few years before the great Civil War, a young English woman and her father, having left the security of their wagon train, are lost in the unforgiving Californian desert, looking in vain for the landmark that marks the short-cut across those last western mountains which would lead them to the home of an old friend. George Castlewood gives all the water and rations he has to his daughter, Erema, and dies just a short distance from help. Rescued by kind Sampson “Uncle Sam” Gundry, the family friend they had been seeking, Erema lives for a time at his saw mill...

By: Georgette Heyer

The Black Moth by Georgette Heyer The Black Moth

Jack Carstares, oldest son of the Earl Wyncham, has been disgraced by his brother. Gone for six years, living the life a highwayman he meets the woman he will fall in love with. Saving her from being kidnapped by a dastardly blackguard he is injured and must stay with her family until he is able to return to his life…will she discovery his true identity? Will he be able to leave her when the time comes? Mystery and humor follow this intriguing cast of characters until the very end. (Summary by Terra Mendoza)

By: Arthur Machen (1863-1947)

The White People by Arthur Machen The White People

Literary critics see Arthur Machen’s works as a significant part of the late Victorian revival of the gothic novel and the decadent movement of the 1890s, bearing direct comparison to the themes found in contemporary works like Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray. The White People is a highly influential horror story of a young girl’s discovery of ancient magic. It was written in the late 1890s as part of a longer unfinished novel, some sketches from which went into his book Ornaments in Jade. Fans of supernatural fiction often cite this story as a classic in the genre.

Book cover The House of Souls

By: Varous

Ancient Greek Philosopher-Scientists by Varous Ancient Greek Philosopher-Scientists

The Pre-Socratic Greek philosophers, that is, the philosopher-scientists who lived before or contemporaneously to Socrates, were the first men in the Western world to establish a line of inquiry regarding the natural phenomena that rejected the traditional religious explanations and searched for rational explanations. Even though they do not form a school of thought, they can be considered the fathers of philosophy and many other sciences as we have them now. None of their works is extant, so, in this collection, we present the textual fragments, when existing, of ten Pre-Socratic philosopher-scientists, and quotations and testimonials about them left by later authors...

By: Ernest William Hornung

Dead Men Tell No Tales by Ernest William Hornung Dead Men Tell No Tales

Ernest William Hornung (June 7, 1866 – March 22, 1921) was an English author. Hornung was the third son of John Peter Hornung, a Hungarian, and was born in Middlesbrough. He was educated at Uppingham during some of the later years of its great headmaster, Edward Thring. He spent most of his life in England and France, but in 1884 left for Australia and stayed for two years where he working as a tutor at Mossgiel station. Although his Australian experience had been so short, it coloured most of his literary work from A Bride from the Bush published in 1899, to Old Offenders and a few Old Scores, which appeared after his death...

By: Richard Jefferies (1848-1887)

After London, or Wild England by Richard Jefferies After London, or Wild England

First published in 1885, After London, or Wild England is considered to be one of the earliest instances of post-apocalyptic fiction, describing the effects of an unspecified catastrophe that dramatically changes the face of England and its population. Divided into two parts, the first depicts the fall of civilization, as society reverts to its more primitive roots, while the second part is set years after the apocalyptic event and examines the evident changes in both natural scenery and social structure...

Amaryllis at the Fair by Richard Jefferies Amaryllis at the Fair
Book cover Wood Magic A Fable
Book cover Pageant of Summer

By: Ann Radcliffe (1764-1823)

The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe The Mysteries of Udolpho

Considered a change agent in early Gothic romance; oft-referenced in later literary works or paid homage to by such authors as Jane Austen (influential novel ready by her heroine, Catherine Morland, in Northanger Abbey); Edgar Allen Poe (borrowed plot elements for the short story The Oval Portrait); and Sir Walter Scott. In The Mysteries of Udolpho, one of the most famous and popular gothic novels of the eighteenth century, Ann Radcliffe took a new tack from her predecessors and portrayed her heroine’s inner life, creating an atmosphere thick with fear, and providing a gripping plot that continues to thrill readers today...

A Sicilian Romance by Ann Radcliffe A Sicilian Romance

A Sicilian Romance is a Gothic novel by Ann Radcliffe. It was her second published work, and was first published anonymously in 1790. The plot concerns the turbulent history of the fallen aristocrats of the house of Mazzini, on the northern shore of Sicily, as related by a tourist who becomes intrigued by the stories of a monk he meets in the ruins of their doomed castle. The introduction to the 'Worlds Classics' edition notes that in this novel "Ann Radcliffe began to forge the unique mixture of the psychology of terror and poetic description that would make her the great exemplar of the Gothic novel, and the idol of the Romantics"...

