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By: Edwin F. Benson (1867-1940)

Queen Lucia by Edwin F. Benson Queen Lucia

E. F. Benson (1867-1940) was born at Wellington College in Berkshire, where his father, who later went on to become the Archbishop of Canterbury, was the first Headmaster. He wrote 105 books in all. Queen Lucia (first published in 1920) was the first of Benson’s ‘Mapp and Lucia’ novels of which there were six. This first book is a comedy of manners based in the provincial village of Riseholme, where Emmeline Lucas (the Queen Lucia of the title) presides over the social and artistic universe of the gullible residents...

Miss Mapp by Edwin F. Benson Miss Mapp

E. F. Benson’s Mapp and Lucia series, consists of six novels and three short stories. The novels are: Queen Lucia, Lucia in London, Miss Mapp (including the short story The Male Impersonator), Mapp and Lucia, Lucia’s Progress (published as The Worshipful Lucia in the U.S.) and Trouble for Lucia. Most of these works are set in the fictional village of “Tilling”, which is based on the village of Rye, Sussex, England. “Mallards”, the house with the garden room inhabited by Miss Mapp, and later by Lucia, is based on Lamb House, Benson’s own home in Rye. Earlier, the house was the Sussex home of writer Henry James.

By: George Sand (1804-1876)

The Devil's Pool by George Sand The Devil's Pool

George Sand (the pen name of Amantine-Lucile-Aurore Dupin 1804-1876) is famous for flaunting the conventions of behavour expected of women of her standing in France at the time and for her numerous romantic liaisons including her long standing affair with Frédéric Chopin. The Devil’s Pool (published in 1846 as La Mare au Diable) is one of several short pastoral novels drawn from her childhood experiences in the rural French region of Berri. It tells the story of a young widower, Germain, who, at the insistence of his father-in-law, sets out to remarry so that he will have someone to help raise his three young children. Summary written by the reader.

By: Anna Maynard Barbour (d. 1941)

That Mainwaring Affair by Anna Maynard Barbour That Mainwaring Affair

As wealthy financier, Hugh Mainwaring dictates his last will and testament to his private secretary, it would be impossible for him to imagine the shocking chain of events that he is about to set into motion. This best-selling mystery novel was first published in 1901 and remains an entertaining mix of detective work, courtroom drama and family intrigue.

At the Time Appointed by Anna Maynard Barbour At the Time Appointed

"Those who remember that excellent detective story, That Mainwaring Affair will expect to find plenty of mystery and exciting incidents in A. Maynard Barbour's latest novel, called At the Time Appointed, and they will realize their expectations.The author has a certain way of forecasting events and making people utter prophetic words, all bound to find their fulfillment somewhere before the last chapter is ended, that is eminently characteristic of one who delights in the knitting and raveling of the intricate plots which are a prime necessity in a detective story...

By: Ethel Sybil Turner

Seven Little Australians by Ethel Sybil Turner Seven Little Australians

This is the story of seven incorrigible children living near Sydney in the 1880’s with their military-man father, and a stepmother who is scarcely older than the oldest child of the family. A favourite amongst generations of children for over a century, this story tells of the cheeky exploits of Meg, Pip, Judy, Bunty, Nell, Baby, and The General (who is the real baby of the family), as well as providing a fascinating insight into Australian family life in a bygone era.

By: Henry Fielding (1707-1754)

The History of Tom Jones, A Foundling by Henry Fielding The History of Tom Jones, A Foundling

Tom Jones is considered one of the first prose works describable as a novel. The novel is divided into 18 smaller books. Tom Jones is a foundling discovered on the property of a very kind, wealthy landowner, Squire Allworthy. Tom grows into a vigorous and lusty, yet honest and kind-hearted, youth. He develops affection for his neighbor’s daughter, Sophia Western. On one hand, their love reflects the romantic comedy genre popular in 18th-century Britain. However, Tom’s status as a bastard causes Sophia’s father and Allworthy to oppose their love; this criticism of class friction in society acted as a biting social commentary...

