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By: Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850)

Book cover Cousin Pons

Cousin Pons is one of the final works in Balzac's long novel series titled The Human Comedy. It was published in 1847, along with Cousin Betty, as one of a complementary pair of novels, collectively titled Poor Relations. While Cousin Betty tells the story of a bitter woman who seeks revenge on her wealthier relations, in Cousin Pons, Balzac turns to the story of an timid, innocent man who is exploited and victimized by the wealthier members of his extended family.Balzac offers probing character portraits and an indictment of greed and materialism in this detailed portrait of mid-19th-century French life...

Book cover Gobseck

Part of the La Comedie Humane and something of a sequence to Balzac's Father Goriot, the short book's title is the name of the pawn broker/money lender the father Goriot utilized to maintain his spoiled daughters in the luxury he had accustomed them to. This is a continuation of the tale of one of those daughters, Mme Restaud.

Book cover Firm of Nucingen

Part of the Comedie Humane and a "supplementary" tale to go with Father Goriot and Gobseck. Nucingen is the married family name of one of Father Goriot's daughters. "James Waring" is a pseudonym of Ellen Marriage (Balzac was considered sometimes too racy by the Victorian Age).

By: Horace Walpole

The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole The Castle of Otranto

The Castle of Otranto is a 1764 novel by HoraceWalpole. It is generally held to be the first gothic novel,initiating a literary genre which would become extremelypopular in the later 18th century and early 19thcentury. Thus, Castle, and Walpole by extension isarguably the forerunner to such authors as AnnRadcliffe, Bram Stoker, Daphne du Maurier, andStephen King.

By: Horatio Alger, Jr. (1832-1899)

Ragged Dick by Horatio Alger, Jr. Ragged Dick

A fourteen year old homeless boy, Dick, tries to make an honest living in the streets of 1860s New York as a bootblack. He is determined to stay honorable, though he is tempted many times to easy pickings and a life of crime. When a regular customer is impressed by Dick's integrity and invites him to his mansion, this marks a turning point in the life of the young street-smart teenager. Ragged Dick by Horatio Alger Jr was first published in 1868. It represents a typical coming of age story in which a child attains the maturity of adulthood through circumstances in which important choices are made...

Book cover Timothy Crump's Ward

A poor family is surprised with an infant on their doorstep on New Year’s Eve with a note and monetary support requesting them to raise the child. Eight years later, the child is stolen and the family is put into more trouble trying to find her. This is a story of how love and good morals are reward with a fairy tale “happily ever after” ending.

Book cover Grand'ther Baldwin's Thanksgiving, with Other Ballads and Poems

Horatio Alger, better known for his juvenile fiction, also penned some great poetry. His Ballads, including the 8 war poems and his odes, are collected in this volume.

By: Howard Pyle (1853-1911)

The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood

A modern day legend, Robin Hood is an archetypal hero of the common people who goes to great lengths to famously take from the rich and give to the poor. Luckily he is not alone in his mission, as his righteous views are shared by his band of Merry Men, a group of yeomen, and together they pursue an end to injustice and oppression. Set in medieval England, the tale begins with the introduction of a young archer, who is provoked into conflict and committing a crime against the formidable Sherriff of Nottingham and is immediately dubbed an outlaw...

Book cover Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates

Swashbuckling tales of legendary pirates, buccaneers, and marooners, terrors of the Spanish Main.

Book cover Twilight Land

The room was all full of twilight; but there they sat, every one of them. I did not count them, but there were ever so many: Aladdin, and Ali Baba, and Fortunatis, and Jack-the-Giant-Killer, and Doctor Faustus, and Bidpai, and Cinderella, and Patient Grizzle, and the Soldier who cheated the Devil, and St. George, and Hans in Luck, who traded and traded his lump of gold until he had only an empty churn to show for it; and there was Sindbad the Sailor, and the Tailor who killed seven flies at a blow,...

By: Hugh Walpole (1884-1941)

Book cover Jeremy

With affectionate humor, Mr. Walpole tells the story of Jeremy and his two sisters, Helen and Mary Cole, who grow up in Polchester, a quiet English Cathedral town. There is the Jampot, who is the nurse ; Hamlet, the stray dog ; Uncle Samuel, who paints pictures and is altogether 'queer’; of course, Mr. and Mrs. Cole, and Aunt Amy. Mr. Walpole has given his narrative a rare double appeal, for it not only recreates for the adult the illusion of his own happiest youth, but it unfolds for the child-reader a genuine and moving experience with real people and pleasant things...