By: George B. Grinnell

Blackfeet Indian Stories by George B. Grinnell Blackfeet Indian Stories

The Blackfeet were hunters, travelling from place to place on foot. They used implements of stone, wood, or bone, wore clothing made of skins, and lived in tents covered by hides. Dogs, their only tame animals, were used as beasts of burden to carry small packs and drag light loads. The stories here told come down to us from very ancient times. Grandfathers have told them to their grandchildren, and these again to their grandchildren, and so from mouth to mouth, through many generations, they have reached our time. (Sibella Denton)

By: Giacomo Casanova (1725-1798)

The Memoirs of Jacques Casanova by Giacomo Casanova The Memoirs of Jacques Casanova

This is the first of five volumes. – Giacomo Casanova (1725 in Venice – 1798 in Dux, Bohemia, now Duchcov, Czech Republic) was a famous Venetian adventurer, writer, and womanizer. He used charm, guile, threats, intimidation, and aggression, when necessary, to conquer women, sometimes leaving behind children or debt. In his autobiography Histoire de ma vie (Story of My Life), regarded as one of the most authentic sources of the customs and norms of European social life during the 18th century, he mentions 122 women with whom he had sex...

By: Robert Bloch

This Crowded Earth by Robert Bloch This Crowded Earth

Robert Bloch was a prolific writer in many genres. As a young man he was encouraged by his mentor H. P. Lovecraft, and was a close friend of Stanley G. Weinbaum. Besides hundreds of short stories and novels he wrote a number of television and film scripts including several for the original Star Trek. In 1959 Bloch wrote the novel Psycho which Alfred Hitchcock adapted to film a year later. He received the Hugo Award, the World Fantasy Award, the Bram Stoker Award, and he is a past president of the Mystery Writers of America. Published in Amazing Stories in 1958, This Crowded Earth is a thriller set on an overpopulated Earth of the future.

By: Mark Phillips (Randall Garrett and Laurence M. Janifer)

Brain Twister by Mark Phillips (Randall Garrett and Laurence M. Janifer) Brain Twister

“Mark Phillips” is, or are, two writers: Randall Garrett and Laurence M. Janifer. Their joint pen-name, derived from their middle names (Philip and Mark), was coined soon after their original meeting, at a science-fiction convention. Both men were drunk at the time, which explains a good deal, and only one has ever sobered up. A matter for constant contention between the collaborators is which one. Originally published as That Sweet Little Old Lady, Brain Twister follows the adventures of FBI agent Kenneth J...

By: Elliott O’Donnell (1872—1965)

Animal Ghosts by Elliott O’Donnell Animal Ghosts

Summary: This is a collection of ghost stories in which the antagonists are various animals. Divided up into chapters of ghost sightings by each group of animals, you will hear of hauntings by dogs, cats, birds, jungle animals, etc. (Summary by Allyson Hester)

By: Robert Barr (1850-1912)

The Triumphs of Eugene Valmont by Robert Barr The Triumphs of Eugene Valmont

Short stories by a colleague of Jerome K. Jerome, and friend of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Barr probably wrote the first parody of Sherlock Holmes (included in this collection). He co-edited “The Idler” with Jerome. [written by Czechchris]

A Prince of Good Fellows by Robert Barr A Prince of Good Fellows

Robert Barr (1849 - 1912) was a Scottish Journalist, editor, humorist and author. A Prince of Good Fellows was published in 1902, and is a series of Historical Fiction stories about the young James V, King of Scots (1512 – 1542). The chapters are full of humor and adventure and portrays a young King who is both wise and adventurous.

Book cover Jennie Baxter, Journalist

By: Henry Kuttner (1915—1958)

The Creature from Beyond Infinity by Henry Kuttner The Creature from Beyond Infinity

A lone space traveler arrives on Earth seeking a new planet to colonize, his own world dead. At the same time a mysterious plague has infected Earth that will wipe out all life. Can a lone scientist stop the plague and save the world? Or will the alien find himself on another doomed planet?

The Ego Machine by Henry Kuttner The Ego Machine

Celebrated playwright Nicholas Martin didn’t read the small print in his Hollywood options contract. Now he’s facing five years of servitude to a conceited director named Raoul St. Cyr, who’s taken a thoughtful play about Portuguese fishermen and added dancing mermaids. When it seems the plot has changed to include a robot from the future Nicholas looses all hope, but this robot may be just what he needs to win his freedom. – The Ego Machine was first published in the May, 1952 issue of Space Science Fiction magazine.

