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By: May Sinclair (1863-1946)

Book cover Mr. Waddington of Wyck

May Sinclair’s 1921 novel tells the story of the ridiculous Mr. Horatio Bysshe Waddington, a pompous, self-deluded poser making his way through life caring only for the impressions he makes on others. His long-suffering wife Fanny, his secretary Barbara, and the young scapegrace Ralph watch his daily performances with delighted, affectionate fascination as if they are spectators watching a play or scientists observing a new species, wondering every day how far he will go to fulfill his outrageous pretentions. As usual, Sinclair’s light, deceptively innocent prose camouflages a tale of sexual passions and human foibles with philosophical implications about her post-war world.

Book cover Life and Death of Harriett Frean

Harriett Frean is a well-to-do, unmarried woman living a life of meaningless dependency, boredom, and unproductivity as she patiently cares for her aging parents, waiting for a man to marry. When her opportunity for Love finally comes, she is offered a moral dilemma: the man is engaged to her best friend. Should she sacrifice what, according to the priorities of the time, seems like her "one chance for happiness," or should she seize the moment? Can she make something meaningful of her life without...

Book cover Three Sisters

Fascinated as she was by the lives of the Brontë siblings, May Sinclair loosely based her subtly sensual, quietly insurrectionary 1914 novel The Three Sisters on the Haworth moor milieu of the three literary Brontë sisters. Alice, Gwenda, and Mary Cartaret are the daughters of the Vicar of Garth, an abusive father with rigid, selfish expectations for female behavior. Hope of rescue seems to dawn in the person of an idealistic young doctor in the village, but this is no Austen romance. Described...

Book cover Romantic

As a simple story told, "The Romantic" is one of Sinclair’s tightest and most compelling. Charlotte Redhead, a young British secretary, finds herself in a degrading extra-marital affair with her boss. In reaction, she renounces Sex and links herself platonically to a handsome young Bohemian (John Conway) she meets by chance, tramping in the fields. Together, under a powerful romantic excitement, the two rush off to Belgium in the early weeks of World War I, having organized their own little volunteer ambulance corps...

Book cover Audrey Craven

In May Sinclair’s remarkable first novel, Audrey Craven is a beautiful young woman who has by her idiosyncracies acquired a thoroughly undeserved reputation for originality. In fact, Audrey is a shallow, selfish, malleable person of negligible intelligence, with a fastidious horror of anyone who might be considered a nobody. Her pursuit of the stimulation of extraordinary minds (and her persistent fantasy of being somebody’s Muse) brings her into contact with serious women and men representing the profoundest passions of art, religion, science, and love...

Book cover Tysons

Another frank May Sinclair exploration of fin de siècle English love and sex, marriage and adultery, "The Tysons" is the story of the caddish Nevill Tyson and his beautiful but frivolous young wife Molly. Sinclair uses a different narrative voice than we hear in much of her fiction, a sort of witty Jane Austen archness as she dissects the characters of the provincial village Drayton Parva. As always, she demonstrates an intriguing mixture of Victorian prudishness and modern free-thinking, particularly in her rendering of the sexual escapades of her characters...

Book cover Anne Severn and the Fieldings

Written in an era of cheap, formulaic romantic fiction, the nuanced, seditious, quietly erotic novels of May Sinclair stand out like literature from another era entirely. There is romance in “Anne Severn & the Fieldings,” but it’s romance of the best and profoundest kind, set in the context of authentic human personalities and tragic historical events. The motherless Anne Severn is adopted into the Fielding family and grows up in intimate friendship with the three Fielding sons, all of whom love her...

Book cover Combined Maze

Ranny Ransome is an idealistic young man, devoted to exuberant gymnastic exercises and to fighting “flabbiness” in his own life, body and soul. He loves the girlish and athletic Winny Dymond, and particularly loves participating with her in the Combined Maze, a choreographed, intricate, exhilarating group gymnastic ritual in which the young men and women of the Polytechnic Gymnasium demonstrate their skills. Unfortunately, Ranny falls under the spell of the seductive Violet, a sexual free spirit who wants nothing more than to live an untrammelled life on her own terms...

Book cover Tasker Jevons: The Real Story

In this May Sinclair wartime masterpiece, dashing newsman Walter Furnival is an absurdly good catch: handsome, successful, athletic, intelligent, an upstanding epitome of manhood and rectitude. Tasker Jevons is a puny, preposterous, impossible-looking, bombastic sports writer, without one single redeeming social grace. Imagine the jealous mortification of Furny when his enchanting young typist and love interest Viola Thesiger chooses the clownish Jevons as a lover, seeing in him a remarkable inner beauty not evident to anyone but her and (as he grudgingly but magnanimously admits) the long-suffering and devoted Furnival...

Book cover Two Sides of a Question

Here are two gemlike novellas in one volume, written in May Sinclair’s clearest and cleverest prose and exploring the many ways in which a woman can be held captive, held back from the “intoxication of freedom.” In “The Cosmopolitan,” Frida Tancred is a wealthy heiress trapped by family obligation in a dismal provincial estate, hopelessly longing to see all the glories of the world and with no way of escape but the conventional one of marriage. In “Superseded,” spinsterish Miss Juliana Quincey has been teaching arithmetic in a London girls’ school for twenty-five years when she suddenly falls in love with a much younger man and begins to question the assumptions of her life...

By: Mayne Reid (1813-1883)

Book cover Gwen Wynn - A Romance of the Wye

Gwendoline Wynn, our heroine, is an orphan-heiress who lives on the river Wye. She will live with aunt until she comes of age and her money. Vivian Ryecroft, our hero and a captain in the Hussars, is on a leave of absence in Herefordshire, salmon fishing on the Wye. Gwen and Vivian have a chance, and brief, encounter on the Wye, and Vivian is enchanted. Will our hero and heroine find love? Will it last?

