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By: Anthony Trollope (1815-1882)

Book cover La Vendée

By: Anton Chekhov (1860-1904)

The Tales of Chekhov by Anton Chekhov The Tales of Chekhov

This is the first of thirteen volumes of Anton Chekhov’s short stories, translated by Constance Garnett. Anton Chekhov was a Russian doctor who turned to fiction as a hobby, and quickly blossomed into one of the masters of the short story genre. Though he is arguably best known for his dramatic works, such as The Cherry Orchard, his stories are widely considered to be some of the most perfect examples of short fiction ever written. Constance Black Garnett was an English housewife who taught herself Russian as a hobby, and subsequently introduced the English-speaking world to some of the greatest Russian authors, including Chekhov and Dostoevsky...

The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov The Cherry Orchard

The Cherry Orchard is Russian playwright Anton Chekhov's last play. It premiered at the Moscow Art Theatre 17 January 1904 in a production directed by Constantin Stanislavski. Chekhov intended this play as a comedy and it does contain some elements of farce; however, Stanislavski insisted on directing the play as a tragedy. Since this initial production, directors have had to contend with the dual nature of this play. The play concerns an aristocratic Russian woman and her family as they return to the family's estate (which includes a large and well-known cherry orchard) just before it is auctioned to pay the mortgage...

The Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov The Three Sisters

Three Sisters is a naturalistic play about the decay of the privileged class in Russia and the search for meaning in the modern world. It describes the lives and aspirations of the Prozorov family, the three sisters (Olga, Masha, and Irina) and their brother Andrei. They are a family dissatisfied and frustrated with their present existence. The sisters are refined and cultured young women who grew up in urban Moscow; however for the past eleven years they have been living in a small provincial town...

The Duel by Anton Chekhov The Duel

The plot centres around Laevsky, who is living in a small seaside town in the Caucasus after running away with another man's wife, Nadyezhda Fyodorovna, amid dreams of starting a new life.The dreams have come to nothing as Laevsky idles away his life drinking and playing cards, and Nadyezhda begins to have other affairs.Laevsky's scheme to run away again, this time without his mistress, brings him into conflict with the rationalist Von Koren, who believes in Darwinian principles of natural selection and extinction of the weak and useless.Matters come to a head when an outburst from Laevsky leads to a duel. Von Koren is determined to teach Laevksy a lesson.(Introduction by Phil)

Book cover The Wife, and other stories
Book cover The Witch and other stories
Book cover The Schoolmistress, and other stories
Book cover Schoolmaster and Other Stories

Anton Chekhov, perhaps better known as a world famous classical playwright for works such as "Uncle Vanya" and "The Cherry Orchard" was also a prolific short story writer. "The Schoolmaster and Other Stories" is one of several of his collections. It's a compilation of 30 short stories. Some bizarre, some comical but all very interesting.

By: Antonio Colmenero de Ledesma (d. 17th century)

Chocolate: or, An Indian Drinke by Antonio Colmenero de Ledesma Chocolate: or, An Indian Drinke

The Author sings the praises of Chocolate. “By the wise and Moderate use whereof, Health is preserved, Sicknesse Diverted, and Cured, especially the Plague of the Guts; vulgarly called _The New Disease_; Fluxes, Consumptions, & Coughs of the Lungs, with sundry other desperate Diseases. By it also, Conception is Caused, the Birth Hastened and facilitated, Beauty Gain’d and continued.”

By: Antonio Fogazzaro (1842-1911)

Book cover The Saint

By: Arabella Buckley (1840-1929)

The Fairyland of Science by Arabella Buckley The Fairyland of Science

“I have promised to introduce you today to the fairy-land of science — a somewhat bold promise, seeing that most of you probably look upon science as a bundle of dry facts, while fairy-land is all that is beautiful, and full of poetry and imagination. But I thoroughly believe myself, and hope to prove to you, that science is full of beautiful pictures, of real poetry, and of wonder-working fairies…” (From the Introduction to The Fairyland of Science)

By: Archibald Lee Fletcher

Book cover Boy Scouts on a Long Hike Or, To the Rescue in the Black Water Swamps
Book cover Boy Scouts in Northern Wilds Or, The Signal from the Hills
Book cover Boy Scouts in the Coal Caverns Or The Light in Tunnel Six
Book cover Boy Scouts on the Great Divide or, The Ending of the Trail

By: Arnold Bennett (1867-1931)

The Card by Arnold Bennett The Card

The ‘Card’ in question is Edward Henry Machin – his mother called him ‘Denry.’This light-hearted story is of his rise from humble beginnings as the son of a washerwoman and sempstress in the last quarter of the nineteenth century, in the pottery towns (which Arnold Bennett christened ‘The Five Towns’) of the English Midlands; how, by his own wits, enterprise and ‘nerve’ he rose to wealth, married bliss and public recognition as the youngest-ever mayor of his home town. “’And yet,’ demanded Councillor Barlow, ‘what’s he done? What great cause is he identified with?’‘He’s identified,’ said the speaker, ‘with the great cause of cheering us all up’.”

The Price of Love by Arnold Bennett The Price of Love

Rachel Louise Fleckring works for the elderly Mrs Maldon, and although with the woman for only a short time, she is taken into the heart of the family. She falls in love with one of Mrs Maldon’s descendents, but along the way, she has to come to terms with the fact that he isn’t, perhaps, the perfectly honest man she thought he was.

