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By: W. S. Gilbert (1836-1911)

The Story of the H.M.S. Pinafore by W. S. Gilbert The Story of the H.M.S. Pinafore

H.M.S. Pinafore; or, The Lass That Loved a Sailor, is a comic opera in two acts, with music by Arthur Sullivan and a libretto by W. S. Gilbert. It opened in London, England, on 25 May 1878 and ran for 571 performances, which was the second-longest run of any musical theatre piece up to that time. H.M.S. Pinafore was Gilbert and Sullivan's fourth operatic collaboration and their first international sensation. This is not that opera.It was adapted as a children's book by W. S. Gilbert entitled The Story of HMS Pinafore, or The Pinafore Picture Book, and includes some lovely illustrations by Alice B...

By: W. Somerset Maugham (1847-1965)

Rain by W. Somerset Maugham Rain

Rain charts the moral disintegration of a missionary attempting to convert a Pacific island prostitute named Sadie Thompson. (Introduction by an excerpt from Wikipedia)

The Moon and Sixpence by W. Somerset Maugham The Moon and Sixpence

The Moon and Sixpence is a 1919 short novel by William Somerset Maugham based on the life of the painter Paul Gauguin. The story is told in episodic form by the first-person narrator as a series of glimpses into the mind and soul of the central character, Charles Strickland, a middle aged English stock broker who abandons his wife and children abruptly to pursue his desire to become an artist.

Book cover The Magician

The Magician is a novel by British author W. Somerset Maugham, originally published in 1908. In this tale, the magician Oliver Haddo, a caricature of Aleister Crowley, attempts to create life. Crowley wrote a critique of this book under the pen name Oliver Haddo, where he accused Maugham of plagiarism. Maugham wrote The Magician in London, after he had spent some time living in Paris, where he met Aleister Crowley. The novel was later republished with a foreword by Maugham entitled A Fragment of Autobiography. (Wikipedia)

Book cover Mrs. Craddock

“I thought it was you I saw coming up the hill,” she said, stretching out her hand. He stopped and shook it; the touch of his big, firm fingers made her tremble. His hand was massive and hard as if it were hewn of stone. She looked up at him and smiled. “Isn’t it cold?” she said. It is terrible to be desirous of saying all sorts of passionate things, while convention debars you from any but the most commonplace. (Excerpts from chapter 1.)

Book cover Bishop's Apron

"Canon Spratte saw himself as he thought others might see him: mediocre, pompous, self-assertive, verbose." Maugham could have added ambitious, hypocritical, and vain. In this engrossing social satire, Theodore Spratte, a cleric, motivated by an obsessive desire to be elevated to bishop, embellishes his family history and intrudes upon his son's and daughter's courtships. A reviewer in 1906 wrote, "The whole book is an admirable blend of cynical gaiety and broadly farcical comedy; it is the smartest and most genuinely humorous novel that the season has yet given us." -- Lee Smalley

By: W. W. Jacobs (1863-1943)

The Monkey's Paw by W. W. Jacobs The Monkey's Paw

An eerie supernatural story, The Monkey's Paw follows the White family as they come to realize that nothing in life comes without a price or at the simple push of a button. First published in 1902, the short story powerfully suggests that one should not interfere with the course of nature, as cheating fate can result in unforeseen consequences that leave one with more than they bargained for. Set in England, the tale opens on a dark and stormy night inside Laburnam Villa, home to Mr. and Mrs...

By: Wadsworth Camp (1879-1936)

The Abandoned Room by Wadsworth Camp The Abandoned Room

An enthralling locked room mystery, The Abandoned Room focuses on the mysterious circumstances under which Silas Blackburn has been murdered at The Cedars, an eerie and isolated country estate. The most obvious suspect to the murder is Bobby Blackburn, the victim’s grandson who seems to have the best motive for the murder, although he has no recollection of the fateful night. Furthermore, Camp integrates a vibrant array of characters, detailed description, supernatural occurrences, and a generous supply of suspense, which in turn build up the novel’s allure...

By: Waldemar Bonsels (1880-1952)

The Adventures of Maya the Bee by Waldemar Bonsels The Adventures of Maya the Bee

A little bee is born in a large and busy hive. At that time, the hive is going through a period of unrest and there are fears that it will become subdivided into separate colonies. The little new-born, Maya, is under the care of a strict but loving teacher. One day, driven by curiosity and rebellion, Maya escapes from the safe environs of the hive and flies into the forest. Here, she encounters all sorts of interesting, exciting, frightening and funny things. The Adventures of Maya the Bee is the story of the intriguing days that follow...

By: Walt Whitman (1819-1892)

The Wound Dresser by Walt Whitman The Wound Dresser

The Wound Dresser is a series of letters written from the hospitals in Washington by Walt Whitman during the War of the Rebellion to The New York Times, the Brooklyn Eagle and his mother, edited by Richard Maurice Burke, M.D., one of Whitman's literary executors.

