By: P. G. Wodehouse (1881-1975)
A Damsel in Distress
A Damsel in Distress is a novel by P. G. Wodehouse, first published in the U.S. on October 4, 1919 by George H. Doran, New York, and in the U.K. by Herbert Jenkins, London, on October 17 1919. It had previously been serialised in The Saturday Evening Post, between May and June that year.Golf-loving American composer George Bevan falls in love with a mysterious young lady who takes refuge in his taxicab one day; when he tracks her down to a romantic rural manor, mistaken identity leads to all manner of brouhaha.
Three Men and a Maid
This book with two titles, Three Men and a Maid in the USA and The Girl on the Boat in the UK is a typical P.G. Wodehouse romantic comedy, involving, at various times: a disastrous talent quest, a lawyer with a revolver, a bulldog with a mind of his own and a suit of armour! The maid, or marriageable young woman, of the American title is red-haired, dog-loving Wilhelmina “Billie” Bennet. The three men are Bream Mortimer, a long-time friend and admirer of Billie, Eustace Hignett, a poet of sensitive disposition who is engaged to Billie at the opening of the tale, and Sam Marlowe, Eustace’s would-be-dashing cousin, who falls for Billie at first sight...
Uneasy Money is a romantic comedy by P.G. Wodehouse, published during the First World War, it offers light escapism. More romantic but only a little less humorous that his mature works, it tells of the vicissitudes of poor Lord Dawlish, who inherits five million dollars, but becomes a serially disappointed groom. When the story opens Bill (Lord Dawlish, a thoroughly pleasant man) is engaged to a demanding actress. His first thought when hearing of his massive legacy from a stranger whose tendency to slice he once cured on a West Country golf course is of the disappointed relatives...
By: Elizabeth Gaskell
Mary Barton is the first novel by English author Elizabeth Gaskell, published in 1848. The story is set in the English city of Manchester during the 1830s and 1840s and deals heavily with the difficulties faced by the Victorian lower class. The novel begins in Manchester, where we are introduced to the Bartons and the Wilsons, two working class families. John Barton reveals himself to be a great questioner of the distribution of wealth and the relation between the rich and the poor. He also relates how his sister-in-law Esther has disappeared after she ran away from home...
By: Edith Wharton (1862-1937)
George Darrow, Anna Leath’s first love, is finally coming from London to propose to her. However, he drifts to an affair with Sophy Viner, Anna’s daughter’s naïve and young governess. Sophy’s relationship with Darrow and Anna’s family can threaten his success. In this novel, as in many of Wharton’s other well known novels, we see the eternal love triangle. With her sly and lovely writing style, Wharton delivers to us in this wonderful novel a cast of unforgettable characters and many unforgettable scenes which we can vividly imagine. What would Darrow choose: success or love? Would Anna marry him despite his affair with Sophy? (Summary by Stav Nisser.)
The Glimpses of the Moon
"The Glimpses of the Moon" (1922) is about Nick and Susy Lansing, both of whom live a decadent life in Europe by sponging off wealthy friends. They marry out of convenience and have an "open" relationship, but are unprepared for where their feelings will take them.
The Fruit of the Tree
When published in 1907, this novel about the lives of a wealthy mill owner, her socially progressive husband and friends caused a stir due to its treatment of drug abuse, mercy killing, divorce and second marriages.
Stephen Glennard's career is falling apart and he desperately needs money so that he may marry his beautiful fiancee. He happens upon an advertisement in a London magazine promising the prospect of financial gain. Glennard was once pursued by Margaret Aubyn, a famous and recently deceased author, and he still has her passionate love letters to him. Glennard removes his name from the letters and sells them, making him a fortune and building a marriage based on the betrayal of another.
