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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.

By: William Clark Russell (1844-1911)

Abandoned by William Clark Russell Abandoned

As she walks up the aisle to her waiting husband, a young bride undergoes a sudden change of heart. She goes through the marriage ceremony in a daze, but refuses to talk to her new husband, a seafaring man. Her family is stunned and bewildered. After the ceremony, the bride stays shut in her bedroom. The bewildered groom departs in despair. The next day, the family receives news that the groom has been mortally injured in an accident. The bride rushes to his side on board a ship. When she enters his cabin, instead of a bedridden invalid, she finds him sitting strong and hearty at his desk...

The Frozen Pirate by William Clark Russell The Frozen Pirate

Sailing adventure with storms, icebergs, shipwrecks, treasure, and the reawakening of a pirate frozen in suspended animation for nearly fifty years

By: Irvin S. Cobb (1876-1944)

Cobb's Anatomy by Irvin S. Cobb Cobb's Anatomy

Irvin Shrewsbury Cobb was born on June 23, 1876. At seventeen years of age, he began writing for the Paducah Daily News, his hometown paper. At nineteen he became the managing editor; up to that point, our nation’s youngest. He worked as a columnist, a humorist and an author. But ‘horror,’ and ’short stories,’ are not why he is remembered. He is remembered because he was, and still is, funny. And although he is now dead–he died March 11, 1944–this work “Cobb’s Anatomy,” among others, has left an indelible mark upon mankind: a smile.

One Third Off by Irvin S. Cobb One Third Off

Irvin Shrewsbury Cobb (June 23, 1876–March 11, 1944) was an American author, humorist, and columnist who lived in New York and wrote over 60 books and 300 short stories. Cobb has been described as “having a round shape, bushy eyebrows, full lips, and a triple chin. He always had a cigar in his mouth.” This book is a hilarious account of Cobb’s attempts at weight-loss.

By: Alfred Noyes (1880-1958)

Book cover Drake

Alfred Noyes, in the blank-verse epic "Drake", fictionalizes the historical Francis Drake, who, during the reign of Elizabeth I of England, sailed (and plundered) on the Spanish Main and beyond.

By: William Dean Howells (1837-1920)

My Mark Twain by William Dean Howells My Mark Twain

William Dean Howells (1837-1920) became fast friends with Mark Twain from the moment in 1869 when Twain strode into the office of The Atlantic Monthly in Boston to thank Howells, then its assistant editor, for his favorable review of Innocents Abroad. When Howells became editor a few years later, The Atlantic Monthly began serializing many of Twain’s works, among them his non-fiction masterpiece, Life on the Mississippi. In My Mark Twain, Howells pens a literary memoir that includes such fascinating scenes as their meetings with former president Ulysses Grant who was then writing the classic autobiography that Twain would underwrite in the largest publishing deal until that time...

Indian Summer by William Dean Howells Indian Summer

In his novel Indian Summer, William Dean Howells presents a mellow but realistic story that has the complete feel of that delightful time of the year, although the plot actually spans several seasons. The Indian summer aspect applies to a sophisticated gentleman, Theodore Colville, who has just entered his middle years as he returns to a scene, Florence, Italy, that played an important part in his early manhood. It was here twenty years earlier that he first fell in love, seemingly successfully until a sudden and harsh rejection...

A Little Swiss Sojurn by William Dean Howells A Little Swiss Sojurn

A charming brief account of a two months' autumnal stay on the shores of the Lake of Geneva. Howells, who was there with his family traveling from England to Italy, has a sharp eye not only for scenery and architecture, but for people and customs, both Swiss and foreign.

Book cover Annie Kilburn

After 11 years in Rome, Annie Kilburn returns home to the US after the death of her father. But the home she knew is dramatically changed in many ways. She starts to work with sick children, and finds herself attached to them, and to the minister who helps her, Mr. Peck.

