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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.


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