Madame de Treymes
Edith Wharton's 1907 novella explores the milieu of Americans living abroad in Paris. New Yorker John Durham travels to Paris to woo an old flame, Fanny Frisbee, now the Marquis de Malrive. Fanny is separated from her husband and wants to marry John and return to America, but she doubts whether her Catholic husband will grant her a divorce. When John meets Fanny's sister-in-law, the enigmatic Madame de Treymes, he hopes she may be able to help them in their quest for happiness. (Introduction by Elizabeth Klett)
By: H. Rider Haggard (1856-1925)
A timeless classic of fantasy literature, She is recognized as the groundwork for the lost world literary sub- genre. First published serially in The Graphic magazine from 1886 to 1887, the novel has reached critical acclaim with approximately 100 million copies sold and is regarded as one of the best-selling books of all time. Exploring themes of imperialism, lost civilization, female authority and psyche, the novel also serves as a mirror to reflect Victorian issues such as gender and race. ...
Colonel Quaritch, V.C.: A Tale of Country Life
This is not your typical H. Rider Haggard adventure book yet it is full of mystery and intrigue including a coerced marriage, bigotry, adultery, murder and a buried treasure! This is the tale of an ancient family’s struggles to survive, one woman’s selflessness and another’s evil schemes; Two Gentlemen, two scoundrels and one very underestimated, loyal servant. Listen as the tale unfolds and guess where the treasure is hidden that can save them all!
Black Heart and White Heart
Black Heart and White Heart, is a story of the courtship, trials and final union of a pair of Zulu lovers in the time of King Cetywayo. (Introduction by H. Rider Haggard)
By: George MacDonald
A young man named Anodos experiences dream-like adventures in Fairy Land, where he meets tree-spirits, endures the presence of the overwhelming shadow, journeys to the palace of the fairy queen, and searches for the spirit of the earth. The story conveys a profound sadness and a poignant longing for death. (Brad Powers)
Written at the height of George MacDonald's literary career, the story centers around the life of a simple merchant's daughter. Mary Marston's unswerving commitment to love, God, and others is contrasted with a backdrop of an array of characters and a complex and sometimes mysterious plot. It is a story of a woman who loves a man, and teaches him to change. Not out of his love for her, but simply because it was the right thing to do. MacDonald allows the characters a range from delightful to devious. As such, they were intended to serve as models. His message is that all eventually must stand before God.
St. George and St. Michael, Volume 1
’St. George and St. Michael’ is a little-known historical romance telling the story of a young couple who find themselves on opposing sides during the tumultuous years of the English Civil Wars.Tensions are rising between king and parliament; the Church of England and the numerous independent puritans and rumours abound that Charles I will soon declare open war on the dissident elements within his realm. Seventeen-year-old Dorothy Vaughan knows little of the brewing conflict, yet is sure that her loyalty must be with her king and her nation...
The Cruel Painter
This is the story of a daring college student's quest to win the icy heart of a beautiful girl. Unfortunately, the girl is the daughter of a cunning and sadistic master artist, who takes the student as an apprentice with the express intent of torturing the youth with his own hopeless love. The story is set in late 16 century Prague, amid mysterious happenings and the terrifying rumors of a vampire on the loose.
|Annals of a Quiet Neighbourhood
By: Joseph Conrad (1857-1924)
Classic shortish story by Conrad that relates his self-thought alienation from British society, as a young foreign man survives a shipwreck off the coast of Kent, England only to be shunned by most of the townsfolk. The one exception is the loving, if dull-witted, Miss Foster.
Apparently a two part story about a Damsel and a Knight, perhaps a damsel who depends upon the kindness of strangers. It was originally entitled "Dynamite" and first published by installments in the New York Herald. The book itself was the biggest commercial success for Conrad up until that time, 1913. It allowed Conrad for the first time to settle his financial affairs. The author's disdain for people who live on the land is apparent. A new understanding of the word "enthusiastic" is promulgated. And it is a love story. Let us see how the tale goes.
A European businessman and his Malayan wife have a daughter, Nina. A Malayan prince comes to do trade with the businessman and falls in love with the daughter. Conflict arises when other influences cause distrust in the business partnership and the daughter runs off to be with the prince.