By: Melville Davisson Post (1869-1930)

Book cover Dwellers in the Hills

Ward was laid up after a mysterious accident when Woodford, a rival cattleman, demanded 600 head be delivered within 3 days under a contract that the two had entered into. The price had since dropped and Woodford was counting on Ward's inability to deliver to escape a loss on the contract. Woodford had chosen his time well. The cattle were far to the south across the Valley River and Ward had no choice but to send his brother, Quiller, to fetch the stock. A lot could happen on such a long trip as Quiller leaves childhood behind and learns lessons he will never forget about the world of men...

By: Michel Eyquem de Montaigne (1533-1592)

Book cover Essays, Book 1

Michel Eyquem de Montaigne is one of the most influential writers of the French Renaissance, known for popularising the essay as a literary genre and is popularly thought of as the father of Modern Skepticism. He became famous for his effortless ability to merge serious intellectual speculation with casual anecdotes and autobiography—and his massive volume Essais (translated literally as "Attempts") contains, to this day, some of the most widely influential essays ever written.

By: Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (1547-1616)

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra Don Quixote

This is volume 1 of 2. One of the most quirky, eccentric and endearing heroes to ever be depicted in fiction, the chivalrous Don Quixote is sure to capture hearts while bringing tears of laughter to your eyes. If you've never encountered the Knight from La Mancha before, get set for a delightful sojourn through the Spanish countryside, across the fertile countryside of Central Spain. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra was an immediate success when it was first published in 1605 and won huge financial and literary success for its creator, an impoverished writer and poet...

The Exemplary Novels of Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra The Exemplary Novels of Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

Originally compiled by Cervantes himself in 1613 as a collection of "exemplary" stories, this translated version from 1881 brings these stories to the English reader. Included in the collection are twelve stories selected by Cervantes, including "A Deceitful Marriage," which famously transitions seamlessly and humorously into the "Dialogue Between Scipio and Berganze".

By: Mikhail Yurevich Lermontov (1814-1841)

Book cover Hero of Our Time

A Hero of Our Time is indeed a portrait, but not of one man. It is a portrait built up of all our generation's vices in full bloom. You will again tell me that a human being cannot be so wicked, and I will reply that if you can believe in the existence of all the villains of tragedy and romance, why wouldn't believe that there was a Pechorin? If you could admire far more terrifying and repulsive types, why aren't you more merciful to this character, even if it is fictitious? Isn't it because there's more truth in it than you might wish?

By: Mildred Aldrich (1853-1928)

Told in a French Garden by Mildred Aldrich Told in a French Garden

American friends begin to summer in a beautiful French country house when WWI breaks out. They decide not to evacuate as the war encroaches. Their interactions are interwoven by the stories that they take turns telling after dinner each night to stimulate their nightly conversation and distract their thoughts from the war.

By: Mildred Duff (1860-1932)

The Bible in Its Making - The Most Wonderful Book in the World by Mildred Duff The Bible in Its Making - The Most Wonderful Book in the World

One great universal law runs through the realm of nature. Our Saviour gave it in a sentence: 'First the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.' It is with the desire to show that the same law rules in another of God's creations — The Bible — that this little volume has been prepared. The Bible has as literally 'grown' as has an oak tree; and probably there is no more likeness between the Bible as we know it to-day and its earliest beginning, than we find between the mighty tree, and the acorn from which it sprang...

By: Miriam Michelson (1870-1942)

Book cover In the Bishop's Carriage

Nancy 'Nance' Olden, a young and very pretty woman, is an accomplished liar and thief. Raised in a horrific orphanage, called the Cruelty by its occupants, Nance and her criminal boyfriend, Tom Dorgan, are pulling a con when the book begins. The results of their act propel Nance into a series of events that she could never have imagined. This was Miriam Michelson's first novel and it was considered a 'blockbuster' in its day. Ranked fourth on the list of bestsellers of 1904 by "Publishers Weekly," Michelson's book was a source of controversy due to the dubious ethics and morals of its heroine.

By: Molière

Tartuffe by Molière Tartuffe

Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, known by his stage name Molière, was a French playwright and actor who is considered to be one of the greatest masters of comedy in Western literature. Among Molière's best-known works is Tartuffe or The Hypocrite, written in 1664. Though Tartuffe was received well by the public and even by Louis XIV, its popularity was lessened when the Archbishop of Paris issued an edict threatening excommunication for anyone who watched, performed in, or read the play.Tartuffe, a pious fraud who pretends to speak with divine authority, has insinuated himself into the household of Orgon...

By: Moliere (1622-1673)

Book cover The Imaginary Invalid

The Imaginary Invalid is a three-act comédie-ballet by the French playwright Molière. It was first performed in 1673 and was the last work he wrote. The plot centers around Argan, the 'imaginary invalid' who is completely dependent on his doctors and wants to marry his daughter to a doctor against her will, so that he will always have medical care freely available to him. In an ironic twist of fate, Molière collapsed during his fourth performance as Argan on 17 February and died soon after.

By: Montague R. James (1862-1936)

Ghost Stories of an Antiquary by Montague R. James Ghost Stories of an Antiquary

An English tourist in a small, rural town in the South of France discovers an ancient manuscript with a strange illustration on the last page. A young orphan is sent to live with his elderly cousin, a secretive man who is obsessed with immortality. A picture that tells stories that change according to who is viewing it. These and other delicious, goose bump evoking tales are part of Ghost Stories of an Antiquary by Montague R James. A master of his craft, MR James was an academic and administrator of King's College, Cambridge and later of Eton...

The Five Jars by Montague R. James The Five Jars

The Five Jars is the only novel written by James, who is best known for his ghost stories. It is a peculiarly surreal fantasy apparently written for children. While he is out walking, the narrator is drawn to a remote pool, and finds a small box that has been hidden since Roman times. He gradually learns how to use its contents, fighting off a series of attempts to steal it, and becomes aware of a strange world hidden from our own.