By: Walter Crane (1845-1915)

The Frog Prince and Other Stories by Walter Crane The Frog Prince and Other Stories

The three charming stories contained in The Frog Prince and Other Tales include a less-known fairy-tale called Princess Belle-Etoile besides the title story and Alladin and the Wonderful Lamp. Published in 1874, the tales are re-told by the famous illustrator Walter Crane, who has also provided some of the most lovely illustrations in the book. The book makes an ideal gift and both parents and children will certainly enjoy it. It's perfect for bedtime story-reading sessions and kids would love gazing at the beautiful Greek-style illustrations that are scattered throughout the book...

By: Walter De la Mare (1873-1956)

The Three Mulla-mulgars by Walter De la Mare The Three Mulla-mulgars

Three monkey brothers, Thumb, Thimble, and Nod, are Mulla-mulgars or royal monkeys. As she dies, their mother gives them the enchanted Wonderstone for protection, and tells them to follow their father. They embark on a journey of fantastical adventure to find their father, who left years earlier in search of the kingdom of his brother, the Prince of the Valleys of Tishnar, promising to return for them after he had found the way.

Book cover Return (de la Mare version)

A story of psychological horror, The Return explores ideas of identity, love, and alienation. Arthur grapples with the reactions of his family and community, and his own sanity, when he experiences a sudden and mysterious "transformation". (

Book cover Return (de la Mare version)

A story of psychological horror, The Return explores ideas of identity, love, and alienation. Arthur grapples with the reactions of his family and community, and his own sanity, when he experiences a sudden and mysterious "transformation". (

By: Walter Pater (1839-1896)

Marius the Epicurean by Walter Pater Marius the Epicurean

Marius the Epicurean is a philosophical novel written by Walter Pater, published in 1885. In it Pater displays, with fullness and elaboration, his ideal of the aesthetic life, his cult of beauty as opposed to bare asceticism, and his theory of the stimulating effect of the pursuit of beauty as an ideal of its own. The principles of what would be known as the Aesthetic movement were partly traceable to this book; and its impact was particularly felt on one of the movement’s leading proponents, Oscar Wilde, a former student of Pater at Oxford.

Book cover Appreciations, with an Essay on Style

Appreciations, with an Essay on Style, is a collection of Walter Pater's previously-published essays on literature. The collection was well received by public and critic since its first edition, in 1889. The volume includes an appraisal of the poems of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, first printed in 1883, a few months after Rossetti's death; an essay on Thomas Browne, whose Baroque style Pater admired; and a discussion of Measure for Measure, one of Pater's most often reprinted pieces. The second edition, published in 1890, had a few modifications, and is the basis for all other editions of the book.

By: Walter W. Bryant (1865-1923)

Kepler by Walter W. Bryant Kepler

This biography of Johannes Kepler begins with an account of what the world of astronomy was like before his time, then proceeds to a look at his early years. Two chapters deal with his working relationship with Tycho Brahe. These are followed by a look at Kepler's laws and his last years.

By: Ward Moore (1903-1978)

Greener Than You Think by Ward Moore Greener Than You Think

Do remember reading a panic-mongering news story a while back about genetically engineered “Frankengrass” “escaping” from the golf course where it had been planted? That news story was foreshadowed decades previously in the form of prophetic fiction wherein a pushy salesman, a cash-strapped scientist, and a clump of crabgrass accidentally merge forces with apocalyptic consequences. A triple-genre combo of science fiction, horror, and satire, Greener Than You Think is a forgotten classic that resonates beautifully with modern times. This is a faithful reading of a 1947 first edition text.

By: Warner Van Lorne

Wanted – 7 Fearless Engineers! by Warner Van Lorne Wanted – 7 Fearless Engineers!

A great civilization’s fate lay in Dick Barrow’s hands as he led his courageous fellow engineers into a strange and unknown land. None of them knew what lay ahead–what dangers awaited them–or what rewards. But they did not hesitate because the first question asked them had been: “Are you a brave man?”

By: Washington Irving (1783-1859)

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Set in the small secluded valley of Sleepy Hollow, Irving’s short speculative story follows the rivalry between Ichabod Crane and Brom Van Brunt for Katrina Van Tassel’s hand in marriage. Mostly inhabited by descendants from Dutch settlers, the residents are known for their belief in superstitions and the supernatural, and have many stories to suffice their colorful imaginations. The story begins when the scrawny schoolmaster Ichabod Crane from Connecticut moves to Sleepy Hollow for a teaching job and rotates living with the families of his students...

The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. by Washington Irving The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent.

Apart from "Rip Van Winkle" and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" - the pieces which made both Irving and The Sketch Book famous - other tales include "Roscoe", "The Broken Heart", "The Art of Book-making", "A Royal Poet", "The Spectre Bridegroom", "Westminster Abbey", "Little Britain", and "John Bull". His stories were highly influenced by German folktales, with "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" being inspired by a folktale recorded by Karl Musaus. Stories range from the maudlin (such as "The Wife" and...

The Alhambra: A Series of Tales and Sketches of the Moors and Spaniards by Washington Irving The Alhambra: A Series of Tales and Sketches of the Moors and Spaniards

This is a collection of essays, verbal sketches, and stories by Washington Irving. Irving lived at the Alhambra Palace while writing some of the material for his book. In 1828, Washington Irving traveled from Madrid, where he had been staying, to Granada, Spain. At first sight, he described it as "a most picturesque and beautiful city, situated in one of the loveliest landscapes that I have ever seen." He immediately asked the then-governor of the historic Alhambra Palace as well as the archbishop of Granada for access to the palace, which was granted because of Irving's celebrity status...