By: F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940)
This Side of Paradise
A romantic and witty novel that has weathered time to remain one of America’s classic pieces. In the shadows of the great Gatsby is another brilliant novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald. This book is evidence to Fitzgerald’s literal genius because it was written by the author in his twenties to mirror his experiences at the time. It paints a picture of what it was like to be a young man or woman in the 20th century and in the wake of the First World War. The book is set on a foundation of socialist principles...
Bernice Bobs Her Hair
Pretty but socially clueless Bernice lets her know-it-all cousin push her around, but eventually, something's gotta give! (Introduction by BellonaTimes)
By: Henry James (1843-1916)
The Portrait of a Lady
Regarded as one of James’ finest works, The Portrait of a Lady revolves around the life and the development of Isabel Archer as she embarks on a scrupulous journey of self-discovery, forced to choose between her individual freedom and the preset conventions of society. Moreover, the novel explores themes of existentialism, objectification of women, wealth, suffering, and the conflict between individual longing and social conformity. Set in the second half of the 19th century, the novel opens with the introduction of Isabel Archer, a naive young woman from Albany, New York...
First appearing as a serial in Cornhill Magazine in 1880, Washington Square focuses on the strained relationship between father and daughter, which is instigated as a result of opposing personalities, viewpoints, and lack of affection. At the same time, James presents an insidious father, who would rather sacrifice his daughter’s happiness and condemn her to a lifetime of misery, simply to prove the accuracy of his prediction. Essentially a tragicomedy, the novel focuses on themes including family, deception, cruelty, manipulation, and opposed principles...
The Altar of the Dead
A fable of literally life and death significance, the story explores how the protagonist tries to keep the remembrance of his dead friends, to save them from being forgotten entirely in the rush of everyday events. He meets a woman who shares his ideals, only to find that the past places what seems to be an impassable barrier between them. Although James was not religious in any conventional sense, the story shows a deep spirituality in its treatment of mortality and the transcendent power of unselfish love.
The Wings of the Dove
The Wings of the Dove, published in 1902, represents to my memory a very old–if I shouldn’t perhaps rather say a very young–motive; I can scarce remember the time when the situation on which this long-drawn fiction mainly rests was not vividly present to me. The idea, reduced to its essence, is that of a young person conscious of a great capacity for life, but early stricken and doomed, condemned to die under short respite, while also enamoured of the world; aware moreover of the condemnation and passionately desiring to “put in” before extinction as many of the finer vibrations as possible, and so achieve, however briefly and brokenly, the sense of having lived.
The Aspern Papers
One of James’s favorite short novels, the Aspern Papers tells of the efforts of the nameless narrator to procure the papers of a famous, but now dead, American poet. His attempts to secure them from the poet’s former lover and her niece, now recluses in Venice, are stymied both by them, and by his own mistakes in his quest.
|The Tragic Muse
By: Anthony Trollope (1815-1882)
Can You Forgive Her?
The first book in the political Palliser series, the novel deals with parliamentary politics, while concurrently devoting its pages to much more intricate issues. Presenting three parallel stories, the parliamentary novel draws its attention to three contrasting young women, who are beset with arduous decisions concerning courtship and marriage. Additionally, the novel covers topics including women in conventional society and their discernment, while illustrating the tentative stages of marriage with all the attributes of sacrifice, compromise and temptation...
Phineas Finn is the sequel to “Can you Forgive Her?” and the second novel in Trollope’s Palliser series. The eponymous hero is a young Irishman who becomes a member of the English parliament. Trollope aspired to become an M.P. himself, and he ably describes the workings of the English political scene. There is also a love interest, as the somewhat inconstant Phineas courts three different women: his Irish sweetheart, Mary Flood Jones; Lady Laura Standish, the daughter of a prominent Whig politician; and a lovely heiress, Violet Effingham.
He Knew He Was Right
He Knew He Was Right is a 1869 novel written by Anthony Trollope which describes the failure of a marriage caused by the unreasonable jealousy of a husband exacerbated by the stubbornness of a wilful wife. As is common with Trollope’s works, there are also several substantial subplots. Trollope considered this work to be a failure; he viewed the main character as unsympathetic, and the secondary characters and plots much more lively and interesting.