By: Morgan Robertson

Futility, Or the Wreck of the Titan by Morgan Robertson Futility, Or the Wreck of the Titan

This novel was published a full 14 years before the sinking of the Titanic, but listeners may be surprised at how many parallels this fictional tale has with subsequent true events. The Titan is the largest and most technologically advanced steamship of her time. She is considered unsinkable. Her full speed crossings of the Northern Lane Route carry her rich passengers in the highest standards of luxury and comfort. The less well-off travel in rougher quarters but still benefit from the speed of travel...

By: Mrs Charles Bryce (1839-1920)

The Ashiel Mystery - A Detective Story by Mrs Charles Bryce The Ashiel Mystery - A Detective Story

Just as the adopted Juliet Byrne finds out the truth about her family, her father is murdered. Luckily the brilliant chocolate-munching Detective Gimblet takes up the case to solve the 'Ashiel Mystery'

By: Mrs. Henry Wood (1814-1887)

East Lynne by Mrs. Henry Wood East Lynne

Ellen Wood (1814-1887) was an English novelist, better known as Mrs. Henry Wood. She wrote over 30 novels, many of which (especially East Lynne which was a Victorian best seller and is still sometimes performed as a drama) enjoyed remarkable popularity. Lady Isabel Carlyle, a beautiful and refined young woman, leaves her hard-working but neglectful lawyer-husband and her infant children to elope with an aristocratic suitor. After he deserts her, and she bears their illegitimate child, Lady Isabel disguises herself and takes the position of governess in the household of her husband and his new wife". Summary by Wikipedia

By: Mrs. O. F. Walton (1849-1939)

A Peep Behind the Scenes by Mrs. O. F. Walton A Peep Behind the Scenes

Rosalie is the daughter of a traveling theater master and is envied by many young girls as she appears to live a life full of glamour, glitz, and glory. But beneath the happy smiling face is a hurting heart, a deep sorrow for her dying mother, and a wretched life. Follow Rosalie as she learns of the Good Shepherd who loves and cares for her, and begins to trust Him for daily strength.

By: Murray Leinster (1896-1975)

The Aliens by Murray Leinster The Aliens

This story starts with space ships scouring the universe in an interplanetary game of tag. The humans know there are “Aliens” out there. But so do the Aliens. As each tries desperately to make the phenomenal discovery, they secretly hope that the other will not turn out to be the enemy. Humans call them “Plumies” because of the feathery plumes they inscribe on silicon-bronze tablets and cairns they have left behind on their intergalactic travels over the last thousand years. The search goes on, till one day somewhere in outer space, a Plumie ship collides with the one manned by humans...

Operation Terror by Murray Leinster Operation Terror

An unidentified space ship lands in a Colorado lake. Equipped with a paralyzing ray weapon, the creatures begin taking human prisoners. A loan land surveyor and a journalist are trapped inside the Army cordon, which is helpless against the mysterious enemy. Can they stop the aliens before it is too late?

Space Tug by Murray Leinster Space Tug

Joe Kenmore heard the airlock close with a sickening wheeze and then a clank. In desperation he turned toward Haney. “My God, we’ve been locked out!” Through the transparent domes of their space helmets, Joe could see a look of horror and disbelief pass across Haney’s face. But it was true! Joe and his crew were locked out of the Space Platform. Four thousand miles below circled the Earth. Under Joe’s feet rested the solid steel hull of his home in outer space. But without tools there was no hope of getting back inside. Joe looked at his oxygen meter. It registered thirty minutes to live.

The Pirates of Ersatz by Murray Leinster The Pirates of Ersatz

Bron is the offspring of infamous space pirates but instead of following in the family footsteps he decides to become an electronic engineer. Unfortunately, every time he tries to get out, something pulls him back in. This is a tongue-in-cheek space adventure along the lines of the Stainless Steel Rat by Harry Harrison. It was originally published in the FEB-APR issues of Astounding Science Fiction in 1959.

This World Is Taboo by Murray Leinster This World Is Taboo

Calhoun is an Interstellar Medical Serviceman, and he's needed on Dara. Trouble is: Dara is forbidden. Taboo. And breaking quarantine will make Calhoun a presumed plague-carrier and subject to being shot on sight by anyone from Weald. But hey! If he did the smart thing, we wouldn't have a story!But why are men from Dara shooting at him?

Book cover Talents, Incorporated

Bors felt as if he'd been hit over the head. This was ridiculous! He'd planned and carried out the destruction of that warship because the information of its existence and location was verified by a magnetometer.But, if he'd known how the information had been obtained--if he'd known it had been guessed at by a discharged spaceport employee, and a paranoid personality, and a man who used a hazel twig or something similar--if he'd known that, he'd never have dreamed of accepting it. He'd have dismissed it flatly!

The Hate Disease by Murray Leinster The Hate Disease

Dr. Calhoun and his pet tormal Murgatroyd work for the Interstellar Medical Service making routine public health inspections on far-flung colonial planets. When they reach Tallien Three they are greeted with a rocket attack by the Paras, a mutated form of human rapidly replacing the “normals”. The normals think it’s a pandemic of demonic possession but Calhoun has his doubts. If he can keep from turning into a Para, or being assassinated by them he just might figure this thing out. – The Hate Disease was first published in the August 1963 edition of Analog Science Fact and Fiction magazine.

The Runaway Skyscraper by Murray Leinster The Runaway Skyscraper

Arthur Chamberlain has problems. His one-man engineering firm is faltering and his pretty secretary Estelle barely notices him. But these problems are put aside when his Manhattan office building falls into the fourth dimension. Madison Square is filled with wigwams and it’s up to Arthur to engineer a way to make his building to fall back to the future. – The Runaway Skyscraper first appeared in the February 22, 1919 issue of Argosy magazine.