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: Irving Bacheller (1859-1950)

Eben Holden - A Tale of the North Country by Irving Bacheller Eben Holden - A Tale of the North Country

Eben Holden - A Tale of the North Country. Having lost both parents and his home in northern Vermont, orphan Willie Brower is taken in by Eben Holden, "Uncle Eb" who transports him westward to save him from being sent to an orphanage. Through the Adirondacks and into the St. Lawrence valley they travel. Eben is kind, happy, and loves to tell stories to the youngster, many of which were to shape the life and ideals of Willie during his life.This story follows Willie as a young orphan, later as a journalist, and finally as a soldier who enlists in the army at the outset of the American Civil War...

By: Isabella Alden (1841-1930)

The Chautauqua Girls at Home by Isabella Alden The Chautauqua Girls at Home

Sequel to Four Girls at Chautauqua. Ruth, Flossy, Eurie, and Ruth return home as new Christians, eager to begin working. Their new faith clashes with their old lives, which they must overcome, as well as the prejudices of friends and acquaintances.

By: Isabella Lilias Trotter (1853-1928)

Book cover Parables of the Cross

Death is the Gate of Life. There was deep insight in those old words. For man's natural thought of death is that of a dreary ending in decay and dissolution. And from his standpoint he is right: death as the punishment of sin is an ending.But far other is God's thought in the redemption of the world. He takes the very thing that came in with the curse, and makes it the path of glory. Death becomes a beginning instead of an ending, for it becomes the means of liberating a fresh life.And so the hope that lies in these parable lessons of death and life is meant for those only who are turning to Him for redemption...

By: Isabella Matilda Davis Brittingham (1852-1924)

The Revelation of Baha-ullah in a Sequence of Four Lessons by Isabella Matilda Davis Brittingham The Revelation of Baha-ullah in a Sequence of Four Lessons

Isabella Matilda Davis Brittingham was a significant early American Bahá’í and was posthumously designated by Shoghi Effendi as one of the 19 Disciples of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and Heralds of the Covenant. She was born in 1852, the daughter of Benjamin Davis, who was a grandson of John Morton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Her sister-in-law heard about the Bahá’í Faith in 1897 and in 1898 Isabella herself became a part of the nascent American Bahá’í community. In September 1901, Isabella went on pilgrimage to the Holy Land, where she met ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the leader of the Bahá’í Faith and son of the Founder, Bahá’u'lláh...

By: Israel Zangwill (1864-1926)

The Big Bow Mystery by Israel Zangwill The Big Bow Mystery

Regarded as the first full-length locked room mystery, the novel focuses on a murder that has occurred inside a locked room, with no clear indication as to the weapon used, the perpetrator of the horrendous crime, or a possible escape route. Needless to say, The Big Bow Mystery has all the elements necessary to engage its audience and encourage them to look between the lines in an attempt to unravel the complex murder. Set in Bow, east London, the novel opens when Mrs. Drabdump, a widow who rents out rooms, panics when one of her lodgers does not respond to her fervent attempts to wake him...

The King of Schnorrers by Israel Zangwill The King of Schnorrers

Manasseh da Costa is a schnorrer (beggar) who lives on the charitable contributions of the Jews of late 18th-century London. But Manasseh is far from being a humble panhandler for, as every schnorrer knows, supporting the poor is a commandment from God (a mitzvah) not just a favour. And as the descendant of Portuguese Jews who had lived in England for many generations, Manasseh is the social superior of those newly arrived from Eastern Europe (called ‘Tedesco’), even his wealthy patron Joseph Grobstock...

By: Ivan Goncharov (1812-1891)

Book cover Common Story

Alexander Fedoritch Adouev is the naïve, pampered son of Anna Pavlovna, a provincial landowner. He decides to go off to Saint Petersburg, not only to make his mark upon society but also to fulfill his two rosy romantic dreams of becoming a great writer and finding a great love. He is taken under the reluctant wing of his uncle, Piotr Ivanitch Adouev, a pragmatic, hard-headed businessman who scorns everything romantic and tries to cure Alexander Fedoritch of his sentimental, youthful illusions. The...

By: Ivan S. Turgenev (1818–1883)

Fathers and Sons by Ivan S. Turgenev Fathers and Sons

The fathers and children of the novel refers to the growing divide between the two generations of Russians, and the character Yevgeny Bazarov has been referred to as the “first Bolshevik”, for his nihilism and rejection of the old order. Turgenev wrote Fathers and Sons as a response to the growing cultural schism that he saw between liberals of the 1830s/1840s and the growing nihilist movement. Both the nihilists (the “sons”) and the 1830s liberals sought Western-based social change in Russia...