Book cover Hazard of New Fortunes

Howell’s novel is set in New York of the late nineteenth century, a city familiar to readers of Edith Wharton and Henry James. Basil March, a businessman from Boston of a literary bent, moves with his family to New York to edit a new journal founded by an acquaintance. Its financial support, however, comes from a Mr. Dryfoos, a Pennsylvania Dutch farmer suddenly become millionaire by the discovery of natural gas on his property, and now living in New York with his family in a style he hopes will befit his new wealth...

Book cover Coast of Bohemia

William Dean Howells is at his iconoclastic best in this exploration of bourgeois values, particularly in the clash between respectable society and the dubious bohemian world of Art and Poetry. Cornelia Saunders has everything going for her in her middle-class world: comfort, good looks, attentive young men. She seems willing to risk it all for the sake of what might be an artistic Gift, venturing with great trepidation to put her foot over the line into Bohemia to see if it might be the thing for her. Skewering the conventions of sentimental literature as usual, Howells keeps the reader guessing to the end as to the fate of Cornelia and her Gift.

By: Carl Sandburg (1878-1967)

Rootabaga Stories by Carl Sandburg Rootabaga Stories

Carl Sandburg is beloved by generations of children for his Rootabaga Stories and Rootabaga Pigeons (which is not in the public domain), a series of whimsical, sometimes melancholy stories he originally created for his own daughters. The Rootabaga Stories were born of Sandburg’s desire for “American fairy tales” to match American childhood. He felt that the European stories involving royalty and knights were inappropriate, and so populated his stories with animals, skyscrapers, trains, corn fairies, and other colorful characters.

By: Ernest Bramah (1868-1942)

Four Max Carrados Detective Stories by Ernest Bramah Four Max Carrados Detective Stories

Ernest Bramah is mainly known for his ‘Kai Lung’ books – Dorothy L Sayers often used quotes from them for her chapter headings. In his lifetime however he was equally well known for his detective stories. Since Sherlock Holmes we have had French detectives, Belgian detectives, aristocratic detectives, royal detectives, ecclesiastical detectives, drunken detectives and even a (very) few quite normal happily married detectives. Max Carrados was however probably the first blind detective.

Book cover Wallet of Kai Lung

The Wallet of Kai Lung is a collection of fantasy stories by Ernest Bramah, all but the last of which feature Kai Lung, an itinerant story-teller of ancient China. The collection's importance in the history of fantasy literature was recognized by the anthologization of two of its tales in the celebrated Ballantine Adult Fantasy Series.

By: Mary Godolphin (1781-1864)

Robinson Crusoe in Words of One Syllable by Mary Godolphin Robinson Crusoe in Words of One Syllable

Mary Godolphin was the pseudonym of Lucy Aikin who undertook translating great literature into single-syllable words so that young readers could enjoy plots that were considerably more interesting than, say, the McGuffey readers of the 1880’s or the “Dick and Jane” primers of the 1950s (still around today as “decodable readers” in elementary schools). She produced this volume based on Daniel Defoe’s most famous work, considered by many to be the first English novel (1719). She also rendered Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress and Wyss’ Swiss Family Robinson, which she translated as well.

By: Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)

Book cover Case of Wagner / Nietzsche Contra Wagner / Selected Aphorisms

A collection of three of Nietzsche's writings concerning the music of Wagner. In particular, he relates Wagner's music as degenerate, unrefined and unintelligent and relates it to a gradually degenerating German culture and society. The translator provides a detailed introduction.

By: Hilaire Belloc

First and Last by Hilaire Belloc First and Last

“When a man weighs anchor in a little ship or a large one he does a jolly thing! He cuts himself off and he starts for freedom and for the chance of things. He pulls the jib a-weather, he leans to her slowly pulling round, he sees the wind getting into the mainsail, and he feels that she feels the helm. He has her on a slant of the wind, and he makes out between the harbour piers.” (quotation from Hilaire Belloc)

On Something by Hilaire Belloc On Something

“Now that story is a symbol, and tells the truth. We see some one thing in this world, and suddenly it becomes particular and sacramental; a woman and a child, a man at evening, a troop of soldiers; we hear notes of music, we smell the smell that went with a passed time, or we discover after the long night a shaft of light upon the tops of the hills at morning: there is a resurrection, and we are refreshed and renewed.” – Hilaire Belloc

On Nothing & Kindred Subjects by Hilaire Belloc On Nothing & Kindred Subjects

“I knew a man once, Maurice, who was at Oxford for three years, and after that went down with no degree. At College, while his friends were seeking for Truth in funny brown German Philosophies, Sham Religions, stinking bottles and identical equations, he was lying on his back in Eynsham meadows thinking of Nothing, and got the Truth by this parallel road of his much more quickly than did they by theirs; for the asses are still seeking, mildly disputing, and, in a cultivated manner, following the...