Operation: Outer Space by Murray Leinster Operation: Outer Space

Jed Cochrane is about to take off on man's first interstellar voyage. His mission: Make sure it's good television! (Introduction by Mark Nelson)

The Machine that Saved the World by Murray Leinster The Machine that Saved the World

They were broadcasts from nowhere--sinister emanations flooding in from space--smashing any receiver that picked them up. What defense could Earth devise against science such as this? In the far future of 1972, on a secret military installation, Staff Sergeant Bellews is an expert on the latest scientific discovery: a way for ordinary machines like vacuums and lawnmowers to gather experience in their jobs, becoming error free over time. Then the strange broadcasts began to blow up transmitters everywhere. Were they from space? Enemies? the future? He didn't care until they started messin' with his machines. Then he took it personally. (summary from the first chapter and Phil Chenevert)

Book cover The Ambulance Made Two Trips

Big Jake Connors is taking over his town through violence, inimidation and bribery but Detective Sergeant Fitzgerald can only grind his teeth in frustration. The gangsters seem to have everything going their way until the day that a little dry cleaning establishment declines their offer of 'protection' and strange things start to happen. Murray Leinster gives us another wonderful product of 'what if' from his limitless imagination to enjoy in this gem of a story. Listen and smile.

Pariah Planet by Murray Leinster Pariah Planet

When the blue plague appeared on the planet of Dara, fear struck nearby worlds. The fear led to a hate that threatened the lives of millions and endangered the Galactic peace. (Excerpt from the text.)

Murder Madness by Murray Leinster Murder Madness

Murder Madness! Seven Secret Service men had completely disappeared. Another had been found a screaming, homicidal maniac, whose fingers writhed like snakes. So Bell, of the secret "Trade," plunges into South America after The Master--the mighty, unknown octopus of power whose diabolical poison threatens a continent!

Book cover Space Platform

SPACE PLATFORM tells the exciting story of a young man helping to build this first station. With scientific accuracy and imagination Murray Leinster, one of the world's top science-fiction writers, describes the building and launching of the platform. Here is a fast-paced story of sabotage and murder directed against a project more secret and valuable than the atom bomb!

By: Myrtle Reed (1874-1911)

Lavender and Old Lace by Myrtle Reed Lavender and Old Lace

“Jane Hathaway and her niece, Ruth Thorne, have never met. Jane invites Ruth for a visit, but leaves before Ruth comes. Ruth agrees to come to Jane for quiet and rest. When Ruth arrives, the maid gives her a letter from her aunt. In the letter, Aunt Jane does not tell Ruth anything about her trip abroad but insists that Ruth light an oil lamp in the attic each night. Very soon, the all together forgotten past and the steady present are united.”

Book cover At The Sign of The Jack O'Lantern

This begins with an odd inheritance at the end of a honeymoon, both parties being inexperienced. Then someone comes to visit, then another, until we've got a chaotic bedlam of New England's tragically off the wall odd-ball relations. Our protagonists may not communicate efficiently at first but at least they've got a sense of humours. The humourous style keeps up as well as some moments of lustre and rich feeling about the printed word itself. (Introduction by D. Wor)

Old Rose and Silver by Myrtle Reed Old Rose and Silver

The novel follows the lives of Rose and her widowed Aunt, Madame Francesca Bernard, along with young visitor and cousin Isabel, whose lives are changed by the return of an old friend and neighbour Colonel Kent, and his grown son, Allison. Other characters that help shape their lives in significant ways are the Crosby twins, unconventional and uninhibited youths that set society at naught, and an unconventional doctor who specializes in the impossible. Through the limited "wide-scope" descriptions...

By: Natalie Sumner Lincoln (1881-1935)

The Red Seal by Natalie Sumner Lincoln The Red Seal

Nothing is what it seems to be as events unfold in this entertaining mystery by Natalie Sumner Lincoln. Red seals and red herrings abound and will keep you guessing all the way through the final chapter!

By: Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864)

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne The Scarlet Letter

A beautiful woman who is punished for the mortal sin of loving a man other than her husband, a cowardly lover, a vengeful husband, a rebellious illegitimate child and the oppressive and patriarchal morality of 17th century Puritanism in Boston. Together these form an unforgettable and thought-provoking glimpse of how much social attitudes have changed over the centuries. Nathaniel Hawthorne was the creator of such beloved works as Twice-Told Tales, A Wonder Book for Boys and Girls, The House of the Seven Gables and spine-chilling tales like Roger Malvin's Burial...

The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne The House of the Seven Gables

“The wrongdoing of one generation lives into the successive ones and… becomes a pure and uncontrollable mischief.” Hawthorne’s moral for “The House of the Seven Gables,” taken from the Preface, accurately presages his story. The full weight of the gloomy mansion of the title seems to sit on the fortunes of the Pyncheon family. An ancestor took advantage of the Salem witch trials to wrest away the land whereon the house would be raised… but the land’s owner, about to be executed as a wizard, cursed the Pyncheon family until such time as they should make restitution...

The Blithedale Romance by Nathaniel Hawthorne The Blithedale Romance

The Blithedale Romance is the story of four principal characters who work with -- and sometimes against -- each other on Blithedale, a communal farm antecedent to those that sprang up later in the 1960s, and similar to one on which Hawthorne himself lived in 1841. These communes arose out of the pressures on society and the individual brought by the Industrial Revolution. Some were organized around religious philosophies, some were secular. Among the secularists, the Transcendental movement mentioned in the novel espoused the idea that the individual's intuition, rather than religious dogma, was the true path to spiritual enlightenment...