Phineas Redux is the fourth in Trollope’s series of six Palliser novels. At the end of Phineas Finn, the second novel in the series, Phineas had to return to Ireland to marry his childhood sweetheart, who was expecting their child. As Phineas Redux opens, Phineas is working as a Poorhouse Inspector in Ireland. His wife having died in childbirth, he finds his existence dull and unsatisfying. Phineas’ returns to England; his career advances and his romantic adventures continue, while we encounter many familiar characters including Glencora and Plantagenet Palliser, Madame Goesler, and Lizzie Eustace and her husband the Reverand Mr. Aemelius.
The love that develops between Luke Rowan and Rachel Ray is not universally welcomed. Mrs. Tappitt- a rich, influential, and bad woman - wishes him to marry one of her own daughters, while Rachel's mother and older sister are not sure he is worthy of her. After many adventures, everybody gets what they deserve. Characteristically to Trollope's works, there is also a secondary plot involving the election of parliament in Baslehurst."Summary by Stav Nisser.The book lives still because of its delicate little scenes of comedy, the meeting of the lovers, Mrs. Tappitt's ball, the bedroom confidences of the Tappitts, Rachel's talks with her mother." -Walpole
The Duke's Children
In the last of the six Palliser novels, the sudden death of his wife, Lady Glencora, leaves Plantagenet Palliser, the Duke of Omnium, finding himself in charge of his three children. The eldest, Lord Silverbridge, has recently been expelled from Oxford; his younger brother, Gerald, is about to enter Cambridge; and the youngest, nineteen-year old Lady Mary, has imprudently formed an attachment to Francis Tregear, who, while certainly a gentleman, unfortunately has no income. Before her death, Glencora knew (and approved) of her daughter's attachment; the Duke, however, does not know of it, and is not at all likely to approve...
MANUAL OF SURGERY, OXFORD MEDICAL PUBLICATIONSBY ALEXIS THOMSON, F.R.C.S.Ed.PREFACE TO SIXTH EDITION Much has happened since this Manual was last revised, and many surgical lessons have been learned in the hard school of war. Some may yet have to be unlearned, and others have but little bearing on the problems presented to the civilian surgeon. Save in its broadest principles, the surgery of warfare is a thing apart from the general surgery of civil life, and the exhaustive literature now available on every aspect of it makes it unnecessary that it should receive detailed consideration in a manual for students...
The Prime Minister
The Prime Minister is the fifth in Trollope's series of six Palliser novels. With Phineas' difficulties resolved, Trollope introduces new characters. A respectable young girl forsakes the man her family had always intended her to marry when she falls in love with a man of foreign extraction and an unknown family. He has a gentleman's education and manners, but his family background and financial means are mysterious. Is he really a gentleman? Meanwhile, Plantagenet Palliser becomes Prime Minister of a shaky coalition government, and Glencora and Madame Goessler are busy with the ensuing social obligations.
The Last Chronicle of Barset
Both Trollope and some of his later critics have considered The Last Chronicle to be his greatest novel. Many of its characters are familiar from the earlier Barsetshire novels, including the Rev. Josiah Crawley, the impoverished curate of Hogglestock, whose alleged theft of £20, together with the efforts of many to clear up the mystery, lie here at the center. Central also is the trying courtship between Major Grantly and Grace Crawley, the clergyman's daughter, over the objections of the Major's parents, Archeacon Grantly and his wife; and the adventures of Johnny Eames, a protagonist of the Small House at Allington...
The Small House at Allington
Fifth novel in the Barsetshire series, The Small House at Allington is largely focused on the Small House's inhabitants, Mrs. Dale and her two marriageable daughters, Lily and Bell. The two girls, of course, have suitors: their cousin, Bernard Dale, his friend Adolphus Crosbie, and the local boy, Johnny Eames, whose career in London is to mark him as far more than the "hobbledehoy" that he has earlier been considered. Crosbie is a social climber, and his connection with the dysfunctional de Courcys of Barsetshire give the author a chance for a splendid portrayal of an aristocratic family in decline...