Joseph Andrews by Henry Fielding Joseph Andrews

Joseph Andrews ... was the first published full-length novel of the English author and magistrate Henry Fielding, and indeed among the first novels in the English language. Published in 1742 and defined by Fielding as a ‘comic romance,’ it is the story of a good-natured footman's adventures on the road home from London with his friend and mentor, the absent-minded parson Abraham Adams.

Book cover Journey from this World to the Next

The narrator dies in the first sentence. Through relating his travels in the afterlife, Henry Fielding, author of Tom Jones and Joseph Andrews, gently satirizes life here on earth.

The History of the Life of the Late Mr. Jonathan Wild the Great by Henry Fielding The History of the Life of the Late Mr. Jonathan Wild the Great

This novel is sometimes thought of as [Fielding's] first because he almost certainly began composing it before he wrote Shamela and Joseph Andrews. It is a satire of Walpole that draws a parallel between Walpole and Jonathan Wild, the infamous gang leader and highwayman. He implicitly compares the Whig party in Parliament with a gang of thieves being run by Walpole, whose constant desire to be a “Great Man” (a common epithet for Walpole) should culminate only in the antithesis of greatness: being hanged.

Book cover Journal of a Voyage to Lisbon

Sailing voyage from England to Portugal in the mid Eighteenth Century, by one of the premier humorists, satirists, novelists and playwrights of his age. It was to be his last work, as his failing health proved unable to persevere much longer after the voyage.

Book cover An Apology for the Life of Mrs. Shamela Andrews

An Apology for the Life of Mrs. Shamela Andrews, or simply Shamela, as it is more commonly known, is a satirical novel written by Henry Fielding and first published in April 1741 under the name of Mr. Conny Keyber. Fielding never owned to writing the work, but it is widely considered to be his. It is a direct attack on the then-popular novel Pamela (November 1740) by Fielding's contemporary and rival Samuel Richardson and is composed, like Pamela, in epistolary form. Shamela is written as a shocking revelation of the true events which took place in the life of Pamela Andrews, the main heroine of Pamela...

Book cover Amelia (Vol. 1)

This is the first volume of a three volume novel. In this novel, Amelia marries William Booth against her mother's desires, and the two must move to London. Fielding explores the issues of married life such as infidelity and whether women's intelligence is equal to men's.

By: Elizabeth Prentiss (1818-1878)

Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss Stepping Heavenward

"How dreadfully old I am getting! Sixteen!" Thus begins the lifelong diary of young Katherine as she pours out her hopes, dreams, and spiritual journey on the pages of her dear, old journal. Whimsical and charming Katherine is engagingly candid about her character flaws and her desire to know God. As you listen to her share her heart through these journal entries, you will be amazed and delighted by the depth of her character and the womanly wisdom and godliness she develops over the years. From the agonies of being a teenager to the delicate balancing act between being a wife/mother/daughter/neighbor, it is easy to relate to Katherine's triumphs and trials whether you are 16 or 60...

By: Thomas de Quincey (1785-1859)

Miscellaneous Essays by Thomas de Quincey Miscellaneous Essays

The Hunter Thompson of the 19th Century, de Quincey is best known for his Confessions of an English Opium Eater (an activity shared with his hero, Samuel Coleridge, much to Wordsworth’s dismay). However, de Quincey’s literary genius is best captured in his essays, and, according to Wikipedia: His immediate influence extended to Edgar Allan Poe, Fitz Hugh Ludlow and Charles Baudelaire, but even major 20th century writers such as Jorge Luis Borges admired and claimed to be partly influenced by his work.

Confessions of an English Opium-Eater by Thomas de Quincey Confessions of an English Opium-Eater

“Thou hast the keys of Paradise, O just, subtle, and mighty Opium!” Though apparently presenting the reader with a collage of poignant memories, temporal digressions and random anecdotes, the Confessions is a work of immense sophistication and certainly one of the most impressive and influential of all autobiographies. The work is of great appeal to the contemporary reader, displaying a nervous (postmodern?) self-awareness, a spiralling obsession with the enigmas of its own composition and significance...