The Free Press by Hilaire Belloc The Free Press

I propose to discuss in what follows the evil of the great modern Capitalist Press, its function in vitiating and misinforming opinion and in putting power into ignoble hands; its correction by the formation of small independent organs, and the probably increasing effect of these last. (Introduction by Hilaire Belloc)

By: Lieh-Tzu

The Book of Lieh-Tzü by Lieh-Tzu The Book of Lieh-Tzü

The Liezi (Chinese: 列子; pinyin: Lièzĭ; Wade-Giles: Lieh Tzu; literally “[Book of] Master Lie”) is a Daoist text attributed to Lie Yukou, a circa 5th century BCE Hundred Schools of Thought philosopher, but Chinese and Western scholars believe it was compiled around the 4th century CE. During the reign of Emperor Xuanzong of Tang, the Liezi was designated a Daoist classic, completing the trilogy with the more famous Daodejing and Zhuangzi. The Liezi is generally considered to be the most practical of the major Daoist works, compared to the philosophical writings of Laozi and the poetic narrative of Zhuangzi...

By: E. E. Smith (1895-1965)

Spacehounds of IPC by E. E. Smith Spacehounds of IPC

When the Inter-Planetary Corporation's (IPC) crack liner “IPV Arcturus” took off on a routine flight to Mars, it turned out to be the beginning of a unexpected and long voyage. There had been too many reports of errors in ship's flight positions from the Check Stations and brilliant physicist Dr. Percival (“Steve”) Stevens is aboard the Arcturus on a fact-finding mission to find out what's really happening, and hopefully save the honor of the brave pilots of the space-liner Arcturus from the desk-jockeys' in the Check Stations implications of imprecision - the nastiest insult you could cast at a ships pilot...

Book cover Skylark Three

This is a sequel to The Skylark of Space. The novel concerns Richard Seaton and his allies who have encounters with aliens while fighting DuQuesne and the Fenachrone..

Book cover The Skylark of Space

The Skylark of Space is one of the earliest novels of interstellar travel and is considered a classic of pulp science fiction. Originally serialized in 1928 in the magazine Amazing Stories it is often categorized as the first literary space opera, complete with protagonists perfect in mind, body, and spirit, who fight against villains of absolute evil.

By: R. Austin Freeman (1862-1943)

The Eye of Osiris by R. Austin Freeman The Eye of Osiris

The Eye of Osiris is an early example from the Dr. Thorndyke series of detective stories written by R. Austin Freeman. In these stories, the author drew on his extensive medical and scientific knowledge for his main character, a medico-legal expert who relies on forensic evidence and logical deduction in solving cases. In this case, Thorndyke steps in to investigate the disappearance of one John Bellingham, an English gentleman and amateur Egyptologist, who has vanished under very mysterious circumstances...

Book cover The Mystery of 31 New Inn

Jeffrey Blackmore suspiciously made two wills, both deceptively alike, but still, in a cunning way, completely different. John Thorndyke, equally cunning and smart, smells something fishy. With stylish cool and logic, he leads the story up to its marvelous and fully credible climax.

The Red Thumb Mark by R. Austin Freeman The Red Thumb Mark

Missing diamonds, untouched safe, two blood smeared thumb prints and a mysterious Mr X. If these are present, Dr Thorndyke must be there too. Will he be able to solve this case?The Red Thumb Mark is the first novel of Freeman’s best-selling Thorndyke series.