The Great Stone Face and Other Tales of the White Mountains by Nathaniel Hawthorne The Great Stone Face and Other Tales of the White Mountains

A collection of four short stories by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the common theme of which is New Hampshire's White Mountains. Consists of: The Great Stone Face, written in 1850 and revolves around the 'Old Man of the Mountain (Cannon Mtn.) in New Hampshire which sadly collapsed on May 3, 2003; The Ambitious Guest, written in 1835; The Great Carbuncle, written in 1837; and Sketches From Memory, written sometime prior to The Great Carbuncle as will become obvious.

The Marble Faun by Nathaniel Hawthorne The Marble Faun

The Marble Faun is Hawthorne's most unusual romance. Writing on the eve of the American Civil War, Hawthorne set his story in a fantastical Italy. The romance mixes elements of a fable, pastoral, gothic novel, and travel guide. In the spring of 1858, Hawthorne was inspired to write his romance when he saw the Faun of Praxiteles in a Roman sculpture gallery. The theme, characteristic of Hawthorne, is guilt and the Fall of Man. The four main characters are Miriam, a beautiful painter who is compared...

Mosses from an Old Manse by Nathaniel Hawthorne Mosses from an Old Manse

"Mosses from an Old Manse" is a short story collection by Nathaniel Hawthorne, first published in 1846. The collection includes several previously-published short stories and is named in honor of The Old Manse where Hawthorne and his wife lived for the first three years of their marriage. A second edition was published in 1854, which added "Feathertop," "Passages from a Relinquished Work, and "Sketches from Memory."Many of the tales collected in "Mosses from an Old Manse" are allegories and, typical of Hawthorne, focus on the negative side of human nature...

By: Neil Munro (1863-1930)

Book cover Doom Castle

Doom Castle is the story of young Count Victor's journey to Scotland after the Jacobite Rebellion, searching for a traitor to the Jacobite cause as well as a mysterious man under the name of "Drimdarroch", whom he swore revenge. After a perilious journey, Count Victor arrives at Doom Castle as a guest of the enigmatic Baron of Doom, his two strange servitors and his beautiful daughter... (Summary by Carolin)

By: Nella Larsen (1891-1964)

Quicksand by Nella Larsen Quicksand

Quicksand is a 1928 novel by Nella Larsen, a writer of the Harlem Renaissance. It focuses on Helga Crane, a mixed-race woman who is a schoolteacher in the American south. As the novel opens, she suddenly decides to give up her teaching position and go north, back to her roots in Chicago. Helga's restless search for identity is semi-autobiographical, inspired by Larsen's own struggles to reconcile her mixed heritage with the racism of 1920s America. Although this novel was published after 1923, the copyright was never renewed and is therefore in the public domain. (Introduction by Elizabeth Klett)

By: Nikolai Chernyshevsky (1828-1889)

Book cover Vital Question, or, What is to be Done?

Despised by Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy, What Is To Be Done? is a fascinating, sympathetic story of idealistic revolutionaries in mid-nineteenth century tsarist Russia; translator Nathan Haskell Dole affirms in his preface his conviction that it is a thriller that no one can put down once s/he begins it. Its variegated cast of characters includes Vera Pavlovna, a boldly independent woman in a time of great oppression, and the inspirational radical Rakhmetov. The author wrote the novel from the depths of the infamous Peter & Paul Fortress of St...

By: Nikolai Leskov (1831-1895)

Book cover Steel Flea

An 1881 comic story by Nikolai Leskov, presented in the form of a traditional skaz or folk-tale, but entirely of Leskov's invention. It tells the story of a left-handed Russian artisan required to impress Tsar Nikolas I with his craftsmanship by outdoing some famous Englishmen who have created a tiny mechanical flea. The Russian smith barricades himself with two skilled colleagues in his workshop until finally forced to come out and reveal the brilliant result of his labor. Far more famous in Russia than in the West, the story of The Steel Flea reveals much about nineteenth-century Russian attitudes toward the West and toward their own country, but is difficult to categorize...

By: Norman Duncan (1871-1916)

Book cover Christmas Eve At Swamp's End

Four selected chapters from The Measure Of A Man; A Tale of the Big Woods, by Norman Duncan. What could be more Christmasy than: Babies, especially a homeless one; a woman who loves; a man who protects; a cold night; glittering stars; poor working-men witnesses; gifts. ( Title page and david wales)

By: O. Henry (1862-1910)

The Four Million by O. Henry The Four Million

An impoverished but loving young couple sacrifices their most precious possessions to buy Christmas gifts for each other. A tramp who is desperate to be sent to prison so he can escape the winter cold. Two depressed laborers get their palms read by a Coney Island mountebank. A yellow dog who relates the story of a fat lady and her hen pecked husband. These and other unforgettable characters form part of absolutely delightful and unforgettable short story collection, The Four Million by O Henry. As the master of the “twist in the tail/tale” and the completely unexpected endings, O...

The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry The Gift of the Magi

The Gift of the Magi is an O. Henry short story in which a young couple are very much in love with each other but can barely afford their one-room apartment. For Christmas, they each make a sacrifice to purchase a gift for the other, with ironic results. The moral of the story is that physical possessions, however valuable they may be, are of little value in the grand scheme of things. The true unselfish love that the characters, Jim and Della, share is greater than their possessions. O. Henry ends the story by clarifying the metaphor between the characters in the story, Della and James (or Jim), and the Biblical Magi...

Book cover Cabbages and Kings

This work is O. Henry's first published volume and is considered to be his only novel. The plot is composed of several short stories, which were inspired by the author's six-month stay in Honduras in the late 1890s. "The incidents embracing as they do, a variety of subjects, hang loosely together, so loosely in fact, that at times one finds no apparent connection between them at all, and yet in the end one sees how each is intimately related to the other. ...Written by a less able hand than O. Henry's the book might have been a sad jumble, perhaps comprehensible to none but the Walrus--but as it is, one finds a joy in its every obscurity...