By: Samuel B. Allison

An American Robinson Crusoe by Samuel B. Allison An American Robinson Crusoe

An American Robinson Crusoe is a short version of the original story. An indolent, rebellious teen goes on a marine voyage against his parents’ wishes. The ship (and all of its crew) is lost in a storm, but Robinson makes it to a deserted island. He has no tools, no weapons, but he lives for over 28 years on the island. He befriends many animals on the island and after over 20 years living solo, he is joined by a young “savage” who becomes his constant companion. The transformation from the young, lazy teen to a self-sustaining, incredibly knowledgeable adult is one of the major themes in the story.

By: Lucy Clifford (1846-1929)

Anyhow Stories: Moral and Otherwise by Lucy Clifford Anyhow Stories: Moral and Otherwise

A collection of stories and poems for children by British novelist, journalist, and playwright Lucy Lane Clifford, better known during her lifetime as Mrs W.K. Clifford. She was famous with her mathematician husband for Sunday salons which attracted both scientists and literati. She was born in 1846 and died in 1929. Summary by Val Grimm

By: Elizabeth Gaskell (1810-1865)

Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell Cranford

Cranford is the best-known novel of the 19th century English writer Elizabeth Gaskell. It was first published in 1851 as a serial in the magazine Household Words, which was edited by Charles Dickens.

Sylvia's Lovers by Elizabeth Gaskell Sylvia's Lovers

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: Gertrude Knevels (1881-1962)

The Wonderful Bed by Gertrude Knevels The Wonderful Bed

Three children sent to stay the night with their Aunt Jane find themselves sharing an enormous bed. So enormous is it, that when they make a tent of the bedsheets and crawl in, they never make it to the foot of the bed, crawling instead into a dreamworld of caves and pirates and adventures.

By: Robert Michael Ballantyne (1825-1894)

The Coral Island - A Tale of the Pacific Ocean by Robert Michael Ballantyne The Coral Island - A Tale of the Pacific Ocean

Ralph Rover is a traveler at heart, and has always dreamed of shipping out to the South Seas islands. He finally convinces his aging parents to let him go and find his way in the world. But the islands that Ralph finds are not as idyllic as in his dreams. Shipwrecked on a large, uninhabited island, Ralph and his fellow survivors, Jim and Peterkin, discover a world of hostile natives and villainous pirates. Danger, high adventure, and wonders of the sea greet them at every turn. When all seems lost, they find help from an unexpected source.

By: Peter Abelard

The Love Letters of Abelard and Heloise by Peter Abelard The Love Letters of Abelard and Heloise

Heloise was a strong-willed and gifted woman who was fluent in Latin, Greek and Hebrew, and came from a lower social standing than Abelard. At age 19, and living under her uncle Fulbert’s roof, Heloise fell in love with Abelard, who she was studying under. Not only did they have a clandestine affair of a sexual nature, they had a child, Astrolabe, out of wedlock. Discovered by the Fulbert (who was a Church official), Abelard was assaulted by a hired thug and castrated, and Heloise entered a convent...

The Story of My Misfortunes by Peter Abelard The Story of My Misfortunes

Autobiographies from remote historical periods can be especially fascinating. Modes of self-presentation vary greatly across the centuries, as of course does the very concept of Self. Peter Abelard, the medieval philosopher and composer, here gives a concise but vivid survey of his notoriously calamitous life. The work is couched in the form of a letter to an afflicted friend. Abelard’s abrasively competitive, often arrogant personality emerges at once in the brief Foreword, where he informs his correspondent: “(I)n comparing your sorrows with mine, you may discover that yours are in truth nought.. and so shall you come to bear them the more easily.”

By: Christopher Morley (1890-1957)

The Haunted Bookshop by Christopher Morley The Haunted Bookshop

Roger Mifflin is the somewhat eccentric proprietor of The Haunted Bookshop, a second-hand bookstore in Brooklyn that is “haunted by the ghosts of all great literature.” Beginning with the arrival of a young advertising man and the mysterious disappearance of a certain volume from the shelves of the bookshop, a lively and often humorous tale of intrigue unfolds, generously sprinkled with liberal doses of Roger’s unique philosophy on literature and book selling.

Parnassus on Wheels by Christopher Morley Parnassus on Wheels

Parnassus on Wheels is about a fictional traveling book-selling business. The original owner of the business, Roger Mifflin, sells it to 39-year-old Helen McGill, who is tired of taking care of her ailing older brother, Andrew.

Book cover Mince Pie

Mince Pie is a compilation of humorous sketches, poetry, and essays written by Christopher Morley. Morley sets the tone in the preface: "If one asks what excuse there can be for prolonging the existence of these trifles, my answer is that there is no excuse. But a copy on the bedside shelf may possibly pave the way to easy slumber. Only a mind "debauched by learning" (in Doctor Johnson's phrase) will scrutinize them too anxiously."

