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By: D. H. Lawrence (1885-1930)

Book cover Kangaroo

"Kangaroo" is the nickname of a character in this novel, Benjamin Cooley, who was a charismatic leader in the fascist movement of ex-soldiers who fought in the Australian army in WWII. The story's main character is an international journalist, Richard Lovat Somers who, with his wife, comes to rent a house next door to Jack Calcott and his wife who are natural-born Australians through-and-through. Jack is in league with Kangaroo and tries to persuade Lovat to join their political movement conflicting with the Socialist political faction in the country...

By: Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870)

Book cover Marie Antoinette Romances, Vol 2: The Mesmerist's Victim

This 2nd volume of the Marie Antoinette Romances continues the intrigues of "Balsamo, The Magician" and adds to them the schemes of philosophers and the stirrings of revolution. Balsamo carries on his occult tactics to weaponize the state secrets that he gained in the previous volume. A serious romance and illness takes root in the court of King Louis XV, convincing one of the leading philosophic minds of the era, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, that “the breath of heaven will blast an age and a monarchy.” - Summary by jvanstan

By: Gunnar Gunnarsson (1889-1975)

Book cover Sworn Brothers, A Tale of the Early Days of Iceland

This is the story of the close but sometimes contentious relationship of two young Icelandic kinsman who elect to undergo the solemn ceremony of initiation into blood-brotherhood which includes blood sacrifice to the pagan gods, Odin and Thor. In the era of Viking exploration, these cousins travel in dragon-ships to such destinations as Norway, the Orkneys, England, Ireland, the Isle of Man, etc. The sworn brothers fight for life and death in these treacherous journeys with storm and sea. - Summary by Rita Boutros

By: Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol (1809-1852)

Book cover Taras Bulba; a Tale of the Cossacks

Taras Bulba is a romanticised historical novella by Nikolai Gogol set in Russia’s equivalent of America’s wild frontier, what is today Ukraine, a name which means something like “frontier” or “marches”. It was an ill-defined wild border land whose borders were subject to change and whose nominal rulers had allowed it to become a nuisance to them that it might also be a nuisance to the armies of their enemies and an obstacle to their advances. It was a time when men were men and sheep were scared and those men were Cossacks...

By: Julian Corbett (1854-1922)

Book cover For God And Gold

Sir Julian Stafford Corbett was a prominent navy historian and geologist. This semi-autobiographical novel tells about the start: the personal and professional life of a scholar, the excitement of sailing, and joining the navy. - Summary by Stav Nisser.

By: Mary Jane Holmes (1825-1907)

Book cover Rose Mather: A Tale

Fiction merges with history in this novel taking place during the turbulent times of the civil war and the horrors it entailed. Holme's silly, coquettish yet kind-hearted Rose will pull you in from the start. The sweet and pious Annie, the noble Tom Carleton, the motherly widow Mrs. Simms, the young and courageous Isaac, the mischievous rebel working for the south, and the brash, uneducated Bill Baker are just a few of the unforgettable characters who grow with every chapter. This is a tale of hardships and bravery, of fears and hopes, of inconsolable grief and love which will enthrall you to the end. - Summary by Celine Major

By: Mary Brunton (1778-1818)

Book cover Self-Control: A Novel

The author: "This little tale was begun at first merely for my own amusement. It is published that I may reconcile my conscience to the time which it has employed, by making it in some degree useful. Let not the term so implied provoke a smile! If my book is read, its uses to the author are obvious. Nor is a work of fiction necessarily unprofitable to the readers." Jane Austen comments about this novel in a letter to her sister: “I am looking over Self Control again, & my opinion is confirmed of its’ being an excellently-meant, elegantly-written Work…”  - Summary by Author and Jane Austen

By: Margaret Horton Potter (1881-1911)

Book cover Castle of Twilight

"Wistfully I deliver up to you my simple story, knowing that the first suggestion of “historical novel” will bring before you an image of dreary woodenness and unceasing carnage. Yet if you will have the graciousness but to unlock my castle door you will find within only two or three quiet folk who will distress you with no battles nor strange oaths. Even in the days of rival Princes and never-ending wars there dwelt still a few who took no part in the moil of life, but lived with gentle pleasures and unvoiced sorrows, somewhat as you and I; wherefore, I pray you, cross the moat...

By: George Payne Rainsford James (1799-1860)

Book cover Ticonderoga; A Story of Early Frontier Life in the Mohawk Valley

In the backwoods, lives a man and his two teenage children. He has sought the quiet life on the frontier, although he is a friend to all and never turns away a stranger. One evening, one such stranger arrives at his door, asking for shelter for the night and he is not disappointed. But who is this stranger? He does not give his name or his errand, although he has an aristocratic bearing. As they are about to leave the table, a third man, apparently known to both, arrives and lets himself in to claim hospitality...

By: Marjorie Bowen (1885-1952)

Book cover Prince and Heretic

This novel is centered on the Dutch House of Orange, and begins with its prince, William. It is set in the time of the Holy Inquisition, when tensions between the Catholic and Protestant churches dominated.