By: Bret Harte (1837-1902)

Selected Stories by Bret Harte Selected Stories

Bret Harte (1837–1902) was an American author and poet, best remembered for his accounts of pioneering life in California.

Book cover Mrs. Skagg's Husbands and Other Stories

A collection of short stories set in the American West at the end of the 19th century.

Book cover What the Wolf Really Said to Little Red Riding Hood

Francis Bret Harte was an American author and poet, best remembered for his short fiction featuring miners, gamblers, and other romantic figures of the California Gold Rush. In a career spanning more than four decades, he wrote poetry, fiction, plays, lectures, book reviews, editorials, and magazine sketches in addition to fiction. As he moved from California to the eastern U.S. to Europe, he incorporated new subjects and characters into his stories, but his Gold Rush tales have been most often reprinted, adapted, and admired.

By: William Harrison Ainsworth (1805-1882)

Rookwood by William Harrison Ainsworth Rookwood

A rich and complex Gothic-Romance centring on the murky deeds of an ancient family. It is a wonderfully atmospheric piece that combines narrative, poetry, song, and descriptive writing to great effect. The character of Dick Turpin that we know today – the dashing highwaymen and unmatched horseman – can be said to stem directly from this novel, as the most famous part of the book (often published on its own in the past), Turpin’s Ride To York, is devoted to him. Although seemingly little known to a modern audience, Ainsworth’s ‘Rookwood’ gave the world the image of the highwayman with which we are all so familiar.

Windsor Castle, Book 1 by William Harrison Ainsworth Windsor Castle, Book 1

Book 1 - Ann Boleyn. The focus of the novels is on the events surrounding Henry VIII's replacing Catherine of Aragon with Anne Boleyn as his wife. During Henry's pursuit of Boleyn, the novel describes other couples, including the Earl of Surrey and Lady Elizabeth Fitzgerald, a match Henry does not support. However, some of the individuals oppose Henry and his desires for Boleyn, including Thomas Wyat who wants her for himself and Cardinal Wolsey, who uses his own daughter, Mabel Lyndwood, to lure Henry away from Boleyn...

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.

By: Walter Besant (1836-1901)

The Art of Fiction by Walter Besant The Art of Fiction

A lecture on the art of fiction, given by the English critic Walter Besant on April 25, 1884, and an answer to the lecture by American writer Henry James in the same year.

By: U. Waldo Cutler

Stories of King Arthur and His Knights by U. Waldo Cutler Stories of King Arthur and His Knights

Stories of King Arthur and His Knights. Retold from Malory’s “Morte dArthur”.

By: E.E. “Doc” Smith (1890-1965)

Triplanetary by E.E. “Doc” Smith Triplanetary

“Doc” E.E. Smith pretty much invented the space opera genre, and Triplanetary is a good and well-known example. Physics, time, and politics never stand in the way of a plot that gallops ahead without letup. Having earned a PhD in chemical engineering, it’s understandable that the heroes of Smith’s story are all scientists. He didn’t want to be constrained by the limits of known science, however, so in his hands the electromagnetic spectrum becomes a raw material to be molded into ever-more amazing and lethal forms, and the speed of light is no bar to traveling through the interstellar void...

By: Donald McGibney

32 Caliber by Donald McGibney 32 Caliber

The recent interest that's being generated in the pulp fiction writers of the 1920s has lead to many of the books of that genre being resurrected and read once again. For modern-day readers, these represent what are now called “airport-lounge reads” and ideal for those few hours that you have to kill waiting in an airport or railway station, while traveling or on holiday, when you don't want anything too heavy to weigh you down! Pulp fiction, so called because the books were generally printed on cheaper paper made from recycled wood pulp, had certain characteristics...

By: C. J. Dennis (1876-1938)

The Glugs of Gosh by C. J. Dennis The Glugs of Gosh

First published in 1917, The Glugs of Gosh satirizes Australian life at the start of the twentieth century – but the absurdities it catalogs seem just as prevalent at the start of the twenty-first. The foolishness of kings, the arrogance of the elite, the gullibility of crowds, the pride of the self-righteous, the unthinking following of tradition – all find themselves the targets of C. J. Dennis’ biting wit.