Book cover Whirligigs

A collection of short stories.

Book cover Gentle Grafter

If Jefferson "Parleyvoo" Pickens had appeared in print just a few years later, he might have been the "Gentle Grifter" instead of the "Gentle Grafter", the name O. Henry picked for him. His situation as an ethical graft artist gives Jeff an extra impediment in pursuing his craft, but he never wanted it to be too easy. The result is fourteen delightful tales for us and a number of new partners for him. With those partners (he always has at least one) he works his way through a number of confidence games...

Book cover Heart of the West

A collection of short stories by the legendary O. Henry.

Book cover Waifs and Strays

These 12 O. Henry stories all deal with waifs and strays in one way or another; people who have somehow become adrift in the current of life. Will they find their way on their own or be helped by kind hearted folk or perhaps, stay a waif and stray, somehow outside the normal life of society? All naturally have the wonderful O. Henry beautiful way with words and people. So if you are in the mood to enjoy some sensuous sounds and convoluted flowing phrases unique to William Sydney Porter, give these a listen. And of course the endings cannot ever be predicted. Ever!

Book cover Options

O. Henry needs no introduction of course; the man who made the short story with the surprise ending famous. These 16 stories are all wonderful examples of his word sculpting art. They include: "The Rose of Dixie"; The Third Ingredient; The Hiding of Black Bill; Schools and Schools; Thimble, Thimble; Supply and Demand; Buried Treasure; To Him Who Waits; He Also Serves; The Moment of Victory; The Head-Hunter; No Story; The Higher Pragmatism; Best-Seller; Rus in Urbe; A Poor Rule

By: Olive Schreiner (1855-1920)

The Story of an African Farm by Olive Schreiner The Story of an African Farm

The novel details the lives of three characters, first as children and then as adults - Waldo, Em and Lyndall - who live on a farm in the Karoo region of South Africa. The story is set in the middle- to late Nineteenth century - the First Boer War is alluded to, but not mentioned by name. The book is semi-autobiographical: in particular, the two principal protagonists (Waldo and Lyndall) display strong similarities to Schreiner's life and philosophy. The book was first published in 1883 in London, under the pseudonym Ralph Iron...

By: Oliver Goldsmith (1728/1730-1774)

The Vicar of Wakefield by Oliver Goldsmith The Vicar of Wakefield

Published in 1766, The Vicar of Wakefield follows the turbulent shift in the fortune and status of the Primrose family, as they must endure various setbacks that threaten their ultimate wellbeing and prosperity. Focusing on themes including family, prudence, resilience, religion, deception, marriage, and social status, the classic is regarded as Goldsmith’s most notable literary achievement. The novel centers on Dr. Charles Primrose, a benevolent and naive vicar, who together with his wife and six children lives an idyllic and comfortable life in the affluent town of Wakefield, owing their position to a smart investment...

Book cover She Stoops to Conquer

In She Stoops to Conquer, or The Mistakes of a Night, a young lady pretends to be a servant in order to win the notice of a young man who is painfully shy around women of his own class. Hilarious misadventures and mayhem ensue before matters are neatly wrapped up at the end. This play, one of the great English comedies, was first performed in 1773 and continues to be very popular with audiences today.

By: Oliver Herford (1863-1935)

This Giddy Globe by Oliver Herford This Giddy Globe

Is there a genre called FUN? Yes, and this is it! Insanely humorous geography that will have you rolling on the floor laughing with your sides hurting.

By: Oliver Wendell Holmes

The One-Hoss Shay by Oliver Wendell Holmes The One-Hoss Shay

This is a small collection of whimsical poems by the American physician and author Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. "The Deacon's Masterpiece" describes the "logical" outcome of building an object (in this case, a two-wheeled carriage called a shay) that has no weak points. The economic term "one hoss shay," referring to a certain model of depreciation, derives its name from this poem. "How the Old Horse Won the Bet" is a lighthearted look at a horse race. Finally, "The Broomstick Train" is a wonderfully Halloween-y explanation of how an electric tram really works.

By: Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (1809-1894)

Book cover My Hunt After 'The Captain'

Holmes describes his frantic search through Civil War torn landscapes for his wounded son, the future Supreme Court Justice. Originally published in The Atlantic Magazine, 1862. Holmes, Sr. (1809 -1894) was an American physician, poet, professor, lecturer, and author. He was regarded by his peers as one of the best writers of the 19th century. His most famous prose works are the "Breakfast Table" series, which began with The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table (1858). He is also recognized as an important medical reformer.

By: Omar Khayyám (1048-1131)

Book cover Quatrains of Omar Khayyám in English Prose

Justin Huntly McCarthy (1859 - 1936) was an Irish scholar, author and nationalist politician. In 1889 his prose translations of 466 quatrains of the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám was published by David Nutt. An abbreviated edition, containing a shorter introduction and translations of 373 quatrains, was published by David Nutt in 1898, and this has been used for the present recording.

By: Ontario Ministry of Education

The Ontario Readers Third Book by Ontario Ministry of Education The Ontario Readers Third Book

The Ontario Readers is a school book first published in 1909, by the Ontario Ministry of Education, containing short excerpts of literary works, both stories and poems, geared to grade-school age children.

By: Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde The Picture of Dorian Gray

A novel that disturbs you 160 years after it first appeared in print, The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, has so much relevance and resonance even today. Dorian Gray is a strikingly handsome young man whose beauty attracts a debauched aristocrat Sir Henry Wotton. Dorian's picture has been painted by a talented artist Basil Hallward and Sir Henry becomes desperate to meet Dorian, though Basil himself is against it. Sir Henry persuades Dorian to pose for a picture painted by Basil and during the painting sessions, Henry “educates” the young and impressionable Dorian about life...