Book cover Letters of Jonathan Oldstyle, Gent.

The Letters of Jonathan Oldstyle, Gent. (1824) is a compilation of eight humorous and observational letters written by American writer, Washington Irving, under the pseudonym, Jonathan Oldstyle. These eight letters and one additional were first published as a series of "Letters to the Editor" of the New York paper, The Morning Chronicle, between 1802 and 1803. In them Oldstyle skewered the local New York social scene on the topics of etiquette, marriage, fashion, and other particulars of human interaction...

By: Wilbur Fisk Gordy

Stories of Later American History by Wilbur Fisk Gordy Stories of Later American History

STORIES OF LATER AMERICAN HISTORYBy WILBUR F. GORDYPREFACEThis book, like Stories of Early American History, follows somewhat closely the course of study prepared by the Committee of Eight, the present volume covering the topics outlined for Grade V, while the earlier one includes the material suggested for Grade IV. It was the plan of that committee to take up in these grades, largely in a biographical way, a great part of the essential facts of American history; and with this plan the author, who was a member of that committee, was in hearty accord...

By: Wilkie Collins (1824-1889)

The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins The Moonstone

A young woman who inherits a beautiful diamond known as The Moonstone on her eighteenth birthday becomes the center of this mystery story. The diamond is a gift from an uncle who once served as an army officer in British India. She proudly wears the jewel on her dress at her birthday party that night. The precious stone has a dark and sinister history, which will have a terrible impact on her life and the lives of those around her. You're about to read what's been termed the very first real detective story in the English language...

The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins The Woman in White

Wilkie Collins’s The Woman in White tells the story of two half-sisters, Laura Fairlie and Marian Halcombe who were embroiled in the sinister plot of Sir Percival Glyde and Count Fosco to take over their family’s wealth. It’s considered to be one of the first “sensation novels” to be published. Like most novels that fall into this category, the protagonists here are pushed to their limits by the villains before they finally got the justice they deserved. The story begins with Walter Hartright helping a woman dressed in white who turned out to have escaped from a mental asylum...

Book cover The Haunted Hotel, A Mystery of Modern Venice

A kind, good-hearted genteel young woman jilted, a suspicious death or two that only a few think could be murder, strange apparitions appearing in an hotel all combine to create a horrifying conundrum. Who was the culprit and will finding out finally put an end to the mystery?

Armadale by Wilkie Collins Armadale

The novel has a convoluted plot about two distant cousins both named Allan Armadale. The father of one had murdered the father of the other (the two fathers are also named Allan Armadale). The story starts with a deathbed confession by the murderer in the form of a letter to be given to his baby son when he grows up. Many years are skipped over. The son, mistreated at home, runs away from his mother and stepfather, and takes up a wandering life under the assumed name of Ozias Midwinter.”

The Black Robe by Wilkie Collins The Black Robe

The church has lost out on a valuable piece of land through wars and transfers. Father Benwell is determined to reclaim that property by the conversion of the owner, Lewis Romayne. Enter beautiful Stella, who captures the heart of Romayne. Should Stella capture the love and devotion of Romayne, Father Benwell's scheme would fail, and that is something that he can not allow. Complicating things is the fact that both Romayne and Stella are hiding their own terrible secrets.The Black Robe is an 1881 epistolary novel by famed English writer, Wilkie Collins. The book centers around the misadventures of Lewis Romayne, and is also noted for a perceived anti-Catholic bias

No Name by Wilkie Collins No Name

The story begins in 1846, at Combe-Raven in West Somersetshire, the country residence of the happy Vanstone family. When Andrew Vanstone is killed suddenly in an accident and his wife follows shortly thereafter, it is revealed that they were not married at the time of their daughters' births, making their daughters "Nobody's Children" in the eyes of English law and robbing them of their inheritance. Andrew Vanstone's elder brother Michael gleefully takes possession of his brother's fortune, leaving his nieces to make their own way in the world...

I Say No by Wilkie Collins I Say No

Emily Brown is an orphan girl that almost no one can help but love when they meet her. She is pursued by two worthy men: Mr. Alban Morris, the drawing master at her school; and Rev. Miles Mirabel, a clergyman. However, one of them is lying to her after she discovers that her father's death wasn't natural, as she was led to believe. (Introduction by TriciaG)

The Law and the Lady by Wilkie Collins The Law and the Lady

Valeria Brinton marries Eustace Woodville despite objections from Woodville's family leading to disquiet for Valeria's own family and friends.Just a few days after the wedding, various incidents lead Valeria to suspect her husband is hiding a dark secret in his past and she discovers that he has been using a false name. He refuses to discuss it leading them to curtail their honeymoon and return to London where Valeria learns that he was on trial for his first wife's murder by arsenic. He was tried in a Scottish court and the verdict was 'Not Proven' rather than 'not guilty' implying his guilt but without enough proof for a jury to convict him...


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