The thirty-five year-old (hence utterly over-the-hill) Miss Margaret Mackenzie, having devoted her life to others, suddenly finds herself with no one to care for, and in possession of a moderate fortune. Having money, she is now much sought-after and no longer universally deemed too old to marry. Partly because she has spent her life taking care of the brother whose money she has now inherited, she has no experience of wealth or popularity. Miss Mackenzie is the definition of “other-oriented. (Indeed, Trollope originally considered naming the novel, and his heroine, “Griselda”, presumably to invoke the folkloric character’s qualities of stolid obedience and endless patience...
The Vicar of Bullhampton
This little-known but engrossing Trollope novel, published in 1870, centers on a feisty small-town clergyman, his cantankerous neighbor, the miller, and the women in both their lives. A murder, a trial, a feud, a fallen woman, and a complicated romance are woven together in an exploration of the limits of our ability to truly do right when we involve ourselves in the lives of others, even with the best intentions. (Introduction by Angela Rowland)
By: Trollope, Anthony (1815-1882)
Belton Estate, The
Clara Amedroz is the virtuous, intelligent, and quick-witted heroine of this novel. Like all women of her time, she has few options other than to marry. She is lucky enough to have two eligible suitors, and chooses the more urbane and worldly of the two. Alas, however, she realizes fairly quickly that Captain Aylmer is not a nice person. Throughout much of the novel we find her trying hard not to recognize that Will Belton - the suitor she rejected, and who still loves and wants to marry her - is...
By: Anthony Trollope (1815-1882)
Doctor Wortle's School
Anthony Trollope’s fortieth novel, published in 1881, concerns a respectable Christian boys’ school whose proprietor unknowingly hires a woman who apparently has two husbands: A devoted English scholar and an abusive drunkard from the American south. The book interweaves a sensitive and realistic exploration of Dr. Wortle’s moral dilemma with a humorous look at small-town gossip and--of course--a romance involving the doctor’s beautiful young daughter. (
The Golden Lion of Granpere
Time to do a short Continental trip with Trollope and see if we agree with Walpole. "...not only Trollope's very best shorter book, but one of the most charming idylls in English literature. - . . It has all the colour and richness and cohesion of something done irresistibly." -Walpole . The storyline is simple - boy meets girl - parents object - trials and tribulations follow - and then the story reaches it's conclusion - but you will need to find what that is for yourself !
Kept in the Dark
Kept in the Dark is a novel by the 19th century English novelist Anthony Trollope. It was published in eight monthly installments in 1882, and also in book form in the same year. Cecilia Holt ends her engagement to Sir Francis Geraldine because of his indifference to her; she goes abroad and meets Mr George Western, who has been jilted by a beautiful girl. They marry but she does not tell him she has been previously engaged, although he has told her his story. When Western is informed of the previous engagement by Sir Francis, Western leaves his wife and goes abroad; she returns to Exeter to live with her mother...
An Old Man's Love
This was Trollope's last completed novel, and he may have acquired his sympathy for older lovers with age! A not-so-very-old man, Mr. Whittlestaff, dearly loves Mary Lawrie, the girl he provides a home for after her father's death. He wishes to marry her, and she reluctantly accepts him, but warns him of her deep regard for a young man she had known years earlier. That Mr. Gordon had not exactly engaged her, but had gone off to seek his fortune and had not communicated with Mary ever since. Shortly after Mary accepts Mr. Whittlestaff, Gordon shows up. Trollope works out a final arrangement which resolves the quandary, but not with comfort. (Arnold Banner)
A romance set in Prague between a Catholic and a Jew. In this short novel, Trollope moves away from his usual milieu to explore a theme which has universal resonance.
|Mrs. General Talboys
By: Edward M. Forster (1879-1970)
It's sad, but true to say that today Edward Morgan Forster's works are known more from their film and television adaptations rather than from their original novels. Yet, these adaptations have spurred many a fascinated viewer into going back to the library and finding the book that the film or miniseries was based on and this is ultimately the power of Forster's literary appeal. Howard's End was published in 1910 and it marked Forster's first taste of critical and commercial success. He had published three other novels earlier, Where Angels Fear To Tread (1905), The Longest Journey (1907) and A Room With a View (1908) but none of them had been received with so much acclaim...