The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde The Canterville Ghost

An American diplomat's family moves into an ancient stately mansion. They're warned by the owner that it is haunted by a most horrifying and gruesome spirit who had once cruelly murdered his own wife. The story progresses with creaking floor boards, mysterious passages, dark attics, clanking chains, and weird howling. Yet, the reader is totally unprepared for Oscar Wilde's brand of tongue in cheek humor as he takes all the ingredients of a traditional ghost story and turns it on its head, and creates a hilarious parody instead of a morbid saga! The Canterville Ghost was the first of Oscar Wilde's short stories to be published...

The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde The Importance of Being Earnest

A wealthy philanthropist adopts an abandoned baby he finds in a railway station waiting room. The child grows into a fine, upstanding young man. When his benefactor dies, he is made the guardian of the old man's lovely young daughter. But unknown to everyone, he leads a double life that even his best friend knows nothing about... If you thought that this has all the makings of a most sinister and diabolical plot, you couldn't be more mistaken. The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde is a light as a feather confection, full of mischief, fun and laughter! Written in 1894, this was Wilde's last play...

An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde An Ideal Husband

This story opens at a fashionable dinner party in Sir Robert Chiltern's home in the heart of London's stylish Grosvenor Square. One of Lady Chiltern's old school-friends, Mrs. Cheveley, a woman with a dubious past, accosts Sir Robert and threatens to expose a financial crime that he had once participated in, unless he agrees to finance a fraudulent construction project that she's promoting. Lady Chiltern is astounded when her husband who had been the severest critic of this project suddenly begins to speak in its favor...

The Happy Prince and Other Tales by Oscar Wilde The Happy Prince and Other Tales

The Happy Prince and Other Tales (also sometimes called The Happy Prince and Other Stories) is an 1888 collection of stories for children by Oscar Wilde. It is most famous for The Happy Prince, the short tale of a metal statue who befriends a migratory bird. Together, they bring happiness to others, in life as well as in death. The stories included in this collection are:The Happy PrinceThe Nightingale and the RoseThe Selfish GiantThe Devoted FriendThe Remarkable RocketThe stories convey an appreciation for the exotic, the sensual and for masculine beauty.

De Profundis by Oscar Wilde De Profundis

This is a letter written from prison in 1897 by Oscar Wilde to Lord Alfred Douglas, in which he recounts how he came to be in prison and charts his spiritual development.

Lady Windermere's Fan by Oscar Wilde Lady Windermere's Fan

Lady Windermere’s Fan: A Play About a Good Woman is a four act comedy by Oscar Wilde, published in 1893. As in some of his other comedies, Wilde satirizes the morals of Victorian society, and attitudes between the sexes. The action centres around a fan given to Lady Windermere as a present by her husband, and the ball held that evening to celebrate her 21st birthday.

The Fisherman and His Soul by Oscar Wilde The Fisherman and His Soul

”The Fisherman and his Soul” is a fairy tale first published in November of 1891 in Wilde’s “A House of Pomegranates”. It tells of a fisherman who nets and falls in love with a mermaid. But to be with her he must shed his soul, which goes off to have adventures of its own. Will forbidden love endure?

The Ballad of Reading Gaol by Oscar Wilde The Ballad of Reading Gaol

In 1895, Oscar Wilde was sentenced to 2 years of hard labor for acts of ‘gross indecency’. During his time at Reading Gaol, he witnessed a rare hanging, and in the three years between his release and his untimely death in 1900, was inspired to write the following poem, a meditation on the death penalty and the importance of forgiveness, even for (and especially for) something as heinous as murdering one’s spouse; for even the murderer, Wilde argues, is human and suffers more so for being the cause of his own pain, for ‘having killed the thing he loved’; for everyone is the cause of someone else’s suffering and suffers at the hands of another...

The Soul of Man by Oscar Wilde The Soul of Man

“(T)he past is what man should not have been. The present is what man ought not to be. The future is what artists are.”Published originally as “The Soul of Man Under Socialism,” this is not so much a work of sober political analysis; rather it can be summed up as a rhapsodic manifesto on behalf of the Individual. Socialism having deployed technology to liberate the whole of humanity from soul-destroying labour, the State obligingly withers away to allow the free development of a joyful, anarchic hedonism...

A Florentine Tragedy and La Sainte Courtisane by Oscar Wilde A Florentine Tragedy and La Sainte Courtisane

Two short fragments: an unfinished and a lost play. A Florentine Tragedy, left in a taxi (not a handbag), is Wilde’s most successful attempt at tragedy – intense and domestic, with surprising depth of characterisation. It was adapted into an opera by the Austrian composer Alexander Zemlinsky in 1917. La Sainte Courtisane, or The Woman Covered in Jewels explores one of Wilde’s great idées fixes: the paradox of religious hedonism, pagan piety. Both plays, Wildean to their core, revel in the profound sadness that is the fruit of the conflict between fidelity and forbidden love...

A Woman of No Importance by Oscar Wilde A Woman of No Importance

A Woman of No Importance is a play by Irish playwright Oscar Wilde. The play premièred on 19 April 1893 at London's Haymarket Theatre. It is a testimony of Wilde's wit and his brand of dark comedy. It looks in particular at English upper class society and has been reproduced on stages in Europe and North America since his death in 1900.

The Duchess of Padua by Oscar Wilde The Duchess of Padua

Guido Ferranti, a young man, travels to Padua with his friend Ascanio after receiving a mysterious letter from a stranger, claiming to know the true secret of Guido's birth. His plan of revenge goes awry, however, when he falls in love with his enemy's beautiful wife, the Duchess of Padua.

Book cover Lord Arthur Savile's Crime and Other Stories

Lord Arthur Savile's Crime and Other Stories is a collection of short semi-comic mystery stories. This collection exemplifies Wilde's sharp wit and dark humour. Stories in this collection include Lord Arthur Savile's Crime, The Canterville Ghost, The Sphinx Without a Secret, The Model Millionaire, and The Portrait Of Mr W H.