Book cover Where the Blue Begins

By: William Hope Hodgson (1877-1918)

The House on the Borderland by William Hope Hodgson The House on the Borderland

In 1877, two gentlemen, Messrs Tonnison and Berreggnog, head into Ireland to spend a week fishing in the village of Kraighten. While there, they discover in the ruins of a very curious house a diary of the man who had once owned it. Its torn pages seem to hint at an evil beyond anything that existed on this side of the curtains of impossibility. This is a classic novel that worked to slowly bridge the gap between the British fantastic and supernatural authors of the later 19th century and modern horror fiction. Classic American horror writer H. P. Lovecraft lists this and other works by Hodgson among his greatest influences.

By: Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol

Dead Souls by Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol Dead Souls

Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol, Russian writer, was first published in 1842, and is one of the most prominent works of 19th-century Russian literature. Gogol himself saw it as an “epic poem in prose”, and within the book as a “novel in verse”. Despite supposedly completing the trilogy’s second part, Gogol destroyed it shortly before his death. Although the novel ends in mid-sentence (like Sterne’s Sentimental Journey), it is usually regarded as complete in the extant form. In Russia before the emancipation of the serfs in 1861, landowners were entitled to own serfs to farm their land...

By: John R. Watson

The Hampstead Mystery by John R. Watson The Hampstead Mystery

A Murder Whodunit!Location: Hampstead, England.Victim: Sir Horace Fewbanks, a distinguished High Court judge. Cause of death: gun shot wound.Investigator: Private Detective Crewe, a wealthy bachelor who has taken up crime detection as a hobby, because it provides intellectual challenges more satisfying even than playing twelve simultaneous boards against Russian chess champion Turgieff.His sidekick: Joe is a fourteen year old Cockney boy, whom Crewe saved from a life of crime by hiring him as a messenger-boy and shadower.Other whodunit elements: clues galore, suspects in abundance, an inquest, a trial, and an elegant resolution.

By: Jacob Grimm (1785-1863), Wilhelm Grimm (1786-1859), and Andrew Lang (1844-1912) (1785-1863)

Personal Collection of Short Tales  compiled by Carmie by Jacob Grimm (1785-1863), Wilhelm Grimm (1786-1859), and Andrew Lang (1844-1912) Personal Collection of Short Tales compiled by Carmie

This is a selection of the fairy tales (in English) written by Jacob Ludwig Carl Grimm and Wilhelm Karl Grimm in the early 19th Century. These stories are fantastical and although aimed squarely at the flexible mind of a child which can assimilate much stranger concepts than an adult they are quite dark and occasionally brutal. The stakes can be quite high as in Rumpelstiltskin where a terrible bargain is made without due regard to possible future consequences and Tom Thumb who seems forever about to be imprisoned or sliced in two...

By: Dorothy Canfield Fisher (1879-1958)

Book cover The Squirrel-Cage

By: James Hay (1881-1936)

No Clue!  A Mystery Story by James Hay No Clue! A Mystery Story

“No Clue! A Mystery Story” finds detective Jefferson Hastings at the home of wealthy but eccentric Arthur Sloane one hot summer night, when two other guests at Sloanehurst stumble across the body of young Mildred Brace lying dead on the lawn. Sloane’s daughter Lucille asks Hastings to help solve the crime, but Hastings gets surprisingly little help from anybody he interviews, including Mr. Sloane himself and even the mother of the victim. With few clues to aid him and nobody beyond suspicion,...

By: Marcel Proust (1871-1922)

Book cover Swann's Way (Version 2)

Swann's Way is the first book in the seven-volume work In Search of Lost Time, or Remembrance of Things Past, by Marcel Proust. It is a novel written in the form of an autobiography. Proust's most prominent work, it is popularly known for its length and the notion of involuntary memory, the most famous example being the "episode of the madeleine."

By: John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892)

Book cover Yankee Gypsies
Book cover The Boy Captives

By: John Meade Falkner (1858-1932)

Moonfleet by John Meade Falkner Moonfleet

The novel is set in a fishing village in Dorset during the mid 18th century. The story concerns a 15 year old orphan boy, John Trenchard, who becomes friends with an older man who turns out to be the leader of a gang of smugglers.One night John chances on the smugglers’ store in the crypt beneath the church. He explores but hides behind a coffin when he hears voices. He finds a locket which contains a parchment, in the coffin belonging to Colonel Mohune. Unfortunately after the visitors leave,...


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