The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke by C. J. Dennis The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke

The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke is a verse novel by Australian novelist and poet C. J. Dennis. The book sold over 60,000 copies in nine editions within the first year, and is probably one of the highest selling verse novels ever published in Australia.The novel tells the story of Bill, a larrikin of the Little Lonsdale Street Push, who is introduced to a young woman by the name of Doreen. The book chronicles their courtship and marriage, detailing Bill’s transformation from a violence-prone gang member to a contented husband and father. C.J. Dennis went on to publish three sequels to this novel: The Moods of Ginger Mick (1916), Doreen (1917) and Rose of Spadgers (1924)

By: James Edward Austen-Leigh (1798-1874)

Memoir of Jane Austen by James Edward Austen-Leigh Memoir of Jane Austen

“The Memoir of my Aunt, Jane Austen, has been received with more favour than I had ventured to expect. The notices taken of it in the periodical press, as well as letters addressed to me by many with whom I am not personally acquainted, show that an unabated interest is still taken in every particular that can be told about her. I am thus encouraged not only to offer a Second Edition of the Memoir, but also to enlarge it with some additional matter which I might have scrupled to intrude on the public if they had not thus seemed to call for it...

By: Luis Vaz de Camões (1524-1580)

The Lusiads by Luis Vaz de Camões The Lusiads

The Lusiads (Os Lusíadas) is a Portuguese epic poem, written in the 16th century by Luis Vaz de Camões. The poem tells the tale of the Portuguese discoveries in the 15th and 16th centuries, specially the voyage to India by Vasco da Gama. Modelled after the classic epic tradition, Camões' Lusiads are considered not only the first literary text in Modern Portuguese, but also a national epic of the same level as Vergil's Aeneid. In the 19th century, Sir Richard Francis Burton translated Camões' Lusiads, in what he considered "the most pleasing literary labour of his life".

By: Erskine Childers (1870-1922)

The Riddle of the Sands by Erskine Childers The Riddle of the Sands

Containing many realistic details based on Childers’ own sailing trips along the German North Sea coast, the book is the retelling of a yachting expedition in the early 20th century combined with an adventurous spy story. It was one of the early invasion novels which predicted war with Germany and called for British preparedness. The plot involves the uncovering of secret German preparations for an invasion of the United Kingdom. It is often called the first modern spy novel, although others are as well, it was certainly very influential in the genre and for its time...

By: Ada Cambridge (1844-1926)

Sisters by Ada Cambridge Sisters

Ada Cambridge (November 21, 1844 – July 19, 1926), later known as Ada Cross, was an English born Australian writer. While she gained recognition as Australia’s first woman poet of note, her longer term reputation rests on her novels. Overall she wrote more than twenty-five works of fiction, three volumes of poetry and two autobiographical works.[1] Many of her novels were serialised in Australian newspapers, and were never published in book form. The story pans over three – four decades revolving the four Pennycuick sisters.

By: H Rider Haggard

She and Allan by H Rider Haggard She and Allan

H Rider Haggard’s “She and Allan”, first published in 1921 is a gripping adventure about Allan Quatermain, who together with Hans, the Hottentot and, the Zulu-Chief Omslopogaas and at the bidding of the old Witch Doctor Zikali seeks out Ayesha, the daughter of Isis to find answers to their questions about life and death, and their many, sometimes strange, Adventures on their way. Written by Lars Rolander

By: Eleanor M. Ingram (1886-1921)

The Thing from the Lake by Eleanor M. Ingram The Thing from the Lake

To get away from city life periodically, New Yorker Roger Locke purchases an abandoned farm house in rural Connecticut, and with the assistance of his cousin Phillida and her beau Ethan Vere, he sets about fixing up the place. Immediately however, an unseen mysterious woman begins giving him warnings during nocturnal visits to leave the house at once. Soon he begins hearing strange ominous sounds emanating from the tiny lake at the back of the house coupled with a permeation of sickly odors. An evil presence then begins to visit him during the witching hours of the late night, challenging him to a battle of wits from which there can be only one victor...