Book cover Vera; or the Nihilists

Vera; or, The Nihilists is a play by Oscar Wilde. It is a melodramatic tragedy set in Russia and is loosely based on the story of Vera Zasulich. It was the first play that Wilde wrote. It was produced in the United Kingdom in 1880, and in New York in 1882, but it was not a success and folded in both cities. It is nowadays rarely revived.

By: Owen Wister (1860-1938)

The Virginian by Owen Wister The Virginian

Ostensibly a love story, the novel really revolves around a highly mythologized version of the Johnson County War in 1890’s Wyoming … The novel takes the side of the large ranchers, and depicts the lynchings as frontier justice, meted out by the protagonist, who is a member of a natural aristocracy among men.

The Dragon of Wantley by Owen Wister The Dragon of Wantley

A novel, The Dragon of Wantley, was written by Owen Wister (best known as the author of The Virginian) in 1892. Published by Lipincott Press, the story is a comic "burlesque" (in the author's words), concerning the "true" story of the Dragon. It is a romantic story set at Christmastime in the early 13th century. The book was a surprise success, going through four editions over the next ten years. This is the 1895 edition.

Red Men and White by Owen Wister Red Men and White

These eight stories are made from our Western Frontier as it was in a past as near as yesterday and almost as by-gone as the Revolution; so swiftly do we proceed. They belong to each other in a kinship of life and manners, and a little through the nearer tie of having here and there a character in common. Thus they resemble faintly the separate parts of a whole, and gain, perhaps, something of the invaluable weight of length; and they have been received by my closest friends with suspicion. ...When...

Philosophy 4: A Story of Harvard University by Owen Wister Philosophy 4: A Story of Harvard University

Owen Wister's wry humor enlivens this comedic story of three sophomores during exam week at Harvard.

Lin McLean by Owen Wister Lin McLean

Lin McLean is an unaffected, attractive young cowboy in the Wyoming territory before statehood. This book is various stories in his life.

The Jimmyjohn Boss and Other Stories by Owen Wister The Jimmyjohn Boss and Other Stories

This is the fifth published book of Owen Wister, author of the archetypical Western novel, The Virginian. Published in 1900, it comprises eight Western short stories.

Padre Ignacio, Or The Song Of Temptation by Owen Wister Padre Ignacio, Or The Song Of Temptation

Padre Ignacio has been the pastor of California mission Santa Ysabel del Mar for twenty years. In 1855 a stranger rides into the mission bringing news and a spiritual crisis. It's really more of a novella than a novel.

Book cover Lady Baltimore

Augustus visits King's Port, South Carolina, at the request of his Aunt Carola, and at her expense. She wants him to research geneaologies and records to find proof that he is descended from royalty so that he can join her exclusive club, the Colonial Society. While there, he becomes involved in a love affair between John Mayrant and Eliza La Heu.

By: P. G. Wodehouse

The Adventures of Sally by P. G. Wodehouse The Adventures of Sally

Pretty, charming, but impoverished Sally Nicholas' humdrum life is turned upside down when fate decides to step in. In this breezy, romantic comedy, PG Wodehouse delights readers with his portrayal of a charming young American girl who unexpectedly inherits a fortune which changes her life forever. The story follows Sally's fortunes and is told in Wodehouse's typical humorous style and keeps the reader thoroughly entertained to the very end. First published in 1921 as a serial in Collier's Magazine in the US and in 1922 in the Grand Magazine, UK it appeared in book form titled Mostly Sally in 1922...

Right Ho, Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse Right Ho, Jeeves

If you're encountering the zany Bertie Wooster and his exceptionally astute Man Friday, Jeeves, for the first time, be assured that you're embarking on a lifetime of fun and laughter! On the other hand, for eternal Wodehouse fans, Right Ho Jeeves provides more glimpses of the delightful world created by one of the best loved English writers. It is the second in the series of Bertie Wooster and Jeeves novels and features some of the regular characters of Brinkley Court, the country seat ruled over by Bertie's much-loved Aunt Dahlia...

My Man Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse My Man Jeeves

First published in 1919, My Man Jeeves is a collection of short stories featuring the well known fictional characters Jeeves and Bertie Wooster. The compilation consists of eight stories, of which four feature the popular duo while the other four stories feature Reggie Pepper, an early model of Bertie Wooster. Set in the early 20th century, the stories carry much humor, wit, and charming mischief as the characters seem to attract trouble wherever they go. Wodehouse sets the stories in the early 20th century and allows the audience to enter the world of the upper-class establishments, and experience the many awkward situations the characters find themselves in...

Love Among the Chickens by P. G. Wodehouse Love Among the Chickens

A young, but not too brilliant writer is conscripted by a ne'er-do-well friend to help out on a chicken farm in remote Dorset. While traveling to the country, the writer encounters a lovely young girl and her academician father on the train. He is delighted to discover that she is reading a copy of his latest book. In the countryside, he also discovers that the professor and his daughter are neighbors. However, over dinner one night, he gets into an acrimonious debate with the elderly scholar who storms out, furious with his daughter's potential suitor...

The Clicking of Cuthbert by P. G. Wodehouse The Clicking of Cuthbert

The first of two books that he wrote on golfing themes, The Clicking of Cuthbert by PG Wodehouse sparkles with typical Wodehousian wit, humor and general goofiness! An avid golfer himself, Wodehouse published the ten stories in this volume in 1922. In 1924, an American edition titled Golf Without Tears was published. Since then it has enjoyed undimmed popularity among both Wodehouse fans and golfing enthusiasts. Nine of the stories contained in this book are narrated by the Oldest Member, a character who has become a cult figure among Wodehouse fans...


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