By: J. M. Barrie (1860-1937)

Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie Peter Pan

His name has become a metaphor for one who will never grow old. Peter Pan by JM Barrie is the story of a boy who remains a boy while the world around him changes. Sir James Mathew Barrie was a Scottish playwright and novelist whose works were received with great critical and commercial success in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. He discovered the main inspiration for his creative genius in his friendship (and later guardianship) with the children of Arthur and Sylvia Llewellyn-Davies...

The Admirable Crichton by J. M. Barrie The Admirable Crichton

From the author of Peter Pan:Lord Loam, a British peer, considers class divisions to be artificial. He promotes his views during tea-parties where servants mingle with his aristocratic guests, to the embarrassment of all. Crichton, his butler, particularly disapproves of this.Loam, his family, a maid, and Crichton are shipwrecked on a deserted tropical island. The resourceful Crichton is the only one of the party with any practical knowledge. Eventually, social roles are reversed, and Crichton becomes the governor.

Book cover Peter and Wendy

Peter and Wendy tells the classic story of Peter Pan, a mischievous little boy who can fly, and his adventures on the island of Neverland with Wendy and her brothers, the fairy Tinker Bell, the Lost Boys, the Indian princess Tiger Lily, and the pirate Captain Hook. (Introduction modified from Wikipedia)

Book cover Little White Bird

"A children's book, sharp social commentary and sad psychological thriller about a man's search for a sense of belonging. All in one amazing and lyrical collection. This is the first book in which Peter Pan starts to appear. His adventure in Kensington Gardens are first narrated here. Other than that, it offers a magical portrait of contemporary London, and a realistic tale of a family to which every one of us could have belonged."

Book cover Dear Brutus

At a house in the country 8 guests are invited to enter a magical wood to see what might have happened had they made a different choice in life. Even though they are warned away from the wood, they take a chance and enter. The title comes from Shakespeare: "The fault lies in our selves, dear Brutus, not in our stars...," and summarizes the theme of this play: given a second chance, will people still make the same mistakes?

By: J. Thorne Smith, Jr. (1892-1934)

Biltmore Oswald by J. Thorne Smith, Jr. Biltmore Oswald

The hilarious diary of a young man's recruitment into, and service in a navy, which, though well equipped and disciplined, remains woefully ill prepared for his arrival and dubious contribution. (Introduction by Nigel Boydell)

By: Jack London (1876-1916)

The Call of the Wild by Jack London The Call of the Wild

Call of the Wild is an emotional rollercoaster of a novel set during the late 19th century Klondike Gold Rush. The central character is Buck, an Alaskan sled dog who is forced to adjust to the cruel climate in order to survive. If you have even a remote love of dogs then you will fall head over heels in love with this book. In fact, take away the fact that Buck is a dog and the story is the same, a struggle against greed and to live a life of freedom. London spent a year in Yokel researching the book, making it extremely detailed, very simplistic in its descriptions and genuinely heartfelt...

White Fang by Jack London White Fang

Hugely popular among younger readers, White Fang by Jack London was a runaway hit when it first debuted in 1906, as a serial story in the Outing magazine. Since then it continues to enjoy immense acclaim and popularity as a coming of age allegory where a nonconformist youngster is transformed into a responsible citizen. The most appealing aspect of White Fang is that it's told from the point of view of an animal, in this case an Alaskan Husky. Like Black Beauty by Anna Sewell, White Fang also addresses ethical issues, social injustices and cruelty to our four footed friends...

The Sea Wolf by Jack London The Sea Wolf

A maritime classic acclaimed for its exciting adventure, The Sea Wolf offers a thrilling tale of life at sea, while exploring the many difficulties that may erupt on board a ship captained by a brutally hedonistic and controlling individual. Additionally, the psychological adventure novel covers several themes including mutiny, existentialism, individualism, brutality, and the intrinsic will to survive. The novel sets into motion when its protagonist, the soft and cultivated scholar Humphrey van Weyden, is witness to a precarious collision between his ferry and another ship...

The Faith of Men by Jack London The Faith of Men

A collection of short stories by author Jack London

John Barleycorn or Alcoholic Memoirs by Jack London John Barleycorn or Alcoholic Memoirs

Jack London died at the age of forty. In this autobiographical work, London describes his life as seen through the eyes of John Barleycorn (alcohol). There is much controversy about the cause of his death just as there is about alcoholism and addiction. London’s brutally frank and honest analysis of his own struggles and bouts with alcohol was way before its time and more modern theories of addiction. With remarkable candor and insight, London describes the demons and gods he encountered through both friend and enemy, John Barleycorn.


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