By: Abraham Merritt

The Metal Monster by Abraham Merritt The Metal Monster

The Metal Monster is an Abraham Merritt fantasy novel.Dr. Goodwin is on a botanical expedition in the Himalayas. There hemeets Dick Drake, the son of one of his old science acquaintances. They are witnesses of a strange aurora-like effect, but seemingly a deliberate one. As they go out to investigate, they meet Goodwin’s old friends Martin and Ruth Ventnor, brother and sister scientists. The two are besieged by Persians as Darius III led when Alexander of Macedon conquered them more than two thousand years ago.(Wikipedia)

The Moon Pool by Abraham Merritt The Moon Pool

Dr. David Throckmartin’s scientific expedition to the South Sea Islands discovers among ancient ruins a portal into Muria, an unknown underground world. After the disappearance of Throckmartin, his wife and two companions, his old friend Dr. Walter Goodwin enters Muria with a rescue party, only to confront an fantastic world filled with incredible beings, astounding scientific advances, and the worship of the most evil of all creatures, The Dweller. (Introduction by Mark Nelson)

By: Grant Allen

The Woman Who Did by Grant Allen The Woman Who Did

Most times, especially in the time when this book was written (1895), it is just as nature and society would wish: a man and woman “fall in love” and get married. But it is not so for Herminia Barton and Alan Merrick. They do indeed fall in love, but Herminia has a deeply held belief in freedom for women, and she holds immutable views against what she perceives as the slavery of marriage.Alan unwillingly agrees to her strong wish to remain unmarried and to live together as “close and dear friends”...

The British Barbarians by Grant Allen The British Barbarians

After Civil Servant Philip Christy crosses paths with the mysterious Bertram Ingledew in the respectable suburb of Brackenhurst, Philip and his sister Frida, married to the wealthy Scot Robert Monteith, become friends with the stranger. Bertram has some unconventional concepts about society, and as the story unfolds, his beliefs and actions cause much disruption in the family and the neighbourhood.Who is Bertram? Where does he come from? Allen explores some interesting ideas about society, some of which are curiously relevant today...

Hilda Wade, A Woman With Tenacity of Purpose by Grant Allen Hilda Wade, A Woman With Tenacity of Purpose

In this early detective novel, the detective is Hilda Wade. She is a very capable nurse, but there is something mysterious about her from the moment she arrives at the hospital. Upon meeting her, Dr. Hubert Cumberledge greatly admires her and becomes a devoted friend. It turns out that Hilda has one purpose in life, and in pursuit of that purpose she will travel across the world, from London to South Africa, Rhodesia, India, Nepaul, Tibet and back. With Cumberledge's support, her extraordinary logic and clear thinking lead her on through deadly perils. But will that be enough to accomplish the secret purpose which has driven her so long and so far?

By: G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936)

Book cover Magic: A Fantastic Comedy

By: William H. Hudson (1841-1922)

Far Away and Long Ago by William H. Hudson Far Away and Long Ago

William Henry Hudson (August 1841 – 1922) was an author, naturalist and ornithologist. Hudson was born of U.S. parents living in the Quilmes Partido in Buenos Aires Province, Argentina, where he spent his youth studying the local flora and fauna and observing both natural and human dramas on what was then a lawless frontier. ‘Far Away and Long Ago’ is a classic memoir of a boy, fascinated by nature, on the Pampas in the 19th century.

Green Mansions: A Romance of the Tropical Forest by William H. Hudson Green Mansions: A Romance of the Tropical Forest

“Green Mansions: A Romance of the Tropical Forest” is a narration of his life story by Abel, a Venezuelan, to a comrade. Once a wealthy young man, he meddled in politics to the extent of provoking a revolution… which failed.Escaping into the tropical forests of Guyana Abel takes up gold hunting, then journal-writing, and fails at both. Now with no aim for his life, he drifts until he takes up residence with a remote Indian tribe. Soon he learns of a wood the Indians avoid, as it is inhabited by a dangerous Daughter of the Didi, who, they say, slew one of them with magic...


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