By: Anne Manning (1807-1879)

Book cover Cherry and Violet

A Tale of the Great Plague. 1666 was a difficult year in London. With its sordid materialism and its coarse handling of things most sacred, not merely does Manning see, as an Englishwoman, the grandeur of its struggles, but she sees its best embodiment in the tragedy of an almost perfect life. In her description of the plague , followed by The Great Fire, Manning is taken out of her comfort zone to the sordid realities. Her answer is to take Mistress Cherry to a country house in Berkshire, where peace and tranquility are to be found. - Summary by Lynne Thompson

By: Ivan Turgenev (1818-1883)

Book cover Virgin Soil Volume 1

Turgenev's last and longest novel presents the story of a group of young people in late nineteenth century Russia, who because of disillusionment with the country's entrenched traditional hierarchies and power relationships, seek to foment revolutionary activity especially among the peasant and working classes, pursuing a Populist "cause". The novel throws together some disparate personalities, from aesthetes to aristocracy to works managers to fools, and exposes the real human emotions and tensions generated by the cause. The publication being read is divided into two volumes; this first one includes Chapters 1-20, approximately half the book. Volume 2 is catalogued separately.

By: George Payne Rainsford James (1799-1860)

Book cover Huguenot: A Tale of the French Protestants

The time of French king Louis XIV was a time of religious conflict. His father, Louis XIII had tried to suppress the teachings and followers of Calvin but was thwarted by his ministers. The son took a different path. The king was Catholic, and although he was tolerant of others, some in his government were less so, and persecuted the Protestant Huguenots. This is the story of Albert, Count of Morseiul as he treads the tightrope of being a Huguenot landowner and loyal subject and friend of the king.

By: William John Locke (1863-1930)

Book cover Where Love Is

Norma Hardacre is a member of smart London society. She finds herself irresistibly drawn to a penniless artist named Jimmie Padgate. However, she gets engaged to Morland King, a wealthy man who sees her as a convenient trophy wife as he furthers his career. Morland is hiding a dark secret. Meanwhile, Jimmie, who is hopelessly in love with Norma, starts to become a rising star - but then his reputation is suddenly smashed . . . - Summary by Simon Evers

By: Margaret Wilson (1882-1973)

Book cover Able McLaughlins

The Able McLaughlins won the Pulitzer Prize for a novel in 1924 in Margaret Wilson's debut work. Aptly described as "Little House on the Prairie - but for adults" the novel follows a group of Scottish families who pioneer the Iowa prairie in the 1860’s. The main storyline concerns Wully, the eldest McLaughlin son, who returns home from the Civil War to find that his sweetheart, Chirstie, has experienced an unspeakable tragedy that will profoundly affect the couple's lives. Their story is one of shame and honor, secrets and guilt, fear and loathing, revenge and forgiveness...

By: Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870)

Book cover Marie Antoinette Romances, Vol 5: The Countess of Charny

This 5th volume of the Marie Antoinette Romances begins after the fall of the Bastille and the March on Versailles, which forced Louis XVI and his court to be escorted back to Paris. In Paris, political factions battle over the fate of the nation, the royal family, and anyone with royalist sympathies. Our heroes and our anti-heroes must navigate the blood-streaked landscape while keeping their necks out of the guillotine. All the while, the prophetic Balsamo urges on the revolution: "the quantity of blood which must be shed before the sun rises on the free world ...

By: Ivan Turgenev (1818-1883)

Book cover Virgin Soil Volume 2

The second volume of Turgenev's last novel sees social change bubbling up into conflict with the established order and interacting with the fates of the characters, testing their resolve and motivations to the limit. The publication being read is divided into two volumes; the first one includes Chapters 1-20, approximately half the book, and is catalogued separately. This recording is Volume 2, including chapters 21-38.

By: J. Thomas Warren

Book cover Northern Spy

The Northern Spy, written in the 1800s, is a lively story about a Union soldier who infiltrates a Confederate battalion in order to aid in the conquering of South Carolina. The novel was very popular, so much so that allegedly Northern Spy apples were named for the hero of the story. - Summary by A. Gramour

By: H. Rider Haggard (1856-1925)

Book cover Wisdom's Daughter

A strange manuscript in an unknown language is found among the effects of the late Professor Horace Holly. Its translator discovers that while in Central Asia, Holly convinced the immortal Ayesha, also known as She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed, to write her story - and this is the book they have found. Ayesha, born the daughter of a sheikh in the 4th century BCE, has no interest in the arranged marriage expected of her. She wants power and position of her own. Led by a vision to believe she is the daughter...

By: Frank Webb (1828-1894)

Book cover Garies and their Friends

The book which now appears before the public may be of interest in relation to a question which the late agitation of the subject of slavery has raised in many thoughtful minds, viz. — Are the race at present held as slaves capable of freedom, self-government, and progress. The author is a coloured young man, born and reared in the city of Philadelphia. This city, standing as it does on the frontier between free and slave territory, has accumulated naturally a large population of the mixed and African race...

By: Aldous Huxley (1894-1963)

Book cover Antic Hay

The epigram to this work from Christoher Marlowe applies to the plot of this story: "My men like satyrs grazing on the lawns / Shall with their goat-feet dance the antic hay." The plot follows Huxley and his cohorts in a search for meaning and hope and love in post WWI London.

