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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...

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...

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: Sophocles (c. 497 BC - c. 406 BC)

Oedipus Rex by Sophocles Oedipus Rex

Oedipus the King (often known by the Latin title Oedipus Rex) is an Athenian tragedy by Sophocles that was first performed c. 429 BC. It was the second of Sophocles's three Theban plays to be produced, but it comes first in the internal chronology, followed by Oedipus at Colonus and then Antigone. Over the centuries, it has come to be regarded by many as the Greek tragedy par excellence.

Antigone by Sophocles Antigone

This is the final installment in Sophocles's Theban Plays, following Oedipus Rex and Oedipus at Colonus. Oedipus's daughter Antigone deliberately breaks the laws of Thebes when she buries her brother's body and is sentenced to death. She clashes with Creon, the King of Thebes, over what constitutes justice and morality: the laws of the state or the laws of the individual.

By: Anne Brontë (1820-1849)

Agnes Grey by Anne Brontë Agnes Grey

Agnes Grey is the daughter of a minister, whose family comes to financial ruin. Desperate to earn money to care for herself, she takes one of the few jobs allowed to respectable women in the early Victorian era, as a governess to the children of the wealthy. In working with two different families, the Bloomfields and the Murrays, she comes to learn about the troubles that face a young woman who must try to rein in unruly, spoiled children for a living, and about the ability of wealth and status to destroy social values. After her father's death, Agnes opens a small school with her mother and finds happiness with a man who loves her for herself.

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: 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]

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: 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)

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 Pipefuls

A delightful collection of 48 essays on various topics of the human condition that caught his fancy. Witty, insightful and funny of course and on occasion thought provoking and even disturbing. From the preface "These sketches gave me pain to write; they will give the judicious patron pain to read; therefore we are quits. I think, as I look over their slattern paragraphs, of that most tragic hour—it falls about 4 p. m. in the office of an evening newspaper—when the unhappy compiler tries to round up the broodings of the day and still get home in time for supper...

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: 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: Edmund Clerihew Bentley (1875-1956)

Trent's Last Case by Edmund Clerihew Bentley Trent's Last Case

This is one of a series of EC Bentley novels featuring the highly erudite artist qua reporter / detective, Philip Trent.In it, Trent is sent to a charming English seaside village to cover the murder of Sigsbee Manderson for a large London newspaper. The victim is an unpopular and extremely powerful financial tycoon, who is murdered virtually within sight of his own house, at a time when it seems impossible that anyone there – to say nothing of all of its more than half dozen inhabitants – could have failed to see or hear the crime being committed...

By: Dorothy Canfield Fisher

Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield Fisher Understood Betsy

Elizabeth Ann is a timid, sickly little girl who lives with her Aunt Frances and her Great-Aunt Harriet. When Great-Aunt Harriet becomes ill, poor little Elizabeth Ann is sent to live with the much-feared Putney cousins, whom, as Great-Aunt Harriet said “Such lack of sympathy, such perfect indifference to the sacred sensitiveness of child-life, such a starving of the child-heart … No, I shall never forget it! They had chores to do … as though they had been hired men!” But to the Putney cousins in Vermont Elizabeth Ann has to go...

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 Christmas Carmen

John Greenleaf Whittier was an American Quaker poet and advocate of the abolition of slavery in the United States. Frequently listed as one of the Fireside Poets, Whittier was influenced by the Scottish poet Robert Burns.

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,...

The Lost Stradivarius by John Meade Falkner The Lost Stradivarius

The Lost Stradivarius (1895), by J. Meade Falkner, is a short novel of ghosts and the evil that can be invested in an object, in this case an extremely fine Stradivarius violin. After finding the violin of the title in a hidden compartment in his college rooms, the protagonist, a wealthy young heir, becomes increasingly secretive as well as obsessed by a particular piece of music, which seems to have the power to call up the ghost of its previous owner. Roaming from England to Italy, the story involves family love, lordly depravity, and the tragedy of obsession

By: James Otis (1848-1912)

Richard of Jamestown: A Story of the Virginia Colony by James Otis Richard of Jamestown: A Story of the Virginia Colony

Richard of Jamestown by James Otis was written for children with the purpose to show them the daily home life of the Virginia colonists. It is written from the viewpoint of a young boy named Richard Mutton.

By: Edward Elmer Smith (1890-1965)

Masters of Space by Edward Elmer Smith Masters of Space

The Masters had ruled all space with an unconquerable iron fist. But the Masters were gone. And this new, young race who came now to take their place–could they hope to defeat the ancient Enemy of All?

By: Louis Hémon (1880-1913)

Maria Chapdelaine by Louis Hémon Maria Chapdelaine

Maria Chapdelaine is one of the most famous French Canadian novels. It is the love story of Maria Chapdelaine, daughter of a peasant family in the Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean region of Quebec, in the 1900s. It is often seen as an allegory of the French Canadian people, describing simple joys and great tragedies, the bonds of family, the importance of faith, and the strength of body and spirit needed to endure the harshness of life in Canada’s northern wilderness.

By: Johnny Gruelle (1880-1938)

Raggedy Ann Stories by Johnny Gruelle Raggedy Ann Stories

To the millions of children and grown-ups who have loved a Rag Doll, the author dedicated these stories. Now listen as Shannon reads to you Raggedy Ann’s exciting adventures; as gentle and charming today, as they were when first published in 1918. Find out what is written on her candy heart, what was the gift the fairies brought, and all about Raggedy Ann’s new sisters.


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