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: Selma Lagerlöf (1858-1940)

The Wonderful Adventures of Nils by Selma Lagerlöf The Wonderful Adventures of Nils

Selma Lagerlöf was born in Vaermland, Sweden, in 1858 and enjoyed a long and very successful career as a writer, receiving the Nobel-Price in Literature in 1909. She died in Vaermland in 1940. The Wonderful Adventures of Nils (Orig. Nils Holgerssons underbara resa genom Sverige) is a famous work of fiction by Selma Lagerlöf, published in two parts in 1906 and 1907. The background for publication was a commission from the National Teachers Association in 1902 to write a geography reader for the public schools...

By: Alexander Pope (1688-1744)

An Essay on Man by Alexander Pope An Essay on Man

Pope’s Essay on Man, a masterpiece of concise summary in itself, can fairly be summed up as an optimistic enquiry into mankind’s place in the vast Chain of Being. Each of the poem’s four Epistles takes a different perspective, presenting Man in relation to the universe, as individual, in society and, finally, tracing his prospects for achieving the goal of happiness. In choosing stately rhyming couplets to explore his theme, Pope sometimes becomes obscure through compressing his language overmuch...

An Essay on Criticism by Alexander Pope An Essay on Criticism

An Essay on Criticism was the first major poem written by the English writer Alexander Pope (1688-1744). However, despite the title, the poem is not as much an original analysis as it is a compilation of Pope’s various literary opinions. A reading of the poem makes it clear that he is addressing not so much the ingenuous reader as the intending writer. It is written in a type of rhyming verse called heroic couplets.

By: James Boswell (1740-1795)

The Life of Samuel Johnson by James Boswell The Life of Samuel Johnson

Boswell’s Life of Samuel Johnson is widely considered to be the greatest English-language biography ever written. It was revolutionary in its efforts to represent Johnson as he was, celebrating his flaws as well as his genius, and in Boswell’s decision to represent Johnson primarily by quoting his writings and relating personal anecdotes rather than relying on matters of public record. From the time of its publication till now, The Life of Johnson has been one of the most popular and influential books ever written.

By: Amy Lowell (1874-1925)

Book cover Dome of Many-Coloured Glass

This is a collection of lyrical poems, sonnets and verses for children by Amy Lowell."For quaint pictorial exactitude and bizarrerie of color these poems remind one of Flemish masters and Dutch tulip gardens; again, they are fine and fantastic, like Venetian glass; and they are all curiously flooded with the moonlight of dreams. . . . Miss Lowell has a remarkable gift of what one might call the dramatic-decorative. Her decorative imagery is intensely dramatic, and her dramatic pictures are in themselves vivid and fantastic decorations." (Richard Le Gallienne, 'New York Times Book Review', 1916)

Book cover Men, Women and Ghosts

This is a collection of long poems and short stories by Amy Lowell.

By: Henry L. Mencken (1880-1956)

In Defense of Women by Henry L. Mencken In Defense of Women

In Defense of Women is H. L. Mencken’s 1918 book on women and the relationship between the sexes. Some laud the book as progressive while others brand it as reactionary. While Mencken didn’t champion women’s rights, he described women as wiser in many novel and observable ways, while demeaning average men. According to Mencken’s biographer, Fred Hobson: Depending on the position of the reader, he was either a great defender of women’s rights or, as a critic labelled him in 1916, ‘the greatest misogynist since Schopenhauer’,'the country’s high-priest of woman-haters.’

Damn! A Book of Calumny by Henry L. Mencken Damn! A Book of Calumny

Henry Louis “H. L.” Mencken (1880 – 1956) was an American journalist, essayist, magazine editor, satirist, acerbic critic of American life and culture, and a student of American English. Known as the “Sage of Baltimore”, he is regarded as one of the most influential American writers and prose stylists of the first half of the 20th century. Mencken is perhaps best remembered today for The American Language, a multi-volume study of how the English language is spoken in the United States, and for his satirical reporting on the Scopes trial, which he named the “Monkey” trial.”