By: Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864)
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...
By: George Eliot (1819-1880)
A lovely young woman gambling at a casino in Leubronn, Germany. A young man watches, fascinated from afar. She begins to lose heavily and leaves the casino. Thus opens the last and probably the most controversial of George Eliot's novels. Published in 1876, Daniel Deronda is also the only one in which the great Victorian novelist portrays contemporary society of her own time. There were only a few murmurs when it first came out, but later, they became a full fledged outpouring of resentment against what many readers felt was an extremely controversial stand on Jewish, proto-Zionist and Kabbalistic ideas...
A young carpenter falls in love with the village beauty. She, however, has set her sights on a dashing army captain who's the son of the wealthy local squire. Meanwhile, a beautiful and virtuous young woman preacher arrives in the village. What happens to these people and the strange twists and turns that their lives take are described in the rest of the book. Adam Bede was George Eliot's first published novel. Published in 1859, the book has remained a firm favorite with readers and academicians alike and is still taught in many English literature courses all over the world...
George Eliot's seventh and perhaps most famous novel almost didn't get written! It took birth as a short novella titled Miss Brooke but she was unhappy with its progress and finally in despair, she decided to put it aside for a couple of years. Meanwhile, personal problems intervened and when she took up the project again, it was with a renewed sense of creativity. Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life first appeared as an eight-part serial novel in 1871-72. In 1874, it was finally compiled into a full length novel and attained instant fame and success...
By: Arnold Bennett (1867-1931)
Anna of the Five Towns
The plot centers on Anna Tellwright, daughter of a wealthy but miserly and dictatorial father, living in the Potteries area of Staffordshire, England. Her activities are strictly controlled by the Methodist church. Having escaped her father by marrying the respectable and attractive Henry, she attempts in vain to help Willy, son of a drunken and bankrupt business associate of her father's.
By: Wilkie Collins (1824-1889)
The Woman in White
Wilkie Collins’s The Woman in White tells the story of two half-sisters, Laura Fairlie and Marian Halcombe who were embroiled in the sinister plot of Sir Percival Glyde and Count Fosco to take over their family’s wealth. It’s considered to be one of the first “sensation novels” to be published. Like most novels that fall into this category, the protagonists here are pushed to their limits by the villains before they finally got the justice they deserved. The story begins with Walter Hartright helping a woman dressed in white who turned out to have escaped from a mental asylum...
Poor Miss Finch
"Poor Miss Finch." That is what everyone calls the courageous protagonist of this book. In other words, "poor thing, she's blind, isn't it awful?" Ha! Lucilla Finch is the wisest of all the characters, in spite of, and perhaps because of, her blindness. This story is about her trials, tribulations and triumphs. She reminds me of myself. Not the falling recklessly in love and being pulled this way and that by foolish young men and mad old doctors. I mean that, like her, I'm blind and proud of it! (Introduction by Sandra G)
The Evil Genius, one of Wilkie Collins' last works, is subtitled "A Domestic Scene". It is the intriguing tale of family Linley, including the "evil genius", and their governess Sydney Westerfield. In colorful pictures, Collins presents the story of this family, which becomes entangled in the often hyprocritical Victorian perceptions of morality and decency.
Miss or Mrs.?
Natalie Graybrooke is in love with her cousin Launcelot Linzie, but engaged to Mr. Turlington, an older man who covets her fortune and whom she detests. Turlington is the executor of Natalie's father's estate. When Natalie secretly marries her cousin, Turlington arranges to have Natalie's father murdered, to gain control of his fortune.