The Grand Babylon Hotel by Arnold Bennett The Grand Babylon Hotel

Theodore Racksole, a rich American multi-millionaire, buys the Grand Babylon Hotel, a luxurious hotel in London, as a whim – and then finds out there are strange things going on – a German prince is supposed to arrive but never turns up, someone is found murdered in the hotel, but then the body disappears. With the help of his independent daughter Nella and another German prince, Racksole sets out to solve the mystery.Bennett wrote this as a 15-part serial, for a lark, in 15 days, and sold it for 100 pounds. It first appeared in The Golden Penny in 1902, which described it as “the most original, amusing, and thrilling serial written in a decade”.

The Old Wives' Tale by Arnold Bennett The Old Wives' Tale

The Old Wives’ Tale is a novel by Arnold Bennett, first published in 1908. It deals with the lives of two very different sisters, Constance and Sophia Baines, following their stories from their youth, working in their mother’s draper’s shop, into old age. It is generally regarded as one of Bennett’s finest works. It covers a period of about 70 years from roughly 1840 to 1905, and is set in Burslem and Paris.

Literary Taste: How to Form It by Arnold Bennett Literary Taste: How to Form It

Arnold Bennett describes a method for enjoying literature, and suggests the contents of a comprehensive library. Chapters 1-10 and 14 describe his method for learning to enjoy literature. Chapters 11, 12, and 13 contain detailed lists of the 337 volumes required to complete a comprehensive library of English works. This reading is from the 1913 version at Project Gutenberg, and so does not contain the revisions made by Swinnerton for the 1939 edition, which included authors of the early Twentieth Century. Swinnerton’s revisions are available from Wikipedia.

Tales of the Five Towns by Arnold Bennett Tales of the Five Towns

This is a selection of short stories recounting, with gentle satire and tolerant good humour, the small town provincial life at the end of the nineteenth century, based around the six towns in the county of Staffordshire, England, known as the Potteries. Arnold Bennett chose to fictionalize these towns by changing their names and omitting one (Fenton) as he apparently felt that “Five Towns” was more euphonious than “Six Towns”. The real town names which are thinly disguised in the novel are: Hanley, Longton, Burslem and Tunstal, the fifth, Stoke became “Knype”...

Anna of the Five Towns by Arnold Bennett Anna of the Five Towns

The plot centers on Anna Tellwright, daughter of a wealthy but miserly and dictatorial father, living in the Potteries area of Staffordshire, England. Her activities are strictly controlled by the Methodist church. Having escaped her father by marrying the respectable and attractive Henry, she attempts in vain to help Willy, son of a drunken and bankrupt business associate of her father's.

The Regent by Arnold Bennett The Regent

'The Regent' is, if not a sequel to 'The Card', then a 'Further Adventures of' the eponymous hero of that novel.Denry Machin is now forty-three and begins to feel that he is getting old, that making money and a happy home life are not enough and that he has lost his touch as the entrepreneur and entertainer of the 'Five Towns'.In fact, as he says to himself 'What I want is change - and a lot of it too!'. A chance meeting at the local theatre leads to his going to London and then...

The Human Machine by Arnold Bennett The Human Machine

Bennett asks us to consider our brains as the most wonderful machine, a machine which is the only thing in this world that we can control. As he writes: "I am simply bent on calling your attention to a fact which has perhaps wholly or partially escaped you -- namely, that you are the most fascinating bit of machinery that ever was."As ever, his prose is honeyed, his thoughts inspired, and his advice as relevant today as when it was written. (Introduction by Ruth Golding)

Hilda Lessways by Arnold Bennett Hilda Lessways

This book is the second in Bennett’s four books about life in the Five Towns (the real life Potteries in Staffordshire). It tells the story of Hilda before her marriage to Edwin Clayhanger (from the first book). Bennett explores Hilda's ambition to make a career for herself, her coming of age and her working experiences as a shorthand clerk and keeper of a lodging house in London and Brighton. He also shows her intensifying relationship with the enigmatic George Cannon that ends in her disastrous bigamous marriage and pregnancy, and finally her reconciliation with Edwin Clayhanger

Book cover Clayhanger

This first of a trilogy of novels is a coming-of-age story set in the Midlands of Victorian England, following Edwin Clayhanger as he leaves school, takes over the family business, and falls in love.The books are set in Bennett's usual setting of "the 5 Towns", a thinly-disguised version of the six towns of "the Potteries" which amalgamated (at the time of which Bennett was writing) into the borough (and later city) of Stoke-on-Trent.In one of the earlier chapters in the book, Bennett writes that...

Book cover Clayhanger

This first of a trilogy of novels is a coming-of-age story set in the Midlands of Victorian England, following Edwin Clayhanger as he leaves school, takes over the family business, and falls in love.The books are set in Bennett's usual setting of "the 5 Towns", a thinly-disguised version of the six towns of "the Potteries" which amalgamated (at the time of which Bennett was writing) into the borough (and later city) of Stoke-on-Trent.In one of the earlier chapters in the book, Bennett writes that...

Book cover The Grim Smile of the Five Towns
Book cover 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. . .

Book cover A Great Man A Frolic

By: Arthur B. Reeve

The Film Mystery by Arthur B. Reeve The Film Mystery

The Film Mystery is one of eighteen detective novels by Arthur B. Reeve starring his best known character Professor Craig Kennedy and his trusty sidekick Walter Jameson, a newspaper reporter. The pair bears an unmistakable resemblance to the more famous British master sleuth and his doctor friend. The setting of this mystery is the early days of movie making, and the murder victim is Stella Lamar, “the beautiful idol of the screen, beloved of millions”, who collapses and dies during the filming of a scene for her latest movie.


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