By: William Morris (1834 — 1896)

The Wood Beyond the World by William Morris The Wood Beyond the World

MANUAL OF SURGERY, OXFORD MEDICAL PUBLICATIONSBY ALEXIS THOMSON, F.R.C.S.Ed.PREFACE TO SIXTH EDITION Much has happened since this Manual was last revised, and many surgical lessons have been learned in the hard school of war. Some may yet have to be unlearned, and others have but little bearing on the problems presented to the civilian surgeon. Save in its broadest principles, the surgery of warfare is a thing apart from the general surgery of civil life, and the exhaustive literature now available on every aspect of it makes it unnecessary that it should receive detailed consideration in a manual for students...

News From Nowhere by William Morris News From Nowhere

News from Nowhere (1890) is a classic work combining utopian socialism and soft science fiction written by the artist, designer and socialist pioneer William Morris. In the book, the narrator, William Guest, falls asleep after returning from a meeting of the Socialist League and awakes to find himself in a future society based on common ownership and democratic control of the means of production. In this society there is no private property, no big cities, no authority, no monetary system, no divorce, no courts, no prisons, and no class systems...

Book cover The Well at the World's End, Book 1: The Road unto Love

The Well at World's End is thought to be one of the first examples of an entirely fictional fantasy world, and has greatly influenced later fantasy writers such as C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. The book follows the travels of Ralph, a prince of a tiny country, as he disobeys his fathers wishes and runs away from home to adventure in the world, and seek out the fabled Well at World's End, said to grant eternal youth to those who drink from it.

The House of the Wolfings by William Morris The House of the Wolfings

William Morris (1834-1896) was a writer, illustrator and medievalist from the Romantic period and associated with other renowned authors of the time such as Dante Rossetti. His fascination with ancient Germanic and Norse people dominated his writings, the first to be set in an entirely invented fantasy world and which helped to establish the fantasy genre. The House of Wolfings (1890), some argue, is a demonstration of Morris' socialism as the society described, though not an utopia, is clan-based, elects leaders and makes decisions in clan tribal meetings...

By: Grace Livingston Hill (1865-1947)

Cloudy Jewel by Grace Livingston Hill Cloudy Jewel

Julia Cloud, the oldest--and most responsible--child of her family, helped raise her four siblings due to their mother's long-time illness and father's death. After faithfully nursing two ill brothers (who died), she then cared for her invalid mother for many years. When Julia's mother passes on, her only surviving sibling Ellen fully expects--and nearly demands--that her spinster sister come live with her family. But to earn her keep, Julia must be their live-in housekeeper and babysitter for Ellen's four children. But Julia's college-age niece and nephew arrive unexpectedly from California and offer Aunt Cloudy Jewel a surprise opportunity she never expected in her wildest dreams.

Book cover Marcia Schuyler

A compelling love triangle. Marcia is young & sweet. Her older sister Kate is vain & selfish. Marcia deeply admires the man that Kate is to marry: handsome & respected David Spafford. But on the eve of the wedding, Kate elopes with another man. Marcia is there when the note is found...the note that effectively breaks David's heart. Out of pity for his situation, Marcia offers to take Kate's place, in order to save David from humiliation. She grows in love for him, all the while aware that he's still grieving for his lost Kate. What will happen when Kate returns, fully intending to get David back? Will Marcia have the strength to fight for the man she now loves?

By: Ernest William Hornung (1866-1921)

The Amateur Cracksman by Ernest William Hornung The Amateur Cracksman

“I’d tasted blood, and it was all over with me. Why should I work when I could steal? Why settle down to some humdrum uncongenial billet, when excitement, romance, danger and a decent living were all going begging together” – A. J. Raffles, The Ides of March.


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