By: Armin Stein (1840-1929)

Book cover Katharine von Bora: Dr. Martin Luther's Wife

This is a fictionalized biography of the wife of the reformer Dr. Martin Luther. In the author's words, he hopes that "people may learn to know the wife of its greatest man,—not by name only, but as her husband's 'helpmeet,' in the truest sense of the word, as a pattern of domestic virtue, and as a pearl among women." - Summary by Dory Smith

By: Voltaire (1694-1778)

Book cover Zadig or The Book of Fate (Version 2)

"there is no Evil under the Sun, but some Good proceeds from it:" -- this quote from this novel sums it up. One of Voltaire's most celebrated works, Zagig follows the plight of a young man, Zadig, as he embarks on matrimony. This tale is somewhat philosophical, suggesting that no matter how we act, we are confronted by bigotry, injustice and betrayal. Although set in Babylon, there is no attempt at historical accuracy.

By: William John Locke (1863-1930)

Book cover Glory of Clementina Wing

The book follows the adventures of two main characters - Clementina Wing, a talented artist in her mid 30's with no social graces and Ephraim Quixtus, an older bookish gentleman whose quiet life is abruptly changed for the worse one day. Although the two know each other, a later surprising event brings them together.- Summary by Simon Evers

By: George Payne Rainsford James (1799-1860)

Book cover Arabella Stuart

Lady Arabella Stuart was an English noblewoman at the beginning of the seventeenth century. At one time considered to be a possible successor to Elizabeth I, the crown eventually went to her cousin, the tyrannical James I. Our story begins in 1603, shortly after his ascension to the throne. Apparently she was happy at the change in fortune, although relations with her kinsman deteriorated after her clandestine marriage, which was incorrectly seen as a power struggle. Even her closest friends could not protect her. In James's usual fashion, this is a colorful fictional account of her life.

By: Mark Twain (1835-1910)

Book cover Death Disk

Mark Twain's "Death Disk" was inspired by the historical account of the execution of Colonel John Poyer of Pembroke, Wales on April 21, 1649. A small child was given the responsibility of selecting which of three rebel leaders of a civil uprising would receive a death penalty. The unfortunate fate was given to Poyer who was shot in front of a large crowd at Covent Garden. In 1883 Twain read about the child's role in the execution in a copy of Carlyle's Letters and Speeches of Oliver Cromwell, . In his personal notebook, Twain's imagination led him to remark, "By dramatic accident, it could have been his own child" ...

By: Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906)

Book cover In Old Plantation Days

With this collection of short stories, Dunbar sought to draw on the success of his dialect poems by recreating and portraying the southern plantation during slavery. The stories focus on the stereotypical portrait of slaves as obedient workers happy to spend their lives in service of their benevolent owner. His attempt to find success was only partially realized, as his stories drew not only criticism but, in some cases, anger at their very stereotypical nature. The book itself, however, proved to be more lucrative than previous fiction works had been for the author.

By: Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864)

Book cover In Colonial Days

A collection of British aristocrats, soldiers, gentlemen and ladies gather at the Province House inn, as the American imperial possessions crumble around them. - Summary by The Reader

By: Edward Irenaeus Prime-Stevenson (1858-1942)

Book cover White Cockades: An Incident of the "Forty-Five"

In the aftermath of the 1745 Jacobite uprising, the young Andrew Boyd meets a fugitive from the redcoats, a man whom Andrew soon grows to admire. Andrew and his father take the man in, but then the redcoats arrive to search the house... Besides being a historical adventure this reads, to a modern reader, as a sweet gay romance, though it's not explicit. Indeed the author was gay himself and anonymously recommended his own book as an example of homoerotic fiction in The Intersexes, his 700-page defense of homosexuality under another pen name. - Summary by Elin

By: H. Rider Haggard (1856-1925)

Book cover Jess

The setting for this novel is the Boer War in South Africa in 1880. This novel is interesting and exciting on several levels: there are complicated love entanglements, evil Machiavellian treachery, political reflection having to do with the ethics of the colonialism of the day, for one subject for thought, and war in all its lurid and shocking and murderous detail.

By: Sutton Griggs (1872-1933)

Book cover Imperium in Imperio: A Study of the Negro Race Problem

Imperium in Imperio is a historical fiction novel by Sutton Griggs, published in 1899. The novel covers the life of Belton Piedmont, an educated and disciplined black man in the Jim Crow south and his role in a shadow government of black men operated out of a college in Waco, Texas.

By: D. K. Broster (1877-1950)

Book cover ''Mr Rowl''

Raoul des Sablières, a French parole prisoner in England during the Napoleonic Wars, becomes enmeshed in a complicated tangle where his honour conflicts with his parole, and is sent to prison. Juliana Forrest, for whose sake he broke his parole, does her utmost to save him, and in his adventures and misfortunes, Raoul eventually also finds help from an unlikely source. This is a fun adventure story and romance, written in a style similar to Georgette Heyer. - Summary by Elin


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